The former CEO of Cleveland Clinic Dr. Toby Cosgrove is being again floated as a possible head of the Department of Veterans Affairs to replace Secretary Shulkin.

Cosgrove, whose real first name is Delos, stepped down from his role of running the Cleveland Clinic in 2017 after 13 years at the helm and seems well positions for the position if selected. He was previously offered the role twice and has turned it down twice, once by President Obama and by President Trump in 2017.

“Dr. Cosgrove was honored to be considered for the role, but withdrew his name because of commitments he has yet to fulfill here at Cleveland Clinic,” Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said after Cosgrove stepped out of the running in 2017. “It was a difficult decision that he did not take lightly. As a Vietnam Veteran, he understands the importance of this role.”

The key question is if selected, will Cosgrove accept the role?

At this time, Cosgrove has not been in discussions with the White House about the position and a spokeswoman provided no comment as to whether he was interested in the job.

FLASHBACK: Obama White House Vetting Cosgrove

Would you want to take on the most dysfunctional agency in the Cabinet at 77 years old?

Cosgrove earned the Bronze Star as a US Air Force surgeon in the Vietnam War. He recently served on the Commission on Care evaluating outsourcing VA care using Veterans Choice.

FLASHBACK: Why Cosgrove Withdrew 2014 Bid For Sec VA Role

Other than being one year older, the primary difference between January 2017 and March 2018 appears to be that Cosgrove is no longer at the helm of Cleveland Clinic.

Perhaps he withdrew his name in 2017 to wrap up involvement at Cleveland Clinic with the long-range goal of taking over VA at a later date. As of January 1, 2018, Cosgrove was no longer in charge, which may also explain the timing of Shulkin’s damning IG reports.

FLASHBACK: Trump Vetting Cosgrove For Top VA Job

Cosgrove, a dyslexic who went on to become one of the most powerful cardiac surgeons in the nation, certainly stands to bring with him some useful perspectives if selected.

Other Potential VA Secretary Options

Over the weekend, an AP report listed a half dozen other names in the running for the top slot at VA that include:

  • Pete Hegseth, Fox News personality and former CEO of CVA
  • Jeff Miller, retired chairman of House Committee on Veterans Affairs
  • Keith Kellogg, retired Army Lt. Gen.
  • Michael Kussman, MD, former VA Under Secretary Of Health, retired Army Brig. Gen.
  • Leo Mackay Jr, former VA deputy secretary, Lockheed Martin executive
  • Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, retired Cleveland Clinic CEO

Regardless of who is picked from this list, what seems obvious is an expansion of certain privatization initiatives while drawing down on parts of the agency that may not be optimally functioning.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Veteran kills self in John Cochran VA Medical Center waiting room

    From staff reports
    St. Louis Post/Dispatch
    11 hrs ago

    “A veteran committed suicide inside the John Cochran VA Medical Center at 915 North Grand Boulevard early Monday.

    Authorities have not identified the victim. The hospital said he was a veteran.

    “We are grieved to confirm that a Veteran was found deceased in our medical center early this morning,” spokeswoman Marcena C. Gunter said in an email. “Our deepest sympathies are with the Veteran’s family and loved ones, our medical center staff and the members of the community affected by this tragic incident.”

    St. Louis Police Officer Michelle Woodling said the 62-year-old man committed suicide inside the hospital waiting room at 4:19 a.m. Monday.”

    Article At: “http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/veteran-kills-self-in-john-cochran-va-medical-center-waiting/article_98b297b8-1ed2-52f9-8301-dc49c23fe2ea.html”

    • VA employees taking extra Bonuses out of Veterans bank Accounts.
      ________________________

      Central Texas man accused of taking veterans’ IDs, money, due in court

      By Paul J. Gately
      Mar 26, 2018

      “KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A Killeen man who, with several others, is accused of devising a scheme to steal veterans’ identities and then their money will appear in federal court in Waco Tuesday.

      Charles Jordan will appear Tuesday in U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske’s court for a felony re-arraignment before his pending trial.

      He’s charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit identity theft and one count of false personation of an employee of the United States, his indictment shows.

      A complaint presented at an earlier hearing shows Jordan, and others, were the subject of a police investigation after a veteran made a report to police about theft from his Killeen banking account.

