Did Clinton Administration Create Current Veterans Affairs Dysfunction?

Hillary Clinton Rachel Maddow

On Friday, Hillary Clinton behaved like the parent in denial that she raised the schoolyard bully on the Rachel Maddow Show. She failed to admit to the real problems facing the agency while pointing the finger at some Republican conspiracy.


The real story here is that reforms originating in the Clinton Administration are at the core of the problems within VA right now.

Will a Clinton Administration Part II provide the firm discipline the agency needs?

Clinton’s Shocking Denials

Yesterday, CNN called out Hillary Clinton for her extreme and shocking denials of reality on the Rachel Maddow Show.

When interviewed about the Department of Veterans Affairs scandals, Hillary Clinton refused to plainly acknowledge the core problems behind proven wrongdoing by agency employees that caused deaths of many veterans.

WATCH: Hillary Clinton’s Interview With Rachel Maddow

There is no accountability and corruption is rampant while veterans are dying, but Clinton did not want to talk about that. She instead made numerous accusations against Republicans and made vague suggestions at what she might do if elected, but Clinton said nothing of real substance.

Instead, her interview made me think back to all those kid movies where the parents deny that they raised the bully. And it is always everyone else’s fault that her kid is the mean kid.

VA And The Clintons

Most fascinating here is that the Clinton Administration implemented radical reforms we see today. The reforms changed how VA conducted business starting in 1993 that included significant policy changes, layoffs, and reliance on computers over people. It included rules based computing for disability claims and diminishing appeals. The overarching goal was to replicate processes and procedures of large businesses to emulate entities like Disney, circa 1993, at lower cost.

RELATED: A History of VA During The Clinton Administration 1993-2001

Using the Executive Order system, President Bill Clinton created what we have today.

This is a reality I wish Maddow would have researched before the interview given that numerous policies her husband created now need to be undone including those within VA.

Do you know they still have not fully implemented the plan that grew out of the Clinton mandate? The VBMS virtual VA and numerous similar plans all started back then. That plan was put into motion before cell phones were invented, just to give an idea of the duration.

VA is still plodding ahead to implement 20-year-old project management theories based on budgetary realities that no longer fit today’s lean society. Crazy, right?

What will Hillary Clinton do that is different from Bill Clinton? Is Bill Clinton really to blame for the current problems resulting in the wait list?

Clinton And The Wait List

The problem certainly appears to have existed and was caused by tying certain bonus structures to performance numbers that resulted in the current wait list scandal that was noted to be a problem as far back as 2002 (taken from VistA Electronic Waitlist Manual).

RELATED: Is Fixing VA Wait List Like Boxing A Glacier?

Wait List Memo

Back To Maddow Interview

On Friday, Clinton had a lot of blame to fling at Republicans without clearly acknowledging agency employee fault for record falsification, whistleblower retaliation, and flouting of the law. She further evaded admitting that the Obama Administration has failed to take any reasonable steps to ensure accountability while veterans were (and still are) dying due to substandard or rationed health care.

Clinton falsely claimed widespread scandal within VA did not truly exist as they are portrayed to the public through the media, “It’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be.”


The interview led me to wonder if Hillary Clinton believes the current scandals within VA are artificial creations of some vast Right Wing conspiracy… Wait a second. I seem to recall her talking about a vast Right Wing conspiracy back in 1998 to evade accountability for a myriad of scandals not limited to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

So, on that comparison, are the wait list scandal, executive fraud and whistleblower retaliation on par with the Monica Lewinsky scandal? None of the other things matter, and it’s all part of some behind the scenes Republican charade? Is there a truly a full Republican assault against VA and its VA employees?

Back To “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy”

Apparently, for this interview, her advisors thought they would dust off the old ‘vast Right Wing conspiracy’ mantra, update the verbiage a little, and trot it out for a test run on the backs of dead veterans.

Shame on you, Hillary Clinton.

So how can her views be so divorced from reality? What about Senate Democrats calling for major agency reforms due to numerous scandals just this month?

Didn’t Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) call for a full DOJ investigation into all pay schemes for all VA executives? Didn’t Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) call for major reforms to the Veterans Choice Program because agency employees were still making it hard for veterans to get access to timely care? Didn’t President Barack Obama admit that the problems in VA were widespread?

Despite these recent confirmations of widespread scandals and challenges within VA, Hillary Clinton has chosen to take a pass by ignoring reality and blaming the Republicans.

Can you ignore veterans in this manner and expect to win? Let’s hope not.

Instead of being intellectually honest, Clinton claimed it was part of a Right Wing ideological attack against VA. And by VA, she is likely referring to AFGE union employees and not the veterans intended to be served by the agency or its employees.

Yes, that is the reason for the majority of the bad press. Clinton claims it is some Right Wing ideological conspiracy to take down and dismantle VA.

In response to her false claims during the interview, CNN decided to spend some time digging in, which makes some sense since CNN was the first major news network to cover the wait list scandal starting at Phoenix VAMC.

Clinton’s Plan Via CNN

When confronted by those ignorant of reality who support Clinton’s position on veterans, here are some counter arguments published by CNN:

  • A recent CNN investigation found problems are getting worse
  • A $67 million report conducted by leading research consultancy companies concluded the VA health care system is “plagued” with problems
  • Almost in the same breath, Clinton admitted the VA bureaucracy is not working
  • Clinton said she would use a “SWAT team” to enforce accountability

At the end of the day, Clinton seemed convinced the current level of public outrage aimed at VA is artificial and the fault of misguided Republicans.

I’ll call a spade a spade on this one. If Clinton is elected, the union will grow in power and scandals will be swept under the rug. Fundamentally, the status quo will perpetuate and likely get worse. If you allow corruption to fester, it will grow. Those who commit evil and unlawful acts that harm veterans will be emboldened with no accountability.

