Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, May 16, 2014

The chief watchdog for the Department of Veterans Affairs, acting Inspector General Richard J. Griffin, confirmed Thursday that his office is working with federal prosecutors on whether criminal charges are warranted in the health care scandal at a Phoenix VA facility. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki delivered his first public testimony Thursday since the scandal broke and vowed to complete an "exhaustive review." Lawmakers accused Shinseki of failing to act on repeated warnings about problems and he faced bipartisan criticism. The scandal at the Phoenix division involved an off-the-books list allegedly kept to conceal long wait times as up to 40 veterans died waiting to get an appointment. Officials were accused of cooking the books to hide the fact that veterans were waiting more than 14 days, the target window.

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Senate Veterans Affairs Committee chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opening statement, urged Shinseki's critics to wait until more details are known, acknowledging the VA health care system has "serious problems" but questioning whether it even has enough resources.

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Here's one for the books. Bernie Sanders is right.

#1 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-15 05:59 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Staff at embattled Phoenix VA pocketed bonuses, hefty salaries

Employees at the embattled Phoenix office of the Department of Veterans Affairs have been making millions in higher-than-average salaries and bonuses, according to federal records reviewed by Fox News.

They show that from 2011 to 2013, over $843,000 in bonuses was awarded to about half the system's 3,170 workers.

The records also show hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars were spent on work that had little to do with health care. The hospital's 2013 gardening budget was more than $180,000. The hospital's interior design bills over the past three years surpassed $211,000.

Total compensation, records show, topped $700 million over the past three years and exceeded $240 million in 2013 alone. Salaries make up about half the Phoenix VA's annual budget, with doctors and nurses making up just a quarter of the Phoenix VA staff. The Phoenix VA currently treats 78,000 veterans, putting the Phoenix VA's doctor-to-patient ratio at 1-to-345.

www.foxnews.com

#2 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-15 06:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

VA spends close to $500M on conference room, office makeovers under Obama

President Barack Obama has increased the Department of Veterans Affairs' budget each year since he took office, claiming the funds would give veterans the health care they deserve. However, an analysis of records show the agency has spent close to $500 million solely on office furniture under the Obama administration.

This upcoming fiscal year Obama requested a 3 percent increase for the Veterans Affairs budget. Obama's FY 2015 budget request points out he has increased the VA discretionary budget by 35.2 percent since 2009 so veterans continue to access necessary services.

The VA has spent a total of $489 million to upgrade conference rooms, buy draperies, and purchase new office furniture during the past four-and-a-half years.

A total of 15,010 contracts were awarded solely for office furniture by the VA for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2014.

www.foxnews.com

#3 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-15 06:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

I had my first visit at the VA hospital today.

I could write a book on the experience. A doctor who asked the same question over and over. An xray technician who didn't slide the xray machine out of the way, so I smashed my finger between it an the door. An hour and a half wait to get an antibiotic perscription filled, and there were only two people ahead of me. A two week wait for the other prescriptions which will be mailed to me. A Rube Goldberg type of administrative hoops to go through. A doctor who didn't want to hear anything from me except what I told her I needed a prescription for. Being farmed out three other doctors whom I will again have to wait two weeks just to make the appointment and probably two months again until I get the actual appointment.

But it's completely free for me. I don't pay a premium. I didn't pay a copay to see the doctor. I didn't pay a cent for the prescriptions. So I guess in all I can't complain. I am saving thousands a year with the VA.

#4 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 06:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

See: Death By Doctors

#5 | Posted by Greatamerican at 2014-05-15 06:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

"So I guess in all I can't complain. "

You can and should. Unacceptable. If Shinseki can't straighten it out then find someone who can. I've always respected Gen. Shinseki but perhaps he just isn't up to the job.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2014-05-15 07:27 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"So I guess in all I can't complain. "

You can and should

Posted by danni

You are probably right danni, yet I'm torn. On the one hand I didn't pay any money. OTOH, I paid with 6 years of my life serving the USN honorably.

Also, the VA is part of the DoD which did good by me. Yes, the six years in the Navy I ------- and moaned as all young sailors are wont to do, but now that I'm out and look at it with a clearer, less prejudiced mind, it was the best six years of my bachelor life. The Navy gave me a good technical education in advanced electronics that has served me well up to the day I retired.

So though are in spirit right, I am torn between loyalties.

#7 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 07:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

I could write a book on the experience. A doctor who asked the same question over and over. An xray technician who didn't slide the xray machine out of the way, so I smashed my finger between it an the door. An hour and a half wait to get an antibiotic perscription filled, and there were only two people ahead of me. A two week wait for the other prescriptions which will be mailed to me. A Rube Goldberg type of administrative hoops to go through. A doctor who didn't want to hear anything from me except what I told her I needed a prescription for. Being farmed out three other doctors whom I will again have to wait two weeks just to make the appointment and probably two months again until I get the actual appointment.

#4 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 06:07 PM | REPLY | FLAG

I've posted here numerous times that I work for VA Healthcare.

We would you think I'd let a bunch of made up BS from people pass without comment????

You're "experience" is effing ridiculous. Did you crack a freshly polished nail when YOU ran into the x-ray machine????

As for the "Rube Goldberg" prescription system you described, did you know that you can create a My Health e Vet on-line account so you can refill your own prescriptions????

