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Secretary fields the heat in hearing

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American Legion National Commander Dan Dellinger and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testified separately today before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. It was the first congressional hearing since May 5 when Dellinger called for the resignations of Shinseki, Under Secretary of Health Robert Petzel and Under Secretary of Benefits Allison Hickey due to poor oversight and failed leadership.

While most of the committee members voiced their support for Shinseki, others strongly urged the secretary to take immediate action to remedy problems identified by 18 VA Inspector General reports issued since January 2013.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a longtime supporter of VA and Shinseki, said during her opening statement that “while the department generally offers very high quality health care, I am very frustrated to be here, once again, talking about some deeply disturbing issues and allegations. What we need from you (Shinseki) now is decisive action to restore veterans’ confidence in VA, create a culture of transparency and accountability, and to change these system-wide, years-long problems. The practices of intimidation and of cover-ups must change – starting today.”

On April 23, CNN broadcast a report on a “secret waiting list” in Phoenix that was linked to 40 deaths of veterans receiving care from VA. Since then, other reports of mismanagement have come to light at facilities in Georgia, Texas, Colorado and elsewhere. As part of his testimony, Dellinger included a graphic titled “Epidemic of VA Mismanagement” that highlights reported cases around the United States.

“We supported the creation of the Veterans Administration in 1930, and we fought hard to get the VA elevated to Cabinet-level in 1989,” Dellinger said. “We donate hundreds of thousands of hours each year to VA along with millions of dollars, and have scores of claims representatives. We helped fund a brain research center in Minnesota, and are currently representing three quarters of a million veterans as they file their claims with VA. Make no mistake about it – The American Legion believes in VA.”

Dellinger also noted that “the allegations in Phoenix were not the only reason The American Legion decided to call for leadership change at VA; they were simply the final straw in a long list of systemic leadership failures.” Among the failures Dellinger listed were construction delays and budget overruns, patient deaths due to Legionella, unsanitary care of medical equipment, and VA’s refusal to answer and failure to disclose relevant information to Congress.

When asked by committee members if he was going to resign, Shinseki said he won’t step down unless President Barack Obama asks him to. “Every day I start out with the intent to provide as much care and benefits with people who I went to war with,” Shinseki said. “I’m here to accomplish a mission that they critically deserve and need. We have done a lot to make things better, and we are not done yet.”

Shinseki tried to focus on the “size and scope” of VA health care, noting that VA has “1,700 points of care, including 150 medical centers, 820 community-based outpatient clinics, 300 vet centers, 135 community living centers, 104 domiciliary rehabilitation treatment programs, and 70 mobile vet centers.

“Already, we are beginning to see evidence of people coming forward identifying problems, and I support that,” Shinseki said. “I’m not aware of anything other than a few isolated cases of ‘cooking the books’ and that is why we are doing this audit.”

Shinseki estimated that the audit would take an additional three weeks to complete.

Committee chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., supported the secretary but also noted that “I take these allegations very seriously.” Urging support for the Inspector General report on the failures at the Phoenix VA Medical Center, Sanders said, “We need to get the facts and not rush to judgment.” However he noted, “There is no doubt in my mind that the VA has problems, serious problems in some instances, facing VA health care.”

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., was less sanguine about the prospects of another investigation. “Every day new allegations, ranging from zeroing out wait-times to scheduling people in clinics that do not exist come to light,” he said. After detailing a series of previous Inspector General reports, Burr voiced his opinion that “VA should have been aware that it was facing a major problem with patient scheduling.”

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., asked Petzel to provide an example of how a VA staff member was disciplined for manipulating the scheduling system. Petzel couldn’t provide an answer, resulting in Isakson telling him that he “needs to find out if VA has an accountability system.”

During a panel discussion involving several veterans service organizations (VSOs), including The American Legion, Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., asked Shinseki to address the “Epidemic of VA Mismanagement” graphic provided at the hearing by The American Legion. Shinseki declined to directly refute anything listed on the graphic, but portrayed some of the occurrences as “adverse events that were self-identified (by VA). This is why I engage the VSOs on a monthly basis. If there are any straight shooters here, it will be them." 

Shinseki noted that some problems were medical mistakes while others had been a blatant manipulation of data. He vowed to hold accountable those identified by the Inspector General reports as responsible for manipulating the data.

Isakson asked each member on the panel whether the problem with VA was one primarily with the health care itself, or access to it. All seven participants expressed confidence in the general quality of health care, but identified access as the obvious weakness.

Watch the hearing here.

