In what has become common with Obama administration scandals, the latest one concerning the Veterans Administration wasn’t any surprise. Members of Obama’s transition team were told outright about the Veteran Affairs Department creating bogus wait times for veterans’ medical treatment almost six years ago, according to documents obtained by the Washington Times.
To make it worse, the transition team learned in one VA audit that delays were “10 times worse than the department would actually admit to at the time.” The situation was so bad that the inspector general actually put oversight on the VA on hold until the information could be verified.
The information revealed by the Times provides another example of how the Obama administration raises its hands to claim innocence only to be caught red-handed later with evidence that says otherwise. It is the same scenario used with the “Fast and Furious” scandal, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Solyndra and a host of others over the years.
It is obvious this sort of VA abuse has been going on for years, but it is always this administration’s first reaction to deny, rather than accept, their share of the blame. Freedom of Information Act requests show the problem goes back to the middle of the Bush administration, but the crisis continued after Obama came to power.
How hard would it have been for Press Secretary Jay Carney to face the media and admit the problem was ongoing? Were they planning to blame the Bush people again?
The Times reports the VA inspector general performed three audits starting in 2005. The problem was waiting times and scheduling. The Obama transition team was informed of this.
The scandal burst onto the national scene last month when it was revealed 40 veterans at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system actually died waiting for treatment. Incredibly, a number of those patients succumbed to their illnesses while listed on a “secret waiting list.” That enabled doctors to conceal how long the wait had been.
After this was revealed, Jay Carney obviously was instructed by someone high up in the Obama administration to say the news was the first time they had learned of the VA scandal. The same excuse provided for other scandals, especially the IRS one.
An angry Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said, “Everything is news to the White House. The veterans’ problems are news to the White House until they hear it through the news media. Somebody needs to be in charge at the White House, and somebody needs to start taking responsibility.”
The pressure was building on the White House until President Obama relented and ordered a widespread investigation after meeting with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors. He said, “If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful and I will not tolerate it, period. I will not stand for it. Not as commander in chief, but also not as an American.”
Another can of worms is now open in the Obama administration. It makes you wonder how anything but scandal investigations is on the docket until another president is elected.
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