The VA Scandal: Our Veterans Deserve Better

Many of us have heard plenty about the major scandal involving the Veteran’s Affairs Medical System. For those of you who do not know what has been happening, the VA has been involved in a scandal involving a secret waiting list. Many veterans who needed potentially lifesaving medical care were told to be patient, and that they would eventually receive the care they needed.

So the Veterans, who have served this country with honor and fought for our freedoms, waited patiently. They continued to wait, many of them wondering if the care they were promised would ever arrive. Then something unthinkable happened. Veterans started dying. Veterans who were delayed their life-saving medical care too long were patient until the very end. After all was said and done, over 40 Veterans had died in the same way, waiting for their life-saving medical care.

10406926_10201075541329897_8168917772859113172_nThe main question on everyone’s mind was, what happened? Why were these Veterans delayed their healthcare? Why were they allowed to die? As it turns out, the VA had a secret waiting list of sorts. They wanted to make themselves look good. Every VA  hospital keeps records of who is under their care, and how long they usually wait for their care. Every hospital makes an effort to keep their waiting times down and cut down on backlog.

What it appears several hospitals had been doing was keeping hard copy, hand written waiting lists in order to reduce the appearance of backlog and make themselves look better.  Because of this, Veterans died while waiting on these secret waiting lists, and their friends and families were very angry and demanded answers.

When President Obama heard about the scandal, he had a press conference. In this press conference, Mr. Obama stated that he was “madder than hell.” He almost seemed surprised at what had happened. The President fed the press his usual line that they were “going to get to the bottom of this and hold someone accountable.” Too bad we have heard this before.

The President seems to be surprised at every scandal that has occurred during his Presidency. He appears to be the most uninformed President in American History, or is he? Back in 2008, during the transition into the Obama White House, President Elect Barrack Obama was informed of the backlog problems by the Bush administration, and he vowed to fix it. Mr. President, the Veterans are waiting for you to finally fix it over 5 years since you made the vow to our Veterans. The President needs to act, and needs to act now.

10325337_10201075541489901_8909330059767857923_nShortly after the scandal broke, a new name came into light, and that name was Eric Shinseki. Mr. Shinseki is a retired General and is the current Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He also claimed the same thing that Obama claimed, that he was “madder than hell.” He vowed that he would bring to justice and would hold those accountable who were responsible for this. However, he refused to resign even though he was the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs while all of this was going on.

Obama refused to fire him as well. The President has been slow to act and has been very passive regarding this major scandal. He needs to act swiftly on this and honor our Veterans, who have given so much to this country. They deserve high quality healthcare, and not to be treated in such a manner.

Somehow Harry Reid (of all people) got involved. A bill was passed in the house that would give Mr. Shinseki the authority to fire the people who were responsible for this and any future misconduct. The bill reached the Senate and low and behold, Harry Reed led a movement to block the vote until a committee can meet in June. Had the bill passed, Mr. Shinseki would have the authority he needed as early as next week.

Now we will have to wait until sometime after the committee meets in June. How many more Veterans will die between now and then? Even one more death is completely unacceptable and inexcusable. Harry Reid should be ashamed of himself, he gets to take his nice Memorial Day Weekend off while more Veterans possibly die and will never get to have another Memorial Day. The madness needs to stop.

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