Of course, there is obviously a movement to dismantle the VA, but it is not a purely Republican creation. It is not new. It is only growing momentum because the President refuses to rein in his minions within VA and other agencies.


Does Choice = Republican?

Now, because I just wrote that, does it mean I am a Republican? Can I be a VA watchdog without being a Republican? Truth be told, I do not want to dismantle VA, but I think I am mature enough to have that kind of grown up conversation about a dysfunctional Federal agency that seems to be more about its employees and its internal research than serving its original purpose.

Eisenhower’s Warning

The situation reminds me of Eisenhower’s famous speech at the end of his presidency where he warned the American public of two evils. He first warned us against the growing Military Industrial Complex. Lesser known is the second half of his speech were he warned against the evils of the public policies of the academic elite.

This is at the end of the clip above in case you have never heard it:

“Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity…. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded…. We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

Was he warning us against agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs, where researchers are dependent upon the veteran population for research? Does this research come at the expense of quality health care? Is the public policy elite in control ahead of our courts and the rule of law?

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2015/10/26/politics/veterans-group-va-hillary-clinton/

(DISCLAIMER – I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I am a Veteran.)

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    Hillary Clinton wants to allow KILLING unborn babies with down syndrome. Trump DEFENDS their lives. VOTE TRUMP. HIllary is evil. A sociopath. Clinton is a typical lying scumbag who would smile and pose for a picture with your child with Down Syndrome, and then go into a room and vote to allow doctors to KILL your child with Down Syndrome. Do NOT be fooled by this evil woman. vOTE TRUMP.


    Anyone who votes for Clinton secretly hates disabled people…so don’t for MOMENT TRY TO FOOL US ANYMORE…YOU ARE EXPOSED.

  2. I have been engaged in a 12 year battle with a very crooked VA for benefits to which I should have been entitled long ago. They actually removed documents from my Army Medical Records with the diagnosis and other information 4.5 years ago before sending my C-File to the Appeals Judge. then the judge remands over a year and half ago and I finally got a C&P exam after a year and a half this past July which was entirely favorable to service connection to me and then what do they do — they throw that exam out as being invalid and not answering the Judge’s questions correctly. So this past Thursday the set up another exam at 8AM for another C&P on the 22nd of October. Of course, the scheduled Dr. doesn’t show up and they bring in a ringer a couple of hours late. This has happened before. This doctor makes me sign a document to give the exam saying it is a fair exam – I think in violation of my civil and constitutional rights. She doesn’t even have the BVA Judge’s remand — I provide to her along with the records that have been removed from my file. She doesn’t ask me any judge related questions and does a bio on me back to the Army. She also administers the PPI or Psychopathic Personality Inventory test. They claim this is a PTSD measure now even though the C&P exam in July already SC me for PTSD from when I was attacked in service repeatedly as an MP and sexually humiliated along with the fact that it triggered Manic Depression and she connected me for both conditions. There are actually records of all of this in the 97th General Hospital Records. Also, if on the up and up — you would think that they would get a surgery correct but they keep telling me that i didn’t have the kind of surgery claimed although the records from the hospital at Ft. McClellan are there in the records too. A week ago, they put me in the locked Psych Ward on a certificate of evaluation out of DC for continuing to engage in a battle to the point of monomania with the agency —- THE VA IS LYING AND CRIMINAL. (please excuse errors in typing of other mistakes.) The Doctor in July said greater than 50% or more Disability and Service Connected. FRUSTRATED!!!!!

  3. Maddow and her employees are crap. She once was a decent talking head that looked for the truth. Then something changed. I remember one night I was watching her show when she started to talk about a don’t ask don’t tell comic for the army to describe the policy. She was denigrating the army without understanding what the hell she was saying. She read it like this, one-s-g instead of 1sg first sergeant. If they could not even bother with figuring out how to say an acronym then what other aspects of their research are they lazy about? It turns out that is the norm. How the hell does Maddow have such an education and spout such drivel?

    You make good points but this is more on our fellow citizens than it is the politicians who give a crap about anyone that cannot make a big donation. Clinton is a sycophant of the worst order. Her desire to be president is not from some love for the country but a love for herself.

  4. Robin and ceazyelf, my family first came here in 1503 the male in my family have served this country in every rebellion war conflict and police action we have been involved . Myself. I revved in Vietnam. I have 2 sons and I kept them away also. My wife is from Japan and I would have sent my boys there. Before I would let them. Join now days. My family served and died honorably. For this country and on uncle was a pow. In Germany . my dad’s identical twin was general deans staff in Korea when gen. Dean was captured my uncle was killed. Also , I am retired vet rep. But I am so tired of the VA. Health care. Iiget so mad…. I am. Now seeing PRIVATE. Doctors. For now because the health care i have received at phoenix. VA. Is a big joke. One of my aliments. Is TB Desiminated outside the lung PHOENIX VA. Will not treatment until I am throwing up blood. ???? Turns out doctor there has a degree. PHD. In philosophy. And last year went to Washington state took class on general infectious. Disease.? Sorry to be ranting but I found out today. From my private care specialist kidney doctor tested positive for disseminated tb and chemical exposure from contaminated water at camp lejeune. When it rains it pours. Thanks for letting me vent . SEMPRE FI…..

    1. Definitely have your Civilian Infectious Disease Specialist take care of that TB for you. The VA has a train wreck of a path when it comes to Infectious Disease…and think they do their best actually INfecting and studying rather than actual treating. Working on a book about my experience. Slowly. Cathartic, if anything.

