Lawmakers furious at DOJ move that could protect fired VA official

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Talk is cheap lawmakers. DO something about it!

Obama and Lynch

From Fox News: Lawmakers are fuming over what they describe as a “shameful” decision by the Justice Department that could help the former head of the scandal-scarred Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital get her job back.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in a letter sent Tuesday, notified House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that the DOJ would not defend a key provision of the Veteran Affairs reform law, passed in the wake of the scandal over officials covering up long patient wait-times.
The provision in question had helped uphold the expedited firing of the Phoenix official at the heart of the scandal, Sharon Helman.

Sharon Helman

Now, lawmakers say Lynch’s decision could put Helman back on the job, as she pursues a lawsuit against the government.  
Helman had been fired in November 2014 amid criticism not only over the wait-time cover-ups at the Phoenix VA but also unreported gifts. Congressional critics warn the DOJ move is a blow to accountability. 
“The effect of this reckless action is clear: It undermines very modest reforms to our broken civil service system supported in 2014 by the president and an overwhelming majority of Congress,” House Veteran Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said in a statement Wednesday night.
Lynch stressed in her letter that the DOJ will “continue to defend the vast bulk” of the law, including against Helman’s other legal challenges. But she said the DOJ would not defend the provision that denied Helman an appeal after a judge upheld her removal. 
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, criticized the decision. “The Obama Administration’s decision to disregard the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act with regard to Sharon Helman – who led the Phoenix VA during the scandal in care in which at least 40 veterans died – is shameful,” McCain said in a written statement Wednesday.
Helman was fired as part of a crackdown in the wake of the national scandal over long wait times for veterans trying to get medical care and falsified records covering up the delays.
“When Congress passed the Veterans Choice Act, a key provision allowed for incompetent and indifferent executives whose inaction allowed veterans to die to be more easily fired. Now, even after the President signed this provision into law, his administration is refusing to defend this measure of accountability,” McCarthy told CNN Wednesday.
Helman, who led the hospital from 2012 to 2014, as well as two other high-ranking officials, were placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into allegations that 40 vets died while awaiting treatment at the hospital. The scandal also led to the ousting of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and the creation of the new law that overhauls the veterans’ health care system.
Helman is suing the federal government to win her old job back and as part of that argued the congressional reforms unconstitutionally denied her a step to appeal her dismissal.
“While this matter is still pending in federal court, we will immediately begin exploring legislative remedies to thwart the Obama administration’s blatant advocacy on behalf of those whose mismanagement, malfeasance and crimes may have contributed to veteran and taxpayer harm,” Miller said. 

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0 responses to “Lawmakers furious at DOJ move that could protect fired VA official

  1. This is just unbelievable . . . our government now wishes to protect, and enrich those who are directly responsible for the deaths of dozens of United States Veterans. How can the people of this country ever trust our government again when we know very well that they care little for any one of us. We are each expendable, and if we are left to die . . . so what! (sarc) Ms Lynch has proven to be nothing other than a legal hack, instituted in her position by a President who is ineffective in his own right. The fact that she was once again take the reigns of the Veterans medical center in Arizona is beyond the pale.

  2. Sharon Helman/Hell man. What an appropriate name.

  3. From my experience in two VA systems I’d guess it depends on which one you go to. At Yale/New Haven-VA the service and general quality of the doctors was very good, and I had eye surgery done by the top man at Yale, for example.
    At Bay Pines in Florida, on the other hand, while I got immediate ER care after a biking accident, probably because I was banged up, it took months to get an MRI for an ACL torn clean through and other knee injuries and then months to see the orthopedic surgeon. I’d been told I was in luck since he’d been a competive cyclist himself, but this old creep and government hack gave me about the worst bum’s rush of my life. He was clearly enjoying every minute because he could tell I knew he was yanking me around. Fortunately I’d ignored the ER advice to wear this full brace and gotten right back riding even tho I couldn’t walk, so the joke’s on that nasty old bastard. If I’d followed their advice down here, immobilized my knee for months, and then been operated on by that old, incompetent, and nasty creep, I might be nearly an invalid today. Now I truly fear the VA and no longer sing its praises as I did in CT.

  4. We will see worse than this parting shot as the Obozo, and his parade of Clowns leave their hard to believe, two term nest!

  5. Va appointment 11/04/15
    Dr Kristofferson was the worst appointment I have ever had.
    On November 10 2015 at 4pm I was interrogated and told that I had been prescribed the wrong type of pain medication, I told her that the past five to 8 years I have tried many types of meds and these last three years have been fine and I haven’t had any bad side effects.
     Then she insinuated that I didn’t have back pain as my mri was old and she wanted more info about my back pain, why do I feel like she was reavaluating me? Then she proceeded to lift my legs up to the damn ceiling! When she did my left leg I told her be careful! She kept pushing my leg higher and then I got scared and said to stop! I felt she didn’t even take my needs seriously and showed no compassion as she went to write on her computer.
     Dr Kristofferson was very unempathetic to my list of pains and problems after a 5 minute appointment she looked at my list and said she covered these, I got up and said I guess so and left so pissed off I was visibly shaking. I have never felt so betrayed and treated like a dog.
     The fact that she pushed my left leg up with such force left me in excruciating pain for over a month,  on top of all this i have had a hard time sleeping due to the anguish I  couldn’t believe what happened to me, I told my wife I will travel to Chico to not ever go to Redding again.
    List given to Dr Kristofferson,
    Left Knee has alot of pain when bending or kneeling sometimes excruciating!
    Left ankle hurts tremendously while standing more than 10 min
    Sharp pain in back radiates to left leg when trying to sit on toilet or getting off
    Check forehead for cancer spot?
    Cancer removal spot on right shoulder itching alot lately, was supposed to remove the rest, still there.
    Left back of hand has pain off and on when it hurts it is hard to use that hand, arthritis?
    Ringing in my ears is getting really bad
    Can’t get to sleep sometimes up to three hours
    Get up to pee sometimes seven to ten  times but every night at least four times and then it is hard to get back to sleep
    Toenails have more white stuff and nails are really soft
    Need some inhalers for anxiety attaches and some nose spray that isn’t as strong
     Get mortrins for aches and pains 800mg
    Getting alot of pain and cramps in back of neck and around and under shoulder blades
    Stomach aches all the time takes 30 to 45 minutes to shit
    A Disabled veteran.


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