VA Thumbs Nose At Jeff Miller And Congress After Exposure Of Evidence Falsification
The Department of Veterans Affairs knowingly deceived Congress about veteran deaths caused by health care glitches since 1999.
In what can be considered VA’s “Colon Cancer-gate”, the agency failed to provide examinations of veterans related to colon cancer detection and prevention, amongst other procedures. In just two fiscal years, at least 76 veterans were seriously harmed and 24 veterans were killed at just a few facilities. VA dubiously led Congress to believe these numbers represented the total of the entire VA from 1999-Present, a claim which we now know was a lie.
Initially, VA provided the House Committee on Veterans Affairs with a tally of all veteran deaths resulting from botched gastrointestinal care going back 15 years, in April 2014. VA provided Congress with a facts sheet that said there were 76 cases of delays causing harm and 24 veteran deaths (up from 23) since 1999.
The agency lied to Congress by presenting as evidence a fact sheet that read:
“As a result of the consult delay issue VA discovered at two of our medical centers, VHA continues to conduct a national review of consults across the system, which includes a review of all consults since 1999.”
“During this review, VA looked at all open since 1999 to ensure that proper care has been administered to patients. Within this time frame over a quarter billion consults were requested in VA.”
Notice the claim above from the facts sheet. VA claimed it was a national review dating from 1999 to the present. There is no possible way that the statement was a mere typo or mistake. Either VA conducted a national review of all consults since 1999 or it did not. Either the numbers represented such a review or they did not.
Black or white; yes or no.
VETERANS AFFAIRS’ BIG LIE TO CONGRESS
However, in a July letter to Congress, the VA admitted it misled the House Committee. The numbers VA provided were actually only from fiscal years 2010-2011 in a survey of just some cases that concluded in 2012.
It was not a 15-year survey and it was not a nationwide review. It was instead a small sampling of two fiscal years. Worst of all, nothing has been done to charge VA with perjury for its falsification of evidence.
Rep. Jeff Miller, (R-FL) stated, “They tried to misdirect Congress and the American people away from the facts,” stated Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) in an all too common response to VA misdeeds. “I think they got caught and now they are trying to modify their story…. The misdirection was, in fact, designed in Washington.”
To extrapolate on the numbers VA did provide, you would multiply it by 7.5 to get a guestimate as to how many veterans were harmed and killed in just the small number of facilities surveyed – wherever those undisclosed facilities were.
Based on this assumption, VA inappropriately delayed care for 570 veterans were harmed by a failure to provide treatment from 1999 to 2013. Another 180 veterans were killed. This is a low guess since the numbers VA provided are only from a small fraction of VA facilities.
We now know the real number is actually much larger. VA has now revealed it withheld the numbers of veterans waiting for gastrointestinal procedures over 60 days because VA concluded none of the veterans were seriously harmed by the delay.
In reality, what we have is a clear case of the fox guarding the hen house from the inside of the hen house. VA stuck over 2,000 on the wait list for this kind of care but did not report it to Congress because VA decided those veterans were not seriously harmed. God forbid that I ever need VA to make a decision on how much they agency harmed me.
VA RESPONSE TO FALSE AND MISLEADING EVIDENCE
In response to the revelation, VA has thumbed its nose at oversight and the harm caused to veterans nationwide by its false claims to Congress.
Dr. Gavin West, VA special assistant and spokesman who worked on the fact sheet, refused to apologize for the knowingly false data it provided Congress in an interview with Tampa Bay Times. “I could apologize for any misinterpretation of the fact sheet,” but he did not do so.
After being pressed, Dr. West incredulously stated, “Is this really the most important question that you have that you want to address? Because it just seems to me it is a misunderstanding of the way the fact sheet is labeled. Am I missing something here?”
“Hell yes! Explaining VA deception is at the top of the list of questions for the agency!” is probably the response most veterans and Americans would say to these chronic misdeeds and fraudulent statements intended to mislead Congress and Americans.
VA Public Affairs Official Mary Kay Hollingsworth later stated, “I really don’t think the contents of the fact sheet are something that Dr. West should respond to.”
QUESTIONS ON ABILITY TO HOLD VA ACCOUNTABLE
I have some questions on this.
Is this what modern oversight amounts to for our nations heroes? VA officials can lie and get caught lying without any accountability?
If Congress is unwilling to hold VA accountable for its criminal violations in providing health care and attempted cover-up of the matter, who will?
