A Year At the VA

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Antoine is at the Table

Good Morning, Breakfastpoppers. Today is Thursday, June 25, 2015. Our industrious French friend, Antoine, is at the breakfast table this morning. Antoine is very concerned about the lack of progress at the VA. One year has passed since we learned about the deplorable waiting times our veterans faced at the VA when seeking treatment. One year is a long time when you are sick and in need of medical care. One year is hideously long when you are suffering and nothing is being done to make things better. Please join Antoine at the table this morning to discuss the situation at the VA. Antoine has baked dozens of croissants for your enjoyment. I will be supplying the lattes. We hope to see you soon.

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All Talk

Thank you all for joining me this morning. I distinctly remember hearing about the ugly conditions at the VA hospitals across the country. Veterans seeking medical attention had to endure long waiting times. Some died waiting. Here we are one year later and conditions have changed. The problem is that the change is for the worse. The number of veterans seeking medical attention and ending up on a wait list has gone up by 50 percent! The Department of Veterans Affairs has failed miserably. To add insult to injury they are whining about a budget shortfall The VA does not spend all of its allowed funds each year. It's not money they need, but leadership that knows how to problem solve. There is no excuse for this failure. Heads should roll, but they haven't and they won't. This is the government's way of doing business. The VA has a culture of waste, indifference and ineptitude. In the meantime our veterans are suffering and dying.

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Fake Posturing

When the news about this scandal broke, President Obama was outraged. He declared the situation intolerable and he vowed to do something about it. Nice words, but in the end the words meant nothing. In response to their abysmal record, the VA is blaming a huge increase in patient loads. They say they never anticipated such an increase. How can an agency with the collective intelligence and morals of a flea anticipate anything? The VA is now considering hiring freezes and furloughs to deal with their budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion. The proposed solution seems designed to ramp up the problem. The VA is also considering rationing care. They are toying with the idea of withholding certain treatments for patients who have terminal illnesses.

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No Consequences

The abominable behavior at the VA has gone unpunished. The same people are still there doing the same miserable job as before. The VA is a tax funded entity that must be answerable to the American people. For far too long they have circumvented attempts to get important information released about waiting times and the consequences of these overly long waiting periods. Veterans in our nation deserve better treatment. The government has failed them miserably and they are failing them now. The House Committee on Veterans Affairs asks questions, but never gets any answers. Either the committee is pathetically bad at what they do or the VA is completely indifferent to requests for information. The sad truth is that not cooperating with Congress is the norm these days. I am still waiting for even one committee to get to the bottom of anything. It seems that they meet, they talk, they shake their hands and their heads and they adjourn. There are no consequences for any of this. Life just goes on. How can any of this be acceptable? Let's put the blame for the mess at the VA where it belongs. The leadership at the VA is inept. The employees don't seem to care, Congress is asleep, and the president is on the golf course.

Antoine's Song

Let's go children of the homeland

The day of reckoning has arrived

Against you tyranny's ugly flag is raised

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Comments 34 comments

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 15 months ago from Ruskin Florida

Great Article. I turned 65 and went over to the VA hospital and started the process of converting to VA doctors and away from my "commercial world" doctors. I was hoping to reduce my health care costs on my now more limited income.

The process took about a year, with setting up new appointments, getting drug prescriptions changed over , etc.

After that first year, I realized several things; my care was being managed by people who just didn't "give a damn", or so it seemed.

Several of my meds were changed over to older replacement drugs that were not as effective as the newer ones. About half the doctors and nurses really cared about what they were doing and the other half, agian, "just didn't give damn".

So, I did what I had to do. I spent the next year moving everything back to the "Commercial sector".

My point is; the VA is NOT a good medical care system. It is a mis-managed, conglomerate of offices/clinics/hospitals where there is no real direction, thus presumed need, to be a better service organization for Veterans.

And, if history tells us anything, once the Press moves on to other "more newsworthy" things to cover, the system will slowly sink back into a sloppy collection of poorly maintained buildings filled with overworked and bored employees treating a load of patients that they cannot properly handle.