      Killeen police requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigation Division, and federal agents were assigned to the case.

      Over the period of investigation agents were able to identify at least five different veterans who had fallen victim to a scheme to steal their identities and certain sensitive veteran’s affairs data that allowed the conspirators access to the victim’s bank accounts and cash started disappearing, the complaint says.

      The document says the scheme was in effect from at least December 6, 2014 through August 3, 2016 and over all involved thousands of dollars being taken from bank accounts.

      In all, the complaint says, more than 25 victims were identified and the loss to them amounted to at least $92,000.

      All of the victims were elderly military veterans.

      Article At: “http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Central-Texas-man-accused-of-taking-veterans-IDs-money-due-in-court-477945083.html”

    • Seymore,
      You noticed the “dispatch” states the “…vet committed suicide…” and VA says “…the vet was found deceased…” – sounds like “semantics to the extreme!”

      • VA Definitions between the words “found deceased” and “committed suicide” could easily have the VA’s Disruptive Behavior Committee’s signature gunpowder residue in the mix.
        Again, WHY was this Vet there at 04:19? Was he LEFT THERE from the day before and forgotten or neglected? Was he refused care after traveling to appointment because when he got there the day before the Dr. arbitrarily canceled the appointment without telling this Vet until he traveled long distance?

        ??????????????????????

        G-r-r-r-r-r-r- (FUCK YOU, VA)

    • Seymore, keep posting and I will do my best to get the sheep to read these stories and Ben’s site. And thanks for all the posts!

      For quite some time I’ve talked to extended family and others about Illinois and Missouri vets being sent to Indy for care, specialty clinics, or surgeries. Driving hundreds of miles more for care instead of staying locally or in-state? I don’t get it. Along with mixed feelings about their care from St. Louis or so-called blended.. Illini vet care.

  2. “We are grieved…” Yeah same old script and BS.

    I’ll post this again here so we can see a bit how fruitless voting is, and what a bunch of tyrants and corrupt run DC and our local communities.

    Only place I have heard it again so far and is here: Sheryl Attkisson interview with Buck.
    “http://www.republicbroadcastingarchives.org/”

    At the nine minute mark for fast-forwarding.
    The American Awakening with Michael Herzog radio program of 3.26.18 Hour 1
    Stop.

    To beat the traffic, idiots on cell phones to the usual daytime workers to deal with. I did some early morn running around and info gathering. First stop was Union hospital’s security team. Told them my story what evidence I had, etc. Told they could do nothing about it being employees of the hospital and to contact administration which I have on many occasions only to get ignored and gamed. Told me to hire an attorney or go to the city police. Okay, I will and did.

    Second stop, city police. Nothing they could do between me, the VA activist/thugs/staff retaliation/retribution, or local health care institutions since it is dealing with medical issues/reasons and Hippa violations, me versus them, privacy rights, rules, regs, etc. Gave me some usual tips like recording and such but not much to do unless physical harm happens. Other than that it’s “civil matters.” ‘Hire an attorney.” Nice chat with the fellas in blue. I also have to pay to protest and get a permit for each place I want to hold a sign up at, or in front of…and must stay on the side walk. Cost is unknown so far. Gotta go to a separate town office to obtain them. Here I was hoping I could just go get some poster-board, write on it, and go lean on some crutches with a jug of water…let folks read my complaint, and catch some free hell. lol

    Did some other stops to see if the chicken shit cliques was out sucking up their morning Joe before the day’s activities and games. VSO types and all. Still don’t want involved, “hands are tied,” “too political,” “can’t fight city hall,” “conflicts of interests,” and etc. “Hire an out of town attorney.” Same old dog and pony shows, song and dance. “Oh just be quiet and all will pass away or get better.” Ha ha, some know I have tried that avenue more than once over the many years…which failed showing how deep the corruption runs in this state and town. I left out into the hard cold rain…smiling…and thinking about some old Motown songs like “War” “what is good for.” Or “beware of the pat on the back, it might just hold you back,” “Back Stabbers,” “Sly,” others flashing in my gourd, etc.