Click here, knucklehead...

www.myhealth.va.gov

Also, after you create your My Health e Vet account, you'll be able to access YOUR VA medical record from your home computer. This will also give your access to your lab results, your radiology exam results, and I've already mentioned that you'll be able to refill your prescriptions...

Having access to VA Healthcare is the best thing that has happened you you, and you're too blinded by your own [...] politics to even realize it.

#8 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 08:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

Also, the VA is part of the DoD which did good by me.

#7 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 07:56 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

The VA is NOT part of the DoD.

The VA is it's own separate department.

Did you create you My Health e Vet account yet????

If you know what's good for you, you'll do it. Why? I don't see any other hospital systems giving you access to your medical records... which is the whole point of transparency that VA Healthcare has been pushing since the late 1990's.

You need to stop with the dumb ass politics and take your ass to the VA so people like me can take care of you.

#9 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 08:58 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Did you create you My Health e Vet account yet????

I got the paperwork today. And actually, it's HealtheVet (no spaces)

You need to stop with the dumb ass politics and take your ass to the VA so people like me can take care of you.

That's scary.

#10 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 09:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

You're "experience" is effing ridiculous. Did you crack a freshly polished nail when YOU ran into the x-ray machine????

Doesn't say much for the VA then to hear you call my experience ridiculous. I agree with you. It was. No, my nail wasn't painted, but as of now, it looks like it was painted dark purple.

We would you think I'd let a bunch of made up BS from people pass without comment????

???

You weren't there. I was. So I think I'm in a lot better position to describe my experience there than you, pinchaloaf.

As for the "Rube Goldberg" prescription system you described, did you know that you can create a My Health e Vet on-line account so you can refill your own prescriptions????

Yes, but it wasn't a refill. It was a one time scrip prescription. Did you read my post before your jerking knee took complete control?

#11 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 09:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

@ PANECON

Your spin is EFFING pathetic.

And I watched the testimony earlier in between patients...

Bernie Sanders said in his opening statement that the tragedies in Phoenix and the waiting times problem needed to be put into the proper context...

Which is that estimates as high as 200,000 patients die every year in American healthcare systems from medical errors, under treatment, over treatment, infections, poor quality, and other mishaps. Every year. As high as a quarter million Americans. Year in and year out.

Also, Philip Longman who authored 'Best Care Anywhere' also testified. Remember him? I've told you about him repeatedly. Did you read his book yet? Do you even know how to read????

Longman pointed out to Congress that while the VA in this instance has been gaming the system regarding the metric of wait times for access, that AT LEAST VA HEALTHCARE HAS THE METRIC ... as most other American hospitals and healthcare system don't, BECAUSE THEY HAVE LITTLE OR NO TRANSPARENCY.

So PANEOCON, your lame attempt to skew, distort, mislead, and blatantly lie about something you know nothing about is just one big pile of garbage.

#12 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 09:17 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

... when YOU ran into the x-ray machine??

Posted by pinchaloaf

I didn't run into an xray machine. My finger was smashed between the xray machine and the heavy oaken door I was opening. I failed to activate my superman xray vision, so I was unaware that the xray machine was parked in a collision path with the door. My fingers were on the other side of the door as I entered.

The technician (who like you, re-assigns blame) told me that the room wasn't designed very well. After she moved the machine to take the first xray, I told her, "That would be a good place to park it so the door won't collide with it". (IOW, it wasn't a poor design of the room. It was a poor place to park the machine when not in use)

Good for the VA, though -- that heavy door could've damaged the machine had my finger not absorbed the momentum and shock of a solid oak, very large door.

#13 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 09:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

You're a moron.

Maybe so. But the experience I related is 100% accurate.

Does the child-like name calling help you feel better, pinchaloaf?

You're parsing words like a tool-bag scrungo.

???

I parsed no words. I related my experience there today. I was there. You weren't. So how you can say I'm "parsing words" is beyond me. It just looks like an extreme act of desperation on your part.

Just take your fat effing ass to the VA

I did that today. Do you have a short memory span? You accused me of parsing words when describing my trip there today. I mean, that was just a few minutes ago, pinchaloaf.

#15 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 09:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

you pea brained knucklehead.

Maybe in your world name calling actually helps state your case. But off of the playground it is seen as an extreme sign of immaturity from someone who can't make valid case for his argument to us adults, pinchaloaf.

After my experience at the VA today, I'm not surprised it is manned by men-children who call VA patrons names.

#16 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 09:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

See: Death By Doctors

#5 | POSTED BY GREATAMERICAN AT 2014-05-15 06:14 PM | REPLY | FLAG

So what does that say about your local Hospital that has minimal or no metrics to measure quality and zero transparency?

#17 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 09:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

As for the "Rube Goldberg" prescription system you described,...

Do you want to know how that experience started? I saw the roped off queue to the pharmacy. There was a sign at the head of it that instructed me to take a number from the machine on the right. (it was one of those deli-like "take-a-number" things). So I did (even though no one was in line) About 15 minutes later, my number was called. I went into an obvious lab to have blood drawn and was instructed to roll up my sleeve.

???

