McCain Slams ‘Very Bad’ VA Reform Senate Bill


Senator John McCain slammed the new VA reform plan floating through the Senate in the massive veterans omnibus legislation calling it a ‘very bad’ plan.

McCain said the bill lacks the accountability veterans were promised, “There’s not the accountability there.” He continued, “I’m very concerned. Hopefully, we’ll take up some legislation before we go out, but I’m very worried, to tell you the truth.”

RELATED: AFGE Union Beats Back Accountability Reforms

The plan is really light on accountability after lawmakers capitulated to AFGE demands that withdrew the sharper teeth from the bill.


Military Times gave the following example:

“For example, under the Senate plan, disciplinary decisions which today can take more than 400 days to complete would be reduced to 110. The House plan trims that even further, to 52 days for appeals and rulings. In addition, the House plan does not require any advance notice for disciplinary action and would significant limit appeals.”

Now, tough guy McCain introduced his own legislation that is reform-centric, but it doesn’t do squat on accountability either. It does extend the VA Choice Card program.

The program McCain is lambasting pays little attention to the program and apparently even less attention to the accountability veterans demand.

Instead, moving into this elections cycle, the big winners are apparently big spending on government contracting and AFGE union employees.



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  1. McCain is part of the problem with the VA. Choice is nothing to be proud of. The name, “CHOICE” gives the Veterans and especially the public a misconception of what the program is. Which is very broken to the point where they should rename it to, “NO CHOICE”. They have fooled everyone in to thinking we can now go to more places for medical care, which couldn’t be further from the truth. They started a program that limits the providers to a network that has hardly anyone in it, and those who are want to stop accepting it because they aren’t getting paid. At least when FEE BASIS was in charge, you would get a letter stating go to provider of your choice. Now FEE BASIS is still there, and they just spent billions of dallors to open the CHOICE program, that the FEE BASIS sends the consult to after an approval. Who in turn waits for it and then at their leisure calls you just to get preferences that I’m positive they don’t write down or care about, because they keep sending you to the wrong place, or one 100 miles away because no-one is in network. I have had nightmare conversation with them because they simply don’t listen or read the consult. Another thing is that I use to go to massage therapy for pain treatment, but now, even though massage therapy is VA approved for pain management, you can’t see one because they now have to work under a physical therapist. I have explained to them that these are two different professions with two different certificates and don’t work with each other. So after trying to get an appointment for a year I have to see a PT. when I called the VA to complain and see if it could be changed, they told me to contact McCain. Who I’ve sent letters to marked please respond. Yeah right!! This sucks.

  2. The bill was at last a start…till AFGE gutted it….

    The union has clout because of the millions donated to EVERYBODY that’s running so they can come back later with their hands out. First step in reforming the VA…MUST BE…Getting rid of civil service protections completely…

    And the only way to do that is to have our own people in congress..Time for a National Veteran’s Action Committee…

    I nominate Ben Krause as national leader…

  3. Wake up Veterans put what you believe how to improve Veterans Healthcare in your Local Newspaper you must know other Veterans asked them to chip in…..Semper Fi.

    1. I don’t think I would be overly upset if Feingold was not installed in the Senate again. Years ago when he was still in the Senate, I sat on his local Veterans Advisory Committee along with other veterans and VSO representatives. I was always amazed at the excuses he could come up with for not supporting or voting for veterans legislation.
      During one meeting that was public, I asked him if he would request a GAO investigation into Depleted Uranium exposures in the Gulf. The Pentagon had not yet released their report yet, and we knew they were going to whitewash the exposures. Since the meeting was public, Feingold really didn’t have much choice other than to request the investigation. We met with the GAO investigators in Washington, and by that time I had gotten another FOIA response of over 50,000 pages from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They showed the hazards of DU was well known dating back to 1958. The GAO ripped the Pentagon on their exposure study, and they were forced to do it over again because it was so flawed. It also forced the Pentagon to provide military medical providers training on treating DU exposures, and training on the hazards for every soldier in uniform. I haven’t heard of whether that training still continues.
      I give him credit for requesting the GAO investigate, but the follow-up could have been much better.

  4. Although this was put out yesterday, I just received it today from ;
    The “Daily Kos” (news – a hard left wing news media)
    Written: May 9, 2016 by
    Joan McCarter
    “Koch Brother’s attack on Russ Feingold backfires as local TV stations pull deceptive ad”

    This concerns the VA up in Tomah. How one incombent was wrongly targeted by the Koch’s. They spent $2 million on an attach ad that was filled with lies!
    Too bad, so sad!

    1. I don’t know what is happening with the comments here. I wrote the above comment in reply to Crazyelf on my laptop because it failed to post from my phone. Rather than showing a reply to you elf, it shows a reply to Arnold.
      At least the comment subscription box is back. I got the email, but the subscription page does not load. I assume Ben must be doing updates.

      1. @91Veteran

        I don’t really know anything about Feingold or his “track record” in Washington.