  5. For anyone concerned over this becoming a partisan political issue, think about this.

    Yes the VA has had problems for many years…the list by Don was good. The question is, can you change the VA by holding people accountable who were in charge in 1921? 1974? 1985? Or do you hold those accountable who are in charge now, in a position to change things, or WANT to be in charge of things?

    I would say any politician who is in a position now or wants to be in a position needs to be held accountable, particularly those making promises with a history of causing problems.

  6. Dear Mr.Krause:

    I just finished reading the article,Did the Clinton Administration Create the current VA disfunction, with great interest and I would like to suggest that if that is the case then the law that was passed that has caused all the problems then there is no need to debate it, since from where i sit it is unconstitutional and therefore null and void as per Constitutional Law Copyright 1998 Ed.1. Total Unconstitutionality {#203-#206} 16AM. Jur. 2d.

    Which reads: #203 Generally

    The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, whether federal or state, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose.
    Since unconstitutionality dates from he time of is enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it, an unconstitutional law , in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed and never existed, that is , it is void ab initio,
    Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

    Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principals follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office or liabilities, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, is incapable of creating any rights or obligations, does not allow for the granting of any relief, and justifies no acts performed under it. Once a statute is determined too be unconstitutional no private citizen or division of the state may take any further action pursuant to its provisions.
    A contract which rests on an unconstitutional statute creates no obligation to be impaired by subsequent legislation.

    No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
    Once is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it . Once a statute has been declared unconstitutional, court thereafter have no jurisdiction over alledeged violations. etc.etc. there is more to it.

  7. Here’s a sad story I just got through “Military dot com”

    “Four National Guardsmen committed suicide in Indiana”

    There’s got to be a reasonable explanation as to why? namnibor, can you find anything more on this?


    Second, the “Daily News” reported on 21 Oct 2015,
    that a “Missouri woman” (70 yrs old) “was sentenced to 20 months in prison for defrauding VA out of $6.7 million” on illegal contracts. Seems she, and her two sons ran a scam business, by claiming one son had been a disabled veteran, to garner said contracts. She “plead guilty”!
    The title to Google is;

    “Missouri Woman Sentenced for Defrauding Veterans Program”

    1. That is sad news. I will do some web searches, that’s it, I live in an adjacent State and have family there, but kind of a very disconnected family. Brother is a Vet and because he works private contractor on the go stuff all the time, we literally talk maybe three times a year, at best.
      I have a Veteran friend that lives in Indy, mentioned here before, he’s going through rough times, a separation, almost homeless, kids involved….well, we USED to talk by either email or phone until he got some part time, no more than 20 hours a week job with no benefits at the VA…yep, he held a high clearance, has a degree, only through a social safety net program is he working at VA and since he has been working there, his communication has almost been like *POOF* gone…wondering what they put in the water at the VA, as it’s a 360…so no getting any info from even a Vet that I know that works only 20 hours a week at Indy VA…really weird.

      Anyway, will look and watch on net…am sure stripes dotcom or militarydotcom will be on it later. Sad news. Something more is below this awful tragedy and hope it comes out. Thanks for sharing that news.

  8. I don’t think there was any need for a disclaimer Ben. It seems clear you are willing to call out either party when veterans are concerned. Even if you were a raving comminist, would it matter if you are arguing the facts?
    As for the VA doing research, I will never forget the $200 million spent between VA and DOD “research” on Gulf War illnesses, and having nothing to show for it other than calls for more research.

    1. Yeah, that $200 Million spent between VA and DOD on “research on Gulf War Illness” was probably spent on how to make the infectious agents less detectable…nothing to help Veterans at all…look how they are so quick to discount any claims of GWI…same goes to date with Agent Orange some 50 years later?

      I agree, Ben does not need to justify any stance when Veterans are affected, regardless of which side of the political aisle it comes from…guess what…it comes from both sides and everywhere between.

      Thanks, Ben, for keeping things righteous.

      1. Another comment that did not make it to the web site.

        Yes that $200 million was wasted by the VA claiming any Gulf War illness was stress. If you looked at a list of the “research” they did, much of it was the same, done by the same people, with a slightly different title. Their idea of peer review was passing their paper around the table to their buddies and calling it research. The Research Advisory Committee was created and truly independent researchers were funded and showing results. The VA didn’t like being cut off the gravy train, so they stepped in, changed their charter and made it a huge mess. I don’t know whether the RAC is still operating or funding independent researchers, or if the VA is back on the gravy train.

    1. You have that wrong. Best way to say something like that without sounding like an absolutist is, “Most politicians lie, regardless of party or politics”!

      I say this because under Pres. George W. Bush, these 14 years of war were NEVER officially paid for…but yet these same Republicans stated “We will always take care of our Vets…”, well, they SURE HAVE “taken care” of the Vets, haven’t they?

      The words “Liberals always lies” is no more true than stating, “All people are evil”…it just does not add-up nor logical in any sense.

    1. @mark – as of today, we have found a substantial number of documents written by Hillary Clinton as First Lady discussing her role in “reinventing government” that included major reforms to VA via her health care initiatives. Numerous documents exist.

      1. And how long ago was that? And then again everybody had an opinion and how much weight did her opinion counted as a First Lady again?

  9. I thought this site was about Vets problems and not a political forum…In fact the VA’s problems go back to it’s beginnings…

    1921 — Congress creates the Veterans Bureau to administer assistance to World War I veterans. It quickly devolves into corruption, and is abolished nine years later under a cloud of scandal.

    1930 — The Veterans Administration is established to replace the troubled Veterans Bureau and two other agencies involved in veterans’ care.

    1932 — Thousands of World War I veterans and their families march on Washington to demand payment of promised war bonuses. In an embarrassing spectacle, federal troops forcibly remove veterans who refuse to end their protest. A VIOLATION OF THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT


    1945 — President Harry Truman accepts the resignation of VA Administrator Frank Hines after a series of news reports detailing shoddy care in VA-run hospitals.