I told the phlebotomist I needed a prescription, not to have my blood drawn. She said I took a number from the wrong machine. She showed me the correct machine which was to my left not to my right as the sign indicated. I apologized and told her the sign said to take a number from the machine on the right, not the left. She just kind of chuckled and said, "Yes, that confuses everyone".

#18 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 09:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

Veterans Affairs Hospital Delays

www.c-span.org

Phillip Longman testifies at the 3 hour 38 minute mark -- he testifies for 5 minutes.

Here's the review of Phillip Longman's book, 'Best Care Anywhere'...

www.washingtonmonthly.com

#19 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 09:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

My delay was 2.5 months. That's how long ago I first contacted them, did the paperwork to get accepted (that went smoothly and quickly, btw. Not a bad experience there) I was told it would take two weeks just to get scheduled for the appointment. That seemed so weird. I mean, why couldn't I get it scheduled that day?

So two weeks later, I got a call and got the appointment scheduled for two months later (which was today).

I had a similar experience today. The doctor wanted me to see an endocrinologist for my diabetes and wanted to scheduled me for a colonoscopy. I was told the same thing: I would get a call in about two weeks to get both scheduled and it could be two more months after that before I actually get the appointment.

Why does it take two weeks to schedule an appointment? I mean, can't they just look at the schedule calendar on their computer workstation that day, see what's open, and schedule? I've never had that experience in my entire life

#20 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 09:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

@ Goatman

It takes couple of weeks to schedule an appointment because VA Healthcare is one BIG ass healthcare system. Understand? It's a freaking system, and it's the biggest freaking healthcare system in the country... so when Admiral Halsey, or in your case Seaman Recruit Goatman, needs a colonoscopy, you just can't waltz in tomorrow afternoon because of the volume of patients in the pipeline who are also needing the exam.

If you want shorter wait times, vote for politicians who will INCREASE VA FUNDING.

More VA hospitals and clinics = less waiting times

#21 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 10:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

It takes couple of weeks to schedule an appointment because VA Healthcare is one BIG ass healthcare system. Understand?

No, I don't understand. All they have to do is pull up the calendar for the butt-probe department and say, "Our next opening is June 14, Mr. Goatman". Why do they have to wait two weeks to do that?

And the size of the VA has nothing to do with it. I want my appointment in San Antonio, not first available city in the US.

Seaman Recruit Goatman,

Ahh ... still relying on juvenile name calling to make a point. I guess you didn't get the message that doesn't work, pinchaloaf. But again, after I saw what I saw today, I do believe that children work at and run the place. You prove it with your childish name calling

You really aren't helping your argument at all, pinchaloaf. Trust me on this

#22 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 10:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

damn, someone needs a milk and a nap.

#23 | Posted by Lohocla at 2014-05-15 10:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

still relying on juvenile name calling to make a point.

#22 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 10:21 PM | REPLY | FLAG

We were all E-1's...

I'm also a veteran.

Best... Care... Anywhere...

Read, that, book.

#24 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 10:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

We were all E-1's...

I wasn't. (I went in as an E-3 and left boot camp 9 weeks later as an E-4) I certainly am not now.

If you wish to discuss the issues, pinchaloaf, grow up. I see no fewer than 7 times you indulged in juvenile name calling and/or engaged in other ad hominem attacks when all I did was relate my experience today.

I think the VA could choose a more emotionally mature person to speak for them.

#25 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 10:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

Best... Care... Anywhere..

If my experience today was any indication, no it's not. I don't need a book to tell me that my experience today didn't happen.

Also, if you represent the VA's employess, I certainly know it's not the best. All you can do is call people names. I've never had a doctor in the last 58 years do that to me.

Just stating facts, pinchaloaf.

#26 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 10:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

If my experience today was any indication, no it's not. I don't need a book to tell me that my experience today didn't happen.

#26 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 10:36 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

Frivolous whining is... frivolous whining.

I though Navy squids were made of sterner stuff?

#27 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 10:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

'Socialized' or Not, We Can Learn from the VA

www.rand.org

RAND's study, led by Dr. Steven Asch, found that the VA system delivered higher-quality care than the national sample of private hospitals on all measures except acute care (on which the two samples performed comparably).

In nearly every other respect, VA patients received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, and access to follow-up.

Asch and his team also found that VA patients were more likely to receive recommended care than patients in the national sample.

VA patients received about two-thirds of the care recommended by national standards, compared with about half in the national sample.

Among chronic care patients, VA patients received about 70 percent of recommended care, compared with about 60 percent in the national sample.

For preventive care, the difference was greater: VA patients received 65 percent of recommended care, while patients in the national sample received recommended preventive care roughly 45 percent of the time.

#28 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 10:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

Frivolous whining is... frivolous whining.

All I did was relate my experience. Odd you see that as whining, pinchaloaf

I though Navy squids were made of sterner stuff?

Than what? Lying? Is that what you are looking for from me? I see telling the truth as a sign of strength. And I see people who can't handle it as weak.

#29 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 10:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

Interesting that Pinchaloaf is so proud of online health records.

My hospital has had that for years, in fact since I first went there. My PCP which is one doctor and a nurse practitioner has had it for at least 3 years. I can request a refill schedule an appointment up date my personal information and check my lab results all online.

That is not new or impressive.

