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(USA Today)   Report: Obama madder than hell over VA problems. You can tell he's really angry by his left eyebrow moving down about 1/8"   (usatoday.com) divider line 58
    More: Obvious, Obama, VA problems, McDonough, Shinseki, White House Chief of Staff  
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609 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 May 2014 at 2:21 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-18 02:10:37 PM  
You won't see him get more direct and visceral than "Please proceed Governor" or "...so I know who's ass to kick." He runs the risk of looking like the Angry Black Man, which is a well-known racist trope.
 
2014-05-18 02:12:29 PM  
To be honest, we should all be pissed off about the problems the VA is having. Their record keeping alone should send folks into paroxysms of rage, considering how antiquated and inefficient that it is. And that alone is a monumental task to address, and few folks have any idea how to remedy it.

Perhaps Congress should draw up a plan, but then again, they seem somewhat distracted...
 
2014-05-18 02:21:57 PM  

hubiestubert: To be honest, we should all be pissed off about the problems the VA is having. Their record keeping alone should send folks into paroxysms of rage, considering how antiquated and inefficient that it is. And that alone is a monumental task to address, and few folks have any idea how to remedy it.

Perhaps Congress should draw up a plan, but then again, they seem somewhat distracted...


Why the fark should congress draw up a plan? The farking VA should draw up a plan. It's an agency dedicated to having a plan about veteran's health care. That's what they do.

Somacandra: He runs the risk of looking like the Angry Black Man, which is a well-known racist trope.


Yeah, Obama doesn't do angry.  But I can't remember Bush going angry, either.  Have to go all the way back to Clinton and even that was just mild annoyance at Kenneth Starr.
 
2014-05-18 02:26:36 PM  
The head of the VA Hospital fell into favor with the left by publicly denouncing Bush and the Iraq war. He quickly became a buddy of Kerry and Obama. And that is it. That is all of his qualifications and it shows.
 
2014-05-18 02:30:45 PM  
dear republicans, if you wanted an issue to bash over the head of the current administration, this was it.  It has been for years, the backlog of paperwork needing to be processed for years has been documented and covered.  You claim patriotism and supporting the troops and here was your golden egg.

it was easy; yes it had a little bit of bu-bu-bu-but bush to it, but you could easily get over that hurdle by passing simple legislation.  A simple bill or line item in the budget of a mere $1million which would do nothing but purchase high speed scanners and an army, well maybe not the best term there, civilian work program to scan the hell out of all those documents rotting in floors of building for veterans.  This is one of those problems that could have been solved, which may be why it wasn't done.

/note: democrats can easily jump on this idea as well and steal back some of the 'republicans are the only ones who have yellow stickers on the trunk of the car' veiled patriotism.
 
2014-05-18 02:31:05 PM  
There have been problems with the VA for several administrations, if not all of them since its inception. Is it really shocking that veterans are constantly getting screwed? Then again, if someone is dumb enough to join the military, they probably aren't that forward-thinking.
 
2014-05-18 02:33:51 PM  

Karma Chameleon: if someone is dumb enough to join the military


People haven't always had that much of a choice.
 
2014-05-18 02:34:55 PM  
I thought Obama was supposed to be a commie.  Shouldn't his eyebrow movements be measured in metric?
 
m00
2014-05-18 02:35:16 PM  
I don't care if he's pissed off. I just think he should do something about it. Congress really isn't needed since the VA falls entierly within the scope of the Executive, but I suspect any lack of action will be blamed on Congressional obstructionism.
 
2014-05-18 02:35:26 PM  
Here, easy fix for VA.  Hand all veterans eligible for healthcare a card. When said veteran needs health care, they can present this card to the relevant person in charge of billing for whatever healthcare is sought.  The card will have information telling said billing person who to call for the bill. Bill is then paid for by the US government.  Healthcare providers can even choose if they wish to accept said card or not!

Now, I know this is a totally unique idea that healthcare people have NEVER had experience with. It may take some getting used to, this idea that a patient presents a card, and the provider sends a bill to someone else.  I'm sure that we, as a nation, could pull it off though.

In all seriousness, rather than running all these assorted clinics/hospitals/what have you, just make VA the equivalent of private insurance.  Let the vets choose who they want to see, VA covers the tab.
 
2014-05-18 02:36:32 PM  

Lsherm: Why the fark should congress draw up a plan? The farking VA should draw up a plan. It's an agency dedicated to having a plan about veteran's health care. That's what they do.