In response to the new revelation, Rep. Jeff Miller wrote a demand letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald on the matter of accountability, “Please describe in detail the steps you are taking to hold the VA Central Office officials responsible for what appears to be an attempt to mislead Congress and the public.”
But will this be enough? The real answer is, “No.”
Read More: https://www.tampabay.com/news/military/veterans/va-asked-to-explain-inaccurate-fact-sheet-on-treatment-delays/2191608
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I`ve been Watching these “House Committee on Veterans Affairs” Hearings on Library of Congress “Thomas” They are Videos,
You wont Believe what these Committee Hearings are Bringing to light, The Whistle Blowers are saying From Healthcare to The Claims, That Some of our Claims are being Shredded, Closed then You go off the list WITHOUT BEING EVEN PROCESSED. STACKS Of Mail That Have NO ORDER As to when they were Piled into a Room Stacked / Hidden out of the sight of the OIG and even stored in Off sight Storage Facilities and FORGOTTEN. People Deciding claims as 0 Rating or Flat out denials and Dumped in the Ever Growing Black hole on the Court Docket of appeals.
Older Veterans like Vietnam vets being pushed aside to decide Iraq Veterans Claims, Which are also, Being Denied To get RID of some of the Backlog. Killing Claims that have never been Opened, With No regard to it`s contents . So the VRO can “look like they are getting work done” because they get the same for a Denied claim as with a Granting of Benefits But, Working a Claim takes Much more time, It`s Faster and EASIER to “Dump” Or Shred.
So MANY Veterans are Waiting for a DEAD CLAIM that is GONE, and will NEVER Be Decided.
Like Votes in Florida. Found in the Trash.
I can`t believe my ears, But, As sure as Im sitting here, I WILL Die Before My Appeal will get on the list to be reviewed.by an Appeal Judge.
This is Crazy, Many veterans are waiting for the VBA, And There is NO CLAIM. It`s in the Dumpster. Will they tewll you, Hell no, They just let you hang onto Hope that “One Day” They have “Lost” Thousands of Claims In Cyber Space. Whipped off the Grid,.
The only thing you can do to the V.A. Is a Revolution .or a Complete Overhaul, Fire ALL of the upper Mgt. And Start over.
Hicky,`s Second in command, Told The Managers to Ignore the OIG`s investigators Hide what we dont want them to see.
It`s like Looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, The V.A. has this thing “Locked Down” in spite of Inquiry`s. by Congress. A Summons is Just a Piece of paper. They DO Show up, But LIE LIKE HELL With a straight face.
Curtis, this kind of crap has been happening for so many years. I have been 6 years on my claim (and still waiting on it to be final). I have been denied on my left knee and approved for the same thing on my right knee. The same thing that I have never had. An now that I do have it in both knees, I get approved for the right and denied for the left. Go figure that one out. I have resent them the exam and all the info on how wrong they are. I am still waiting and I am sure that it is because I informed them that they were wrong so I must be punished. That’s OK because I know I am right and I will receive the award.
It is such a shame that we sign a paper stating that we are willing and know that we may give our lives for this country to be and remain free and yet we get treated worse than criminals (at least they can appeal their decision and get it figured out in a short amount of time). Even people on welfare get better treatment than we do. Most of us will give up on our claims if we don’t know how the system is played. And those of us who do will end up with something it may not be what we deserve unless we know that we deserve more and fight for it. Remember Don’t ever give up and don’t be afraid to ask why when a Dr. or someone wants you to do something that needs a question asked. Keep after them if you know you are right.
There is a Congressman (Also a Doctor) Can`t remember his name right now, But he asked Gibson” How many people have been fired in result of this whole mess?
Gibson, After a line of explanations was (interrupted) and The Dr. asked, How many?people that used to have a job at the V.A., That now Do not?
Gibson, “We have (three) that are on admin. Leave”
I`m watching V.A. Employees that turned Whistle Blowers. Testify, and Then The upper Mangt. Go on RIGHT after them and Lie, On the Record. And Miller Calls them on this and Hicky, Again, Lied right to Millers face. Miller even Gave her a Second chance to tell the truth, He was holding up a handwritten note as evidence AND SHE STILL LIED, KNOWING IT Was a lie. MILLER said I don`t believe you. then went to another. And they got the same thing. More Lies. With Absolutely NO Regard to anything that would be believable Hicky was talking like a robot from Practicing her statement over & over. No Matter what Stick to the story.
These people are sworn before testifying, and told “Under penalty of Perjury” They know that they can then “Take the Fifth” like the IRS and drag it out for years. While STILL On the V.A. Payroll.