More in Veterans Health Center

 

cowboyup

May 19, 2014 - 3:03pm

I honestly thought Tucson VA was pretty good until now. I have a cancer screening next month on the outside of VA medical care. Only because it took them 2 years and now that i'm feeling worse I had no choice but to get outside help. TWO YEARS OF COMPLAINING!!!!! Its not just Phoenix my Veteran Family, its Tucson as well. Whats really sad is when you complain they Brand You as a problem that could cost them their bonuses. Therefore your quality of care goes out the window. Screen your calls its legal. I have plenty of them and now ready to share my story that will also SHOCK AMERICAN VETERANS Along with Millions of Veteran Supporters. Not even an apology by clinical staff members. It's all about MONEY....Not The Veterans. Were all just a number or have become "BRANDED LIKE CATTLE"

Howard in Pa

May 16, 2014 - 9:58pm

I get my health care in Butler and Pittsburgh PA. Butler is being investigated for a construction problem and Pittsburgh had the Legionnaire Disease problem. Still, since '77 the care that I've got has been very good and all the people very kind. It never seemed matter what political party was in control.

Denis Maxson

May 16, 2014 - 11:04am

Who is going to be held accountable at the American Legion for the crisis at the VA? If the American Legion has people at the various hospitals and the leadership goes on tour to visit the hospitals , why is no one at the Legion resigning? Why has the Legion leadership not asked for congressmen and senators to resign , it is very obvious from watching the hearings many of our congressional representatives have had many letters and calls from veteran constituents and they did very little for those veterans?

Larry M ( combat medic)

May 16, 2014 - 6:00pm

Denis: You are correct sir. We need heads to roll from Congress, the VA admin. and the AL. All are culpable. And therein lies the rub.How can we fix such a huge system, when none but the damned want to? Sure now that this tragedy has come to light, we will get even more hearings, committee meetings, finger pointing and the like. Veteran care in all it's forms is expensive. Old veterans have no economic value. If we die, they don't pay. Delay, delay, delay; we will, and are, dying. I am waiting two years without a word for a benefits review. My ALSO says "sin loi, toi rat tiet" ( sorry about that)he has been useless getting me information. Not bitter,just saying. And as always, I could be wrong!!

cowboyup

May 19, 2014 - 2:20pm

Larry M, your not wrong at all. My current A.L.S.O. also told me from the beginning, he had no ties with Phoenix Regional Ratings board. I have been waiting since 2008 for an Apnea Service Connected Injury. Ive been married for two years now and still being paid as a single Veteran even though they have "All Documents" proving my status. Also, Phoenix Rating Officer top brass lied to me twice and I have recorded calls to prove their also illegally stalling and not giving fair ratings and using provisional rating as a scape goat to skim past Veterans Medical Records. Yet that can also have a very bad impact on the Veterans when ratings can come back and give you a much lesser percentage. Then, guess who has to pay that back? I have given all my active duty claims to this Phoenix Regional Ratings Officer and still they claim its either in the data base.....Or later its no longer in the data base and could I please send everything back to them. ALL LIES Brother. As Veterans under the Federal T.O.R.T. Law, we can and I WILL Sue the Government for their twisted ways of treatment to us who have honorably served our nation when called by our Commander and Chief. However, when injured and fighting for whats right and "FAIR" we then become targeted/Branded as a trouble maker. I'm willing to fight loosing everything so all other Veterans will gain better health care, fair ratings, and honest personnel who actually really do care about Americas Veterans. God help us all at this time of massive corruption within the Veterans Administrations Behind: Walls of Secrets. That is also going to be my New Book Title

W. Evans

May 15, 2014 - 11:30pm

Getting rid of the lazy clerical staff would be a good starting place. They're too busy walking around with a cup of coffee or talking with another lazy staff to check in waiting patients.

Alex Allmayer-Beck,CSW

May 15, 2014 - 10:54pm

I have been recieving care at the VA Medical Center in Togus,Maine since 1992 and have had top notch care. I am a 100% SC Vietnam Veteran. The VA Medical Center in Togus is the only VA in the entire state. They are understaffed and are doing a fantastic job with their decreased numbers. It all comes down to leadership. The director is approachable, friendly, and listens. Staff morale is high and one always finds that everybody from the maintenance staff to the director is there to help. Congressman Michael Michaud (D) visits often. He stopped by my room last month when I had hip surgery. Other VA Hospitals should look at Togus as a model. Congressmen and Senators shoul visit the hospitals in their districts like Mike Michaud does. He visits unannounced--and frequently.

