You Must Make This Clear to People: This Veterans Hospital Death Panel Is a Preview of Life Under Obamacare
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The VA, as I say, I get calls here, we have every year for 25 years, and the horror story here or the horror story there. And this is just the latest. Now we learn of these deaths by attrition, secret waiting lists, and this is the real bad thing of it. People on these lists assume that they’re being moved ahead of the line. That’s the purpose of the secret list, that they’re going to really be taken care of. Because the backlog is so jammed, the line for treatment at the VA is so long that they’ve come up with this secret list business, and the people on that list think that they’re essentially being moved to the top of the class, or the head of the line, in front of the line. And they’re just being ignored.
Now, over a hundred people, if you add the Dayton Daily News story today, over a hundred people have died while on these lists. It’s simply unconscionable. So you have to ask, the natural assumption is that nobody wants these people to die, even if you add the death panel component, nobody wants these people to die, yet they are. At the very least what we’re dealing with here is a total inability to deal with this. And at worst it’s the death panel being done on purpose.
But no matter how you come down on this, I mean, some of you are not gonna want to believe the death panel aspect, even though the evidence is pretty clear. When you have government employees receiving salary bonuses for ostensibly saving money by virtue of shrinking the number of people on the list, how does that happen? How do people end up off the list and not treated? They pass away. And if you’re gonna have government employees bonused on that basis, then you would be not that far out of whack to assume there might be some death panel at work here.
CALLER: I wanted to talk to you a little bit more about Obamacare and why the implications of this VA scandal, well, they’re not reserved for when we go to single payer, God help us. They’re already here under a system called Pay-for-Performance. This VA standard of giving a vet an appointment in 14 days was more than likely one of the quality standards that providers are expected to meet now. And bonuses resulted when the VA hospital met that standard a high percentage of the time. But because they couldn’t meet that standard they had to get those vets off the books if they wanted their bonuses.
In the field this is called Pay-for-Performance, or P4P. Providers are being reimbursed for meeting certain pre-established standards as they phase out traditional fee-for-service reimbursement. So this is what we can expect in any of the new structures created by Obamacare like accountable care organizations. And what happened here with our dear veterans was spread across the country because providers that can’t meet those standards in many cases ’cause they’re swamped already with Obamacare’s onerous reporting requirement, if they can’t meet those quality standards, they’ll have to fudge the data or move us off the books.
RUSH: Okay. So, given all of that, explain to me how 40 veterans just die while on this list.
CALLER: How they died?
RUSH: How they were allowed to die. I mean, if the whole point here is to get ’em expedited treatment, they can’t find a provider to take ’em and these people need to get their bonus so they find a way to get them off the list and that happens by virtue of them dying —
Report: 100 Veteran Deaths Linked to ‘Delay in Treatment’ at VA Hospitals
As the Department of Veterans Affairs faces an increasing amount of scrutiny over allegations of “secret” waiting lists that left veterans at VA hospitals untreated for months, a new report shows that the VA settled several claims that appear related to treatment delays.
The Dayton Daily News, in a story published Sunday, says its investigation of a database of paid claims shows that since 2001 the words “delay in treatment” were used 167 times. The VA paid out $36.4 million to settle the claims, the Daily News reported.
In one case the newspaper found the Dayton VA paid out $140,000 in 2009 on a 2006 claim described as “Failure/Delay in Admission to Hospital or Institution; Medication Administered via Wrong Route; Failure to Order Appropriate Test.”
Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/veteran-deaths-delay-treatment/2014/05/18/id/571963#ixzz32DVD5ew2
Obama tries to blow off the VA scandal
It’s shocking to learn that the President who booted World War II vets out of their own memorial during Shutdown Theater would have a blase attitude about the outrage at VA clinics. Confronted with reports of veterans left to languish on secret lists until they died, Barack Obama yawned and assigned a White House aide to look into it. The obviously overwhelmed Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, staggered in front of a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to read some talking points and claim he was “mad as hell,” while cries for his resignation fell upon the President’s numb ears. That’s not how it works in ObamaLand, my friends. Nobody gets fired. Ever. (As is typical of Obama scandals, a few faceless bureaucrats have been placed on temporary “administrative leave” by Shinseki.)
Obama’s not even putting much effort into looking “outraged” by the story, the way he pretended to be outraged for a couple of days when the IRS scandal exploded. He seems, if anything, mildly annoyed by yet another unpleasant story to be papered over.