    God damn what exciting days to be alive and knowing we live in a country full of shit and corruption. Oh and being on some kind of terrorist list and hated by the multitudes, DC, media scum, both parties, and kiddies. I’m gonna have to shine up my evil “crusader” halo and shoes this morning to get the stuff of them. After some bunk rest of course. lol Some things slipped out of place at the Police Station. Really groovy days folks.

  3. I proudly nominate ‘Mr. Hanky’ from ‘South Park’ as new VA Sec. Might as well place a known turd in the position for the gold plating to commence within the asscheek docks at the D.C. Swamp?!!

    All ‘Mr. Hanky’ requires is an oval deckchair on the V.A. Titanic’s poop deck. Set and forget.

    This has all happened before and will repeat again just as the toilet flushes the days of our lives in a swirling pattern with a disturbing sucking sound….

  4. From, “military.com”
    Dated: 26 Mar 2018
    By: Jim Absher
    Titled;
    “VA Data Breach Reported by California Hospital”

    It occurred out of Palo Alto, CA.
    Even the Healthcare Director says his personal information may have been affected.
    Another wonderful scandal by VA!

  5. Benjamin: FYI-the newly added “advertising” that appears on a laptop PC running Windows as a long window on bottom inch or two of screen, has interrupting popups that my security/virus protection has forced my browser to shutdown/restart several times…the advertising is really annoying but maybe a necessary evil? Not a fan of this development, and Norton 360 hates it….all browsers affected…

    • Agree with Namnibor, I also use Norton. Hate the addware and the new tracking cookies they are putting out. Have to dump my cookies and run a scan just to clean my system to prevent additional pop-ups else where on the web due to the cookies.

    • BitDefender is having some hiccups with it as well.

      Ben asks in his article about Dr. Toby Cosgrove: “Would you want to take on the most dysfunctional agency in the Cabinet at 77 years old?”

      The simple, direct answer? No. Hell no.

      Betting Dr. Cosgrove won’t either. At that age, time to enjoy what is left of your life. Not be working yourself to death fighting to change the most screwed up (dis)organization within the U.S. Government.

      I am betting we will end up with Miller or Kellog.

    • Just installed/enabled the adware-adblock extension for firefox, and it cleared up the problem with the adware on Ben’s site.

      • Thanks James, just did the same after your recommendation and it certainly works.

        Thanks Again!

  6. Very annoying adware!!!

    As far as Dr. Toby Cosgrove being chosen to lead the VA. Not a real chance in hell. Unless you want to believe that Trump is not even going to run for a second term. Because he would be throwing away the Veteran Vote if he put Cosgrove in.

    Trump needs to replace Shulkin with some one who is going to put Veterans first. With the names on the short list being floated around such as Jeff Miller and Pete Hegseth. Miller is now working as a full fledged lobbyist. He will never be selected for the position. Pete Hegseth is a news personality and that is all. He will never be more than a Veteran experienced with presenting the news not leading an organization. Although I must add that he is very good at the job and has earned everyone’s respect.

    As far as Shulkin goes he needs to resign very quickly because he’s holding on is going to cost him very dearly. The longer he tries to hold on the worse of a tattooing he is going to get in the eyes of the public. With the VAOIG now coming out almost daily with new reports showing just how incompetently he has been at the VA.

    Two recent reports show just what kind of totally incompetent leadership he has been providing.

    1.) Audit of the Personnel Suitability Program: published 3/26/2018
    “http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-17-00753-78.pdf”
    2.) VHA Review of Selected Construction Projects at Oklahoma City VA Health Care System: published 3/26/2018
    “https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-17-00253-102.pdf”

    I am sure that the VAOIG office has a great number of additional reports that will continue to follow showing Shulkin to be the totally incompetent dum-sh%t that he is.

    _______________

    One thing that the Trump administration is doing right is sending Darin Selnick back into the VA after Shulkin ran him off last year. Selnick an advisor to the white house on Veterans issues both during the campaign and during Shulkin’s rain at the VA.