    1947 — A government commission on reforming government uncovers enormous waste, duplication and inadequate care in the VA system and calls for wholesale changes in the agency’s structure.

    1955 — A second government reform commission again finds widespread instances of waste and poor care in the VA system.

    1970s — Veterans grow increasingly frustrated with the VA for failing to better fund treatment and assistance programs, and later to recognize exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange by troops in Vietnam as the cause for numerous medical problems among veterans.

    1972 — Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, the subject of the book and movie, “Born on the Fouth of July,” interrupts Richard Nixon’s GOP presidential nomination acceptance speech, saying, according to his biography, “I’m a Vietnam veteran. I gave America my all, and the leaders of this government threw me and others away to rot in their VA hospitals.


    1974 — Kovic leads a 19-day hunger strike at a federal building in Los Angeles to protest poor treatment of veterans in VA hospitals. He and fellow veterans demand to meet with VA Director Donald Johnson. The embattled director eventually flies to California to meet with the activists, but leaves after they reject his demand to meet in the VA’s office in the building, according to Johnson’s 1999 Los Angeles Times obituary. The ensuing uproar results in widespread criticism of Johnson. A few weeks later, Johnson resigns after President Richard Nixon announces an investigation into VA operations.


    1976 — A General Accounting Office investigation into Denver’s VA hospital finds numerous shortcomings in patient care, including veterans whose surgical dressings are rarely changed. The GAO also looked at the New Orleans VA hospital, and found ever-increasing patient loads were contributing to a decline in the quality of care there, as well.

    1981 — Veterans camp out in front of the Wadsworth Veterans Medical Center in Los Angeles after the suicide of a former Marine who had rammed the hospital’s lobby with his Jeep and fired shots into the wall after claiming the VA had failed to attend to his service-related disabilities, the New York Times reported at the time.

    1982 — Controversial VA director Robert Nimmo, who once described symptoms of exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam war as little more than “teenage acne,” resigns under pressure from veteran’s groups. Nimmo was criticized for wasteful spending, including use of a chauffeured car and an expensive office redecorating project, according to a 1983 GAO investigation. The same year, the agency issues a report supporting veterans’ claims that the VA had failed to provide them with enough information and assistance about Agent Orange exposure.

    1984 — Congressional investigators find evidence that VA officials had diverted or refused to spend more than $40 million that Congress approved to help Vietnam veterans with readjustment problems, the Washington Post reports at the time.

    1986 — The VA’s Inspector General’s office finds 93 physicians working for the agency have sanctions against their medical licenses, including suspensions and revocations, according to a 1988 GAO report.

    1989 — President Ronald Reagan signs legislation elevating the Veterans Administration to Cabinet status, creating the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    1991 — The Chicago Tribune reports that doctors at the VA’s North Chicago hospital sometimes ignored test results, failed to treat patients in a timely manner and conducted unnecessary surgery. The agency later takes responsibility for the deaths of eight patients, leading to the suspension of most surgery at the center, the newspaper reported.

    1993 — VA Deputy Undersecretary of Benefits R.J. Vogel testifies to Congress that a growing backlog of appeals from veterans denied benefits is due to a federal court established in 1988 to oversee the claims process, the Washington Post reports. The VA, Vogel tells the lawmakers, is “reeling under this judicial review thing.”

    1999 — Lawmakers open an investigation into widespread problems with clinical research procedures at the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center. The investigation followed years of problems at the hospital, including ethical violations by hospital researchers that included failing to get consent from some patients before conducting research involving them, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    2000 — The GAO finds “substantial problems” with the VA’s handling of research trials involving human subjects.

    2001 — Despite a 1995 goal to reduce waiting times for primary care and specialty appointments to less than 30 days, the GAO finds that veterans still often wait more than two months for appointments.

    2003 — A commission appointed by President George W. Bush reports that as of January 2003, some 236,000 veterans had been waiting six months or more for initial or follow-up visits, “a clear indication,” the commission said, “of lack of sufficient capacity or, at a minimum, a lack of adequate resources to provide the required care.”

    2005 — An anonymous tip leads to revelations of “significant problems with the quality of care” for surgical patients at the VA’s Salisbury, North Carolina, hospital, according to congressional testimony. One veteran who sought treatment for a toenail injury died of heart failure after doctors failed to take account of his enlarged heart, according to testimony.

    2006 — Sensitive records containing the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of 26.5 million veterans are stolen from the home of a VA employee who did not have authority to take the materials. VA officials think the incident was a random burglary and not a targeted theft.

    2007 — Outrage erupts after documents released to CNN show some senior VA officials received bonuses of up to $33,000 despite a backlog of hundreds of thousands of benefits cases and an internal review that found numerous problems, some of them critical, at VA facilities across the nation.

    2009 — The VA discloses that than 10,000 veterans who underwent colonoscopies in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida were exposed to potential viral infections due to poorly disinfected equipment. Thirty-seven tested positive for two forms of hepatitis and six tested positive for HIV. VA Director Eric Shinseki initiates disciplinary actions and requires hospital directors to provide written verification of compliance with VA operating procedures. The head of the Miami VA hospital is removed as a result, the Miami Herald reports….

    Don’t try and tell me that Bill Clinton started this mess

    1. There is no question VA has had problems since its inception. However, the specific policies at play right now were implemented when Bill Clinton was President Clinton, in part, under his Executive Order 12862. They were going to remake government, but the plan has taken over 20 years to come to fruition.

