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Phoenix VA Hospital: Another Government Scandal

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 27, 2014

It seems that on nearly a weekly basis the People are exposed to yet another scandal at the hands of their government.  Last week the amount scandal involved the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system.  According to CNN, the Phoenix VA used a hidden list to a cover-up their inept services.  This hidden list allowed the Phoenix VA to keep the fact that veterans were seeking services and had to wait extended periods of time from being logged into the computer.

In an unusual usual show of bipartisanship, both sides of the aisle announced outrage at the VA’s behavior including Republican Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida and ultraliberal senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  Sanders stated: “I am troubled when I hear that any veteran may have received substandard service from VA.”  Well Senator Sanders, being troubled does not help those who received substandard services including those who may have died as a result.

According to CNN, the Phoenix VA Hospital set up an “elaborate scheme” to hide from bureaucrats in Washington the fact that approximately 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait many months to receive any medical attention.  It quoted whistleblower, Dr. Sam Foote, who said:

  • The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” and that “they developed the secret waiting list.
  • “So then when they did that, they would report to Washington    ‘Oh yeah.  We’re makin’ our appointments within – within 10 days, within the 14-day frame.’”  He then went on to state that some veterans were forced to wait between 6 and 21 months for appointments.

Making this story even more tragic, it has been reported that the VA’s sleight-of-hand may have be carried out so that hospital officials in Phoenix could obtain bonuses from the government.  CNN reported that the Phoenix VA director, Sharon Helman, received in 2013 a nearly $9,300 bonus above her annual salary of $170,000.

The government’s incompetence likely led to the deaths of veterans.  In addition, it shows the uselessness of congressional oversight that typically holds hearings only after the genie is out of the bottle.  Their “oversight” does not improve the government’s future behavior.  Finally this Phoenix tragedy should bring fear into those many Americans whose healthcare will soon be under the control of the government bureaucrats as the result of the Affordable Care Act.

Assuming VA hospital officials’ desire to receive bonuses was the motivation behind the scandal, it again demonstrates that human greed is not eliminated when the government hires employees.  Politicians will likely hold hearings and create new laws and/or rules and regulations as a result of the VA tragedy.  However, they will not change human nature or its weaknesses.  Only by using harsh penalties for those involved with these schemes, whether in the public or private sector, can there be deterrence for similar behavior going for.

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2 Responses to “Phoenix VA Hospital: Another Government Scandal”

  1. thank you for exposing this I have been waiting 3 yrs. for care I have raised more hell in this place than I care to admit too,but to no good it is a cycle you cant get out of I can hardly get around now.grandchildren starting to arrive,lost job and ins. from down sizing under obahma,so I guess my homegrown terrorist ass can die now,i really could use someone to help I still could get up and go with alittle medical care,saddest for me is I am ex-navy corpsman they have almost killed me twice giving me drugs I was allergic to,this place is the deadliest place I ever saw ,and I have seen some terrible stuff,if there is help where please?may they all rot in hell for what they have done!

    • I am sorry to hear of your challenges Donald. I only wish I had some positive advice for you. Thank you so much for your service to this country. Most Americans appreciated it.

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