R. DeuPree

May 15, 2014 - 8:50pm

This is what we get when we put a retired general military officer in charge of what is essentially a civilian operation. The military management model does not work in the VA medical environment. While the current Secretary of Veterans Affairs was most likely quite good at figuring out ways to kill people when he was a joint chief, killing people is not the task here - at least I hope not. Can the US government not find a competent corporate manager who knows how to manage a medical facility? Do we have to continue to live with retired generals and colonels who just need a retirement job? Or, more the point, retired generals who hire their retired military buddies to run the VA? Obviously, the VA administration is not working well, if at all. Time for drastic changes.

Anonymous

May 15, 2014 - 8:31pm

I worked at the Las Vegas VA and we were all told in the group Orientation Mtg for new employees that it would be very difficult for anyone to get fired from the VA after the first year of probation. It was also stated to everyone in the meeting that after 20 years of VA employment it would be impossible to be fired unless the person committed murder. Everyone in the room was amazed. Most all VA employees are not productive but still receive bonuses if they are favored by their Administrator or Supervisors. Those favored are the ones who do exactly what they are told even if it is against VA policy and regulation when it came to the serving and caring of Veterans. It was not a good work environment when people were trying to do their job for the Veterans! True, the slackers need to go and a clean sweep needs to be made at all VA's.

ANONYMOS TEX

May 15, 2014 - 7:39pm

My remaks are on whymy appeal was denined. According to letter I got, the examiner said I had a history of a 60 pack year smoking history. I have never smoked in my life. Itseems to me,he did not hear or listen to what I said,but what he was told to hear. I will take a polygram, will he. I have askedfor a video conference,but itmake up toa year.This gives them time to have the records showintheir favor.I sure they will this, once they read this.

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 8:46pm

POST your name and you will be taken seriously. You are a vet you are NOT supposed to be "SO CAUTIOUS". POST YOUR NAME LIKE THIS: John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN. Not hard at all.

Rigger

May 15, 2014 - 7:27pm

I was a victim. I sought help for 3 years. I had a fistula growing in my lower back. The VA wouldn't diagnose. They thought I was trying to get pain pills. They gave me a regiment of antibiotics and anti inflamitory pills for three years. When the fistula finaly broke through the skin and started to drain out. The VA gave me a back room operation by a visiting doctor who comes to Ft Myers in the winter. Basically he used a scalpel and made a quarter sized hole on each fistula and drained them. he then packed them and sent me home. One fistula closed, but the other on my lower back would not heal and was told to keep on packing the wound. My wife packed my back for 8 weeks. The VA then sent me to see a plastic surgeon at Bay Pines. The surgeon had me lay on a table and cut a large 3" deep incision on my lower back. Half way through he stopped and said he could not cut any deeper and stopped and threw what he had cut of me into a basket. Said he would let some body know about my predicament, the VA gave me a lot of patches and sent me home. My wife kept me well patched for another 6 months and the wound still would not heal. I went to my health provider again. The Va again to Bay Pines. They Gave Me another operation and sent me home with more patches. The wound did not heal, I made numerous visits to the VA for another 6 months. I complained to my health provider. The VA gave me permission to go for help out side of the VA system. None of the civilian doctors would attend to me. I lost all hope, I started putting price tags on my belongings so my would know how much she could expect to get for my belongings after I passed on. I complained to my health provider that no one would attend me on the out side. So my VA health provider got me an appointment at The St Pete Va. They looked at my back again and gave me another operation and sent me home with boxes of patches. The wound did not heal again. I noticed that I was loosing my battle for life. I put price tags on my coins, guns any thing that had a monitory value because I knew I was dieing all so slowly. My wife was helpless to do any thing but look on and hope. Its a hard thing to look at the one you love and see the pain in their eyes because their helpless. I kept on fighting for life and was loosing slowly. So I went to my VA provider again , it had been 6 months since the last operation. He said he was trying. So he got another appointment for me at the St Pete Va. This time I had a woman doctor. She did things different this time . I gave her my blood and went home. 3 days later I got a call from her at the Va. I was to come in right away. The VA was making me a room any where. You see I am A para palegic, Service Connected Veteran. The doctor, SHE told me that I was badly infected with mercer had been for the last six months from the previous operation. She told me that she would have to look deeper to find what was wrong. I thought all the doctors had dug deeper to find the root of the problem. I had the operation and had to have Heavy Antibiotics IV drip for 2 months 4 hours a day. It had been all most 5 years for the VA to cure me. My Guardian Angel was Doctor Magdalena Banasiac. A savy Polish immigrant Doctor who wanted to make a difference and work for her new home's government, the VA. I am Lucky I had her, she saved my wretched life. I knew that I was going to make it half way through the therapy, my zest came back to me. I had lost many battles but won the war. I did not think that they would do this on purpose. Now I can see that they the apathetic attemps and gross negligence of the few, mar the reputation of the of the real professionals. I am crying right now as I type this because I know by my silence others may have perished. God forgive me. But who do you complain to when no one will listen. I now have other problems and am trying to get insurance so I don't have to use the Va any more. They have ruined my credit score by not paying what they said they would. So you tell your commander not to rest till his mission is complete. You don't reward bad behavior