DON


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning Don,

Your experience with the VA is a classic example f everything that is wrong with the agency. Personally, I think veterans should be given vouchers to use towards better medical care in the private sector. Of course, once Obamacare really kicks in the private sector will be ruined as well. Thanks so much for coming to the breakfast table and thank you for your service to our country, You and your fellow veterans deserve much better.


taxlarry 15 months ago

Tha VA mess continues, congressional committees get no answers and everything continues as if nothing is wrong. The government is not responsive to the people. I HOPE we can CHANGE the way the country works. We need leaders who know how to lead. The leaders today have never led anything. Maybe we should think about a TRUMP card?


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning taxlarry,

You're right. The government has ground to a halt. We can't solve anything. We never stop Obama from destroying us and at the same time every lunatic in the country has come out of the woodwork. America is dying along with our veterans. See you at the Inn.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 15 months ago from Moundsville, WV

Pop and Antoine,

The VA is another example of government supplied and run health care at its "finest". Lord help us.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 15 months ago from Rural Arizona

When any government agency is accused of failure they always want to fix the problems using a bottoms up approach. It is obvious that the real problems are with the top leadership, but they will sacrifice a couple low-level employees and feed them to the lions.

This seems to work everytime with the congressional committees who are supposed to investigate theses failures.

The only real solution to resolve these VA problems would be to make it mandatory that every government employee from the President down would be forced to use the VA for their own medical care. After all, they are exempt from Obamacare so why not let them take advantage of the wonderful services available at the VA?


Hxprof 15 months ago from Clearwater, Florida

Pop and Antoine - Honestly, I didn't expect much change from the VA when issues were brought to the surface last year. It's a governmenet bureaucracy and works like all other bureaucracy. On top of that, it's an institution run by humans! I can't name one thing that humans don't eventually screw up, and it's because we're.....humans.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

A couple things you and I will always agree on....veterans need to be treated better in this country...and change needs to happen, and soon. What we are doing now, as lawmakers, politicians, businesses and just common citizens, is not working. This country must change or we are all going to sink.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Dear Tom,

Obamacare will be just like the VA. We no longer have the ability or desire to fix anything. The cheaters, liars, lunatics and crooks are running the country. See you at the Inn. I might pack a bag and move in.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning ike,

What a splendid idea! I imagine we would make some progress under those circumstances. As for anyone paying for the VA disaster, I don't believe a single person was let go. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning Hxprof,

Actually, I believe that humans can do a good job when they are smart, committed and caring. The problem with the V is the same problem throughout the government. There are no consequences for bad behavior. Excellence is not rewarded and it attracts people who don't want to work hard and never want to get fired for a job badly done. The private sector could clear this nightmare up. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning billy,

Honestly, I think we are sinking now. People are more concerned about the Confederate flag than they are about our veterans. That is disgusting and that is the nicest thing I can say. See you at the Inn. It's pizza night!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 15 months ago from Rural Arizona

Thanks to this mornings decision by the Supreme Court we are stuck with Obamacare as-is for years to come. Perhaps our government will just choose to do away with the VA and put all of our Vets under Obamacare instead.

Both of these systems will be running just about the same in the near future.


DJ Anderson 15 months ago

I am saddened greatly with this particular article. Although, this problem is not something new. VA has been losing credibility for

some time. Walter Reed Hospital in D.C., reneged on an obligation

to a family when they performed a kidney transplant. They said they

would continue to follow up on his case as he was one of the first transplant patients and was the youngest. After around 10 years, they simply said, you will have to find private care as we can no longer provide

after care. Not too many insurance companies were jumping at the

chance to care for a transplant patient. I am happy to report that the young man is now in his mid 40's. Shame on Walter Reed and shame on the many VA facilities that are not giving medical care to our men and women who gave us the best years of their lives.

I do like pizza. Can I have some crunchy bacon on mine?

Thanks,

DJ.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

ARGGhhhhhhhhhh! The VA!! Another huge thorn in our side. I seem to recall hearing they were going to really get their act together. With all the other BS that's been going on, I lost track of the VA....I should be ashamed. BUT the people in charge (Are there REALLY people in charge??) are the ones who should really feel the shame!

That things have gotten worse is almost too much to tolerate. Our poor neglected veterans. Those we should care for the most with the best.

Damn those lazy unconcerned people at the VA!!!!!!!


