Dressing the VA's wounds: What Obama faces now

Comments (19)
whysenhymer wrote:

The VA is the shame of America.

May 31, 2014 8:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sabrefencer wrote:

Obama needs to face our problems and commit to solve and COMPLETE the work, before he goes to play golf, vacations, attend political fundraisers and tv appearances..

May 31, 2014 9:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
UauS wrote:

Single payer is the answer.

May 31, 2014 1:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jaay wrote:

You would have had to live through the Bush W. administration to remember a similar discovery at the Walter Reed Medical Center. Then, the Republicans wanted to privatize all government functions. So, they privatized the maintenance function at Walter Reed. The result: veterans, some that couldn’t even walk, were housed in rat and insect infested hospital rooms. But, the Republicans can never be blamed for anything. It’s always Democrats and other Americans. This disgusting outcome was quickly out of the media. Not so, with today’s unfunded VA. Unfunded by conservatives that want to cut everything, including veterans benefits. There’s a lot of noise going down now by conservatives. But, this vet remembers what conservative Republicans have done for veterans, mostly nothing. Just remember Walter Reed.

May 31, 2014 1:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carnivalchaos wrote:

Jaay is right. The Republicans really have become worse than useless. Veterans healthcare is never focused on by the Republicans unless something bad happens and a Democrat is President. Then, and only then, do Republicans make a big stink about it. For them it’s not about taking care of our veterans. It’s about finding fault with Democrats and making political hay. That’s all it ever is with them.

The Bush Administration was the worst administration when it came to the health and well-being of our military personnel, current and vets. To send them to risk their lives in unnecessary wars, wars that members of the Bush Administration and their friends made enormous profits from, is unconscionable. And then to do nothing to prepare for the huge influx of injured soldiers, it’s outrageous. And, of course, the didn’t pay for the wars, put it all on credit, then actively blamed the next administration, Obama, for the mounting debt. They wouldn’t pull this crap if we didn’t allow them to get away with it.

Now imagine what would be happening to Obama if Obama did the same thing Bush did, cozening us into an unnecessary war, telling us things that had been proven to be false, running up trillions for these wars on credit, costing thousands of US soldiers their lives and limbs, and costing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians their lives. Think about what the Republicans are doing with Benghazi. Now think what they’d have done if it was Obama that led us into the Iraq War. How much longer are we going to tolerate this crap?

May 31, 2014 2:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sicoftea wrote:

It’s reported that since 2004 there were recurring problems with the VA. This is a costly program that everyone pretends to care about but congress has refused to fund. If you start 2 additional wars and do not increase the number of facilities or staff to treat the vets, care is going to drop! The government set unrealistic goals, and the people that worked there just started cheating the system…yes, they should of just been honest and came forward, but these days, we have to many sheep and no balls!

May 31, 2014 3:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
chuck2 wrote:

The VA has been broken since Korea, not just medical. We (NAM vet) wanted to get VA home loan around 12 years back. Took forever to try to get the correct paper from VA, and then it got worse. We finally went with conventional and no VA as we lost homes waiting and waiting. Costs us more but VA loan systems is fouled up, and heard rumors that Realtors, builders and banks do not want VA as is not the cash cow conventional mortgages present. Was worse when GI Bill was not coming through, ended up talking to VA guy (way to many retired military in VA) who was senile and kept telling me call place in OR about going to CIA or such. Took months to get GI Bill fixed, but note never did “Call CIA”. Note most of paper in VA is result of Congress and overly nit picking laws they pass for special interests.

Would NOT touch a VA hospital as heard horror stories of the VA hospital in Tacoma for mental issues and of other VA hospitals where nurses said some docs could hardly speak English but there as ticket to get USA licenses.

But since the vol military AKA let lower end and career military families, less then 1/2% of population, do the wars, not much will really change. Possible if the sunshine patriots and flag wavers we elected had to use VA in very transparent manner, we might get changes, but for now, just a tiny7 blip and will end up politicized. Only way to assure VA is done right is to force elected to use it.

NOTE CONGRESS. Hearing were held on rip off Profit making colleges-courses-etc that sucked up GI BILL money and no jobs afterward as not really qualified, (Those 30 sec ads you see on TV for any number of menial tasks). Congress, the ones howling now, in their (special interest modes) gave these Vet rip off outfits, THREE years to clean up and report back, rather then cut off proven crooks. So let’s not believer to much the elected say when flag waving and trolling for votes, talk to one, ask them about “Clean up of GI Bill ripoffs and watch them run.

May 31, 2014 3:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CSParty wrote:

Partisan hacks. If these problems were started so long ago, then why are we finding the cover up now? Oh, ALL WARS ARE UNNECESSARY! Libya was and now look at that country. Obama had 3 wars at once. Clueless useless tools.

May 31, 2014 3:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carnivalchaos wrote:

CSParty: Right, the 3 wars Obama started. If only we had elected John “Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran” McCain then we could have avoided all of these Obama wars. Delusional rightwing bumps. You guys can’t even keep your criticisms of Obama straight. One minute you’re attacking him for being too timid with our military and the next minute you’re attacking him for being too hawkish. Crazy.

May 31, 2014 4:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wongvaldez wrote:

The V.A. is fine, can’t say as much for our political system.
I’ve been using the V.A. since 1999 and while not perfect (What is) it’s as good or better than my local private hospital and the price is right compared to the $6,800 bill I got for 4 hours in the emergency room back in January.