      I sometimes discuss politics whenever someone makes a gross distortion of reality. Hillary’s extreme comments had to be dealt with to avoid voters misunderstanding the source of the backlog and source of the wait list scandal. These problems have Bill Clinton’s DNA all over them in large part to the bonus and performance metric schemes they developed.

      Here are some of the reforms starting with the 1997 Roadmap to Excellence: https://www.disabledveterans.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/1756368-vba-history-project-reorganization-roadmap-to-excellence-planning-journey.pdf

      Here are some of its appendix to check out: https://www.disabledveterans.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Blueprint-Tabs.pdf

      1. You know what has its fingertips all over this mess since it really began? Reagan. There was a movie from when I was a kid that dealt with all the bull shit of the VA and how it was screwing over vets back then. It was a bit of a silly movie but it was still poignant.

        It had Keifer Sutherland in it as some hot shot doctor.

        So to pretend as if the VA has been working worth a damn since Korea is a farce. From at least Regean onward we know the VA was shit and often times when the government needs to cut something it is the soldier and the former soldier taking the hit.

        This political finger pointing bull shit is tiring. The politicians do not work for you or me. Today’s politician works for multinationals that have no stake in countries other than what they can take from them. If my statement were to be untrue then no American corporation would make its head quarters in another nation over taxes and instead would make it a public debate.

        You want to know why the VA is f’ed up? Here is why: people are more interested in inviduals who are not extremely wealthy getting over on the government.

        screw hillary clinton and any other facist that works for multinationals. You want to the truth? We are not the sons and daughters of this nation we are numbers. We are the bastards. It isn’t we will be forgotten, they do not want to remember us because we are mirror that shows their emasculated cowardliness. How many times do I hear I wanted to join but my knees or something else? Poot excuses. We live in a selfish time where we are incredible because we have this brotherhood and sisterhood. Our bonds should be special to be sure, but the wanting to care for other people in this country should be the norm not the exception. We are not all in this together. People would fight over the scraps of their masters instead of for their dignity.

        Let us get this crap right and remember there is not a damn friend of ours that is a politician. We can only hope that we have a mutual need to use one another.

    2. Regardless; it is a mess and I am very doubtful as to it ever being corrected. I will none-the-less remain hopeful.

      1. So true. play “The Name Blame Game” is a futile waste of time at this point because the VA has a long baggage trail of dysfunction that was only made more of a total mess when the VA Employees became protected from their evil deeds from their very Union, making it next to impossible to fire the bastards when not doing their jobs properly and proficiently.

        I would think a place to start is to remove ALL employee performance bonuses at ALL LEVELS. I think getting rid of the Government Employee’s Union from the VA would be a welcomed start at the same time of banishing all Employee Bonuses.

        How are these employee bonuses even remotely attracting best in class medical staff?! They seem to attract mostly last in their class and more insulting, MOST of the Dr.’s can HARDLY SPEAK ANY ENGLISH….how about hiring ONLY USA Citizen’s at the VA to work on American Veterans???
        My experience in past, even when being as POLITE as possible and stating, excuse me Sir, I cannot quite understand what you are saying? THAT is usually greeted in a very defensive way, making it as if the veteran is the issue.

        How about just giving ALL Veterans Medicare? The Social Security Administration seems to run quite efficiently. Why not use that system that works as a blueprint?

  10. There’s a LOT of great people working at the VA and many of them as just a frustrated as the Vets themselves, because the VA as an Department is broken. As a Veteran who’s received decent care and service from the PCM team I am assigned to, I can say for what they have to work with, VA employees at that level (as least most whom I’ve encountered) are doing the best they can with what resources are made available to them.

    I think where the wheels fall off the bus is the levels above the face to fave VA employees. The bureaucrats who aren’t willing to clear the backlogs of red tape, or address the reason why a Vet has often has to wait a very long time for simply a response to a Notice of Disagreement. I say this because after 3 NOD’s for the same issue filed through our local VSO over the past year, apparently no one in the VA above the local office and clinic has even bothered to open their friggin’ mail.

    1. My experience with the VA medical care has not been like yours. They almost killed me a couple times literally and doing dumb things….like giving me to much nitro when they thought I was having a heart attack and what happened is that they had the wrong lab work….the confused me with someone else at 4 in the morning. My blood pressure went south and they damn near lost me. I could go on but that is just one example of Long Beach VA

      1. @Ryan,
        I also was almost killed twice now. Once around 2006 and again just recently.
        The first time when I received a med that was still in the testing stage. I didn’t even know it at the time.
        This time a med, for something I’ve never been tested for, has caused my blood pressure to go completely haywire. It’s still not acting right. I, and my wife, are keeping very close tabs on it daily.
        But, at least your getting better care than most veterans. Be thankful brother. It may not last!


  12. Here are two sites to visit concerning the “VA whistleblower who called out Hillary Clinton” yesterday on her friday lies”!

    1.) from “The Blaze”

    “Hillary Clinton Makes Significant Claim About VA Scandal – So Marine turned VA Whistleblower makes her a Serious offer”
    October 26, 2015
    by Jason Howerton.

    2.) from “The Daily Caller”
    “News Foundation”

    “Whistleblower to Clinton: VA Problems Aren’t Isolated: Let Me Give You a Facility Tour Then”
    Oct. 26, 2015
    by Jonah Bennett

    This just on Channel 9 news @ noon (WFTV) Orlando, Florida…. 27 Oct. 2015…
    A widow of a deceased veteran who had been collecting “Survivors Benefits” for thirty years (@ $1,200/mo.) was told by VA officials “her husband did NOT die”, a VA false statement. So, she was going to have to pay all that money back!
    Each time she tried to get it corrected, VA made it worse. Sound familiar about VA employees???
    Well to make this short, VA is backtracking real fast. They returned her to the proper status, mainly because the news media got involved, and are now making it right!
    But, wait, should it have happened at all? Who was the incompetent VA employee who stripped this “military widow” of her guaranteed benefits in the first place? At the minimum, that employee(s) should be made to apologize to that widow in public! And receive a “letter of reprimand” in his/her file!