This is just a “Dog & Pony Show” In a Criminal Trial anywhere in the country These people would be JAILED for Perjury. But, The V.A. has a Protective Umbrella that makes it almost Impossible to get fired, OR Face any Real Punishment. THAT IN OF ITSELF, Is what is wrong with this System. If you can Disregard CONGRESS, What`s next? If this is where we`re at The lowly Veteran Has`nt got a damn Chance.
Even The Committee members are on a Show, WE WANT THE BEST FOR OUR VETERANS, Is Horse&hi%, It`s a Talking point, Face time for reelection.
I`m just a 62 yr.old Grunt Medic. That has to look at google to spell, Not overly bright, But, I can read between the lines, And I think I can tell the difference when I`m getting BS, And when someone HAS NO REASON TO LIE. That has come forward because they think they can do the Veterans some good. and when the dust settles They will be handed their asses, For their Trouble. Then
THIS Is NOT the Country That My BROTHERS,That I ran to under fire & hacked my way thru the jungle with, Who Protected ME, Fought AND Died to Defend.
Ben, you know that it’s not just the medical side of it right? “IT IS THE WHOLE DAMN LOT!” I am not talking about the people who are the ones that are on the low end, no, I am talking about the “professionals.” That is, Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists and Psychiatrist.” Now, how would I know? Because I know way too much. You see, they see a Veteran, they have no idea what a veteran like me has done, which means, “expansive knowledge and smart enough to trap a liar.” I can justify it. I can show you exactly how as well too. I’ve stated numerous times, get a copy of your VA health record. My copy of my military health record and the official copy I had from Active Duty to Reserves Record? Gone! Amazing. Especially when I know the person to this day who was damn happy he didn’t have to send off for it. Most military do not know, which should be done rightly so, get an “official copy” of your medical record. Because it seems that some that hold evidence? Disappear. Now, how is that? But hey, I have my evidence, and I have witnesses, and gee, if you can “use google” you can peel the onion layers away. Let me add this, do you think the VA alone did this OR is it possible some military brass and a few politicians are involved as well? You see, I think beyond more than just the VA, and yes, no doubt in my mind that we have low quality providers, as stated, can prove it, dare me? Or should I dare you?
Let me explain what many Americans missed when voting for George W. Bush. Dick Cheney. He did live here, he worked here, he paid taxes on his home here and used the homestead exemption. So why was the XII Amendment ignored or how was it not given out to be public knowledge? Again, people do not think and learn to research, however, I do. I knew the idiot who carried the same book no way in hell could be a pilot in the military, because NO FLIGHT STAFF OF ANY KIND CAN GET A PHYSICAL BY ANY DOCTOR! Not only that, he put Texas in debt! Why do people seem to think now we have this “great divide” of far right and far left? You know, I learned in political science, but knew it already, there are varying degrees of what you are on the political thought scale. Example, 70% of Americans think these children who came here deserve to stay. Now, how does that add up to the right and left? Better yet, but not really, I was down with my back, an injury I never did as told and go file a claim, being medical, knowing the one thing everyone does do, “I hurt my back.” I actually had! But, life goes on, exercise I thought no issue, later, issue. My eldest son, a wonderful bright young man, who is very diplomatic in his ways of conflict, knows mom, she tells it like she sees it, we had a discussion about the election with the Texas idiot. It became extremely heated, and when you grow up in a loud Italian household, “inside voice?,” I lack! I finally stated “exactly what I knew would happen, Iraq. And I am a Desert Storm Veteran so I told him, “you vote for him, consider your vote to an “anti-Christ!” (I said it that way because Bush doesn’t seem to be concerned that his hands are stained with human blood and those in Iraq as well which is no better off now is it?) Now, he goes to church, I have studied many faiths, will say, proud to see a Catholic Pope who is calling it like he sees it-so you can say, yup, catholic, but I believe the world can believe in what ever or whom ever. Sure enough, I just had surgery the Friday before 9/11 on my back, I watched the news and was thinking, is this an odd movie? Now, as stated, I think beyond what I see, and when I saw buildings that went down as if a planned implosion for getting rid of a building, it made no sense. To the Marine in the house he stated that he proved in school how a plane was the perfect weapon, however, there is no way will I ever believe that a building will “naturally” fall inside a perimeter without help. ( also, have watched those shows most females might not, watching the planned removal of buildings so that it can fall Perfectly, um yeah, no way Bush and your buddy Dick) Call me Californian who has been through too many earthquakes, nothing is that perfect. Now years later at my daughters wedding he stated I was right. I asked about? He said George W. This is what I stated back, “it is never about being right, it is about doing your research and call it your life long adult homework.” I think the VA is only partial in this whole polluted mess, as stated, there is way more we haven’t uncovered