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 8:50pm

POST YOUR NAME. I might know you. I lived in Cape Coral for 12 years. I went to the Ft Myers Clinic beginning with it's opening until approx. 2001. In general, the "medical" treatment was adequate. It is the "ADMIN DEPT and all the bullshit political garbage that draws the entire VA system down. You are a vet and I am genuinely troubled by your report. Thinking of yourself as a victim is not the right way to go. FIGHT THE BASTARDS. And "Do it" in YOUR name. John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN PS: "This" is why Shinseki has to go and if they lynch the SOB I would want to watch.

Anonymous

May 15, 2014 - 6:33pm

I have been in the Miami system, and it has nothing to do with new vets coming on board, it has to do with coverups on wait times, not outsourcing when they should, not firing employees who are not doing their jobs, not having enough staff to support the doctors, and not retaining the doctors. Wait times in Miami have been horrible for many years. A beautiful facility was built in Fort Lauderdale but not enough machines or staff to coordinate care, and many are still sent to Miami. Miami supports many counties and cities, and to do that there must be a sufficient staff, and operations management going on, some are good, but there are alot of lazy staff too.

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 8:52pm

Post your name vet! This is a major issue and the time top help the VA get better is now. Shrinking "violets" are NOT needed. Do like this: John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

1SGT S

May 15, 2014 - 6:30pm

I go to The American Lake VA site and my care has been damn good.

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 8:54pm

Post your named and your remark will mean something. Damn shame when Marines "HIDE". John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

Larry M ( combat medic)

May 16, 2014 - 6:08pm

Hey 1SGT S: Makes my heart glad to hear you say so. I use the Denver, CO VA Hospital, and care system, while there are some inconsistencies in care, overall my care has to date, been acceptable.

Vet in Iowa

May 15, 2014 - 5:59pm

The care I have received since I have been out has been very very disappointing Iowa VA has a lot of work to do. Since June 2012 I have been waiting for the VA to listen to what I am saying instead of just letting it go in one ear and out the other. Get your act together!!!

Donald Alvey

May 15, 2014 - 5:52pm

I am a disabled Marine and I have been wheel chair bound since 2007. I had a knee replacement and kept going back to the VA in Louisville, Ky for the next six months. Every month the doctor would send me to get an x-ray and never looked at the leg or touched it. It got big as a basketball and was hot enough to fry an egg on it. I went to an outside orthopedic surgeon who took all of 5 seconds to tell me I had a deep smoldering infection in the leg. They sent me back to the VA with instructions what to do. I told the head of the clinic I didn't want the same doctor working on me any more. He told me that a doctor from the same clinic I went to did pro bono work the first Wednesday of every month so I said I would let him do the operation. From July of '07 until February '09 I didn't have a knee in my leg and went through eight more operations with a spacer block in the leg to fight the infection. When they were able to put the knee back in the scar tissue from all the operations it wouldn't rehab. So I am stuck in this chair the rest of what ever life I have left. I have had a claim against the doctor since the fall of '07 and finally went through a video conference with a judge in Washington 2010 who was supposed to get the claim expedited. Here it is four years later and nothing yet. They sent me the results of a Doctor in New York's review of the original Doctor's records. After reading it, I found out he lied in all his records covering his butt. I filed with the VA and they stretched it out so the statue of limitations was long past. The Doctor was fired after my case and the head of the clinic came in my room after my first surgery and told me he was sorry this happened to me on his watch. They seem to be waiting for me to die, which is probably going to happen. I have put on a 100 pounds being in this wheel chair and have been in the hospital several times with congestive heart failure. My name is Donald Alvey, I can be reached at 502-939-3653 if anyone has any ideas. Thank you and Semper Fi.