Rusty 15 months ago

Are you guys talking about people going there for treatment for service-related disabilities, those over 50% disabled who get comprehensive care, or veterans with no service-related disability wanting care? I think it's kind of important to identify which group is being discussed. It's a tier system and I don't see how it is possible for them to provide lifetime medical care to everyone who signed up at 18 for two or three years of service with no ill effects.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida

These Congressional oversight committees that keep on complaining about the lack of change and improvement in the VA. IRS, and TSA administrations among others, are no better than the organizations they are complaining about. Nothing ever seems to change or get solved. It seems that accountability is no longer part of anyone's job description.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning Mike,

The Supreme Court threw Americans under the bus. The VA is a disaster, Obamacare is a mess, the IRS is corrupt, the president is indifferent and Congress has no teeth. Costa Rica is starting to look real good. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning DJ,

The government can't run anything. Do a lousy job and get promoted is one of the perks offered when you work for the government. The VA has let down our vets. Heads should roll, but instead all we get is quiet indifference. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning fp,

The whole thing stinks. One year later and things are worse! How many more vets have died waiting for treatment? We will never find out because we now have a culture of corruption and indifference. See you at the Inn. Your pizza awaits you.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning Rusty,

We will never know why some of these vets needed care because the VA has cloaked themselves in secrecy. They do not respond to requests for information from congressional committees or the press. We pledged to provide our veterans with care, regardless of the problem and we continue to fail miserably. Thanks for coming to the breakfast table.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Good Morning dr,

Nothing gets done because apparently it is OK to refuse to provide information asked for by Congress. Just look at Hillary Clinton! In my view, not providing what is asked for should place a person in contempt of Congress. Instead, we wring our hands and do nothing. See you at the Inn.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

...and the media gives BHO a free pass. MSNBC finds more value in misrepresenting Donald Trump tirades.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 15 months ago from Rural Arizona

Not sure if it is true but it was reported yesterday that China may have copies of all of Hillary's emails they are willing to sell. Wouldn't that be interesting?


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Dear nicomp,

The media is useless and Obama is dangerous. He is cozying up to all our traditional enemies so he can please his Communist leader Jarrett. As for the media, they are awful. As for the skewering of Trump, that is to be expected. We don't appreciate anyone who tells the truth. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago Author

Dear Mike,

If it's true, I'll chip in for the buy! See you at the Inn.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 12 months ago from The Beautiful South

Wow I cannot believe I have never read you until now; we have both been here for so long and I believe we think so much alike!

I think all from VA needs fired and hire only Veterans to run it. Only then will this thing get straight! Still so many of them dying every day and no one cares? !!!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 12 months ago Author

Good Morning Jackie,

I am so happy we found each other. I love your idea. Vets will get the job done properly and with compassion. Your idea is a win-win!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 12 months ago Author

Good Morning Jackie,

I love your idea. It is a win-win all around and quite brilliant!


nicomp profile image

nicomp 12 months ago from Ohio, USA

Funny how The Media has lost interest in the VA. Another brick in the Barack Hussein Obama legacy.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 12 months ago Author

Good Morning nicomp,

The media is waiting for a few more vets to die.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 12 months ago from Rural Arizona

Please keep in mind that there are some really great and dedicated people who work at VA facilities. Most of the problems with the VA come from the top, not the bottom.

I just received a plea for campaign money from John McCain. He stated that "one" of his top priorities will be to once again "fix" the VA. It seems the poor treatment of our vets only comes to the forefront at election time. After that it goes on the back burner to not be mentioned again until the next election cycle.

I would make a bet that Dr. Ben Carson could "fix" the VA in less than a year if given the opportunity.

The VA situation is just one of many problems that gets a great deal of lip service but no real action from our government. Nobody at the top get fired or loses their very big bonus checks. Until that happens nothing will change.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 12 months ago Author

Good Morning Mike,

If the VA were run like a corporation that wanted to succeed, those at the top, middle or bottom who are doing a lousy job would be out. See you at the Inn, Mike.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 12 months ago from Ohio, USA

@old poolman, Robert McDonald cant fix it , Ben Carson could not fix it. The union is entrenched and politics call the shots. Government is not designed to deliver health care.

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