here, call it a “medical gut instinct” as one who stated to the ER doctor, “x-ray my back.” She and this stand by male so she could be verbally abusive, which she isn’t too clever, stated nothing wrong, her ER blah blah blah, um, must have felt damn stupid when it came back abnormal, a late entry of two hours later stating I left, well gee sweet heart, you stated nothing wrong, and guess what? I can read an x-ray. Just FYI I told my doctor of 19 years what I saw, so we both knew, problem. So think beyond the box of “just the VA here.” I do, for a reason, don’t be surprised later when my goal is attained, because I know exactly what I will do, and already have those who will back me up starting small, but quickly I will climb. Why? It ain’t all about me, it is because I took an oath, just like each of these “professionals,” DO NO HARM. So, question, why is harm allowed, ignored, records lost or missing, and the FOIA ignored playing the we don’t have your info anymore game? YUP! Hey, I on purpose recorded a conversation, and it proved “exactly why I think it should be allowed by anyone to do if they can do it for quality (not) and training, ( not again either) purposes.” I have a medical reason, which again, they fail to recognize it is military related, and because they don’t even realize how new this is and the whole mechanics of how or why they denied my claim. Funny, how can you deny something when what “triggered that switch” now lies somewhere wherever military shore patrol records went from Orlando, FL in 1979-1980? Yeah, you think they want me to find it? ( I did enjoy the paper reduction act, as I now have two huge bags of paper from them, and the constant request for the Base address and phone numbers, are they seriously trained to think others are that stupid?) That “new VA Hospital?” I was stationed at the old one in front of it, watched the construction of it, remember moving into it, and three years later or a bit longer, coming back to it and having my daughter there. I still have my “plank owner” of it. I wonder, how much it’s worth? To me? It is worth the right to question the motivations of each Brass Officer, Each reason why some of these “so called directors” get an outrageously over paid income all off the backs of each hard working American. Then to deny a Veteran the ability to get quality care? Oh no, this is the tip of the iceberg, think Ben, you are smart enough to see there is a way bigger picture here, trust me, who is hiding who? My comp and pen exam this woman basically took my truthful, I do not lie, in fact, I will tell you to your face, not hide it, exactly the truth, wrong? I own it. She changed my responses, ( funny, she has no idea the family discussions and what my children will say to them, call them liars, bad bad move!) then she gave me a new diagnosis which I do happen to know, “unless it is staring you in the face like a paranoid schizophrenic, you cannot do it in 20 minutes!” My issue is I am honest. In high school? Not clickish, talked to others, yes there was a group we all played well together, but we all played well with others too. I also though enjoyed quiet moments, reading, hiking, I didn’t need constant entertainment. So, for me? I’ve always have thought to think outside the box, because the box is just part, it has to be a much bigger circle that no one is getting to see. Funny, Rick Perry is now on television asking veterans if they need help call and he will help them. What a big political ploy, but again, he is looking to move into a much larger home, we own it, and he needs something to hide the errors and lies that Texans won’t hopefully forget, that 11 million dollars for cancer research-yeah, um not. And calling here for assistance? A joke. Trust me. A litmus test failed, and the responses of others who felt the same. Ben, seriously, one must be wary when they say just the VA. Think, of George W. And his pal Dick. How did the story not get out to the voting population? Sorry for my long posting, but I will not be anyone’s fool, and believe me, they “know it.” I am sure I am flagged, I wouldn’t be surprised if my Facebook isn’t watched, and go for it, but that can work both ways-and there are ways to get around “what they do too.” As I’ve stated, “Dick Cheney, we wish to have your donor heart removed, you never deserved it in the first place.” I can tell you all about transplant teams, how it works, and I am not the betting type-but, on this, okay, .25 cents, I bet a more deserving poorer younger person was a match too, money, the greed and shame, it corrupts, and at many levels. Always realize, “one takes the fall of shame, but it is a bigger fish they protect.”
I shall say this-he was a non-military person, but an American Hero that would have no doubt in my mind, become a Fire Chief of his own by now. The sadness is a “follow in the foot steps of your father, and the father hoping the son was alive.” Joseph Maffeo, gone with many others that day, and I don’t buy the “story line” we were fed. Again, it is not just a box here of a “few,” but an outrageous amount of too many. “Question Everything.” Nothing is ever as it seems….I have my VA Records. What they say now because I am sure the word has spread, they cannot print out one paper but the whole file, so if you request info after each visit, they shall “charge you .15 cents per page.” Imagine, gee, why don’t I buy that B.S.? ” no one should….I think BEN it is awesome you’re onto them, but I think we need more transparency here, and more willing to investigate not just one aspect but many…any takers?