    Selnick has gone before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee stating what needs to be done in Veterans Health Care. He stated while the Veteran’s Choice program was proven to be failing:

    “The solutions and actions recommended are designed to provide concrete reforms to dramatically
    improve the delivery of health care to the 5.9 million unique veteran patients served by the VA.
    We first developed ten veteran-centric core principles that serve as the guiding foundation. These
    ten principles are:
    1. The veteran must come first, not the VA
    2. Veterans should be able to choose where to get their health care
    3. Refocus on, and prioritize, veterans with service-connected disabilities and specialized needs
    4. VHA should be improved, and thereby preserved
    5. Grandfather current enrollees
    6. Veterans health care reform should not be driven by the budget
    7. Address veterans’ demographic inevitabilities
    8. Break VHA’s cycle of “reform and failure.”
    9. Implementing reform will require bipartisan vision, courage and commitment
    10. VHA needs accountability”

    In order to implement these principles, we laid out three major categories of reform and proposed
    nine policy recommendations.

    First, restructure the VHA as an independent, government-chartered non-profit corporation, fully
    empowered to make difficult decisions on personnel, I.T., facilities, partnerships, and other
    priorities.

    Second, give veterans the option to seek private health coverage with their VA funds.
    Third, refocus veterans’ health care on those with service-connected injuries – which was the
    VA’s original mission.

    These reforms are carried out by nine policy recommendations:
    1. Separate the VA’s payor and provider functions into separate institutions, the Veterans
    Health Insurance Program (VHIP) and the Veterans Accountable Care Organization
    (VACO).
    2. Establish the Veterans Health Insurance Program (VHIP) as a program office in the Veterans
    Health Administration.
    3. Establish the Veterans Accountable Care Organization (VACO) as a non-profit government
    corporation fully separate from Department of Veterans Affairs.
    4. Institute a VA Medical Center realignment procedure (MRAC) modeled after the Defense
    Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 (BRAC).
    5. Require the VHA to report publicly on all aspects of its operation, including quality, safety,
    patient experience, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness.
    6. Preserve the traditional VA health benefit for current enrollees who prefer it, while offering
    an option to seek coverage from the private sector through three plan choices.
    VetsCare Federal: Full access to the VACO integrated health system with no changes to
    benefits or cost-sharing
    VetsCare Choice: Select any private health insurance plan legally available in their state,
    financed through premium support payments.
    VetsCare Senior: Medicare-eligible veterans can use their VA funds to defray the costs of
    Medicare premiums and supplemental coverage (“Medigap”).
    7. Reform health insurance coverage for future veterans.
    8. Offer veterans’ access to the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program.
    9. Create a VetsCare Implementation Commission, to implement the Veterans Independence
    Act.

    To understand the fiscal impact of these policy recommendations, we retained the services of
    Health Systems Innovation Network to conduct a fiscal analysis. HSI determined a properly
    designed version of these policy recommendations is likely to be deficit neutral.
    In order to fix veterans health care we must always keep in mind what General Omar Bradley
    said in 1947: “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures; with their problems, not ours”.”

    For full Copy of Darin Selnick Testimony before the Senate at:
    “https://www.veterans.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CVA%20Selnick%20Testimony%205.12.15.pdf”

    • As long as the VA AFGE Union Herd remains in-place, no matter whom you place in VA Sec. position, even Jesus Christ Himself would do what he did with all those demons possessing a man, allowing the demons, named Legion to possess a herd of pigs and then the pigs jumped off the cliff with the demons screaming all the way to the depths…the AFGE Swine Require Exorcised and *only then* can *any* leader make some order out of the remaining assholes.

      Sounds harsh but I really think a total shut-down and reset of the entire VA is required…exorcising our ‘Legion’ of pesky demons in the process, even the legions with in-grown asses in their office chairs….

      • The only way to reform the VA in a thorough and consistent manner is the complete dismantling of all union and federal protections for every single VA employee from the office of the secretary on down to the janitor hired yesterday and everybody in between. Strict adherence to a newly introduced “moral turpitude” clause in each VA employee contract. Employees who are being investigated for violations of whatever rules and regulations should be placed on immediate unpaid leave. Employees cleared of wrong doing to be reinstated immediately and with full back pay. Employees found to have committed violations are terminated immediately their pension and any benefits/compensation is forfeit. Especially egregious cases should be recommended to the DOJ for prosecution.

        Strict adherence to 38 C.F.R. with mandatory knowledge and understanding of the law being a requirement and a condition for employment/continuing employment.

