FBI launches criminal investigation into VA scandal; Senate passes bill to fix problem

Obama's War on Veterans

FBI Director James Comey told the House Judiciary Committee that the FBI has begun a criminal probe of the VA hospital scandal, led out of the Phoenix field office where the shocking discovery of an effective veterans death list first surfaced in the VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

“We’ll follow it wherever the facts take us,” Comey said, declining to discuss it further.

Richard Simon reports for the Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2014, that the VA inspector general has been working with the Justice Department, but lawmakers from both parties have pressed for the FBI to play a bigger role in the investigation.

Their sense of urgency was prompted by two reports showing that the problem is not exclusive to the Phoenix VA hospital, but widespread across America:

  • A report by the inspector general of the Veterans Administration found a systemic nationwide problem in scheduling veterans’ care in a timely manner, including staff falsifying records to cover up long waits.
  • An audit by the Veterans Administration found more than 57,000 veterans have waited at least three months for appointments.

Yesterday, June 11, 2014, by a vote of 93 to 3, the U.S. Senate broke through the usual partisan gridlock to swiftly approve legislation aimed at reducing veterans’ long waits for healthcare.

The 101-page compromise Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (Title III of S. 2450) was written and approved with unusual speed, a reflection of the political importance to both parties of the nearly 6.5 million veterans who use VA’s 1,700 hospitals and clinics.

The bill would:

  • Allow veterans facing long waits at VA facilities to seek care from private doctors
  • Expand the VA secretary’s authority to fire staff for poor performance
  • Authorize the department to lease 26 new health facilities in 17 states, including California and Puerto Rico.
  • Provide $500 million for expedited hiring of new VA doctors and nurses.

Reporting for the Chicago Tribune, Richard Simon noted that a House bill approved Tuesday, H.R. 3230, would eliminate VA bonuses for fiscal 2014 through 2016, while the Senate bill, S. 2450, would eliminate the use of waiting times for determining employee bonuses.

The Senate bill also would extend college education benefits to spouses of service members killed in the line of duty, guarantee in-state tuition for veterans at public colleges and universities and improve access to healthcare for military sexual assault victims.

~Eowyn

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0 responses to “FBI launches criminal investigation into VA scandal; Senate passes bill to fix problem

  1. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this important post. It is my hope that all of the facts will come out, including problems encountered by V.A. hospitals or clinics with the Veterans themselves, rescheduling appointments, failing to appear at appointments and other related problems; for we must remember, there are two sides to every story. The facts must be taken in context with each case at issue with the timing being considered and given import. Then, justice will be done and the bill will serve its purposes.

     
  2. I feel certain that if our private MD’s agree to see these veterans that the wonderful government just might never pay them.. Just sayin…..

     
  3. Reblogged this on Open Jotter.

     
  4. I agree that something needs to be done, inside the VA. There are just way too many games being played. Big bucks for the people ( paper shufflers) who do nothing, while veterans ( like myself ) wait and wait.

    Filing for disability…. equals file/be denied, file again/ denied again, file a third ( or more ) time/be denied or finally approved, if lucky.

    I should be on full disability, due to a back injury in basic training, plus Agent Orange in Vietnam ( many symptoms ), Tinitus from working so near to Huey turbines, screaming in your ears during maintenance or even while flying. God Himself, only knows what else currently wrong with me, are service connected. God Himself only knows what today’s veterans have been exposed to!

    I need a hip replacement. So far it’s taken 4 months just for an initial evaluation with x-rays. Last week, I got a letter telling me, my next Dr. appointment with the Orthopedic Clinic, was cancelled and rescheduled a month later. Meanwhile, I get pinched nerves, from the bad hip, which cause me unbelievable pain, every day and several times each day.

    I could rant on, but you all can see for yourselves that the VA is in dire need of reform and made to actually HELP our vets, rather than HINDER!

    God Bless all of you, for offering your support here. I ask that each of you write your congress people and get them moving on a better reform than they are currently working on. Thanks!