Thanks BEN, sorry again. But because as stated, “the games being played on me alone, I surely know I am not alone!” So, it makes me damn mad, I care way too much and will, I am fishing…just stating easily enough if willing, to catch the big ones!
Thanks, Ben. Culture change is imperative at the VA. Who is responsible for corporate cultures at the VA (there are a lot of lawyers and spin doctors)? Are leaders setting the tone? Why haven’t people learned the difference between right and wrong at their mother’s knee? With all the spin doctors, why isn’t there more effective two-way communications between the VA and their customers? Eastern philosophy tells us that the three impurities of life are avarice, anger, and stupidity. If these attitudes predominate our national culture, it would not be surprising to find them in abundance in the VA. The consequences of a failed mission must clearly be spelled out. Victory must also be clearly specified in the most visual manner possible. Standards must be uniformly applied, but must be updated in a timely manner based on feedback and experience. There must be complete transparency with reports of all relevant statistics and financial and productivity reports being shared with all stakeholders at frequent intervals.
FIRE RALPH T. GIGLIOTTI
WHERE HE GOES THE BOOKS ARE COOKED
DURHAM AND VISN 19
I am glad that I don’t have any GI problems and could be in that group. Oh wait, I do have GI problems that I have been scoped both ways (two yrs. ago and scoped from the upper way about 4 months ago. That is when they found all this stuff so it has all happened in 2 yrs.) and am going again this month (to see if all the ulcers are gone). They can’t seem to get rid of my “problem” and now after this I am wondering if my problem is really from them messing me up (I was told that my intestines were looped but they continued with the procedure and it took almost an hour to do). Things don’t add up when I listen to them and how they are trying to change wording around or how they say that a mass that I had has now been changed to no mass (even though the Dr. said she could actually see the formation from the camera I swallowed) and the “clear picture of blood oozing into my intestines is of no big concern or a matter that needs to be corrected. Or the pain that is down in my left side that feels like a golf ball stuck in there is “nothing, not anything to be concerned about”. I think I now want some more explaining about this. They found over 12 ulcers in my stomach and first part of my intestines that was not there 2 yrs. ago. My Dr. said she would fix me the first time I talked to her but now I am not so sure. How can you treat what you can’t see. They will do nothing more than a blood test and an x-ray. No CT scan, no MRI, nothing but take 2 more omeprazole and we will scope you again in Aug. I have had to quit my job, drop out of college, lost my place to stay all because of this and the terrible pain I have had to endure. First there was no infection in my intestines and now I am on antibiotics because I now have an infection. They don’t listen to me and keep telling me how much they care and how hard they are working on getting me better. I have kept explaining to them how I am (was) going to lose my job, college, and place to live if they didn’t try to help get this so I could continue. All of it fell on deaf ears and it all happened. I am getting ready to start another job that I shouldn’t be doing but I have to pay my bills. If they don’t care then I will try and tough it out and then when something gets worse they will really hear it from me. I am ticked now and it is getting worse everyday. The VA sucks. I recently got private insurance but no Dr. around here is seeing anyone (until Oct.) or accepting new patients.
I agree that this is another great column but then I am thinking “thanks Ben, just when I am going through this you have to help me feel better about my situation (yes, that was a little sarcasm). I am glad that Ben does take these issues that we don’t know of or have heard things about and puts them out there for us to read and know what else the VA is trying to screw us and hide from us. Thanks Ben.
Ben, another great column. Thank you for speaking out for veterans. You and your readers should check out this FaceBook page for disgruntled victims of VA lying.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/390788321019815/ BTW for SOME reason I am only intermittently able to post comments here.
Am I limited to only ONE comment or reply per day? That is what it seems like to me.
Ron, I have noticed lately that when I try to post something, a warning box appears and tells me to try again (or resend I’m not sure which it is). I click on the button and it automatically redoes it and it posts. One thing I do before I post on any site is to select what I have just put in to post and then copy it. That way if it doesn’t go through then I don’t have to retype it. I simply right click in the box and then paste it. Much easier and faster. I also want to see if I can post this after I just posted my own comment.
Maybe the VA has flagged you so you have a limited amount of posting LOL.
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