        Strict adherence to the mission statement “To care for he who has born the battle. And for his widow, and his orphan.” this one should thin the front line tuna beasts considerably.

        Strict anti fraternization regulations. Patient advocates should be brought in from outside the established structure. The relationship between PA’s and hospital administration should and must be adversarial. In my view the PA is there to kick the hospitals ass before somebody else bigger and worse has to do it.

        The system of bonus’ is put on indefinite hiatus. Nobody should be receiving more than a basic fucking paycheck while this fuckery is allowed to persist.

        All currently backlogged claims no matter what stage are resolved going forward at the current rate according to the schedule for the condition seeking SC status. Back pay is held until the claim is fully resolved. Anybody found to have committed fraud shall be ordered to pay back 100% or be incarcerated and put to work. This way at least veterans who are about to fall through yet another crack get a hand up instead of a boot in the face.

        Mandatory and required screening of ALL medical personnel. Doctors who have had issues with their license are terminated immediately. People who can’t be bothered to sterilize surgical equipment properly are terminated immediately.

        All DBC related patient flags are removed immediately. Actual threats will be reassessed. Let’s face it guys there’s probably a few of us who do actually deserve a flag. All unfounded reports of patient violence will result in termination. This will thin out the “He looked at me wrong and I was scurred!!” herd.

        The whole “Only the VA can diagnose certain conditions” that’s bullshit and that goes away. Any competent doctor/therapist who knows what to look for can and should be able to diagnose PTSD as being SC’ed for an example.

        There’s a fuck ton more ass kicking that needs to happen but I think the above is an acceptable start. I’d be knee deep in assholes for quite awhile that’s for sure. I’d like to throw my hat in the ring Mr. President.

    • I like all of what he recommended, with the exception of veterans paying a premium for health care.

      In my opinion, that was the start of TriCare in the military, and Active Duty or retirees having to pay for promised care.

      As for the rest of his recommendations….no wonder Shulkin forced him out. It stops the gravy train dead in its tracks.

    • Those Ten Principles make damn good sense! Adherence to them would go a long way towards beginning to clean up the clusterfuck that is the current VA.

    • Seymore, Ben.

      Would or should Cosgrove join in the fun at the VA? I don’t know that much about the guy. If he’s a DC insider and bows to his comrades in the big money industrial medical ‘complex,’ ‘big Pharma,’ on the pain med trip, in the insurance companies pocket as most are, or agree with them at the country club or gentlemen’s club watching Stormy, I’d say hell no.

      Would I take the job? Hell no. It’s a sinking, or sunk ship, gone too far down to retrieve and repair. The major issues go far beyond a ‘VA fix.” If it were me I’d abolish the mess and make damn sure vets were treated as promised, with multiple over-sight committees to make sure ‘proper’ medical care, needs, were accomplished. State by state, town by town and flush out all the corrupt idiots and swamp monsters at every level and in every position, or profession. If the people, resources, agencies, volunteers are out there to ensure illegals and others get whatever they need and thrilled smiling to do it… it can be done with every single vet out there being toyed with or allowed to suffer… and die.

      There are too many entities out there to abolish or stand up to. Including the phony VSOs and Hegseth types. The big picture looks grim. Macro or micro levels of it all needs drastic change.

      We would still be dealing with so-called “non-profits,” “corporations,” “lobbyist,” “unions,” failed privatization and it’s foreign based leaders, pissed off staff and workers, their families/cliques and on it goes. Or are people actually paying attention, hearing, absorbing or listening to others in various areas of ill-repute and intentional harm by so-called professionals? Above all the censoring or health care worker communities that would rather see people die than speak up for patients and vets?

  7. You know, it’s funny. Being on SSDI I am a Medicare enrollee. When I have problems I go to the doctor down the road who accepts my insurance. I walk in and sign the waiting list sheet. The nice lady at the window politely and quietly asks me why I’m there today and I tell her. She asks me if my information is current to which I reply “yes”. She then informs me the doctor will see me shortly and to please have a seat. Now, mind you, this is all without an appointment. So I have a seat and wait perhaps 15-30 minutes before my name is called. Once I’m called in to the exam room the doctor is usually very prompt except on days when it’s busy and I understand that. The doctor addresses my concerns, actually listens to me!!! and if anything extra is needed like a blood draw or x-ray their in the same building. If I need to be referred to a specialist, depending on the severity of my issue, I’m usually contacted within a couple days at most to make an appointment, usually I’m seen within the week. If I need a prescription it is sent immediately by the doctor to my pharmacy via laptop and is waiting for me to pick up within a half hour. My doctor accepts all manner of insurance and I’m sure that he could be making 200-300% more per visit if he swapped me for another patient with better insurance. He doesn’t.

