What's up at the VA?

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Notorial Dissent
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Re: What's up at the VA?

#101

Post by Notorial Dissent » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:05 am

Mikedunford wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:52 am
Notorial Dissent wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:48 am
Kendra wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:46 am
:?:

Assuming these allegations are proven to be true, how did he come off with such a glowing reputation over the years without any hints or gossip of this coming out?
Nobody really checked or more likely asked the right people/questions??? He's gotten worse/bolder??

Are we going to have to set up a poll for the ones who don't even make it to confirmation now?
He was an option in the regular poll.
At the rate things are falling apart, the poll won't be big enough.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#102

Post by Atticus Finch » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:09 am

ZekeB wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:01 am
Regardless of his past, I don't think he's qualified. OTOH I don't expect Trump's next nominee to be any more qualified.
I hope that the Trump's next nominee is not another pretty face who can walk and chew gum at the same time.



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#103

Post by Slim Cognito » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am

If there was an incident with a gov vehicle, it was probably more golf carty than SUVish. I'm thinking garden party soiree.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#104

Post by Mikedunford » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:37 am

Slim Cognito wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am
If there was an incident with a gov vehicle, it was probably more golf carty than SUVish. I'm thinking garden party soiree.
That would make sense. And some of the other stuff - including much of the allegations about prescription practices - is explainable in ways which might not be wonderful, but aren't necessarily indications of personal misconduct.

I've got the feeling that the White House Medical Office has probably been engaging in bureaucratic status wars with Walter Reed/Bethesda, probably for decades. The WHMO commander might be an O-6 or a one-star, but their senior rater is POTUS, and they've probably been using their status, proximity to power, and the unique nature of their assignment as leverage to keep from becoming a satellite clinic of the major healthcare commands in the area. And I suspect that they've been particularly resisting a lot of the more onerous administrative and record-keeping changes.

So they probably don't have, for example, a great record system for tracking things like casual encounters for minor things, such as an attack of the runs while on AF-1. Instead, the doc keeps a stash of immodium in his bag (possibly as a prescription in his name; I've heard of similar things being done by unit physicians travelling with their units), and hands out pills as needed.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#105

Post by ZekeB » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:14 am

If the White House doctor position were treated like most every other military assignment, the tour of duty would rotate every four years. Apparently it's a gravy job that even an O3 can handle. I can see it being a tour that allows a second four year term if the president is re-elected, but a lifetime job for an O6/7? C'mon.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#106

Post by Maybenaut » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:21 am

I wonder if this will force him into retirement, and if so, whether there will be a grade determination board.

The allegations are pretty serious. I don’t see the Navy sweeping it under the rug; they’re going to have to investigate. It may turn out to be a whole lot if nothing, but I doubt they’ll just drop it without a look.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#107

Post by fierceredpanda » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am

Mikedunford wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:37 am
Slim Cognito wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am
If there was an incident with a gov vehicle, it was probably more golf carty than SUVish. I'm thinking garden party soiree.
That would make sense. And some of the other stuff - including much of the allegations about prescription practices - is explainable in ways which might not be wonderful, but aren't necessarily indications of personal misconduct.

I've got the feeling that the White House Medical Office has probably been engaging in bureaucratic status wars with Walter Reed/Bethesda, probably for decades. The WHMO commander might be an O-6 or a one-star, but their senior rater is POTUS, and they've probably been using their status, proximity to power, and the unique nature of their assignment as leverage to keep from becoming a satellite clinic of the major healthcare commands in the area. And I suspect that they've been particularly resisting a lot of the more onerous administrative and record-keeping changes.

So they probably don't have, for example, a great record system for tracking things like casual encounters for minor things, such as an attack of the runs while on AF-1. Instead, the doc keeps a stash of immodium in his bag (possibly as a prescription in his name; I've heard of similar things being done by unit physicians travelling with their units), and hands out pills as needed.
First off, the WHMO is the acronym for the White House Military Office (also known colloquially as "Whammo"). Jackson is in charge of the White House Medical Unit (WHMU), which is subordinate to WHMO. There's no danger of the WHMU falling under Walter Reed or Bethesda as long as that is the case, since WHMO also oversees the White House Communications Agency, White House Transportation Agency, Presidential Airlift Group, White House Mess, and Marine Helicopter Squadron-1 (HMX-1), plus Camp David and military aides to POTUS - the group of officers responsible for carrying the nuclear football.

I can see there being a bureaucratic knife-fight over some of this, but WHMO has a total of something like 2500 employees and a mandate that doesn't really fit anywhere other than squarely within the Executive Office of the President, so I would think it's unlikely that any other fiefdom will bite into their slice of the pie.