     
    • Thank you Dale, for sharing very personal battles. My husband & I had talked about what might happen to us w/Obamacare (we both think our bankrupt employers….State of CA…..will dump us into the “system” eventually ) & he felt optimistic at the time b/c he is eligilbe for care at the VA & has s limited (nothing like YOU) service-related disablity. We thought this could be our “fail-safe” if he had to go on his own (& I can just work until I’m dead to buy my own health care)….BUT….what a turn of events! I will share your post with him. We will have to re-evaluate! God Bless! You better believe we’ve been contacting our Reps and Senators!

       
  5. Reblogged this on On the Patio with BzeroB and commented:
    I really am pleasantly surprised that they moved so fast and are actually starting a criminal investigation. Good work for a change.

     
  6. And Holder’s FBI is really going to get to the root of the problem. The FBI will probably blame the veterans because they are not dead. The Injustice Department: Fast & Furious, New Black Panthers, Boston Bombing, IRS…
    Appoint Louis Gohmert as AG and I believe the problem will be investigated and resolved.

     
  7. “Yesterday, June 11, 2014, by a vote of 93 to 3, the U.S. Senate broke through the usual partisan gridlock to swiftly approve legislation aimed at reducing veterans’ long waits for healthcare.”
    I gotta know who those 3 were who voted against this!!! May they never be re-elected to anything except bathroom monitor in a reform school.

     
    • Republicans Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin voted “no”. I really like Corker and Johnson (see “Obama administration refuses to tell Congress with whom U.S. is at war“), which leads me to think there’s more to the Senate bill than what we are told.

       
      • Dr Eowyn, thank you for revealing the names of the three. My first instinct was “tar and feather them.” But, perhaps after reflecting on your post–I hope you will stay on top of all the particulars of this bill. There may very well, be more to the story than we can see at the moment. I do so appreciate the various posts to bring to us all.

         
      • OK fine. Consider my fanny whacked. I’ll wait and see what their reasons were. 🙂

         
        • Dear Ginger,

          No fanny whacking! 🙂

          I was as outraged as you were that 3 senators had voted “no,” until I looked up their names. Then I started wondering ….

           
  8. I hate to say it, but the way this country has historically treated its vets is an embarrassment.

    The government will fall all over itself to provide sex-change operations to incarcerated pervs, but when a vet has health issues they are often ignored.

    I’m actually surprised that young Americans are still willing to serve in the military.

    I sure as hell wouldn’t – not after what I have seen with my own two eyes.

    Our military veterans – and especially those that were injured in combat, should be the first in line for treatment no-matter what.

    As for those sitting in prison awaiting a sex change operation at taxpayer’s expense, I say give them a rusty saw and a hand drill, and tell them to STFU.

    This country is seriously forked up.

    -Dave

     
  9. Along with the other troubling situations that have plagued the American people these last 6 years….forgive me if I am a pessimist about this recent vote that will “solve the VA issue/scandal” & resolve care issues for our Vets. Didn’t the Congress VOTE that, before Barack Obama could release anyone from GITMO, he had to give the Congress 30 days’ notice first? Didn’t happen!!! It is understatement to say that Obama doesn’t CARE about what Congress VOTES. Obama does what Obama wants to do…nothing more, nothing less….. The VA will “get” only what Obama allows…. in both the “investigation” and the appropriation of money. It could work, or it could add up to “0.” The illegals coming across the border, for which he is asking for BILLIONS to take care of ….might be better-provided for than our Vets who are waiting in lines for months to see an initial Dr. visit —(OTOH…the illegals are at very LEAST receiving immediate care/attentioin, immunizations, & so on…..). Like many, my faith that the actions of our Congress of any significance these days is at about “zilch.’ Much of the blame lays at the feet of our Senators and Representatives who have not served us well at all in this “representative government.” MOre blame can be heaped on them for NOT doing their duty to stop our wildly unconstitutional (IMO downright treasonous) president. And lastly, I have no hope whatsoever that Barack Obama has anyting at all on his mind besides his own agenda….which most often does not include the actual well-being of the citizens he “leads” or the country that he supposedly took and oath to defend and protect against all threats—foreign and domestic.

     
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