I do have to wait to schedule my next appointment but that is at least in part because I am in a clinical study and the drug company has to review each set of results and decide which test they need next time before an appointment can be set. Frequently I need to go to 3 or 4 departments and I manage to get them all scheduled in one day so I don't have to keep going back for all the different tests. That makes scheduling a bit more complex as well.

#30 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-15 10:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

My hospital has had that for years,

My last doctor whom I last saw 13 months ago did too. I still get an occasional email wanting me to enroll

#31 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 11:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

@ Toawarrior

I don't know exactly when the VA launched My Health e Vet, but I'm sure it's been longer than 3 years. Everything you described regarding access to your medical record, the VA has already been doing that for years. Also, I'm hearing that My Health e Vet will eventually give patients access to there radiology images, which will mean instant access versus getting radiology images in a disk.

And again, the level of transparency and quality standards the VA adheres to is no where matched by civilian hospitals.

#32 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 11:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

And above everything else, VA healthcare employs evidence based medine.

Read the RAND Study link I posted. It explains how you're receiving less quality by not going to the VA.

#33 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 11:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

I always find it amazing when people refuse to look at facts.

It's like pebbles bouncing off one's own forehead that happens to be made of 4 inches of dumb thick steele.

#34 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 11:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

And again, the level of transparency and quality standards the VA adheres to is no where matched by civilian hospitals.

I'd be more impressed if they took care of the simple things like change the sign that says, "Take a number from the machine on the right" when the machine is in fact on the left,

BTW, the name of the program you are endorsing is My HealtheVet. Just thought that as a VA employee you would like to know. LOL

www.myhealth.va.gov

#35 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 11:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

I always find it amazing when people refuse to look at facts.

So you amaze yourself? You dismiss the facts I relate.

#36 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 11:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

Getting priced gouged by civilian doctors gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "bend over".

#37 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 11:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

@ goat man

You're a moron.

and the VA is not part of the DoD.

#38 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-15 11:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

You're a moron.

Yes, you've already said that. You are repeating yourself. Name calling still doesn't prove anything except that the VA hires emotionally immature people. You don't make a very good ambassador for them, pinchaloaf.

and the VA is not part of the DoD.

Yes, you've already said that. You are repeating yourself. I guess the VA also employs those with a very short memory span.

#39 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 11:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Read the RAND Study link I posted. It explains how you're receiving less quality by not going to the VA.

Was this report made before Shineski confirmed the secret waiting list and the unnecessary deaths of 40 vets in Phoenix because of them?

#40 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-15 11:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

Do you want to know how that experience started? I saw the roped off queue to the pharmacy. There was a sign at the head of it that instructed me to take a number from the machine on the right. (it was one of those deli-like "take-a-number" things). So I did (even though no one was in line) About 15 minutes later, my number was called. I went into an obvious lab to have blood drawn and was instructed to roll up my sleeve.

???

I told the phlebotomist I needed a prescription, not to have my blood drawn. She said I took a number from the wrong machine. She showed me the correct machine which was to my left not to my right as the sign indicated. I apologized and told her the sign said to take a number from the machine on the right, not the left. She just kind of chuckled and said, "Yes, that confuses everyone".

C'mon, goat, it's the freaking military. SSDD. Nevertheless, I got a giggle out of your story. It's FUBAR but works. That said, I too signed up. Haven't been yet but fully expect to endure your recent experience or worse. Keep smil'n.

#41 | Posted by et_al at 2014-05-16 12:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

WHEW !!!!!!!!! thank GOODNESS a republican isn't the pres..OR this would be a real problem....

and too bad this country isn't like some others like south korea...in places like that people in charge of programs like this are so ashamed they voluntarily resign and YES before you write it...that goes both ways.

#42 | Posted by afkabl2 at 2014-05-16 01:05 AM | Reply | Flag:

Wait time at the VA hospital.

I once took my Dad to the VA ER in Houston, the old one (I later represented a client with a construction law claim against the new one but that's another story). We sat there for about 30 minutes after signing in. Next thing I know, Dad kinda rolled out of his seat into the floor screaming about "incoming, bombs, kamikazes etc." A product of his WWII naval experience in the Pacific. In any event, a ---- load of nurses, interns and such immediately show up and hauled him off on a stretcher.

To this day I don't know if it was real or a ruse. But it freaked this straight laced lawyer the ---- out. Any way, he died a few years ago of old age in his 80's.

Looking back it's rather funny. Dude got game! Later, Dad.

#43 | Posted by et_al at 2014-05-16 02:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

3 Years is my podunk doctor my Hospital has had it much longer although it did recently change names and formats. They now have radiology images, that was about a year and a half ago. I can look at my brain all day but not being a neurologist and only knowing to look for lesions it is not worth looking at all day.

As far as the cost it is paid for by the drug manufacturer. I pay my podunk doctor cash and pay cash for my scripts that are not part of the study. It costs me about 500 bucks a year, for MS that is not bad.

#44 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-16 07:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

I wasn't. (I went in as an E-3 and left boot camp 9 weeks later as an E-4) I certainly am not now.

#25 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 10:33 PM | REPLY | FLAG

WRONG

You were an E-1.

You were an E-1 in basic training.

When you were in basic training, ALL recruits from ALL branches of the services are the rank of E-1.

Only upon graduating from basic training do they allow you to sew on your E-3 rank.