    Why did I write this? Because I fail to see how the VA can continue lurching from one crisis to the next when we have a perfectly workable and working model out here in the private sector. At least until the republicans tear it to pieces…

    • WyldC. Your workable models will not apply to all geographic areas. In my totally, I do mean totally, Democratic controlled town with all the unions, the many lefty colleges, the corruption, connections/cliques, nepotism, covering-up, etc., would be far from ‘workable’ or classified as a ‘working model.’ From where I sit and endure you live somewhere over the rainbow in a land far far away where poppies are in bloom 365 dpy, and where some ethics still apply. Not here locally. I think as much as I have reported the local incidents and goings on folks get the point about my location and deep seated problems many face here. That is across the board… Medicaid, Medicare, VA dis, etc. It’s ethical here for six hour long waits to our medical info being spread around town, to all the activist lining up to have some fun with anyone daring to complain or dare report such BS.

      • See I guess that’s the thing. Healthcare should be independent of any and all geographical and political models. Illness and injury do not care about party affiliation neither should healthcare laws.

        As for my side of the rainbow…well let’s see here in CT we just stared down a 5 billion dollar budget deficit over a 2 year period. Our infrastructure isn’t the greatest. All our major companies are fleeing the state because we’re not exactly business friendly. We still have a stick up our ass about cannabis, which would go a long way towards resolving our problems. We have a Democratic Governor who I voted for, quite simply because the Republican candidate was completely reprehensible, Tom Foley, go look him up. The previous Republican Governor actually went to prison twice for corruption. The state legislature is currently republican controlled, I know the House is, not sure about the Senate. On top of it all our demographics are skewed by the wealthy part of the state Old Greenwich etc. Oh, also, poppies don’t bloom during Nor’easters. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this side of the rainbow has it’s problems as well. However, I’m still able to go to a doctor when need be the billing process has not once ever come back denied. Very often when I go, and it doesn’t matter the time of day, the waiting room is packed full of sniffly sneezy folk, maybe my doctor is just highly efficient. I do know that if I walked into an ER unless I presented with an actual life threatening emergency I would be waiting for awhile. Maybe my state has better Medicare rules/regulations than your state. I can’t speak for the status of the VA system here as I’ll absolutely never use it. But so far I haven’t been disappointed with the private sector care here. Maybe you should think about moving…

      • WChylde. lol. Poppies not popping in the Nor’easters? lol Hope you’re fairing well in that mess. Just constant cold rain here.

        You hit the nail on the head in your first paragraph but it all seems to change, like Medicare, state to state, county by county (which I was totally unaware of before..county by county?). Especially with insurance programs, coverages, and of course the mind-sets, training, ethics, attitudes of those in the health care fields. Same way with the VA we were told they are all different but Indiana supposedly being the best… of course.

        Foley seems to be another Boosh buddy and got out of a couple ‘motor vehicle arrest’ later dismissed too to prove some points. And seems to be a very happy happy wealthy globalist.

        It also seem every state in the union has it’s own issues plus losing companies, infrastructure, and dishing out lies about our economy doing just great. Choke.

        I’m a bit long in the tooth and too many health issues to deal with to move. Plus the high costs of things today. Those with few or no roots are fleeing out of here while those like from screwed up Illinois or California are flooding in bringing their politics and activist with them. Even after claiming their beliefs or votes ruined their own states bad enough for them to move out of the hell-holes they created.
        Plus the city has already informed me they will not allow me to sell out like they have before due to “zoning laws” or “not wanting dirty jobs to come here.” They want college styled wants and white collar jobs here only. Duh.