    1. y’all might want to google this also,

      “VA Scandal | The Blaze dot com”

      There’s a great many articles on this site!
      So, in my opinion, Hillary is just completely out of touch with reality!!!!!!

  13. @Dan F,
    I’ve tried to find the Fox News Report you mentioned. Could you please put something, the ‘title’, on here which would let us look it up!?

    Dan, as far as “name calling” goes. VA has been doing that for decades against veterans.

    Question, How would you change the current non-veteran centric climate of VA? Would you want to continue throwing taxpayers monies, (funding), at it, like Hillary said last friday? How can anyone honestly say any politician or VA upper management (from McDonald down) is really doing anything to change VA’s negative culture? We’ve seen time and time again McDonald and others flat out lie to the American public. I’m not talking about his “misspoken” crap over being Special Forces (Dec. 2014). I’m speaking of the many lies since. ie; Meet the Press (Feb. 2015), his trips to Hawaii (to allegedly end veterans homelessness) and Alaska (where veterans called him out on the non healthcare they were receiving) and other places et cetera.

    How is it hard not to “name call”, when the facts are out there for everyone to view! It’s not actually “name calling” when putting factual articles on here, or anywhere else.
    Sorry, brother, in my opinion, we all need to see many changes in VA before we will believe. If that means many in upper management going to prison, then so be it. You say you worked in the private sector. Can you honestly say if the things VA employees had done there, there wouldn’t have been serious ramifications against them?
    Lastly, “What do you want to see happen to any VA employee (from top to bottom) who has committed an egregious act against a veteran?”

    1. VA employees who have done so wrong should be disciplined or prosecuted- but would agree that a big part of the problem is due to changes made by Clinton, that make it almost impossible to fire someone from the union!

      1. So correct, Wade. So, “How is it going to be fixed?” That seems to be the “$Million Dollar Question”!
        So far, no one has come up with a reasonable solution! Until this happens, we veterans are screwed!
        Ben, do you have an idea?

      2. Historically, we have zero evidence that suggests VA can be “fixed” given its historic failures over the past 20 years much less the past 80 years. At this point, it is a safer bet to assume it cannot be fixed. If true, how should America proceed since VA cannot be fixed?

      3. Ben,
        From your answer, am I wrong in thinking there should NO LONGER be a VA?

        Not privatization, but to give Veterans the use of outside healthcare?

      4. Not necessarily. I think American needs to ask a few questions.

        What does “fixed” mean as it relates to VA? Is there some degree of latitude for things to not be “fixed”? How much corruption is America willing to tolerate? Governments are usually corrupt to some degree or another. Even the best governments likely have some degree of corruption. America needs to decide how much corruption is tolerable. It then needs to ask if the expense of that corruption will be eliminated by privatizing those goods and services?

        There are some examples where privatization works. There are many examples where privatization totally failed. Take a look at Indiana and its failed attempts to privatize its social welfare systems through IBM, Xerox, and some other companies. It did not work and the citizens of Indiana suffered. Those are the same companies that “volunteered” to help “fix” VA under Clinton and continued to work on privatizing the processing of disability compensation claims even as recently as 2012 if not more recent. As I understand it, Xerox eventually dumped its subsidiary called Affiliated Computer Services and sold it to a French company. So who owns our data from the disability claims Xerox processed?



        Take a look at the links.

  14. If you are elected President I will have change my sign to “Mrs. President”. Your statements show that you will also hide from this scandal and not do anything. You can’t fix anything from the top, without getting the truth from the bottom. Not wide spread? Lets see where all the comments come from. I’m in Tampa and its here.

  15. Yesterday, Ben wrote of Nessler’s Facebook group, “VA is Lying and Vets are Dying.” I am a member of that group.

    I came across a Fox news story which aired yesterday where a VA whistle blower countered the points Clinton made. He went on to issue her a challenge to visit with him at a number of VA hospitals. I wanted to post the story, but Nessler’s policy was, no politics.

    Because what Clinton said was so outrageous, Nessler changed the rules and posted the clip.

    I also posted the clip on my facebook page, other veteran sites and sent the link by email to several of my personal contacts, including those supporting Ms. Clinton. I found, without exception everyone was astonished, to say the least, at her comments.

    Just remember what Clinton said in the 90’s about Monica Lewinsky – it was a vast right wing conspiracy. Now the VA scandals and mismanagement is also a right wing conspiracy. When the facts are in front of you and you won’t or can’t acknowledge the truth, that is either being dishonest or delusional. Neither would benefit veterans.

    1. Dan F is correct, Hillary’s statement was so wildly out of touch with truth and reality, that it forced me (a previously likely Clinton voter) to change the posting rules on my VA is LYING Face Book group in order to allow veterans to call her out. Her statements leave only two possible conclusions, either she is totally out of touch with veterans’ issues with VA or she is willing to lie to become president. Either one of those loses her my vote.

      1. @Ron & Dan F.
        If y’all are unfamiliar with that lying Hillary Clinton. Here’s an article that not only proves she is a compulsive liar, or a true politician, but there may have been a COVERUP during the investigation (1996-98)!
        This is from “Judicial Watch”
        “Press Room”
        dated: 20 October 2015.
        “Judicial Watch Sues National Archives to Obtain Draft Indictments of Hillary Clinton”

        The suit no. is,
        “Judicial Watch v. NARA (no. -15-cv-01740)

        Evidently she lied to a Grand Jury over hiding $300,000 on a realty scheme! Better known as “Whitewater”!