As usual, you take a small half-truth and do your best to blow it wildly out of proportion.

#45 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 08:06 AM | Reply | Flag:

Was this report made before Shineski confirmed the secret waiting list and the unnecessary deaths of 40 vets in Phoenix because of them?

#40 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 11:48 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

You're question is flawed, dummy.

Waiting times and access are just that. You're still on the outside of the system.

Once you're in the system, then you, as a patient, are the recipient of evidenced based medicine. Understand?

The RAND Study (as numerous studies show) is about the VA Healthcare delivering the highest quality, most cost effective medicine.

#46 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 08:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

I'd be more impressed if they took care of the simple things like change the sign that says, "Take a number from the machine on the right" when the machine is in fact on the left,

BTW, the name of the program you are endorsing is My HealtheVet. Just thought that as a VA employee you would like to know. LOL
www.myhealth.va.gov

#35 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 11:27 PM | REPLY | FLAG

1. Complaining about the sign saying "right" when the machine is located to the left... is... a... moronic... frivolous... whiny... stupid... complaint.

2. As is arguing about how My Health e Vet is spelled. And your link is the same link I already posted.

Again, you take something very small, tiny, like your two active brain cells, and do your best to wildly blow it out of proportion.

#47 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 08:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

@ Taowarrior

As far as the cost it is paid for by the drug manufacturer. I pay my podunk doctor cash and pay cash for my scripts that are not part of the study. It costs me about 500 bucks a year, for MS that is not bad.

#44 | POSTED BY TAOWARRIOR AT 2014-05-16 07:40 AM | REPLY | FLAG

One of the reasons VH Healthcare is the most cost effective delivery system is because they've built a drug formulary that is tied into the EMR and the VA data base.

This allows the VA to see which drugs are effective, and not pay for expensive "premium" drugs that do the same thing as a less expensive "generic" drug. Drug companies don't like this for obvious reasons.

Also, when it comes to quality and safety, this formulary ensures that ineffective drugs, and the wrong combination of drugs, are not prescribed that would harm the patient.

The story of vioxx is a perfect example. When the drug was finally recalled in 2004, the VA had already restricted it's use years before because their data showed it was causing problems (heart attacks). So when the recall came, it was literally only a matter of minutes that the VA could see who still had active prescriptions and switch these patients to less dangerous drugs.

#48 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 08:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

1. Complaining about the sign saying "right" when the machine is located to the left... is... a... moronic... frivolous... whiny... stupid... complaint.

NOt whine, just a good example how the VA can't get things right.

2. As is arguing about how My Health e Vet is spelled.

Again, no. It just seems that such a staunch supporter like you would get the spelling right. BTW, you got it wrong again. LOL

Again, you take something very small, tiny, like your two active brain cells,

And again, your ad hominem. I've never had a member of my health care staff call me names or attempt to denigrate me. You've done it over ten times in this thread. You try to tell me how great your organization is by calling me names? LOL You just don't get it, do you? Don't feel bad, neither does the VA. You and your petty name calling exemplify the ails of the organizationn.

#49 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 08:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

I wasn't. (I went in as an E-3 and left boot camp 9 weeks later as an E-4) I certainly am not now.

#25 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 10:33 PM | REPLY | FLAG

WRONG
You were an E-1.
You were an E-1 in basic training.
When you were in basic training, ALL recruits from ALL branches of the services are the rank of E-1.

You are the one who is wrong, pinchaloaf. I was never an E1. Nor was I ever an E2. I went into boot camp as an E3. How you can pretend to know my rank then is the height of arrogance.

#50 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 08:59 AM | Reply | Flag:

As I cruise the comments section of different websites, I constantly see people conflating the issue of ACCESS into the VA with the VA's DELIVERY of health care.

And it's the same with the talking heads on TV as they wrap themselves in the flag, vomiting their usual vitriol about "government" healthcare.

#51 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 09:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

You're question is flawed, dummy.

#46 | POSTED BY PINCHALOAF

Again, the name calling.

You just don't get it, do you? You can't tell someone how wonderful you are by using ad hominmen

BTW, rcade, don't you have a moderation rule about users calling other people names? Pinchaloaf is out of control here. He's engaged in it in just about every post he's put up on this thread.

The RAND Study (as numerous studies show) is about the VA Healthcare delivering the highest quality

Tell it to the 40 dead in Phoenix, pinchaloaf.

www.dailymail.co.uk

#52 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 09:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

You are the one who is wrong, pinchaloaf. I was never an E1. Nor was I ever an E2. I went into boot camp as an E3. How you can pretend to know my rank then is the height of arrogance.

#50 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-16 08:59 AM | REPLY | FLAG

The second you arrive at basic training, Uncle Sam OWNS your ass.

You are an E-1... enlisted grade 1.

All through basic training, you are being paid as an enlisted grade 1.

Only upon graduating basic training did when you sew on your E-3 enlisted grade rank.

You... were... an... Enlisted... Grade... One...

#53 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 09:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

Tell it to the 40 dead in Phoenix, pinchaloaf.
www.dailymail.co.uk

#52 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-16 09:04 AM | FLAG:

Again, the problem is access.

The RAND study is about delivery.

I've pointed this out numerous times.

#54 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 09:13 AM | Reply | Flag:

You are an E-1... enlisted grade 1.

