19
   

VA Scandal

 
 
Frank Apisa
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 02:49 am
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

No, you slammed edgarB's experience with vigor and suave. Alway arguing, instead of listening. Put him into a category of whiners among many, when he saw bad stuff himself.


I never did any such thing. You have done that to me, though...and you make a habit of doing so.

Quote:
I'm remembering now that story from the old boyfriend, the VA intern, re some months before.
He had a heart patient that he was perplexed what the hell to do about, middle of the night. Resident somewhere out in space. The ward nurse knew, and helped him. The patient improved.

Many years later he ran a major hospital emergency and did know what to do and not do. But she was part of getting there, he admired her.

My nurse pal loved the VA, and I am sans doubt she wasn't engaged with the patients.

However - much bad has happened to some of us both in hospital situations and re care of soldiers in general.

My father, who showed up with a dropped foot to see what was wrong, was sent to psych, and precipitated downhill, evermore to wards. Don't think of getting me started on that.


I am not trying to get you started on anything, Ossobuco. Go do whatever you feel like doing.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 05:45 am
@Frank Apisa,
It may be a stupid question, but exctly why are veterans going to VA-hospitals and not to 'normal' ones?
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 06:45 am
Quote:
Reports of widespread troubles at the Department of Veterans Affairs are not just a serious issue for veterans. They are a serious issue for every American who believes the federal government can and must meet the basic commitments necessary to maintain a civil society.

Unfortunately, that seriousness is not reflected in the frenzy of finger pointing that has developed as a response to "the public's outrage over excessive wait times and rigged record keeping at Veterans Affairs hospitals" — an outrage that the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents caregivers for vets, refers to as "more than justified."

There is no question that the VA has problems that must be addressed.

The question is whether the politicians in Washington are ready to address them.

The most predictable of the political careerists, Republicans and Democrats, seem to think that firing VA Secretary Eric Shinseki will somehow “fix” things, or that the removal of a few failed managers will suddenly create a functional VA. But that is an absurdly insufficient response.

Depending on what reports regarding the agency reveal, there may well be a place for new leadership and a management shakeup. And those changes might briefly produce a fantasy of action and improvement. But that is all it could be: a fantasy. And a cruel fantasy at that.

Neither the immediate crisis nor serious issues relating to the long-term future of the VA will be settled with a mere reorganization of upper management. The real issues are closer to the ground. The VA needs to have enough doctors, nurses and aides to provide the care that is needed — and the doctors, nurses and aides who are now on duty must have the resources and the flexibility to ensure that this care is delivered in a timely and responsible manner.

This is not now the case.

“When we look deeper into this issue of extended wait times for veterans to receive an appointment, we have to recognize that understaffing is a major culprit,” explains AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “All around the country, medical facilities are understaffed, with numerous front-line care positions going unfilled. How can the VA expect to keep up with the growing needs of our nation’s heroes if it doesn’t properly staff its facilities?”

AFGE notes, “According to the Independent Budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs, developed each year by leading veterans groups, funding levels will remain an estimated $2 billion short in FY 2015 and approximately $500 million short for FY 2016.”

Members of Congress — at least those who pay minimal attention to veterans issues — have for some time been aware of the funding shortfall. Yet too many of them have resisted calls for action.

The reason is that the current Congress is packed with partisans who are more concerned with maintaining an austerity agenda than with caring for Americans who are in need.

Too many members of Congress continue to prattle on about how government is the problem, about how spending must be cut to meet their imagined bottom lines, about how the resources are not there to keep promises to vulnerable Americans — even if the resources are always there for wars of whim and a military-industrial complex that provides daily evidence of the extremes to which waste, fraud and abuse can be taken.

The current Congress includes a striking number of members who express open antipathy to meeting the guarantees that have been made to all Americans, including veterans. These members of Congress are so unthinking in their approach, so cruel in their budgetary calculus, that they casually, in some cases gleefully, presided over a government shutdown last fall.

