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Don't paint all VA clinics with a broad brush

Published: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Political pundits made fun of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her comments several years ago that Obamacare will lead to the establishment of “death panels” where unelected bureaucrats would make important health care decisions for patients in distant cities. Well, apparently that's exactly what has been happening at some of our Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics around the country.
A former VA doctor is the whistleblower who alleged that certain veterans were placed on unofficial waiting lists for appointments which may have led to several of their deaths. The VA enacted a policy in 2010 of making sure veterans are seen by their doctor or primary caregiver within 14 days of making an appointment. Sam Foote, retired VA medical doctor in Phoenix, told CNN that as many as 40 veterans could have died after having their names placed on a waiting list for an appointment.
This is reprehensible, but not indicative of all VA facilities in our nation. We personally have had great health care at a VA hospital and clinics in Hot Springs, Rapid City and Ft. Meade in western South Dakota and found that in all instances the care received was outstanding. Area VA physicians, PAs and nurses have all been attentive and genuinely interested in our well being. We believe their work ethic is above reproach and are sorry to see them dragged into another of this administration's numerous scandals.
For once, just once, we would like to see people held accountable and lose their jobs and pensions and tried for their crimes against humanity. Thus far, we have seen a senior VA official resign who was scheduled to retire later this year. We would call this person a sacrificial lamb. Much more needs to be done regarding housecleaning in the VA which is headed up by former four-star general Eric Shinseki. Numerous calls have been made for secretary Shinseki to resign, but he has steadfastly refused to do so.
This all too reminiscent of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius refusing to resign in the wake of the disastrous Obamacare website rollout. We believe it is just a matter of time before Shinseki resigns or is forced out. In the meantime, let’s not paint all VA health care facilities with a broad brush. Veterans in this area know they are being taken care of at local VA facilities, the same facilities targeted for closure.

Political pundits made fun of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her comments several years ago that Obamacare will lead to the establishment of “death panels” where unelected bureaucrats would make important health care decisions for patients in distant cities. Well, apparently that's exactly what has been happening at some of our Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics around the country.

A former VA doctor is the whistleblower who alleged that certain veterans were placed on unofficial waiting lists for appointments which may have led to several of their deaths. The VA enacted a policy in 2010 of making sure veterans are seen by their doctor or primary caregiver within 14 days of making an appointment. Sam Foote, retired VA medical doctor in Phoenix, told CNN that as many as 40 veterans could have died after having their names placed on a waiting list for an appointment.

This is reprehensible, but not indicative of all VA facilities in our nation. We personally have had great health care at a VA hospital and clinics in Hot Springs, Rapid City and Ft. Meade in western South Dakota and found that in all instances the care received was outstanding. Area VA physicians, PAs and nurses have all been attentive and genuinely interested in our well being. We believe their work ethic is above reproach and are sorry to see them dragged into another of this administration's numerous scandals.

For once, just once, we would like to see people held accountable and lose their jobs and pensions and tried for their crimes against humanity. Thus far, we have seen a senior VA official resign who was scheduled to retire later this year. We would call this person a sacrificial lamb. Much more needs to be done regarding housecleaning in the VA which is headed up by former four-star general Eric Shinseki. Numerous calls have been made for secretary Shinseki to resign, but he has steadfastly refused to do so.

This all too reminiscent of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius refusing to resign in the wake of the disastrous Obamacare website rollout. We believe it is just a matter of time before Shinseki resigns or is forced out. In the meantime, let’s not paint all VA health care facilities with a broad brush. Veterans in this area know they are being taken care of at local VA facilities, the same facilities targeted for closure.



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