Well, Congress is the one that slashed 75% of the VAs funding for improving their medical records system, in response to the VA and DOD failing to meet an earlier Congressional mandate for a joint electronic health record with a budget, timeline, and feature requirement that ruled out everything on the market.
 
2014-05-18 02:36:43 PM  
www4.images.coolspotters.com
 
2014-05-18 02:38:16 PM  

Karma Chameleon: There have been problems with the VA for several administrations, if not all of them since its inception. Is it really shocking that veterans are constantly getting screwed? Then again, if someone is dumb enough to join the military, they probably aren't that forward-thinking.


granted, I am not happy with this situation, but you touch on a dirty secret of the military...if you can fight, then they care...once you can no longer support the fighting force, then you are nothing but a drain of resources, a barnacle on the might ship of "america, f*ck yea".

If the military needs to inject a chemical into its troops to boost their fighting ability for 30 days which has been demonstrated to leave them paralyzed in ten years, guess what, you are getting the shot.  The NFL has nothing on the military when it comes to the "what have you done for me lately" or "what can you do to help me win TODAY?" f*uck tomorrow, or next season and your injury, can you get out there and do anything today? if not, I don't care.

/also, what happened to Fox news holiday coverage of "the ultimate sacrifice" they used to run non-stop in the early years of the post 9/11 wars?
 
2014-05-18 02:38:17 PM  

Lsherm: hubiestubert: To be honest, we should all be pissed off about the problems the VA is having. Their record keeping alone should send folks into paroxysms of rage, considering how antiquated and inefficient that it is. And that alone is a monumental task to address, and few folks have any idea how to remedy it.

Perhaps Congress should draw up a plan, but then again, they seem somewhat distracted...

Why the fark should congress draw up a plan? The farking VA should draw up a plan. It's an agency dedicated to having a plan about veteran's health care. That's what they do.


Because the problems with the VA can't be solved without the allocation of funds. Increased work load, temporary positions to transcribe the backlog of records, and the last time I checked, the Congress are the folks with the pursestrings. And they seem absolutely dedicated to micromanaging the running of a lot of other departments, and investigating them, with their suggestions on how those agencies should be doing their jobs...

Or do you think that is off base? Please, continue...
 
2014-05-18 02:39:32 PM  

hubiestubert: To be honest, we should all be pissed off about the problems the VA is having. Their record keeping alone should send folks into paroxysms of rage, considering how antiquated and inefficient that it is. And that alone is a monumental task to address, and few folks have any idea how to remedy it.


We should all be pissed off about a lot of things. Not to lay this specifically at the feet of the Republicans or anything, but it's so commonly campaigned upon, so commonly repeated, so commonly accepted that government is fundamentally broken and can't do its job that people have just sort of come to ...accept it as it is. Or that trying to change it will make it somehow worse.

Government, like anything else citizens pay taxes to support, should be functional. It should have reasonable goals, it should have plans to meet those goals, and it should have the authority to see those goals through. And anyone who stands in the way of those goals on little more grounds than "muh freedomz" should be nowhere near the parts that control it.
 
2014-05-18 02:41:26 PM  
First of all, Obama shouldn't distract Congress from Benghazi. Second, the best way to improve VA services is to slash funding and tell the veterans they aren't bootstrapy.
 
2014-05-18 02:43:47 PM  

IsThatYourFinalAnswer: Here, easy fix for VA.  Hand all veterans eligible for healthcare a card. When said veteran needs health care, they can present this card to the relevant person in charge of billing for whatever healthcare is sought.  The card will have information telling said billing person who to call for the bill. Bill is then paid for by the US government.  Healthcare providers can even choose if they wish to accept said card or not!

Now, I know this is a totally unique idea that healthcare people have NEVER had experience with. It may take some getting used to, this idea that a patient presents a card, and the provider sends a bill to someone else.  I'm sure that we, as a nation, could pull it off though.

In all seriousness, rather than running all these assorted clinics/hospitals/what have you, just make VA the equivalent of private insurance.  Let the vets choose who they want to see, VA covers the tab.


pfft, and who will handout these cards or pay for the printing of said cards?  just another liberal wanting to give out handouts.  Also, isn't this socializm, single payer?  having someone else pay for it, these veterans were given everything for free and never had to do anything.  they were given clothes, housing, free vacations to remote parts of the world, free cruises on some of the best boats in the world, job training, and hell they even gave them guns along with a top notch exercise program to even get them into shape...and now they want free healthcare?.  Maybe when they start actually paying taxes I will start to care about these freeloaders.

freedom isn't free and it is about time these people learn that.
 