Republicans get blamed for advancing the austerity agenda, but it is important to remember that more than a few Democrats have compromised with it. And the difference between those who promote austerity and those who make the compromises that allow for austerity means very little to Americans who are stuck on the waiting lists that are created by budgeting that owes more to Ayn Rand tomes than accounting textbooks.

The VA crisis is a wake-up call.

It is time to get serious. It is time to abandon austerity, and to recognize that core commitments cannot be compromised in order to maintain ideological fantasies.

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tried to get ahead of a host of issues concerning veterans in February, when he proposed comprehensive legislation to improve VA health care, education and job training. Though it was strongly backed by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and other organizations representing vets, the measure was blocked when most Senate Republicans opposed it. To Republicans who suggested the measure was too expensive, Sanders said, “If you think it's too expensive (to fund veterans programs), then don't send them off to war."

Last week, Sanders announced that he would reintroduce his plan to allocate $21 billion more for veterans initiatives over the coming decade. He is, as well, proposing a new VA accountability measure. The latter legislation removes bureaucratic barriers and makes it easier for the VA secretary to make management changes that are necessary to protect those who have served in the military.

The Sanders approach recognizes the need to move beyond the failed responses of America's austerity-minded politicians while at the same time increasing accountability. It’s a smart long-term fix that eschews the easy sloganeering and empty promises of those who would politicize the VA crisis.

Conscious of the urgency of that crisis, the senator plans to move quickly to get both measures to the Senate floor. “In recent years, as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 1.5 million more veterans have entered the VA health care system,” says Sanders. “Congress must do everything possible to make certain that the VA has the financial resources and administrative accountability to provide the high-quality health care and timely access to care that our veterans earned and deserve.”





source
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 07:20 am
@revelette2,
revelette2 wrote:

Quote:
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tried to get ahead of a host of issues concerning veterans in February, when he proposed comprehensive legislation to improve VA health care, education and job training. Though it was strongly backed by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and other organizations representing vets, the measure was blocked when most Senate Republicans opposed it. To Republicans who suggested the measure was too expensive, Sanders said, “If you think it's too expensive (to fund veterans programs), then don't send them off to war."


source


there were several threads on precisely this
Quote:
“If you think it's too expensive (to fund veterans programs), then don't send them off to war."
in the very early days of A2k - particularly around mental health support for veterans.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 07:39 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Because its a Veteran's benefit. Because Veterans face a variety of problems civilian hospitals don't, because a high percentage of staff and support are former and ex military, because the it comes under Dept of Defense records from active service are more accessible, because there needs to be a certain amount of coordination between Defense and VA regarding need and support. Lots more answers.

My problem here is the history of VA is one of ignoring and then attention. This is nothing new. It was a pit when I got back and for long before. My first knowledge of VA was the day my dad and I drove Turk Turkovitch to the Wade Park VA Hospital in Cleveland when I was about 14. It was a quiet ride. Turk had a grocery bag of possessions. And he never left, dying a month or so later.

When I got out I went to work at Brecksville between Akron and Cleveland. It was a snake pit. Smelled bad, patients posey'd to chairs and ignored, over medication, foreign doctors with very poor English ....... My first day I came home and asked my wif to never let me die in a VA hospital.

It was known as a place for indigent vets to go to die.

Forty years later, I went to the VA outclinic in Austin. I needed procedures done and my insurance was over the roof.

What a difference. And I've been treated at the VA in Temple. I would very much rather go to VA than any civilian hospital. VA treated my cancer and it hasn't come back for two years.

Are there problems. Yes. I talk to a lot more veterans than most folks, and I hear a lot. What I hear most is satisfaction. But most of the remaining problems of waits has to do with inadequate staffing and not enough facilities is about the money Congress strips away that would be used to address problems.

I love my socialist, single payer medical care. And so would you.

What pisses me off is the political football the Teapublican Congress is trying to turn it into. Folks who by and largely never ever served and avoided serving crying tears over a shame of their own making for Teabillies to rant about. Teabillies who by and large never served and have never ever even walked into a VA facility.

I appreciate that everybody wants to make my beloved VA better. Whining to a Teaballod about a VA they have no firsthand knowledge of is not productive.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 07:44 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Thanks. We don't have such here (in Europe).