        Some can’t move. Example. One gal I was talking to, a vet, was a, of course, a lefty social worker in Chicago and Ill. She can’t move along with others out of state because they’d lose a major portion of their retirement/state pensions. Some loop-hole they allowed in. Still proud of that love – hate relationship or partisan politics they helped create to screw em in the end, and knowing it would. Another duh.

        The grass isn’t always greener on the other side as we all know. Big difference just visiting or having to live in any given area. At least we with long roots or time in any area know the evil doers, ins and outs, and etc. I know my area well. Like others I am somewhat comfortable in my own troubles, health issues, predicaments, trouble areas, etc. Like I wouldn’t want to swap places with some other vet that may not have as many issues that I have because I know how to deal with mine and what is to come. In that fantasy land it may make me better off but would bring on problems all it’s own. A breaking away from a well known comfort zone and dealing with… well known stuff. Shudder! To take on something new or different to deal with I’d be at a loss about how to deal with it, what to do, who to talk to, where to go, etc. Like leaving here, no poisonous snakes locally, and plopping down in a high poisonous snake state maybe with some bears, big cats, to gangs on every block to contend with as well. Things I am totally unaccustomed to deal with and would end up getting bit, shot, or mauled. This old dog would have to learn countless new tricks.

        Have a great evening and stay warm.

    • Same here WC, I have the finest Drs available, in the private sector.

      On those days where I am required to go to the VA, it’s like stepping into the twighlight zone, compared to the private sector.

      The VA, has a genuine feel of a 40’s era asylum, complete with all it’s horror chambers, with psycho, criminally insane, Drs, performing fiendishly sick experiments, like injecting liquid plexiglass into Veterans spines.

  8. Interesting article Ben, in several ways.

    Politico is reporting 2 stories. 1 is that Miller or Hegseth might be in for a bruising confirmation battle from the swamp rats in the Senate. 2. A guy who is a White House advisor on the VA named Selnick who was critical of Shulkin and pushed out of the VA is going back to the VA from the WH. Shulkin told a confidant that he made a mistake pushing Selnick out since Selnick did more damage outside the VA.

    On the article, it should tell Shulkin something when Cosgrove was offered the job twice, both by Obama and by Trump, before the swamp rats won and got him instead.

    I guess his authority from the WH was not as solid as he thought.

    I did not know Cosgrove was a Vietnam vet and surgeon, which suggests he knows what vets have gone through. Does he have the will to kick some VA ass at 77? Perhaps a year to clean out lots of dead weight in upper VA management would help start turning things around?

    I say only a year because he comes from a private business culture, and once he sees the disastrous way the VA does business, he will be so disgusted he won’t stay more than a year.

    As for the others?

    Hegseth? No. At one time maybe, but an older ball breaking hard ass is needed in the VA. Someone with lots of experience and wisdom. Hegseth is not there yet. Perhaps he needs some years as a VA upper manager to find where the bodies are Liquefying first.

    Miller? Maybe. He might be best positioned to know where the dead weight is in the VA, and who in congress might fight against him. Whoever ends up VA secretary, they MUST know how to handle swamp rats.

    Kellogg? He is a Vietnam and Desert Storm vet, and his background does not suggest a corporate crony looking for his next dollar. His wife is a Grenada vet and former paratrooper officer. It might be a good pair to have. He would come from the National Security Council, so he would be in tune with what Trump wants.

    Kussman? No. He’s a former VA flunky. Why stir the pot rather than throwing out the pot of crap that hasn’t been effective in the past?

    Mackay? Hell no! Same as above, he’s a former VA flunky and current corporate flunky with Lockheed.

    So, off the list, Cosgrove and Kellogg at the top with Miller a close second. Or maybe Miller before Kellogg.

  9. DC VA Medical Center Director was personally selected by Shulkin. Not only were more qualified candidates prevented from interviewing for the Director position, but Larry Connell, Shulkin’s choice did not even interview for the position. He was just appointed to the position by Shulkin.
    _________________

    Hiring of DC VA Medical Center Director Is Under Investigation

    By Scott MacFarlane
    News 4 I-Team
    Mar 27, 2018

    “Internal agency investigators are reviewing possible “impropriety” and political favoritism in the hiring of the director of the Washington DC VA Medical Center. The formal review was confirmed to the News4 I-Team on Tuesday by multiple sources and is the latest in a string of problems for the troubled medical center on Irving Street in Northwest D.C.

