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NYT Claims Veterans Haven’t Died Because Of Delays

From the Whirling Dervishes at the New York Times:

History and Context of an Embattled Department of Veterans Affairs

By ROBERT PEAR | May 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — … To provide some history and context [to the uproar over medical care for military veterans] here are answers to some of the more pressing questions…

Q: How big is the Department of Veterans Affairs?

A: The clinics and hospitals serve more than 230,000 veterans a day and deliver care in 85 million appointments a year. The 6.5 million patients treated each year include more than 757,000 whose military service began after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

You see? It’s a really big operation. Of course, some people are going to be put on secret waiting lists. (Sarcasm.)

Q: Why have veterans been unable to obtain needed medical care?

A: As a result of deep-seated management problems, investigators say, clinical staff positions remain vacant for months, and the agency often fails to redeploy personnel to meet changing needs. While some veterans have died while waiting for appointments, investigators say, that does not necessarily mean that they died because of the delays…

This is simply a bald-faced lie. The VA has admitted in internal reviews that at least 23 veterans died because of delays. (See below.)

In addition, we had the report from the Dayton Daily News that their investigation of VA records had turned up 167 veteran deaths that were attributed to ‘delays in treatment’ by the VA itself.

Q: Why are veterans waiting more than 100 days for some types of specialty care? Why is the agency unable to measure wait times in a reliable way?

A: Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont and chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, said, “Everybody understands that when you treat 230,000 people a day, mistakes are going to be made, and that is true of any institution of that size.”

You see? Whenever you have a large number of people being treated by doctors you are going to have people dying on secret waiting lists. What is so surprising about that? (More sarcasm.)

But, he said, the agency’s inspector general and the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, have reported “on numerous occasions about problems having to do with scheduling and with waiting lists.” …

So why did Mr. Sanders and the Obama administration ignore these warnings?

From the Weekly Standard:

VA Has Already Admitted 23 Veteran Deaths Linked to Delays in Care

By JOHN MCCORMACK | May 22, 2014

At a press conference Wednesday, President Obama said that the inspector general for the VA "did not see a link" between veteran deaths and delays in care at VA hospitals. The president suggested that he can’t take action until investigators "find out what exactly happened" …

[And] it’s true that the inspector general has not yet attributed deaths at the Phoenix VA to delays in care, but a VA internal review found a link between the deaths of 23 veterans and wait times at VA facilities.

"Delays in endoscopy screenings for potential gastrointestinal cancer in 76 veterans treated at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are linked to 23 deaths, most of them three to four years ago, according to the VA," USA Today’s Gregg Zoroya reported on April 8.

"The delays occurred at 27 VA hospitals with deaths at 13 of the facilities. The worst record was at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn veterans hospital in Columbia, S.C., where there were 20 cases of delays and six deaths, according to a VA report."

Well, as Bernie Sanders and the NYT may say, that’s no big deal. The VA handles a lot of people.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 23rd, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “NYT Claims Veterans Haven’t Died Because Of Delays”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    So what you are saying Mr. Sanders is that government health care on a national level will be even bigger and more inept?

  2. canary says:

    VA Union fears Vets will get Care Elsewhere. The VA Union want’s more Sick Veterans?

    Veterans Affairs Employees Union Fears Veterans will Get Care Elsewhere because of Scandal

    By Joel Gehrike – May 22, 2014

    With Congress looking for a way to fix the Veterans Affairs Department in response to reports of veterans dying while waiting for care, the union that represents VA employees fears that it will lose patient clientele.


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