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 8:57pm

God bless you Marine. You have the BALLS to post under your real name and you list your phone number. Your story is therefore that much more personal and poignant. It is a PITY ... a damned pity there are so many little frightened "kiddies" that post and run scared. My number is 423 608 4302 if you need a voice to help you up now and then. John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

Clay Cooper USAF Ret

May 15, 2014 - 5:34pm

FACT: VA murdered my Uncle and my Father both died of cancer resulting to lethal exposures while on duty FACT: VA continues daily to down play serious medical needs of our Veterans. FACT: VA Physicians some don't have a clue what they are diagnosing. FACT: VA takes over two years to pay claims resulting to outside VA Hospital care of emergency medical necessity. fact: AND THE LIST OF ATROCITIES IS ENDLESS AND THE BAND PLAYS ON!

Sgt Az

May 15, 2014 - 5:29pm

What You Need To Believe To Be A Republican: Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton. President Obama is not an American citizen even thought the officials from Hawaii have declared his birth certificate to be genuine. The bad economy and lack of jobs is President Obama’s fault even thought President Bush inherited a healthy economy from President Clinton and 8 years of Bush resulted in Billions of dollars for a stupid war, No Weapons of Mass Destruction, and tax cuts for the rich. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools. A president lying about an extramarital affair is a impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery. Supporting "Executive Privilege" for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity.) What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant. Support for hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail. Thief and racist thug Cliven Bundy is a patriot. Four people dying in Benghazi is a Presidential Scandal but it's ok to have over 4,000 soldiers die in a war of choice looking for WMD's The success of Obama care is not true. Air Ports, Schools and Streets must be named after Ronald Reagan whose old west mentality was "Only good Communist is a dead Communist" causing the death of thousands of citizens (men, women and children) in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala who were labeled Communist by Reagan's "Freedom Fighters" or the Contra. Reagan also vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, prolonging the fight to end apartheid. Reagan fought the efforts of migrant farm workers to win union contracts, vetoing the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, a bill granting farm workers collective bargaining rights. As Governor of California he labeled Farm Workers Union strike as illigal. "Reagan Was the Butcher of My People:" Fr. Miguel D’Escoto

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 9:00pm

It's "Oz" again. Listen druggie you are an abject moron with NO CLASS. Most people here have the BALLS to post their names and speak like they have a brain capable of understanding the (VA) problems ... You are a piece of $%&# ... you got that OZZIE? John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

Larry M ( combat medic)

May 16, 2014 - 6:22pm

Beautifully written!!

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 9:02pm

Post your full name and where you are from besides radical lefty lue-lue land. It troubles me that you are/were a COMBAT medic. Is that an "MOS" or have you any combat "experience"?? John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

T. Wulf

May 15, 2014 - 5:20pm

For the first time in my life, I have no health insurance due to ObamaCare. My VA health care is all I have. Fortunately, I am relatively healthy and the care I have gotten has been adequate. It is shameful that so many veterans still have serious problems with VA care as our President Obama promised to fix the last time it broke. I would like to point out that some people get exceptional care. For example, convicted traitor Private Manning recently had his sex change operation approved by Secretary of Defense Hagel. And he will be moved him to a civilian prison as well. So there must be lots of money out there for honorably discharged veterans. Or maybe you have to be a traitor to deserve special treatment! You tell me.

John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

May 20, 2014 - 9:07pm

Wulf! Your story is tragic and widespread and that is why scum like shinseki, sebilius, hillary clinton, john Kerry and all the other talentless successful zygote winnowers HAVE to be jeld accountable. THESE BASTARDS DESERVE FIRING! THEY HAVE EARNED IT. GIVE TO THEM ... WHERE THEY BREATH. And FIRST Clinton FOR Benghazi! And not last the "Harvard equal opportunity affirmative action non-class attending Chicago gangstaa ... you know the Kenyan with all those social security numbers. My God Almighty ... can Americans NOT see what the hell is going on? John P. McKenzie, Cosby, TN

Gary Rosen

May 15, 2014 - 5:12pm

I've been using the VA Health Care system in Los Angeles and it has been nothing but top notch. In answer to Mr. Henderson above, I have only seen improvements in VA care since 2008. Pres. Obama is obviously no fan of the military but has taken the high road in his treatment of veterans. General Shinski's heart and efforts have been without question, his ability to handle a rush of more than 2 million additional veterans into the system is the cause of these disfunctions