(A hospital in the next town even is acting officially as a military hospital for the UK forces and their families stationed here. And the handfull of military hospitals the German Forces still have are normal hospitals for everyone as well.)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 07:49 am
@bobsal u1553115,
"But most of the remaining problems of waits has to do with inadequate staffing and not enough facilities is about the money Congress strips away that would be used to address problems."

Yes to that.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  5  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 08:23 am
@Frank Apisa,
Voice a complaint and you're just a whiner. But you admit something here is a problem. Double talk.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 08:46 am
@edgarblythe,
I think Frank makes sense. No doubt about it, he can be a bit prickly but largely you two agree on that there are problems. But to me and Frank the problems are being politicized and the real solution is being ignored. Congress.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 08:55 am
Sure, politics as usual are in play. That doesn't relieve us of the duty to seek a long term upgrade of VA hospitals.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 09:06 am
Surely, government employees officially reporting false lists and keeping extremely sick people from care so long that they die is a problem, not to mention criminal.
revelette2
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 09:33 am
@Brandon9000,
Yes it is a crime, if such was done. It is also despicable that congress has cut funding for our vets and now are crying foul when they find out so many vets are having to wait for care due to budget cuts. I think Sanders hit the nail on the head with the solution, increase funding and accountability.
Brandon9000
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 09:43 am
@revelette2,
Completely agree.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 10:56 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Voice a complaint and you're just a whiner. But you admit something here is a problem. Double talk.



Gimme a break!

I voice an observation that my life had been saved by cancer treatment at a VA hospital. I have had treatment in VA hospitals...and in non-VA hospitals...and I honestly do not see an appreciable difference.

Apparently you did not like the fact that I would not march in lock step with your chronic aura of indignation.

Tough!

There are things that could be better...in fact, much better at the VA hospital. But there are things that could be much, much better at the non-VA hospitals I've used.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 11:01 am
@Frank Apisa,
If the world is not in lock step with you, it is a whiner. When people are not given timely treatment on purpose, there is a problem. When people die due to that lack, there is a great problem. Not that you give a ****, since your own life was spared.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 11:21 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

If the world is not in lock step with you, it is a whiner. When people are not given timely treatment on purpose, there is a problem. When people die due to that lack, there is a great problem. Not that you give a ****, since your own life was spared.


I care about all those things...but you are too blinded by your rage and endless need for indignation in your life to see it, Edgar.

I simply offered a comment that I had a reasonable experience with the VA...and I was grateful for it. And I thought it reasonable for me to offer that side of the story...as did Bobal.

I stated quite clearly that there is work to be done to improve things...not only at the VA, but at all medical facilities in this country. We are behind the world in providing decent, affordable care for all our people.

But I did not engage in the massive (and laughable, in my opinion) indignation that you bathed in. And you felt it necessary to blast me because of that.

Fine.

I love when you do it. It makes me feel that I have power over you and your reactions that I probably ought not to have.

But you enjoy your anger and indignation...and I will enjoy the reactions I apparently cause in you...

...and we have a win/win situation.

Doesn't get any better than this!

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 12:06 pm
You can't get around me with those tactics. You are speaking out of both sides of your mouth. White headed guy speak with forked tongue. What I wrote still goes. My irritation stems from the fact that people trivialize and dawdle over these things while others take advantage, knowing obstructionism can weaken the public will to see it through.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 01:01 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

You can't get around me with those tactics. You are speaking out of both sides of your mouth. White headed guy speak with forked tongue. What I wrote still goes. My irritation stems from the fact that people trivialize and dawdle over these things while others take advantage, knowing obstructionism can weaken the public will to see it through.


Like I said...win/win. Doesn't get any better than this.
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 01:10 pm
Interesting report in the NYT about this topic:
Veterans Groups Lash Out at Republican Senator
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 01:13 pm
@Frank Apisa,
You must really be pissed to be using those cheap theatrics. Well, go ahead. Make a spectacle. It doesn't change a single fact.
 

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