2014-05-18 02:45:32 PM  
Hyjamon:granted, I am not happy with this situation, but you touch on a dirty secret of the military...if you can fight, then they care...once you can no longer support the fighting force, then you are nothing but a drain of resources, a barnacle on the might ship of "america, f*ck yea".

If the military needs to inject a chemical into its troops to boost their fighting ability for 30 days which has been demonstrated to leave them paralyzed in ten years, guess what, you are getting the shot.  The NFL has nothing on the military when it comes to the "what have you done for me lately" or "what can you do to help me win TODAY?" f*uck tomorrow, or next season and your injury, can you get out there and do anything today? if not, I don't care.

/also, what happened to Fox news holiday coverage of "the ultimate sacrifice" they used to run non-stop in the early years of the post 9/11 wars?


I had just this discussion with a very gung-ho superpatriot soldier recently.

In the military (and VA), when you get sick or injured, you go to the doctor and have to prove to them how far you are away from 100% whole.  The default is to distrust the troop, then work your way to the minimal amount of downtime/light duty/treatment required to return to 100%

In the civilian world, I walk in to my doctor and say "Doc, my leg hurts so bad I can't walk". He then starts from there and works on fixing me.


It's subtle, but it's there.  On one side, you are assumed to be malingering. It may not be openly said, but the system is built around that idea.  On the other side, you're trusted enough to know something is wrong with your body.
 
2014-05-18 02:46:33 PM  
1. Not enough staff
2. Too many cases
3. Due to #1 and #2, workers are incentivized to cut corners.
4. Too man inefficiencies
5. Too little money to address #1 or #4
6. Congress controls the budget.
7. In order to increase the budget they would have to either pull money from somewhere else or raise taxes.
8. Republicans refuse to raise taxes.
9. Apply #1-8 to the USPS, IRS, ATF, etc. etc,

Did I miss anything?
 
2014-05-18 02:46:40 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-05-18 02:46:54 PM  
Getting angry and throwing a fit isn't very presidential

Truman could pull it off. I can't think of anyone else though. Maybe teddy
 
2014-05-18 02:49:16 PM  

hubiestubert: Because the problems with the VA can't be solved without the allocation of funds. Increased work load, temporary positions to transcribe the backlog of records, and the last time I checked, the Congress are the folks with the pursestrings. And they seem absolutely dedicated to micromanaging the running of a lot of other departments, and investigating them, with their suggestions on how those agencies should be doing their jobs...

Or do you think that is off base? Please, continue...


What's even more baffling to me is that these agencies keep showing up to listen to it. Appoint an intern as special legal counsel and send him as the designated whipping boy. Hell, the President could do even better: Appoint the dog and send him to the endless hearings.

Watching grown men yell at a high school kid who's only armed with "I really don't know what you're talking about" would be a huge improvement.
 
2014-05-18 02:51:20 PM  

Karma Chameleon: There have been problems with the VA for several administrations, if not all of them since its inception. Is it really shocking that veterans are constantly getting screwed? Then again, if someone is dumb enough to join the military, they probably aren't that forward-thinking.


All this reminds me of is the clusterfark that was the Walter Reed Medical Center.

It took the media for the government to shut down that death trap.
 
2014-05-18 02:52:29 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: Getting angry and throwing a fit isn't very presidential

Truman could pull it off. I can't think of anyone else though. Maybe teddy


Oh, definitely Teddy.  I can see Clinton doing it, but he strikes me as a person who when angry talks even slower and more carefully and turns red.  There would also be visible evidence he is holding back a tirade of curse words.

I can also see Nixon throwing a fit and objects.
 
2014-05-18 02:59:48 PM  
I haven't paid much attention to this story, but this situation is representative of the larger problems in healthcare.
The administrators who make policy have no idea how their rules will function in the real world, and once the policy is unleashed there is not a proper framework to study how the rule is functioning and where it is failing or successful.