Martin Lopez

May 15, 2014 - 5:11pm

The problem is not Shinseki, but the massive bonus programs that lure lower management to resort to scheming to reach their goals. Perhaps a shake up in the lower ranks might help the system to work better. You can have qualified people in their respective positions, but greed has put millions of veterans in jeopardy. Accountability is needed in the lower ranks of the Veterans Administration, and not goals that systematically causes greedy individuals to commit this acts of inappropriate behavior. The guilty should be punished for their actions, not rewarded for wrong doing. If they broke the law, put them in jail, if they can't be prosecuted fire them and burn these administrators from acquiring employment in the same field. Also, look at the medical staff at every facility that they a qualified to care for our veterans. The medical staff of these facilities have the responsibility to their patients, not just a last four of a social security number. If more physicians are needed, hire them instead of hiring support staff that just want a paycheck.

Sid Brown, AZ

May 15, 2014 - 7:28pm

Although i just started using VA hospitals and Clinic's. I have only a opinion on the on Eye Care Support... many VFW and Myself had good test and order for glasses or hearing aids, Both are long term on delivery, glasses 2+months, Hearing aids (very good) delivery 4 to 9 months, unless you go above the local heads and file complaints, then 2 months. My vet father Over 100, had to go to outside source, which refused his order for care, based on low cost. it took a relocation to another district to get his aids. In all cases the care was good, when delivered, but lack of personnel was primary reason for delay items was procurement and test of delivered items.

Sid Brown, AZ

May 15, 2014 - 7:28pm

Although i just started using VA hospitals and Clinic's. I have only a opinion on the on Eye Care Support... many VFW and Myself had good test and order for glasses or hearing aids, Both are long term on delivery, glasses 2+months, Hearing aids (very good) delivery 4 to 9 months, unless you go above the local heads and file complaints, then 2 months. My vet father Over 100, had to go to outside source, which refused his order for care, based on low cost. it took a relocation to another district to get his aids. In all cases the care was good, when delivered, but lack of personnel was primary reason for delay items was procurement and test of delivered items.

Sid Brown, AZ

May 15, 2014 - 7:33pm

While commenting on care, let me say the foot care at Prescott Hospital was great and orders for orthopedic insert made me able to walk, mostly with out aids, when i questioned the supplier in Lake Havasu, i was proud to have excellent care and informed that this is the best source for Vets.

Corky Henderson

May 15, 2014 - 4:52pm

San Francisco VA is in my opinion the best care in the world. The beuracracy of the VA and an administration that is blatantly anti military and anti Veteran is the biggest problem. Ive been using the VA for over 40 years and have been through the good and bad. right now under this administration its the worst its ever been. How can we trust anyone thats appointed by this president?

Kenneth

May 15, 2014 - 5:18pm

It's funny how the vets blame the Current Administration when the Republicans held up VA budget last year because it did not give any tax breaks to millionaires

T. Wulf

May 15, 2014 - 5:27pm

The problems in the VA where there long before last year. You need to watch the news and learn what our current President and Secretary of Defense want to cut for active duty, retirees benefits and their families! Pretty much everything!

cowboyup

May 19, 2014 - 2:37pm

Your absolutely correct T Wulf. Bush also signed a bunch of Wounded Warrior benefits to help us. This current VA Scandal is all about top brass. However, if Veterans who have been seriously neglected and or lied too for so many years and have proof. Under the Federal T.O.R.T. Law the Government can be sued. I have proof only because I got so tired of being lied to I decided I'm going to start recording any and all calls pertaining to my cases. My latest call was my clinic denying my medications, one week before that the nurse stated that the hospital Administrator at the Tucson VA Hospital wanted me to report to my clinic first ASAP then down to the ER. I'm now seeing s Surgon on the outside and have a cancer screening in June 2014. How sad is that? I had been waiting for 2 years for someone in the Tucson VA to do something about my condition and now I had to go outside the system for someone to actually care. I pray this isn't cancer. I really am to young to die of this due to VA's waiting list. It's not just Phoenix. Its Tucson as well.

Vincent Lobello

May 15, 2014 - 3:55pm

I SAID IT BEFORE AND I'll SAY IT AGAIN OKLAHOMA CITY VA HOSPITAL IS THE BEST IN THE NATION,

J. W. English

May 15, 2014 - 4:52pm

That must be because Oklahoma seceded and is now another country unto itself. Or, did you okies have a change of heart; and, suddenly love Federal government health care?

Anonymous

May 15, 2014 - 3:51pm

OKLAHOMA VA HOSPITAL the best in the nation,

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