    2. @Dan F,
      Monica ain’t the only woman coming out of the woodwork concerning Ol billy boy and Hillary.

    3. I agree, Dan F. I touched base with Brandon before his interview to be sure he was aware of the parallel between what Hillary is saying today, to avoid direction questions, compared with her ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ statements in 1997.

      It is important that everyone be aware that she is dusting off the same old rhetoric with some new verbiage and trotting it out on the backs of dead veterans. Fortunately, Brandon brought that up in his interview for the public to see and understand. Loved his challenge to escort her around VA facilities, too.

  16. Ben Hi!
    I don’t think is fair to blame the Clinton’s for the SHAMEFUL VA!
    The SHAMEFUL VA is been there for the last 40 years (if not even more)!
    Republicans and Democrats share the same “FAILING”
    I am still meeting with WWII veterans with denied or delayed claims (or other VA games) during the various Town Hall meetings.
    Not mentioning the SHAMEFUL “Agent Orange ” case in OUR Brothers of the Vietnam era!
    How to fix the problem??:
    1. Dismantle completely the SHAMEFUL C&P department! and move it to the SSA rating team ( as a Uniformed Rating System for all Americans)
    2. FIRE ALL SESs and replace them with GS-15s.
    3. Cut down all the Bonuses! Employees are getting rewarded only by promotion and only for Good Performance (Not for FUCKING UP)
    Then you will see how the system works……

  17. Ben,
    In my opinion, if more Veterans Service Organizations, (VSO’s), do NOT come forward and blast Hillary Clinton over that “Interview with MSNBC” last friday. They will be in direct conflict with what is truly occuring within VA.
    They know who they are! They need to defend the Veterans they were commissioned for! If they do nothing, then all of our nation’s veterans should denounce their existence.

    This needs to be sent to as many as possible.

  18. My family came to this country in the 1640’s. My husbands a few years later. Both families have a strong history of fighting for this country and we are both veterans. He is 100% SC disabled and a Ranger and Green Beret. for 21 years.

    By chance none of our four kids served…one is disabled and cannot. And, I will be damned if any of our 13 grand kids ever serve. Any recruiter we find trying to talk to them is going to get a warning to run and fast just once.

    I no longer care if Putin takes Florida for a warm vacation spot. It is not this families concern any longer.

    At last count I have talked a half a dozen kids out of enlisting and I am proud of what I saved them from…a life of begging for what they would have been promised. When I see this once great country deserve the blood of it’s young I will encourage them to join. I no longer see that day coming.

    1. @Robin,
      My ancestors came to this country over two centuries ago. They also fought in the many wars during that time all the way up to and including these new ongoing wars.
      Because of what I’ve learned throughout these past few decades. I too am proud to say I’ve stopped some young people from enlisting. I give websites for them to go to. Recruiters down here don’t like me much.
      Also, it’s been said recruitment is down significantly all across America. Maybe these young people are starting to wise up and are taking heed to what’s really going on. At least I pray so.

      1. Good for you elf.

        Maybe someone should ask Ms. Clinton about those drug drops in Arkansas.

        I know for a fact the boys in SA sending them up there were told they were going to be intercepted and they were not.

      2. @Robin,
        Thanks, I forgot about that. Wasn’t there a big to-do over Bill and that “Drug Lord” from South America, (can’t remember his name), while he was Governor? I think there were even pictures of them together, right?

      3. elf,

        I can name a dozen or so of our guys who were told that while living in the fucking nightmare that was South and Central America in those days.

        I can name a couple that were like Ollie North…taken care of. One gets a cushy check from the state of VA roads dept though he never worked a day for them. His wife was the money cleaner at Banco de Peru and came to Amerika.

        One name you would recognize who asked a Green Beret down there to find him a hooker so he did. An hour later he sees her in a bar and asks why. She told him the guy wanted her to find him a young boy.

        That now high level DC type went home a little bruised.

        Yeah, Hillary is dirty.

  19. * * Politicization, Slow Progress on Veterans’ Health * *

    DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11″, Decades and War From, All Over Again!!

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

    Hundreds of thousands of WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Desert Storm,………..are dead, many fighting through the decades for care, waiting for country served to uphold their Sacrifice, Promises and Responsibility through their representatives, instead of ignoring and out right denying, the so many issues killing them!!

    Like our long time, us Vietnam and frankly all Combat Theaters, Veterans Conservative, one of their experts(?), used to shape their policies, very highly compensated Nemesis: * * Sally Satel Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money * * There are plenty of others, they’ve got a ready stable full of {experts?}, and plenty of ignored and denied issues!!

    The Obama Administration, starting with Sec Shinseki and continuing with Sec McDonald, and it’s full Cabinet, with two more long war/occupation theaters, started addressing the oh so many issues, with full conservative congressional, and their supporters, continued obstruction!! Under the Bill Clinton administration, no wars, same was attempted by Sec Cleland only to be met with the ,decades long, obstruction of conservative, want to privatize for corporate profit and no regulation, not demanding the country served Sacrifice as they demand the Military and their Families do!!

    The VA is the people served Responsibility, not socialized anything but their Responsibility to Actually Sacrifice, as it’s been since it was established but promises never upheld with congressional fixes coming mostly unfunded and peace-meal causing more problems, the way those served seem to really like it that way as they lay blame on the VA personal!!

    Chris Hayes : “If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it” In response to Republican, long ago lost as the party of Lincoln and not just as to us Veterans, opposition to expanding Veterans’ benefits on fiscal grounds.