All through basic training, you are being paid as an enlisted grade 1.

I never was an E1, pinchaloaf. I went in as an E3. I was an E4 nine weeks later the day I graduated from boot camp. You weren't there. I was. How can you pretend to know?

You just keep on proving your word can't be trusted.

#55 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 09:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

You... were... an... Enlisted... Grade... One...

No... I... was... not...

Never.

You... were... an... Enlisted... Grade... One...

No... I... was... not...

Never.

I did very well on the ASVAB test and had the option for the 6 year Advanced Electronics (AEF) program or the nuclear program. Though it required a six year enlistment, it had its bennies -- the most attractive to me was the year long technical school.

But in the program you went into basic training as an E3 and got your crow (PO3 -- E4) the day you got out of boot camp. Some people derisively called this "push button" for pushing a button to make petty officer. They were as clueless as you.

So educate yourself and quit telling me what rank I was or wasn't. You weren't there. I was. Deal with it, pinchaloaf.

#56 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 09:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

BTW, rcade, don't you have a moderation rule about users calling other people names? Pinchaloaf is out of control here. He's engaged in it in just about every post he's put up on this thread.

#52 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-16 09:04 AM | REPLY | FLAG

RCADE has lectured you numerous times, for the longest time, about not moving a discussion forward, about spinning, about being a tool-bag.

1. You're complaining about what a sign says during your visit to a VA hospital? I'm telling you you're being stupid.

2. You're complaining about how I spell an important and high visibility program? I'm telling you you're stupid.

3. You're telling me about your dopey war stories during your boot camp days, and you can't get it right that you were an E-1? I'm telling you you being stupid.

Have a nice weekend.

#57 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 09:22 AM | Reply | Flag:

1. You're complaining about what a sign says during your visit to a VA hospital? I'm telling you you're being stupid.

This moves the conversation forward? LOL

On topic, I think it is the VA who is stupid for having a sign that directs people 180 degrees from the direction they should be going. How does their mistake make me stupid? What a silly concept.

2. You're complaining about how I spell an important and high visibility program? I'm telling you you're stupid.

That I know how to spell the program that you keep bringing up and you don't know how to spell it makes me stupid? LOL

3. You're telling me about your dopey war stories during your boot camp days, and you can't get it right that you were an E-1? I'm telling you you being stupid.

I never was an E1. I know. I was there. You weren't. But you keep insisting you know better than the one who was there? And that makes me stupid? LOL

Pinchaloaf, your last post couldn't better exemplify how out of touch with reality you are.

BTW, I was never an E1. Deal with it.

#58 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 09:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

Just out of curiosity I checked the VA and www.va.gov it was there. I would not be approved by the VA.

The drug I am on for MS is a premium drug tier 5 with BCBS and prior review required. There is no generic it was released Sep. 2010. It was tested against the standard treatment and came out head and shoulders above the competition. The delivery system is a vast improvement from a patient perspective but of course that doesn't matter to any of the payers. Yet despite the benefits it is very difficult to get approval. Looks like the VA would be no different.

Since I am on the extended study I get quarterly reviews and I get thorough checks based on EVERY reported side effect. Someone got skin cancer while on it I get checked by a dermatologist quarterly, someone got shortness of breath I see the pulmonary specialist every quarter, someone got blurry vision I get an comprehensive eye test every quarter. If there is a side effect listed I get checked and tested for it. As far as safety goes I have never been better monitored for risk.

#59 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-16 09:33 AM | Reply | Flag:

So though are in spirit right, I am torn between loyalties.

#7 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2014-05-15 07:56 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

While the VA is providing you with care for free, you have to assess if you would put up with it if you were paying.

While anything you mentioned is nowhere as serious as putting patients on waiting lists to die, the VA needs to step up and do a better job. Our veteran's deserve to be treated better.

#60 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-16 10:32 AM | Reply | Flag:

#12 | POSTED BY PINCHALOAF

Little thin skinned there PINCH?

Don't worry this story will go away, the MSM only covers Veterans when they are dying and a Republican is in the White House.

#61 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-16 10:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

So PANEOCON, your lame attempt to skew, distort, mislead, and blatantly lie about something you know nothing about is just one big pile of garbage.
#12 | POSTED BY PINCHALOAF

Please fee free to point out any of the LIES that I posted.

I'm sure you missed my earlier comment:

Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opening statement, urged Shinseki's critics to wait until more details are known, acknowledging the VA health care system has "serious problems" but questioning whether it even has enough resources.

Here's one for the books. Bernie Sanders is right.

#1 | POSTED BY PANEOCON

#62 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-16 10:45 AM | Reply | Flag:

RCADE has lectured you numerous times, for the longest time, about not moving a discussion forward, about spinning, about being a tool-bag.
#57 | POSTED BY PINCHALOAF

Now that's rich. You have made a number of posts with personal attacks and a lack of substance that moves the discussion forward and don't get me started on your spinning. As for "tool-bag" I'll leave the personal insults to you, you are so good at them and non-liberals are not allowed to cross that line on the DR and get away with it.

#63 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-16 10:50 AM | Reply | Flag:

your lame attempt to skew, distort, mislead, and blatantly lie about something you know nothing about is just one big pile of garbage.