    A memo from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management dated March 19 says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs appears to have violated federal hiring rules in its selection of Larry Connell to serve as acting director of the DC VA Medical Center. The memo says an agency supervisor failed to interview qualified candidates for the job, including Connell himself.

    “These actions give the appearance that improper preference or advantage was given to Mr. Connell,” the memo says. “Based on our merit staffing review, we cannot conclude this selection is free from political influence or other impropriety.”

    A copy of Connell’s resume, which was also obtained by the I-Team, says Connell was “personally selected” for the position by VA Secretary David Shulkin, after he served as a senior adviser to him.

    The memo said Connell had never held a senior executive-level position in the federal government and was not eligible to serve in the position as acting director of the DC VA Medical Center for longer than 240 days. Connell has served in the position for nearly a year.

    A spokesman for the US Department of Veterans Affairs said the agency has launched an internal review of Connell’s hiring. “If mistakes were made, they will be fixed,” the spokesman said.”

    Full Article At: “https://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Hiring-of-DC-VA-Medical-Center-Director-Larry-Connell-Is-Under-Investigation-478056193.html”

  10. Another considerable Faux Pas on Shulkin’s watch from the VAOIG office released today.

    The OIG reviewed the contract for the generator installation valued at $8.7 million and substantiated the allegation that VA officials contributed to hazardous construction conditions. VA officials terminated the contract after paying nearly $5 million. An estimated additional $17.5 million will be spent to fix problems that arose for total expected costs of $22.5 million. End result the hospital doesnot get the new Generator but the VA gets to spend $22.5 million of taxpayers dollars to fix problems the VA created.

    Full Report At:

    Review of Alleged Hazardous Construction Conditions at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, Muskogee, Oklahoma; Published 3/27/2018, VAOIG
    “http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-15-04678-114.pdf”

  11. Dr. Cosgrove is not going to be nominated. At 77, he is too old for the position. Why would he want to tarnish his reputation by taking on VA? As far as former Congressman Miller, he shouldn’t be nominated because when he was the Chairman of the House VA Committee, he didn’t do anything to improve the VA. Moreover, if you go back and read his questioning of witnesses (say on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals), the Congressman had no clue with respect to compensation benefits or the appeals process. The man or woman who should be chosen should be an individual who understands bean-counting but also will not be intimidated by physicians. And someone should explain to whomever takes the job that the VA has always been able to send veterans out to private health care providers (look at the state of Alaska). Other VAMCs do it all the time if they do not have certain specialties. The problem that no one is addressing is the reality that the private health care system may decline to treat veterans especially if the bills that they incur are limited in their reimbursement amounts. Private health care providers already do this with the elderly who do not have private health care insurance. The VA does have many problems but privatizing medical care is not going to be the magic ticket – there has to be thinking outside of the box which includes the prosecution of veterans for bogus claims and fraud.

    • Elmer, another good list of issues. I hope someone out there is keeping track of the major issues and problems faced at times like trying to use outside civy care, “private practice” note “practice,” etc. Private practice can charge or do what they want. Acupuncture MD here I was told to find would not lower her costs to pacify the VA claiming she was charging too much. Or the MD not open to the idea of partial payments from the VA and then adding the rest of the cost to veteran. Which her office didn’t seem to trust and didn’t want any hassles at all, and no checks accepted. With the VA thinking I was supposed to be the middle man and bicker with some MD or clinic over charges.

      The sneaky pop up charges after some testing has already been done, processing for some surgery, and in the process of something. Then told by private practice, or clinic, that there is another or two procedures that should be done or has to be done to ensure quality of care. Caught in that trap you have to sign zee papers to pay to get through it and over with. What are we going to do? Get it done or stop, go elsewhere, and do it all over anew? Including our information not matching insurance or Medicare info or files? We are already invested big time in such a situation even if the insurance or supplemental will not pay for that stuff. Fraud? Money games?

      Yes, there is plenty of that out of the box thinking and scenarios to be considered or known of. This board, what Ben has done, and other blogs would be a fine start to gather some points on many issues that those in DC may side-step or not be overly concerned with… or may fear going up against and there would be many.

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