It was pants-on-head crazy to create a rule that patient's must be scheduled appointments within 14 days (as most people are familiar with the experience of scheduling a doctor's appointment, 30, 60, 90 day waits for appointments in the civilian world are the norm). Assuming the VA in other parts of the country are anything like what I have experienced, there are just not enough doctors or mid-level providers. 

I'm not apologizing for the "fake lists", though. While complying with the 14 day rule is incredibly difficult for some clinics and simply impossible for others, making fake lists is an outrageous response. Those responsible need to be held accountable.

But this scandal was almost inevitable considering the VA did not have the resources to fulfill their promise, and did not have the framework in place to pick up their mistake sooner rather than later.
 
2014-05-18 03:08:44 PM  

Sum Dum Gai: Lsherm: Why the fark should congress draw up a plan? The farking VA should draw up a plan. It's an agency dedicated to having a plan about veteran's health care. That's what they do.

Well, Congress is the one that slashed 75% of the VAs funding for improving their medical records system, in response to the VA and DOD failing to meet an earlier Congressional mandate for a joint electronic health record with a budget, timeline, and feature requirement that ruled out everything on the market.


This10
 
2014-05-18 04:41:35 PM  

IsThatYourFinalAnswer: Here, easy fix for VA.  Hand all veterans eligible for healthcare a card. When said veteran needs health care, they can present this card to the relevant person in charge of billing for whatever healthcare is sought.  The card will have information telling said billing person who to call for the bill. Bill is then paid for by the US government.  Healthcare providers can even choose if they wish to accept said card or not!

Now, I know this is a totally unique idea that healthcare people have NEVER had experience with. It may take some getting used to, this idea that a patient presents a card, and the provider sends a bill to someone else.  I'm sure that we, as a nation, could pull it off though.

In all seriousness, rather than running all these assorted clinics/hospitals/what have you, just make VA the equivalent of private insurance.  Let the vets choose who they want to see, VA covers the tab.


That's called TriCare, and it's what you have when you're on active duty. Military retirees are also eligible for TriCare.

The healthcare reform law should have included a TriCare expansion for all honorably discharged veterans... but that would have been too easy.
 
2014-05-18 04:46:57 PM  
 "Cry Havoc! And slip the dogs of war".abcnews.go.com
Jesbus, Joe get out there and create a distraction.
 What do you think we keep you around for ?
 
2014-05-18 04:47:28 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: Getting angry and throwing a fit isn't very presidential

Truman could pull it off. I can't think of anyone else though. Maybe teddy


LBJ never threw a fist, he would just drop a deuce with the door open during a policy negotiation, while staring his political opponents in the eye.

No, seriously. I'm not making that up. He really did that.
 
2014-05-18 04:48:54 PM  
The VA medical system is royally screwed up. When I worked for an ambulance service that had a VA contract, had to transport patients 2 hours to see a podiatrist at a VA hospital. I loved the higher pay rate and the guys we picked up were usually interesting, but considering there was a podiatrist town the street from the hospital where he was at, it was a major waste of resources. On an 8 hr shift it was great. Killed most of it.I am all about the VA care being insurance, not a system.My experience with it is one reason why I don't support a true government ran healthcare system. Fee for service, but if we want single payer ok. But basethe fee on care and outcome. My favorite part of Obamacare.
 
2014-05-18 04:50:05 PM  

IsThatYourFinalAnswer: just make VA the equivalent of private insurance. Let the vets choose who they want to see, VA covers the tab.


Wait, I though you said you wanted it to be like private insurance.
 
2014-05-18 04:57:47 PM  

Somacandra: You won't see him get more direct and visceral than "Please proceed Governor" or "...so I know who's ass to kick." He runs the risk of looking like the Angry Black Man, which is a well-known racist trope.


upload.wikimedia.org
Not amused.
 
2014-05-18 04:59:33 PM  

hubiestubert: To be honest, we should all be pissed off about the problems the VA is having. Their record keeping alone should send folks into paroxysms of rage, considering how antiquated and inefficient that it is. And that alone is a monumental task to address, and few folks have any idea how to remedy it.

Perhaps Congress should draw up a plan, but then again, they seem somewhat distracted...


UM
1) Find a hospital that has EXCELLENT medical record keeping
- done, we will pick The Cleveland Clinic as a most excellent as example.