        I thought the article might be of interest because of the reference to Tomah VA and the Koch Brothers. And of course, how they spent $2 Million on (alleged) false attack adds!

      2. I hear ya elf. It is good to see veterans appear to be a part of that campaign up there.

  5. 05/10/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    The VA has been ignoring everyone for Two (2) years and Delaying and Denying Congress “We The People” the information that has been demanded. Only to offer up “Composite Numbers/Global Numbers”—-Referencing Shulkin’s 04/07/2016 Interview–
    Appeals court finds VA wronged vets by ignoring 2010 law
    By Tom Philpott
    Special to Stars and Stripes
    Published: April 14, 2016

    In this article the VA wantonly ignored the law.

    The VA and our Government were warned properly in 2007 with the MOFO.COM lawsuit—73 pages.

    Still the Government allowed this Entity to continue to operate?

    In 2014 the News became national and the Government appeared to be acting.

    Now, it is Two (2) years later and the VA has not really changed for the better.

    Oh, it has changed! But not for the better!

    “It’s a sickening betrayal.”—Betsy McCaughey

    307,000 Vets die a year, 19,500 are victims of crimes at the VA.

    What are you planning for the End of the Month?

    More Flowers?


    Don Karg

  6. @namnibor and all.
    Here’s some interesting articles.

    From: “WND – America’s independent News Network”
    “America’s Nurse Ratched: How President Hillary would turn the U.S. into an insane asylum”

    Y’all will love that one! There’s also lots of references to read.

    From “The Horn News”
    “Obama sued in government Cover-up”

    This is about the MANY F.O.I.A. requests made by lots of people. Now he, and others in his cabinet, will have to explain his actions!

    I forgot where I received this from. Its relavant though!
    “Obama aide “Tell All” interview has White House scrambling”

    This is about how the Obama administration LIED to the news medias,and to We the People, on the “Iranian Deal”!

    Interesting how criminal minds work when their caught!

    Enjoy! I did. Especially on the “Nurse Ratched” article.
    I didn’t know ‘Nurse Ratched’ was concidered #4 or #5 on the AFI list for being the “best villain!” She deserved to be #1 in my opinion!

    1. @crazyelf:
      That “Nurse Ratched” character from that very excellent and disturbing movie in early Jack Nicholson’s career, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” is very telling of the days of the institutional insane asylums at a time just before many were simply let loose when fundings dried while Big Research and The VA Hospitals *never stopped* treating patients as animals and big pharma guinea pig pin cushions…just like we are at today.
      Nurse Ratched is the *perfect* representation of the fear and loathing Vet’s feel about having to face the VA. Not *all* are Nurse Ratched, but just how the AFGE Union infects ALL the employee’s casting blind eyes at corruption and treating VA Whistle Blowers with contempt, illegally mind you…all mind games just like Nurse Ratched because like the patient at the asylum, the Veteran is at the mercy of the VA unless you can escape.
      Here’s a short classic YT link to a Nurse Ratched moment, remove the quotes fore/after:


      1. @crazyelf– wrong link…this is the classic YT short Nurse Ratched moment…medication time: “”

        Maniacally manipulative.

  7. My name is Quancidine Hinson-Gribble and for years I have been writing to President Barack Obama, the Veterans Administration and to the Department of Defense about the issues concerning Veterans, Surviving Spouses and family members of Veterans only to find out that there is a much larger problem. On Monday, may 9, 2016, the “Panama Papers” were released for everybody to have the opportunity to search the data base. There is a connection to all of the missing 124 TRILLION DOLLARS that the GAO cannot account for because it has been sent to offshore accounts opened to hid the stolen money from Veterans, their Surviving Spouses and their family members. The people that have been elected to lead us are part of the problem. They have had a hand in our money being stolen and re-routed and now the rooster has come home in the form of wanting to re-elected for doing these hideous crimes to us. The United States was contacted before Germany and the powers that be decided to ignore, “John Doe”, however the person who had the data dump did not stop at that. Now that everybody knows about the “Panama Papers” they are trying to act as though it is news to them as well. In fact they are preparing to get as far away as possible from the United States with the stolen 124 TRILLION DOLLARS as quick as they can. This is why so many people have decided not to run for re-election because they have made millions off of the same people they swore an oath to, to protect. That would be our Veterans whom they care nothing about. I can guarantee you that this year, 2016 is going to be a game changer. Nothing will be the same and because we have social media we will be able to out these people at will. They don’t have enough money to stay hidden in their underground bunkers, or overseas. People will still know where they are and it would be a great idea if they leave today. #canyouhearmenow #QuancidineForPresident, Quancidine Hinson-Gribble, May 10, 2016

    1. Do us a favor please. When you state certain things, please give a valid website we can utilize!
      ie; –www.where we can find said information dot Com—-
      Saying “broad generalities” does nothing for us!

