While memorials were being touted worldwide during the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, the echoes declaring honor, remembrance, and thanks are ringing dull in the ears of America’s veterans waiting for the health care they deserve.http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2014/June/More-Veterans-Die-Waiting-for-Care-from-VA/
In a tragic betrayal growing increasingly ugly, acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson reported on June 6th, 2014 that an additional 18 veterans died after long waits at the Veterans Affairs Phoenix facility. At least 40 veterans have died which the authorities are willing to admit to, however there and nationwide the numbers are being politically swept under the rug because of wanting to hide their incompetent performance.
In a despicable revelation, the 18 were among the 1700 reported last week that were purposely left off the waiting list in order for the staff officials to look better than their performance. The scandal which broke was a catalyst for the resignation of the top spot at the VA by Secretary Erick Shinseki.
Make no mistake about it, Shinseki is the sacrificial lamb of a problem that is nationwide and not improving soon enough. What took place at the Phoenix VA is criminal and deserves severe punishment.
The Bible declares there are grounds for righteous indignation and this is one of them.
Leaving 1700 veterans off a waiting list is a travesty to the memorials during the 70th anniversary of the time known as “The Longest Day” while these veterans are being played as political pawns concerning medical treatment in a “Longest Wait Time” that is an embarrassment to all Americans regardless of party affiliation.
The fix requires much more than a glib “Just hire more doctors” which came from President Barack Obama in a woeful display of superficiality.
According to Heritage Foundation Steve Bucci, a former special forces officer, he noted in an interview yesterday with the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) that the problems remaining are institutional to the VA. Bucci noted that the VA has improved from the poor medical services since the Vietnam War, but there were “industrial aged pockets” of inefficiency that still needed to be changed.
The VA slow service issue involves doctors not being paid well enough and getting doctors to sign up on the VA program which could turn into the same type of problem eventually for Obamacare.
The Bay Area has been a witness to the poor VA wait time as the Oakland VA’s backlog is dubiously recognized as being “one of the worst in the country” according to Representative Erick Swalwell-D of Pleasanton. That means there are a lot more with poor backlogs, not just in Phoenix and Oakland.
The Oakland facility’s average claims took over a year to clear a little over a year ago. After a furor unleashed last year about backlog, the average medical wait time is now 292 days, hardly anything to be congratulated about.
Oakland Director Julio Tapia, 65, is a Vietnam veteran from San Lorenzo, however don’t think for a second his position gives him an advantage or special handling. One of his claims took 14 months while another took five years.
Bay Area veteran Don Cooper was told by the Oakland office of the VA that his request for in home care would take 14-months to process.
“Well, I’m going to be dead in 14-months,” Cooper protested in an article to the San Jose Mercury earlier this year.
Unfortunately, this is the case with far too many veterans deserving much better.