2) hirer the people who created/built the Cleveland Clinics Data Record keeping system.
- not rocket science,

3) copy exactly the Cleveland Clinic system
- trivial, costs a few bucks for hardware and software, but effectively zero for new development
- this includes computerized systems at all the VA hospitals and clinics

4) hirer a TRUCK LOAD of data entry people to enter all the data from ALL the VAs into the new system
- enter the records twice, anytime that a double entered record comes up different, have it entered a 3rd time
- blah blah quality counts, but you have to start somewhere

5) fund the projects DIRECTLY from the topline DOD budget. They can figure out what to do with the shortfall on their own.

6) fire anyone who thinks this is a bad idea because blah blah blah blah blah


this isnt farking ROCKET SCIENCE
this is just assholes trying to make money on recreating the wheel, rather than copying best practices

/I am certain that some asshole has CLEAR REASONS that this would never work, because A), B) and C).  I dont care. The current system doesnt work at all. The new system would work, it wouldnt be perfect.  HINT: nothing is ever perfect. EVER.
 
2014-05-18 05:02:15 PM  
Also, wouldn't it be safer to say Americans in general don't like angry people? It doesn't really matter what race you are. Angry is angry and people don't like it. Or is that not racially charged enough for folks the like of angry Mr. Lemon to bait with?
 
2014-05-18 05:12:42 PM  

globalwarmingpraiser: The VA medical system is royally screwed up. When I worked for an ambulance service that had a VA contract, had to transport patients 2 hours to see a podiatrist at a VA hospital. I loved the higher pay rate and the guys we picked up were usually interesting, but considering there was a podiatrist town the street from the hospital where he was at, it was a major waste of resources. On an 8 hr shift it was great. Killed most of it.I am all about the VA care being insurance, not a system.My experience with it is one reason why I don't support a true government ran healthcare system. Fee for service, but if we want single payer ok. But basethe fee on care and outcome. My favorite part of Obamacare.


While I understand that vets have special needs, sometimes those needs are not really all that special.
PTSD? higher than the general population, but plenty of PTSD in genpop
traumatic brain injury? ditto
lost limbs? ditto

In the end, OTHER than how you are PAYING for the medical care, how is the care any different than all the other hospitals in the US?
Record keeping and how it gets paid for?
FFS, talk about inefficient.

I guess the REAL benefit of the VA system is to prevent the genpop from KNOWING how bad the wars are going, by keeping the soldiers as far away from the ignorant civilians as possible.

WHY else is it impossible to get an answer to the simplest of questions?
HOW MANY purple hearts have been awarded, by year and theatre?
NOPE, I dont need accurate numbers, with 10% would be fine.

As of May 29, 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,487 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 32,223 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom.[50]

Iraq: 4500 dead, 32,000 wounded = ~37,000 purple hearts
OH WAIT, this is the official wounded list?

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/military/2009-03-04-braininjurie s_ N.htm
or 360,000 have TBI, including mild concussions? 
WTF

I hate that they are treating the soldiers this poorly.
 
2014-05-18 05:32:00 PM  
Namatad, I think we are on the same page.
 
2014-05-18 05:36:18 PM  
Everybody in the administration is using the same expression. It makes you doubt their sincerity.
 
2014-05-18 05:38:08 PM  

namatad: UM
1) Find a hospital that has EXCELLENT medical record keeping
- done, we will pick The Cleveland Clinic as a most excellent as example.

2) hirer the people who created/built the Cleveland Clinics Data Record keeping system.
- not rocket science,

3) copy exactly the Cleveland Clinic system
- trivial, costs a few bucks for hardware and software, but effectively zero for new development
- this includes computerized systems at all the VA hospitals and clinics

4) hirer a TRUCK LOAD of data entry people to enter all the data from ALL the VAs into the new system
- enter the records twice, anytime that a double entered record comes up different, have it entered a 3rd time
- blah blah quality counts, but you have to start somewhere

5) fund the projects DIRECTLY from the topline DOD budget. They can figure out what to do with the shortfall on their own.

6) fire anyone who thinks this is a bad idea because blah blah blah blah blah


Well, as someone who works in the EHR industry, the cost of rollout is a lot more than "a few bucks"... but probably less than the cost of maintaining VistA.

I think there's mainly a few problems with this (the DoD wants to move to commercial software, the VA does not):

1. The VA is strongly, strongly in favor of keeping VistA, it's self-developed software.  I think a lot of that is actually organizational mindset; like a lot of places, there's preference given to something they made themselves over something someone else created.  You don't want to get rid of "your baby" and have someone else's kid do the job, even if they'll do it better.

