Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Obama keeps VA Secretary, praises as 'great soldier', denies wait times led to deaths

What does it take to get fired in the Obama administration? Evidently more than having 40 veterans die on a waiting list in one Arizona facility that you oversee! No, for that you're referred to as a 'great soldier'...
WeeklyStandard: President Obama didn't ask his VA secretary to resign. Instead, after meeting with Secretary Eric Shinseki, Obama addressed the press and praised the embattled cabinet member:

"Ric Shinseki has been a great soldier. He himself is a disabled veteran, and nobody cares more about our veterans than Ric Shinseki. So if you ask me how do I think Ric Shinseki has performed overall? I would say that on homelessness, on 9/11 GI bill, on working with us to reduce the backlog across the board he has put his heart and soul into this thing and he has taken it very seriously," said Obama.

"But I have said to Ric [Shinseki] and I said it to him today, I want to see what the results of these reports are, and there is going to be accountability. And I'm going to expect even before the reports are done that we are seeing significant improvement in terms of how the admissions process takes place in all of our VA health care facilities. So I now he cares about it deeply. And he has been a great public servant and a great warrior on behalf of the United States of America."
But Obama won't stand for VA misconduct...please. Enough with the feigned outrage always after he supposedly finds out via the press (more BS!).

Oh, he also denied that wait times led to deaths. Really getting to the bottom of it, ain't he? He'll probably say there's not a smidgen of corruption in just a few short months...
WeaselZippers: All you can do is shake your head in disbelief.

Via the transcript from today’s remarks:
"[W]ell, we have to find out first of all what exactly happened. And I don’t want to get ahead of the IG report or the other investigations that are being done.

And I think it is important to recognize that the wait times generally — what the IG indicated so far, at least, is the wait times were folks who may have had chronic conditions, were seeking their next appointment, but may have already received service. It was not necessarily a situation where they were calling for emergency services. And the IG indicated that he did not see a link between the wait and them actually dying.

That does not excuse the fact that the wait times in general are too long in some facilities. And so what we have to do is find out what exactly happened. We have to find out how can we realistically cut some of these wait times. There has been a large influx of new veterans coming in. We’ve got a population of veterans that is also aging, as part of the baby boom population. And we’ve got to make sure that the scheduling system, the access to the system, that all those things are in sync."
Related link: Democrat calls for Shinseki to go, HAMMERS Obama for his response on VA

ADDENDUM: Oh, get this...House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's solution: give the VA Secretary more power!
RawStory: The House of Representatives will vote this week on a bill to make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire or demote senior executives, officials said on Tuesday, following accusations that veterans’ healthcare delays have led to preventable deaths.

The bill addressing the “mess at the Veterans Administration” will “try and provide the tools to the administration to hold senior managers accountable,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican, told reporters.
More government on top of government...yeah, that'll solve everything (facepalm).

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