#12 | POSTED BY PINCHALOAF

Like you talking about something you know nothing about (the ranks I held when I was in the Navy), pinchaloaf? Or my experience at the VA hospital yesterday?

Physician, heal thyself.

#64 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 10:59 AM | Reply | Flag:

I had read stories concerning the recent VA troubles about doctors not ordering colonoscopies until three consecutive stool samples showed blood during which time the cancer progressed from stage one to stage four.

However yesterday my doctor ordered a colonoscopy based simply on my age. That's good (I guess. LOL) She didn't even ask for a stool sample.

So in a few weeks I get to go through the joys of intestinal purging and having an electronic python shoved up my ass,

#65 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 01:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

Geez, Goat, your reporting is not encouraging me to make that appointment.

#66 | Posted by et_al at 2014-05-16 02:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

Geez, Goat, your reporting is not encouraging me to make that appointment.

Yes. I'm getting it up the ^$$ twice. LOL

#67 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 02:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

Obamacare/romneycare strikes again.

If they fascist pigs passed real national health care this wouldn't be an issue anymore.

Hope and change!

#68 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-05-16 02:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

The first bureaucrat bits the dust.

Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, resigned Friday, just one day after lawmakers called for more accountability in the Phoenix VA wait list scandal.

Dr. Petzel testified before Congress last month that he had found no sign of the alleged list in the early stages of the investigation.

"To date, we found no evidence of a secret list and we have found no patients who have died because they've been on a wait list," he said at a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on April 30. "If the allegations are true, they're absolutely unacceptable."

Read more: www.washingtontimes.com
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

#69 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-16 03:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

Here's one for the books. Bernie Sanders is right.

#62 | POSTED BY PANEOCON AT 2014-05-16 10:45 AM | REPLY | FLAG

First of all, I've repeatedly said that VA Healthcare is not perfect.

Bernie Sanders IS right about this being a serious problem.

And Bernie Sanders also pointed out that this problem needed to be put in it's proper context...

US healthcare is the 3rd leading cause of death because of it's overall lack of quality, coordination, and safety. Sanders quoted an estimate that the number is as high as 210,000 people annually.

All metrics show that despite this problem, VA healthcare still outperforms ALL other healthcare systems in the country.

So while conservative douchebags take their gratuitous potshots at the VA, it must be understood that the problem is access... not the delivery of care...

And if people truly want to take care of veterans, they need to vote for politicians who will increase VA funding.

more funding = more VA hospitals & clinics = better access

#70 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-16 09:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

And if people truly want to take care of veterans, they need to vote for politicians who will increase VA funding.

Or we could demand VA employees that don't call the veterans names and tell them they don't know what rank they were or were not or go into a tizzy when they hear about shortcomings experienced by a vet when he visited a VA facility.

And that's a big improvement that can be had for free with no increase in funding!

#71 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-16 09:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

Independent 2013 Survey Shows Veterans Highly Satisfied with VA Care
April 16, 2014

www.va.gov

WASHINGTON -- The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an independent customer service survey, ranks the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) customer satisfaction among Veteran patients among the best in the nation and equal to or better than ratings for private sector hospitals.

The 2013 ACSI report assessed satisfaction among Veterans who have recently been patients of VA's Veterans Health Administration (VHA) inpatient and outpatient services. ACSI is the nation's only cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction, providing benchmarking between the public and private sectors.


For a health care system with 9 million patients, these results speak for itself.

#72 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-17 08:26 AM | Reply | Flag:

Pinch the VA is a great goodness in this nation. It helps millions of vets. and has overall a good track record. However it is not perfect and the first step to get closer to perfect is acknowledging failures and learning from them.

Your attitude on the thread is not one of acknowledging failures. Your attitude will not help the VA improve and as long as you display that attitude as a representative of the VA people will assume that your attitude towards acknowledging and learning from failure is pervasive in the system. That will not lead to more long term trust and satisfaction nor will it lead to better outcomes.

As far as my post you seem to thing a few bells and whistles differentiates the VA from private health care I am simply pointing out that top end private health care already has the same bells and whistles so no it doesn't. What does differentiate you is the 9 million customers you serve for free at a level of care very close to top end private care. That is awesome and no less than our vets deserve but that does not excuse failures.

Everyone screws up, every bureaucratic system has jerks who will try and abuse their position it happens it is not the end of the world. When a screw up happens find out how to prevent it in the future don't pretend it doesn't matter. When a jerk tries to abuse his position get rid of him and try and find safe guards to prevent jerks from getting in that position don't pretend that it doesn't matter.

#73 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-17 10:24 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Pinch the VA is a great goodness in this nation. It helps millions of vets. and has overall a good track record. However it is not perfect and the first step to get closer to perfect is acknowledging failures and learning from them.

Your attitude on the thread is not one of acknowledging failures. Your attitude will not help the VA improve and as long as you display that attitude as a representative of the VA people will assume that your attitude towards acknowledging and learning from failure is pervasive in the system. That will not lead to more long term trust and satisfaction nor will it lead to better outcomes.

As far as my post you seem to thing a few bells and whistles differentiates the VA from private health care I am simply pointing out that top end private health care already has the same bells and whistles so no it doesn't. What does differentiate you is the 9 million customers you serve for free at a level of care very close to top end private care. That is awesome and no less than our vets deserve but that does not excuse failures.