2. Certain congressmen (for some reason, those in districts that do a lot of the work of maintaining VistA...) don't want to abandon it.

3. VistA is an open-source health record that basically survives only by government funding.  There are those who want to maintain it for political reasons.
 
2014-05-18 05:46:20 PM  
namatad:

3) copy exactly the Cleveland Clinic system
- trivial, costs a few bucks for hardware and software, but effectively zero for new development
- this includes computerized systems at all the VA hospitals and clinics
...

6) fire anyone who thinks this is a bad idea because blah blah blah blah blah


Step 7: Discover that a data system that works great for a local or regional clinic system fails miserably when dealing with the needs of 21 million veterans, including 3.5 million disabled veterans, spread out over 50 states.

You're absolutely right that there's no excuse for not fixing the VA system. It's not clear to me that the solution is as simple as you make it out to be.

Here's an idea:

Step 1: No new ships, subs, boats, planes, missiles, radars, tanks, bombs, rifles, grenades, boots, or bullets until an independent auditor verifies that veterans are getting the services they need with outcomes and waiting times as good as the health care system used by Congress. Let the brass figure out how to solve the problem.
 
2014-05-18 05:56:37 PM  

PiperArrow: Step 7: Discover that a data system that works great for a local or regional clinic system fails miserably when dealing with the needs of 21 million veterans, including 3.5 million disabled veterans, spread out over 50 states.


Well, the software that Cleveland Clinic uses is Epic.  Epic is also used by Kaiser Permanente, the largest non-government healthcare system in the world, covering around 9 million patients in 9 states.

It's definitely true that there are only, at most, two or three systems that could scale easily to that level, but private software is out there that can do this.
 
2014-05-18 05:58:10 PM  

namatad: hubiestubert: To be honest, we should all be pissed off about the problems the VA is having. Their record keeping alone should send folks into paroxysms of rage, considering how antiquated and inefficient that it is. And that alone is a monumental task to address, and few folks have any idea how to remedy it.

Perhaps Congress should draw up a plan, but then again, they seem somewhat distracted...

UM
1) Find a hospital that has EXCELLENT medical record keeping
- done, we will pick The Cleveland Clinic as a most excellent as example.

2) hirer the people who created/built the Cleveland Clinics Data Record keeping system.
- not rocket science,

3) copy exactly the Cleveland Clinic system
- trivial, costs a few bucks for hardware and software, but effectively zero for new development
- this includes computerized systems at all the VA hospitals and clinics

4) hirer a TRUCK LOAD of data entry people to enter all the data from ALL the VAs into the new system
- enter the records twice, anytime that a double entered record comes up different, have it entered a 3rd time
- blah blah quality counts, but you have to start somewhere

5) fund the projects DIRECTLY from the topline DOD budget. They can figure out what to do with the shortfall on their own.

6) fire anyone who thinks this is a bad idea because blah blah blah blah blah


this isnt farking ROCKET SCIENCE
this is just assholes trying to make money on recreating the wheel, rather than copying best practices

/I am certain that some asshole has CLEAR REASONS that this would never work, because A), B) and C).  I dont care. The current system doesnt work at all. The new system would work, it wouldnt be perfect.  HINT: nothing is ever perfect. EVER.


At this point the issue is the monumental, and I monumental, I mean, absolutely colossal backlog in converting records. It isn't rocket science, but you have a system that is in direct use, and constantly in use, that has to be converted. It's NOT as simple as you just trotted out. It sounds inspirational, but it's a bit bigger a task than you might imagine. But it is going to need a huge effort to get just those records converted alone. And that means specialized appropriations. It isn't a bad idea, but it's no where near as simple as you want to make it. We are talking about systematic issues that stretch back a long ways. And we are talking about a system that is active nation wide on top of it.

Your example? The Cleveland Clinic can expect to deal with 80,000 patients or so a year, in a fairly localized area--people come to them. The VA? 23,000,000+ across the country. THAT isn't just a small leap, that's an entirely different scale. You may not want to hear the problems that your "simple" plan has, but that doesn't change the scale of the issue. And the fact that records are no where near centralized. The scale of the problem is the issue, and no one wants to actually deal with the issue, or centralize the processes, because of that scale. It's not about "perfect" it's about scale. Plain and simple. While things are improving, the VA desperately needs more people, and desperately needs specialized appropriations to do the work. Yeah, the President might be able to throw executive dap onto the problem, and to the wailing of a Congress that weeps at "executive overreach" at every opportunity when they are bypassed.