May 31, 2014 6:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lkofenglish wrote:

the hardest move is to avoid the trap of “blaming the General” (although it’s probably too late for that giving the now very long list.)
to call this a challenge is now a profound understatement as the key phrase is not just respect for service but “we’re going to find out who lied to General Shinsecki” (et al.)

A 100 to 1 termination rate sounds about right to me. “with a little truthiness on side” wouldn’t hurt as well.

May 31, 2014 7:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SR37212 wrote:

I’m agreeing with wongvaldez that there is little wrong with the VA hospitals. There are problems with some facilities administrations but most of the VA hospitals since the Walter Reed scandal have been located as adjuncts to major teaching Universities.

Our local VA hospital is literally attached to Vanderbilt University hospital and we have many of the teachers at the university more than willing to give their time to veterans. The staff at the VA hospital also have no problem asking for opinions from Vanderbilt senior staff either. The head of Vanderbilt’s low vision clinic (seen via a consulting voucher from the VA)told us that the VA low vision clinic in Birmingham (attached to the U of Al) is the best low vision clinic in the country, bar none.

Yes there are long waits in the emergency room but that is normal in American hospitals VA or private. There are also long waits for different clinics that vary from VA hospital to VA hospital but as a rule the waits in most clinics is no more or less than in any private hospital. Here in Nashville there is a long wait in the vision clinic but the pulmonary clinic moves fast. On the plus side the long waits at the vision clinic are mostly because the doctors there take their time and will take the time to answer any questions the patient has. I think this is better than a private clinic that for the most part sees you for a set time and then ushers you out asap.

May 31, 2014 10:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
stambo2001 wrote:

This ‘issue’ is skirting the real discussion, which is the sheer number of wounded veterans in our society. Can you imagine the medical backlog of a couple thousand men and women needing treatment per VA hospital? If a single hospital is 2400 people behind that is hundreds if not thousands of man-hours behind. That’s not even factoring waiting times for diagnostic equipment like MRI and CAT scans. This problem is HUGE and the media is doing everything possible to keep it under the rug.
6 years ago Obama promised to fix this…he dropped the ball. More of the same from this pathetic administration. All show, not one single drop of substance.

Jun 01, 2014 8:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Doc62 wrote:

Thank you Jaay, the media, GOP and tea partiers either ignored or forgot this. The only thing Romney said that made sense was to dump the VAMC’s. The private healthcare sector is much better/efficient at delivery of service. Vet’s can use the vouchers for free care at their local communities. It’s better when your family, friends and doctors aren’t hundreds of mile away. At the millennium, many hospitals were in the red. They dumped excessive management, waste and modernized. Now they are in the black. Washington, get a clue!

Jun 01, 2014 11:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ProUK wrote:


I agree wholly. I have been using the VA since early 90′s’.
Recently had major surgery for cancer from the best surgical team, for this procedure, available in the US.Gave me a few more years of life. Ongoing care is fantastic. No civilian organization could provide anything better.
Like any other system you have to learn how to navigate it.

Jun 01, 2014 1:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carnivalchaos wrote:

stambo2001: To suggest that Obama has done nothing for our vets is intellectually dishonest at best, and more likely just another one of your invidious attacks on the character of this President. Obviously the backlog is a problem, but we’d been misled. Shinseki is an honorable man who has served this country well. He’s stepped down from his position because he failed to look for the dirt beneath the rug himself. But to call this administration “pathetic” and without “one single drop of substance” is disingenuous. Perhaps you’re just woefully informed. Here, get informed: http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2012-Articles/Fact-Sheet–President-Obama%E2%80%99s-Work-to-Honor-our-Military-Families-and-Veterans/

What you’re conveniently ignoring is the biggest piece of this entire issue. Bush committed us to two major wars and did little to prepare our VA system with the huge influx of wounded military personnel these wars would logically create. Regarding these wars, Bush dealt with the issue of our military’s healthcare needs the same way he dealt with the financial costs of his wars. He ignored them. So now all of this has fallen on the Obama Administration.

If Obama had done nothing by now you would have a totally valid argument, and I’d agree with you. But he’s already done a lot. We just have to keep analyzing the system that’s set up to provide for our veterans’ healthcare and keep taking steps to improve it, which is exactly what Obama has been doing. If you feel the need to criticize a President, I suggest you aim your attacks at a more worthy target, like George W. Bush, who created the problem in the first place.

Jun 01, 2014 1:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ProUK wrote:

I disagree, from personal experience.The private healthcare sector is on par with many, not all, VA facilities. I had to make the life decision of what is more important….where I live or affordable healthcare. I chose affordable healthcare and moved to be nearer to my VA facility, which in the beginning sent me to my local community as they didn’t have the facilities to provide. Now they do and Dr.’s from the areas hospitals rave about the facilities, equipment and organization of the VA. I did my homework when I needed care for a life threatening illness and was well provided and cared for under the VA.

Jun 01, 2014 1:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carnivalchaos wrote:

ProUK: It’s good to hear that you are doing well. You guys (and gals) deserve the best healthcare the US can muster. I wish you continued good health.

Jun 01, 2014 2:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sabrefencer wrote:

Maybe if Obama hired someone connected to running multi hospitals and has dealt with these problems before …the results would be very fast in coming…instead, he is so worried about being agreed with, he has no sense of reality and how to actually accomplish work that maybe difficult….

Jun 02, 2014 6:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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