The story, which began at the VA hospital in Phoenix, has expanded to include similar secret death lists at a half-dozen additional facilities. At the Phoenix hospital, veterans seeking treatment were actually deleted out of the official computer system, and their documentation was shredded, when they were shoved onto the secret “ignore” list. It was a systemic effort to break the rules and cover up malfeasance, and it claimed at least 40 lives just at that one hospital… while highly-paid administrators claimed fat “performance” bonuses. A similar story of falsified records emerged from a clinic in Ft. Collins, Colorado. A new story has surfaced from Southeast Texas about thousands of veterans denied access to simple colonoscopies until, as one doctor with VA experience put it, they were bleeding out of the rectums – a delay long enough for colorectal cancer to progress from easily treatable, to inoperable and fatal.
Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs was blowing $500 million – enough to cover colonoscopies for every veteran with a stomach ache – on office furniture and curtains, with nearly $7 million spent on building a single conference room. This is bureaucratic incompetence, malfeasance, and deception on a scale we haven’t seen since… well, ObamaCare, which is dragging us toward a hellish single-payer future in which everyone enjoys the death-panel treatment given to vets. The VA scandal is a disturbingly exact mirror of ObamaCare, demonstrating precisely the same management characteristics as Barack Obama’s boondoggle: gigantic sums of money wasted, endless lies foisted upon the public, and nobody held accountable by Obama. Unless the President is dragged kicking and screaming into cleaning house by his frightened Party, Eric Shinseki will hang on until he gets the same fond farewell the monstrously incompetent and deceitful HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius enjoyed.
The strongest indication Shinseki might be in real trouble is that Democrats clearly weren’t buying what he was selling at Thursday’s Senate hearing, as related by CNN, which has been doing very good work on the VA scandal:
At his first congressional hearing since the CNN reports drew national attention to the issue, Shinseki told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee that he was reviewing all VA operations and also cooperating fully with the independent inspector general’s investigation.
“Any allegation, any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell,” he said, urging the legislators to wait for the investigation’s finding before trying to resolve a complex set of problems.
His assurance that “we will act” on any substantiated allegation angered senators from both parties who insisted the problems are real and need immediate action.
Some pointed to a policy implemented by Shinseki that set a 14-day limit to provide care for veterans applying for the first time, saying a deadline they labeled as unworkable resulted in VA administrators devising ways to cover up months-long delays.
Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina questioned why Shinseki, who has been Obama’s only veterans affairs secretary, failed to act sooner on problems long cited by veterans, the U.S. Government Accountability Office and others.
“With the numerous GAO, IG and Office of Medical Inspector reports that have been released, VA senior leadership, including the secretary, should have been aware that VA was facing a national scheduling crisis,” Burr said. “VA’s leadership has either failed to connect the dots or failed to address this ongoing crisis, which has resulted in patient harm and patient death.”
When Shinseki kept referring to the whole story as a series of unproven “allegations,” it was Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut who reminded him the secret waiting lists and falsified records in Phoenix are a matter of documented fact, not an allegation. Following the Senate hearing, it was announced that the VA inspector general would be working with criminal investigators, federal prosecutors from Arizona, and the Public Integrity section of the Justice Department to determine if criminal prosecutions are warranted.
Here’s the part of the CNN report that shows us just how personally outraged Barack Obama is:
Asked at one point if he should resign, Shinseki said caring for fellow American veterans was a mission, not a job, and he intended to continue working until he achieves his goal of improved care “or I am told by my commander in chief that my time has been served.”
In appointing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors to assist Shinseki in reviewing what happened, Obama said he asked Shinseki to review “practices to ensure better access to care.”
“While we get to the bottom of what happened in Phoenix, it’s clear the VA needs to do more to ensure quality care for our veterans,” Obama said.
The totality of the Secretary’s remarks before the committee Thursday were not only deceptive, they were detached, defensive, and unbefitting a leader who, by now, should be fighting mad about the scandals engulfing VA, firing those responsible, and fundamentally challenging every assumption he has about the manner in which care is provided to our veterans.
Instead, Shinseki played the role of aloof bureaucrat, reading dispassionately from his prepared remarks in a monotone voice, as if this was a run-of-the-mill budget hearing. Shinseki’s comments were spot on in that respect—a perfect personification of VA’s indifferent and unaccountable bureaucracy.
As my organization Concerned Veterans for America has been saying for years—and Fox News has been reporting aggressively—the VA is an infected bureaucracy, incapable of delivering timely care to veterans; instead, the VA has been cooking the books to preserve the jobs and bonuses of senior officials.