And, yeah, this is an issue that should have been addressed years ago. Like about twenty or so, but no one likes to talk about the growing problem, and it's been punted for years. We keep creating more and more vets, and we increasingly leave their care to languish in an outdated and overworked system, and are then told, "government can't work" when no one is really addressing the real issues.
 
2014-05-18 06:04:55 PM  

Karma Chameleon: There have been problems with the VA for several administrations, if not all of them since its inception. Is it really shocking that veterans are constantly getting screwed? Then again, if someone is dumb enough to join the military, they probably aren't that forward-thinking.


there was a time when joining wasn't voluntary. and not just WW two. Korea and Vietnam were fought with guys dragged off the streets. they deserve far better care than they get.
 
2014-05-18 06:18:14 PM  

Curious: Karma Chameleon: There have been problems with the VA for several administrations, if not all of them since its inception. Is it really shocking that veterans are constantly getting screwed? Then again, if someone is dumb enough to join the military, they probably aren't that forward-thinking.

there was a time when joining wasn't voluntary. and not just WW two. Korea and Vietnam were fought with guys dragged off the streets. they deserve far better care than they get.


The care they receive is great, it's just that getting an APPOINTMENT is ridiculous.

/super understaffed and underfunded.
 
2014-05-18 07:19:55 PM  

IsThatYourFinalAnswer: I walk in to my doctor and say "Doc, my leg hurts so bad I can't walk".


img.fark.net
 
2014-05-18 07:20:07 PM  

Rhino_man: IsThatYourFinalAnswer: Here, easy fix for VA.  Hand all veterans eligible for healthcare a card. When said veteran needs health care, they can present this card to the relevant person in charge of billing for whatever healthcare is sought.  The card will have information telling said billing person who to call for the bill. Bill is then paid for by the US government.  Healthcare providers can even choose if they wish to accept said card or not!

Now, I know this is a totally unique idea that healthcare people have NEVER had experience with. It may take some getting used to, this idea that a patient presents a card, and the provider sends a bill to someone else.  I'm sure that we, as a nation, could pull it off though.

In all seriousness, rather than running all these assorted clinics/hospitals/what have you, just make VA the equivalent of private insurance.  Let the vets choose who they want to see, VA covers the tab.

That's called TriCare, and it's what you have when you're on active duty. Military retirees are also eligible for TriCare.

The healthcare reform law should have included a TriCare expansion for all honorably discharged veterans... but that would have been too easy.


Holy shiat that would never have passed, which means it's probably a good idea. I'm a retiree and I thank God for tricare every open season at work, that I don't have to drop ridiculous amounts of cash every month for insurance.  No way would insurance companies have put up with losing that many customers.
 
2014-05-18 08:03:45 PM  

Vertdang: The care they receive is great, it's just that getting an APPOINTMENT is ridiculous.


the care i'm getting is good but i wouldn't call it great. as to appointments that may depend on where you are. in the new orleans VA getting seen for my skin cancer and COPD has short to reasonable wait times. other things like hearing tests were short enough.
 
2014-05-18 08:22:49 PM  

ReverendJynxed: Also, wouldn't it be safer to say Americans in general don't like angry people? It doesn't really matter what race you are. Angry is angry and people don't like it. Or is that not racially charged enough for folks the like of angry Mr. Lemon to bait with?


I think its safe to say that Americans love angry people.  There's not a segment of news, politics, or entertainment where angry isn't revered.
 
2014-05-18 08:46:49 PM  
If 0bama really cared about this nonsense, he wouldn't have needed to find out about it from CNN.

This is another example of the administrative incompetence that is the hallmark of this administration. This disgraceful clown only looks half-competent compared to his predecessor. If he'd been in W's position, we'd have replaced this loser -which we should have anyways- with a competent administrator, like Romney.
 
2014-05-18 11:44:08 PM  
Someone better call Luther?

geeknation.com
 
2014-05-19 02:32:24 AM  

Doktor_Zhivago: Getting angry and throwing a fit isn't very presidential

Truman could pull it off. I can't think of anyone else though. Maybe teddy


LBJ would just beat the crap out of those who pissed him off with his huge dick (which he nicknamed "Jumbo").
 
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