I think the simplest explanation is that any misdeeds have been covered up since time immemorial, same as the issues just recently coming to light with the Secret Service. I cannot believe that the whole thing with USSS agents getting drunk and sleeping with prostitutes overseas just popped up overnight. Probably it's been going on forever, and is only recently being exposed.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#108

Post by Somerset » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 am

Mikedunford wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:37 am
Slim Cognito wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am
If there was an incident with a gov vehicle, it was probably more golf carty than SUVish. I'm thinking garden party soiree.
That would make sense. And some of the other stuff - including much of the allegations about prescription practices - is explainable in ways which might not be wonderful, but aren't necessarily indications of personal misconduct.

So they probably don't have, for example, a great record system for tracking things like casual encounters for minor things, such as an attack of the runs while on AF-1. Instead, the doc keeps a stash of immodium in his bag (possibly as a prescription in his name; I've heard of similar things being done by unit physicians travelling with their units), and hands out pills as needed.
What I heard on Bloomberg yesterday was that the drugs in question were sleeping medications during international travel. I know that in my earliest days of bouncing between Asia and the US I used to take Ambien to help get my sleep schedule in sync with the local time zone. It's much better if you don't use any medications for this (and it's been years since I did), but I can see the doctor being helpful with folks who aren't used to international travel and being kind of casual about the whole process.

Drunkenly pounding on women's doors in the middle of the night is something I'd be worried about. But I don't think it's fair to castigate him for informally helping folks get over jet lag.



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#109

Post by Mikedunford » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:53 am

Thanks for the correction on the acronym.

As far as the bureaucratic stuff -

It's not uncommon for a medical unit to have multiple oversight - a modular field hospital, for example, might be under the operational control of a field commander, but still subordinate to its medical brigade. Unit physicians are part of their unit for all purposes, but are still under the ongoing oversight of a medical unit (usually the local military clinic or hospital) for credentialing, patient records, pharmacy procedures, etc.

My suspicion is that WHMU has been fighting off much of the medical oversight. That would explain things like why they're obtaining meds from external sources instead of Walter Reed, and why any/all of the prescription issues with Jackson might have gone unnoticed, even if they were recurring issues.

That's in addition to an internal cover-up culture, which I agree is probable.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#110

Post by Mikedunford » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:02 am

Somerset wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 am
Mikedunford wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:37 am
Slim Cognito wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am
If there was an incident with a gov vehicle, it was probably more golf carty than SUVish. I'm thinking garden party soiree.
That would make sense. And some of the other stuff - including much of the allegations about prescription practices - is explainable in ways which might not be wonderful, but aren't necessarily indications of personal misconduct.

So they probably don't have, for example, a great record system for tracking things like casual encounters for minor things, such as an attack of the runs while on AF-1. Instead, the doc keeps a stash of immodium in his bag (possibly as a prescription in his name; I've heard of similar things being done by unit physicians travelling with their units), and hands out pills as needed.
What I heard on Bloomberg yesterday was that the drugs in question were sleeping medications during international travel. I know that in my earliest days of bouncing between Asia and the US I used to take Ambien to help get my sleep schedule in sync with the local time zone. It's much better if you don't use any medications for this (and it's been years since I did), but I can see the doctor being helpful with folks who aren't used to international travel and being kind of casual about the whole process.

Drunkenly pounding on women's doors in the middle of the night is something I'd be worried about. But I don't think it's fair to castigate him for informally helping folks get over jet lag.
The main issue, asi understood it, was that he was administering the sleep aids on the plane, on a pill-by-pill basis, without doing much (if any) in the way of history and physical or exam.

They are controlled substances, so there are some issues there.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#111

Post by bob » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:50 am

RTH10260 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:05 am
Isn't there a tradition that the WH doctor is delegated from a military medical career?
Most have been from the military, but that's more of a function of qualified private physicians not wanting to close up shop.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#112

Post by Skip Intro » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:03 pm



In the Trump era anything is true if enough people believe it.

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Re: What's up at the VA?

#113

Post by ZekeB » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:06 pm

VA Secretary? That kid would be a better president than what we have now. At least he'd listen to those who know more than him.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#114

Post by Estiveo » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:17 pm

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Re: What's up at the VA?

#115

Post by maydijo » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:14 pm

Somerset wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 am

Drunkenly pounding on women's doors in the middle of the night is something I'd be worried about. But I don't think it's fair to castigate him for informally helping folks get over jet lag.
It's another technique to get over jet lag. I'm sure he was pounding on their door to make sure they weren't going to bed too early or getting up too late. As a woman, nothing makes me stay up later than some drunk guy pounding at the door and insisting I let him it. It was a public service duty, really.



