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May 15, 2014

VA Head Shinseki: I Accept Full Responsibility for the Horrors My Agency Inflicted on Veterans, and I'm "Mad as Hell," But Why No, I Won't Be Resigning

"I take full responsibility" stopped meaning "I take full responsibility" around 15 years ago. Now it only means "I'm willing to say the words I take full responsibility."

Watch the video to see what "mad as hell" sounds like. What "mad as hell" now sounds like, in 2014, is a bloodless bureaucratic robot reciting scripted talking points.

Last month, CNN revealed that at least 40 veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, according to sources inside the hospital and a doctor who worked there. Many were placed on a secret waiting list, the sources said.

Since November, CNN has uncovered delays in care at VA facilities across the country where numerous VA staffers have stepped forward to allege dangerously long wait times and efforts by agency officials to cover them up.

...

"Any allegation, any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell," he [droned without feeling or meaning], urging the legislators to wait for the investigation's finding before trying to resolve a complex set of problems.

The agency was misreporting the wait-times for procedures -- to hide how very, very long some vets waited for treatment.

Some waited until they simply died.

But the man who is "mad as hell" says let's not read too much into that.

Shinseki labeled possible links between long waits and veteran deaths as allegations, and acting inspector general Richard Griffin said nothing his investigation has found so far proves a causal relationship.

"It's one thing to be on a waiting list, and it's another thing to conclude that as a result of being on the waiting list, that's the cause death," he said.

His assistant, Dr. John Daigh, said frequent delays occurred, as well as deficient quality standards that caused patient harm in some cases.

"But to draw the conclusion between patient harm and death has so far been a tenuous connection," Daigh told the committee.

I think they're getting their 2018 Obamacare scripts ready.

The agency has been covering up its not-yet-proven-to-be-deadly long waits for treatment for six years.

Internal memos show the VA has been playing whack a mole for at least six years with employees who use dozens of different scheduling tricks to hide substantial delays in health care for America’s veterans. And whenever the VA tries to stop its staffers from "gaming the system," the staffers come up with new techniques.

Whistleblowers around the country are now accusing the VA of hiding a backlog in patient care with bookkeeping tricks, and a former doctor at a VA facility in Arizona says the delays may have contributed to the deaths of 40 patients.

...

The techniques included pretending that appointments cancelled by the clinic were cancelled by the patient, and refusing to schedule appointments for patients when there was no appointment available within 30 days. Patients were told to wait a month and then call back.

Well that's just special.

Interview: Jake Tapper asks the WH Chief of Staff what can be done about the VA's (and government's generally, I'd argue) "culture of no accountability."


No one's more outraged about this than Obama, the President vowed in a scripted attempt to pretend some level of emotional investment.

Oh, scratch that, this just in: Obama says this is a "phony scandal."

digg this
posted by Ace at 06:04 PM

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