Everyone screws up, every bureaucratic system has jerks who will try and abuse their position it happens it is not the end of the world. When a screw up happens find out how to prevent it in the future don't pretend it doesn't matter. When a jerk tries to abuse his position get rid of him and try and find safe guards to prevent jerks from getting in that position don't pretend that it doesn't matter.

#73 | POSTED BY TAOWARRIOR AT 2014-05-17 10:24 AM | REPLY | FLAG:

To be very clear, I don't represent the VA, nor do I speak for the VA in any official capacity. I am a VA employee simply trying to spread the word about VA healthcare, it's benefits, and to also point out peoples ignorance when it comes to health care.

Also, I have repeatedly said, many times, that VA healthcare is not perfect.

If you are happy with your care, and that it is at a non VA location, then great, no problem.

But I will always chime in when the dialogue veers to moronic banality. Not saying you're doing that (you're not), but just saying that when the dialogue get ridiculous, that's when I will have my say.

#74 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-17 10:45 AM | Reply | Flag:

But I will always chime in when the dialogue veers to moronic banality.

You also "chime in" ("go off the deep end" is more accurate) when someone honestly relates an experience they had at the VA, or to tell a person they are wrong about what rank they were in the service (as if you could possibly know). You don't seem to miss a chance to "chime in" and call people childish names, either, pinchaloaf.

#75 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-17 10:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

If you want shorter wait times, vote for politicians who will INCREASE VA FUNDING.

That's been done, but it doesn't seem to help. The VA budget has more than doubled in only 8 years ($73 b in 2008 to $153 b in 2014), yet its patient load has increased by only 80% in 12 years! (46 m in 2002 to 83 m in 2014).

www.ft.com

No, throwing increasingly more money disproportionate to number of patients is not the answer.

#76 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-17 11:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

I sincerely hope that who ever is responsible for this (if someone is) I hope they go to prison and lose their pensions!

#77 | Posted by Postone at 2014-05-17 02:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

The VA budget has more than doubled in only 8 years ($73 b in 2008 to $153 b in 2014), yet its patient load has increased by only 80% in 12 years! (46 m in 2002 to 83 m in 2014).

Any thought on the morbidity of the new patients coming out of two wars?

#78 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-05-17 05:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

Looks like 'pinchaloaf' is a good representation of all that is REALLY wrong with the VA these days....he must have a pass out of the psych ward...

#79 | Posted by drsoul at 2014-05-17 07:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

Looks like 'pinchaloaf' is a good representation of all that is REALLY wrong with the VA these days....he must have a pass out of the psych ward...

#79 | POSTED BY DRSOUL AT 2014-05-17 07:37 PM | REPLY | FLAG

I'm a veteran.

I'm credentialed.

And I enjoy my work.

What have you done to help those who served this great nation?

#80 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-17 07:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

First day of basic training, regardless of the branch of service, you are a enlisted grade 1. And while the Navy may have promised you the grade of E-3, and may have even allowed you, as a recruit, to sew on your rank during basic training, you were an enlisted grade 1 who was getting paid as an E-1.

#1 | POSTED BY PINCHALOAF AT 2014-05-17 07:24 AM

Wrong, pinchaloaf. I was never an E1 or an E2. I went into boot camp as an E3 and made E4 nine weeks later when I graduated from boot camp. I was getting paid as an E3 in boot camp of course since I was one.
How odd you continue to argue with me over this point. I was there. You weren't. I'm the one who signed the contract. I'm the one who saw my pay stubs. You never saw them or my contract. I think that puts me in a better position than you to know what ranks I held, pinchhaloaf. Deal with it.
Also, in Navy boot camp you don't sew on an insignia of rank -- at least not in 1975. You are wrong there, also

#81 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-17 10:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

pinchaloaf: From the Navy's recruitment manual:

010108. GENERAL APPRENTICESHIP AND PAYGRADE

a. Entry Paygrade. All accepted applicants are enlisted in paygrade E3 upon entry onto active duty. Advancement to paygrade E4 is authorized only after enlistees complete all advancement in rate requirements (to include minimum time in rate) and Class "A" School provided they maintain eligibility.

Just as I told you, pinchaloaf. I went into the Navy basic training as an E3 and got my crow (E4) nine weeks later when I graduated from boot camp. I was there. You weren't. That's why I know better than you, no matter how often your repeat your lie. I'll wait for your apology for being so stubborn and calling me a liar.

#82 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-17 11:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

The woman in charge of the hospital had a history before she got to Arizona. That's what I find sickening. Bureaucratic pass the trash.
In the meantime, VA horror stories distress me. I have been taking my very elderly father to VA for many years and have seen nothing but the best service. He has been effusive in his praise of them.
I suspect the VA service is better in highly dense population areas than where Goatman is. If true, it needs to change.

#83 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-18 02:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

I suspect the VA service is better in highly dense population areas than where Goatman is

I live in San Antonio, the 2nd largest city in Texas and the 7th largest in USA.

#84 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-18 02:53 AM | Reply | Flag:

That's a city, Goatman. NYC alone has more than 10 million and NJ and Connecticut are on that periphery.
I mean REALLY dense populations areas.
They all vote Democrat, too. Get my drift?

#85 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-18 02:56 AM | Reply | Flag:

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