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#116

Post by Dr. Kenneth Noisewater » Wed May 02, 2018 9:41 am

I'm wondering if trump knew about the allegations against Jackson before picking him to be his physician. It seems like he'd use that as leverage to write the letter he did.



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#117

Post by Dolly » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:36 pm

I didn't know where else to post this.
Veteran protesting VA sets himself on fire outside Georgia Capitol

A veteran set himself on fire outside the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta on Tuesday after he launched a "personal protest" against the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Georgia State Patrol said.

"A veteran that was disgruntled with the VA did a personal protest in front of the capitol, which involved gasoline and some fireworks and he was injured," Mark McDonough, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Safety, told WSB-TV in Atlanta.
..........
McDonough said a trooper put the blaze out with his fire extinguisher, and that the veteran was transported to a hospital for medical treatment. <SNIP>
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing- ... de-georgia


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#118

Post by tencats » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:55 pm

Senate confirms Robert Wilkie to serve as secretary of veterans affairs
July 24, 2018
The vote, which was 86-9, came the day before the President will address the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City.
Nominees to lead the VA are typically confirmed unanimously by the Senate. While Wilkie was confirmed overwhelmingly, the vote was the first time since the VA secretary became a Cabinet position that any senators voted against confirmation.
In a statement, President Donald Trump praised Wilkie as someone who has “dedicated his life to serving his country with honor and pride,” and said Wilkie has displayed “great patriotism and a commitment to supporting and empowering America’s armed forces and veterans.”
The nine lawmakers who voted against Wilkie’s nomination were mostly Democrats, joined by Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, who cast the lone dissenting vote against advancing Wilkie’s nomination in committee. Sanders said then that he voted no because he was concerned that the Trump administration would privatize the VA’s health care.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein of California, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts all voted no.

https://mfanews.net/senate-confirms-rob ... s-affairs/
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Re: What's up at the VA?

#119

Post by bob » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:58 pm

CNN: Top Trump-appointee at Veterans Affairs spread conspiracy theories, made anti-Muslim comments:
A senior Trump administration appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs spread birther conspiracy theories about then-President Barack Obama and made anti-Muslim comments on social media while working for the Trump campaign in Arizona.

Thayer Verschoor, the VA's executive director of intergovernmental affairs, is a former Arizona state Senate majority leader and longtime ally of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a well-known birther who is currently running in the Republican primary for US Senate in Arizona.

Shortly after joining the Trump campaign in 2016, Verschoor shared a Facebook post that praised then-candidate Trump for thinking "Obama's birth certificate is a fraud" and understanding there's a Muslim "problem" in the US.

* * *

In February of 2016, while working for the Trump campaign, Verschoor shared a post on his Facebook page titled "Why Vote For Donald Trump" listing 35 reasons to vote for Trump that contained conspiracy theories.

"He thinks Obama's birth certificate is a fraud [check out his SS#, no draft card/ old passport/ E-verification status, school records [remember his dad isn't American therefore he isn't qualified for the office he's in]," the post read.

* * *

"He realizes we have a Muslin (SIC) problem in this nation," it said.

* * *

Verschoor also appears to have attempted to legislate his views. As a state senator in 2009, he joined handful of colleagues who sponsored a bill, [Arizona] SB1158, requiring presidential candidates provide proof they are natural-born citizens. The bill was not passed into law.
Bonus:
Verschoor also pushed claims that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was not eligible to be president. In February of 2016, following Cruz's victory in the Iowa Caucuses, Verschoor shared a post claiming Trump came in first "among natural-born American citizens."

Opponents of Cruz claimed he was ineligible to be president because only one of Cruz's parents was an American citizen at the time of his birth.

"Cruz is on shaky ground. Can't stand the eligibility test," he added in another comment.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#120

Post by MN-Skeptic » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:33 pm

In the Trump administration, these are features, not bugs.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#121

Post by Addie » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:47 pm

WaPo
New Veterans Affairs chief plans to reassign, sideline Trump loyalists now in power

In one of his first acts as President Trump’s Veterans Affairs secretary, Robert Wilkie intends to reassign several high-ranking political appointees at the center of the agency’s ongoing morale crisis and staffing exodus, according to three people familiar with his plans.

Wilkie, who will be sworn in Monday, wants to form his own leadership team, these people say, and to ease lawmakers’ continued concern that VA, historically a nonpartisan corner of the government, has become highly politicized. He discussed the proposed personnel moves with Trump in recent days aboard Air Force One, while en route to a veterans convention in Kansas City, Mo., said an official close to the White House who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

Announcements could come as soon as this week, pending approval from the White House Personnel Office.