    2. Do you have any links to reference and otherwise qualify what you wrote there that was a nebula of generalities? Would help immensely, otherwise is just background noise in the cosmic realm of Veterans as hearsay or even perceived as ‘ethical hacking’ via disinformation. Thanks.

  8. There’s only one way to describe McCain. That’s what his ‘brothers’ at the “Hanoi Hilton” dubbed him –
    John “SONGBIRD” McCain!

    All this a$$wipe wants is to be ‘re-elected’! Because he doesn’t give a rats ass what happens to veterans. All he cares about, IMHO, is how FAT his accounts ($$$$$) get!
    I wonder how many ‘off shore accounts’ is in his name, or his families name?
    I also wonder IF VA, or the union, isn’t paying him off to write useless ‘bills’. Which will allow veterans to suffer more humiliation, or be used as “guinea pigs”, or whatever else VA has in store for us?

    I feel like the coyote in the Road Rumner cartoons. Always looking to catch him. Only always getting screwed!

    1. The repeated scene from “Peanuts” where Lucy *always* yanks the football out from Charlie Brown kicking it each and every time right at the last minute works with this McCain analogy as well.

      Pick your cartoon. Toons Tuesday! 🙂

      1. @namnibor
        I forgot about “Peanuts”! Great anology!!!!
        Yep, it’s pick your “Looney Tune” cartoon Tuesday!

    2. I think McCainiac is doing nothing more than trying to cover himself for ignoring such a massive scandal in his own backyard, and likely looking for some political payback for some cronies. I cannot fathom why he would push to make Choice permanent without good accountability included. All that would mean is more of the same repeated phone calls to those who tell you the same lines for weeks, without ever calling the providers office to make an appointment.
      It’s been a very long day. I found if you go to Legion dot org and do a search on “magill”, you can find a report on the town hall they had here in Colorado. It’s titled, “Choice was set up to fail”. It is exactly as I suspected. The story spins it as a bunch of veterans unhappy with Choice, which there were many comments, mine included, about being unhappy with Choice, but the article spins it as many veterans praising the VA, which is a slap at the many veterans who had very serious medical problems and not getting care at the VA. It was also a massive slap at their own female American Legion officer who spoke of getting fired from the VA because she took care of her vets. She was fired just a few days from completing her 1 year probationary period.
      I then found out the VA again billed my health insurance for service connected medical care since January. In two years, they have billed my insurance almost $10,200.00 for service connected care. My Congressman will be sending the director a letter with specific questions I gave them to ask. The same director who lied in front of every veteran in the town hall mentioned above when he said he had spoken to me before on problems with the VA. I have never spoken with him.
      On this insurance problem, I have emailed McDonald, Shulkin, Pummill and one of their executive assistants at least six times since I first found out they were continuing to bill my insurance. The only response I got was that it was being passed on to VA leadership to investigate. I have heard nothing since. I then submitted a FOIA request to the local privacy officer, and to the privacy officer of the facility that does this billing in Kansas. It should make for a VERY interesting response if they actually comply.
      I then go to my Physical Therapy appointment, and one of the first things my PT guy says is McCain wants to make the Choice program permanent. He was reluctant to say anything because it might be taken as political. I said the same as I said above…that McCain was likely pushing this as a way to cover for himself for not doing anything about the scandal in Phoenix.
      I am thinking I might see what the state Attorney Generals office on insurance fraud has to say, along with seeing what this new IG has to say.

  9. Senator McCain quoted,“[…I’m very concerned. Hopefully, we’ll take up some legislation before we go out, but I’m very worried, to tell you the truth.]”
    That brought front and center to my mind the good old Loony Toons Cartoon of Elmer Fudd where he looks at the camera closely and states, “Be very, very quiet…I am hunting wabbit”!!!

    Except in this case, McCain usually only stirs for Veteran issue when he’s been awoken to be told it’s re-election time.

    The Phoenix VAMC is in his home State that he represents. Where exactly has been McCain’s outspoken voice and influence as a Veteran, War Hero, Disabled Vet, and Member of Congress during last few years with this scandal breaking-open there in HIS State?

    Must be time for McCain to start stretching and stretching-out sentences for a future pending re-election bid or did someone awaken McCain too early this time? Back to naptime with Isaacson and promised cookies and Milk of Magnesia will be waiting. 🙁

    1. McCain whining about being concerned is a joke. Really Senator? Very concerned? I’ve seen and read plenty of media reports on McCain being PO’d on an issue, and I can’t recall a one of them where he only stated he was “very concerned”.
      His lack of outrage at the VA, and his lack of outrage at the massive amounts of money wasted on Choice shows he doesn’t give a damn about veterans, but he feels he has to say something for the unwashed masses back home.

      PS. Not sure what is happening with the comment box tonight. I have had to cut and paste before posting a comment every time. The comment box often reports that the server unexpectedly closed the connection, and other funky things happening with how the page loads. I hope Ben’s page hasn’t gotten hacked.

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