    “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    * * What Veterans Get in Privatizing the Veterans Administration * *
    >>> “If you want to feel bad or do your own research, you can do just like the rest of us did, but we got over it real quick once we started making our money, you know what I mean?” said Dutting. <<<

    USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 – Independent**

    1. Jim, I think you have made this “argument” before. I was in the private business world for many years. One of my favorite sayings was, “when you point a finger at someone, you have three pointing back toward you.”

      This is one of the favorite games politicians play. Though, first off, I would like to address your quotation of Sanders. We have been to war, that is past tense, and others have said it too on both sides of the aisle regarding the hidden costs. Stating the obvious and unchangeable is not relevant or helpful to our current situation. Secondly, it is not the only thing (go to war) the government does without proper funding. For example, at this very moment dozens of Obamacare exchanges are going bankrupt.

      Your pointing fingers muddies the waters, namely veteran health care and benefits is not a right or left issue, it is a veteran issue. Therefore, when any politician, be they liberal, conservative, moderate, right wing, left wing or independent makes false statements or goes against the general welfare of veterans, it must be called out. Further, all options should be on the table until competent reform is enacted.

      Finally, the adult conversation Ben is talking about means to stop the name calling, stop UNFOUNDED accusations and finger pointing and produce facts and action plans.

      I am sorry brother, your claim of being an independent does not hold muster.

  20. I believe we have to see the elephant in the room. How can you make medical staff truly accountable in our society, when you actively recruit them on the basis that they cannot be held accountable like their non-government peers can?

    Among other enticements, doctors within VHA are afforded complete protection from any economic (or other) consequences for malpractice. For the doctors, it makes the bottom line better because they do not pay for malpractice insurance.

    Same thing for administrators; they cannot be held civilly liable for gross misconduct. I personally obtained as the protected a Restraining Order to Prevent Further Abuse by the Circuit Court in Oregon, which named a VHA Clinic Manager. The Judge issued it after I told her my story.

    That clinic manager used his appeal rights. He got the Assistant Attorney General as his legal team. I am poor. I am my own legal team. The RO got tossed, because of the fact that the molestation took place when he acted as an employee of the federal govt. If he had not been a govt. employee, according to the judge that dismissed it, the RO would have stood. (side note, the lawyer got snapped at by the Judge, “SIR YOU WILL SHUT UP NOW!” after the judge issued his order and the federal lawyer began asking for sanctions against me)

    I ask you, “How can you make an agency accountable, when the draw to work there is unaccountability?” I say you can’t. Isn’t the state of affairs we see proof?

    1. I am a perfect example of this situation. I have had MDs who have committed acts of malpractice on me and get transfered to another facility. Recently the Long Beach VA decided that they had a severe narcotics problem and so Hired and outside Doctor who is listed in Long Beach VA directory facebook page as geriatrics…..but now he is in charge of the newly created pain clinic which is suppose to be helping veterans control pain without of with less narcotics. The guy is a little fellow with that type of mentality. He thinks he is god. I was taking no narcotics for my chronic severe pain but we found that taking a lot of neurotin helped with the pain. I have no idea how I got caught up in the narcotics issue but next thing I hear is that this little dude wants to give me shots and cut my neurotin way back cause it I am taking more than FDA approves. I have been taking it this way for years with no problems. Yes I still have pain but I can endure it with that neurotin. Now my primary care doctor will not prescribe it and says I have to see the little napoleon to get it. What the hell good is my primary care doctor. They lied to me…..an appeal was taken to allegedly the VISN 22 about this and they lied saying that since I would not return their calls and see their Doctors that my appeal to keep getting the neurontin at the present levels was denied. I shot a letter back that I return all VA phone calls or respond by email and the only Doctors that I refused to see was the little Napoleon.
      This organization attacts the bottom of scum who claim to be doctors …they do not have to worry about malpractice and can learn perhaps how to practice good medicine by making mistakes on veterans with impunity. Long Beach Director Fisher does not give a shit and he does nothing about he lies and participates in the same. They did not give me any neurotin for 2 weeks recently and even more recently it was 3 weeks telling it is coming. Well, I have also a seizure disorder and started feeling stange and so went to an outside ER not the VA and I was about to have a seizure and they got me going on neurotin again and I am fine.
      I have no idea what to do about this group. They lie, cover things up, incompetent doctors so much so that a very nice man who is in charge of patient advocacy program at Long Beach VA kept telling me that my neurotin was coming and he was lied to. Our last conversation where he was really down and I said to him…how can you work for an organization to lies to you? He did not know what to say and took a 4 day weekend. He sounded very depressed. He really wants to help the veterans but it is obvious to him that he has no power.
      I have sent emails to Washington DC to the people there with no help coming form them.
      I am open to suggestions please. I am filing a complaint against one doctor at leasts with the medical board in california but think that is a waste of time.
      Any suggestions greatly appreciated

      1. John,
        I too am going to have to go through the Pain Clinic. I am being forced to go through them. If I do not, then my new PCP will wean me off of my pain med and I will get nothing to help with the pain. I am screwed as most of us are.
        I believe that we are the test subjects for a VA trial on what helps with managing pain other than narcotics. I think they are trying the “other” meds to see what happens. What better place than the VAMC’s to try this on. Think about it, who has the most people that deal with chronic pain on a daily basis than the VAMC? We have a huge amount of vets who have to deal with this. This gives them a lot of people to be their guinea pigs for what works and what does not. We are the test subjects and do not know it. I would not be surprised in a few years that a report will come out from the VA having to do with treating chronic pain and what works and what will not. Where did they get the information and the people to base this on? The veterans who were forced to go through Chronic Pain management.
        Just my opinion, but it seems as if the VA is really pushing the Chronic Pain Management program. They do not care about you, they want statistics for their study. And we are the ones who get screwed.
        I was also told by the Indy Chief of Primary Care that the narcotics are getting very expensive.

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