Carla Gleason, a spokeswoman for Wilkie, declined to comment on specific reassignments, saying in an email this past week that “any leadership changes will be announced next week.” VA officials referred a request for comment to the White House press office, which did not respond.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#122

Post by tencats » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:03 pm

“the Mar-a-Lago Crowd.”
Aug. 7, 2018
The Shadow Rulers Of The VA
How Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter and two other Mar-a-Lago cronies are secretly shaping the Trump administration’s veterans policies. https://www.propublica.org/article/ike- ... -of-the-va
Last February, shortly after Peter O’Rourke became chief of staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs, he received an email from Bruce Moskowitz with his input on a new mental health initiative for the VA. “Received,” O’Rourke replied. “I will begin a project plan and develop a timeline for action.”

O’Rourke treated the email as an order, but Moskowitz is not his boss. In fact, he is not even a government official. Moskowitz is a Palm Beach doctor who helps wealthy people obtain high-service “concierge” medical care.

More to the point, he is one-third of an informal council that is exerting sweeping influence on the VA from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The troika is led by Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, who is a longtime acquaintance of President Trump’s. The third member is a lawyer named Marc Sherman. None of them has ever served in the U.S. military or government.

https://www.propublica.org/article/ike- ... -of-the-va



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#123

Post by Addie » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:11 pm

New York Daily News
Cabal of wealthy Trump buddies running Department of Veterans Affairs from President's Mar-a-Lago resort

The real deep state is not run out of smoky Washington backrooms, but from President Trump’s beachside Mar-a-Lago resort.

A shadowy cabal of ultra-wealthy members of Trump’s glitzy Palm Beach club are effectively running the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a bombshell report released by ProPublica on Tuesday.

Reclusive Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, doctor Bruce Moskowitz and lawyer Marc Sherman — known within the agency as the “Mar-a-Lago crowd” — have influenced policy and made personnel decisions at the VA.

Trump’s golfing buddies exert “sweeping influence” over the embattled agency despite none of the three men serving in the military or holding government positions. ...

Will Fisher of Vote Vets. a progressive political group, slammed the shadow leadership.

“None of these people were confirmed by the Senate, none have even interviewed for jobs,” he said in a statement. “To put vets care in their hands is malfeasance.”


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#124

Post by Addie » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:32 pm

News Tribune
Former Veterans Affairs chief says its ‘astounding’ that outside group is influencing VA policy

Former VA Secretary Anthony Principi says he “found it astounding” that three wealthy friends of President Trump, members of his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida, were able to affect executive hiring at the Department of Veterans Affairs and might have influenced VA policy.

The non-profit newsroom ProPublica reported last week that Trump and his White House staff allowed billionaire Ike Perlmutter, physician Bruce Moskowitz and lawyer Marc Sherman, none of whom ever served in the military, to screen candidates for senior VA executive positions, helping to determine who got hired, promoted and fired, including nominees requiring Senate confirmation.

In an attempt also to influence VA policy, the trio reportedly had daily communication with then-VA Secretary David Shulkin or senior staff, suggesting programs, particularly on veterans’ health care, to carry out a White House agenda aimed at privatizing more of the medical care that veterans receive. It was an agenda that Shulkin and senior aides had resisted or moved too slowly on, resulting in firings, force retirements and denied promotions.

ProPublica said it relied on interviews with former VA officials and on hundreds of emails between VA staff and the so-called “Mar-a-Lago Group.”

Journalist Isaac Arnsdorf obtained the emails though the Freedom of Information Act. He reported that the trio was led by Perlmutter, 75, chairman and CEO of Marvel Entertainment.

What alarmed Principi, and why as a lifelong Republican he is comfortable commenting on the report, is that the outsiders’ influence, if reported accurately, contrasts so sharply with marching orders Principi got from President-Elect George W. Bush before he was nominated for VA Secretary in January 2001.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#125

Post by Addie » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:21 pm

Associated Press
Veterans Affairs Secretary Vows Not to Privatize Agency

Minneapolis (AP) -- The new secretary of veterans affairs pledged to the American Legion on Wednesday that he won't privatize his agency's health care services even as it increases options for veterans to seek care in the private sector.

Robert Wilkie, who was sworn in last month, also pledged better customer service as a result of the VA overhaul bill that President Donald Trump signed recently in response to the long waits for appointments and short-staffing that have plagued VA hospitals across the country.

"It is our job is to serve you well and honorably, showing you the same kind of dignity and devotion that you gave to America," Wilkie told the group's 100th annual convention, which was held in Minneapolis. "My prime directive is customer service. When a veteran comes to VA it is not up to him to employ a cauldron of layers to get VA to say yes. It is up to VA to say yes to them."

Wilkie said it's "absolutely essential" to have caregivers who specialize veterans' special needs.


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