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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
McConnell's team filibustered veterans' healthcare improvements only weeks ago.
Someday the Republicans and Fox News will be outraged enough about our treatment of veterans that they will agree to do something about it. Why, Reince Priebus is beside himself.

Don't bet on it, though; remember, it was less than three months ago that they again blocked the expansion of health care programs for those same veterans:

U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget.

Even though the legislation cleared a procedural vote on Tuesday by a 99-0 vote, the measure quickly got bogged down in partisan fighting. [...]

Referring to recent budget deals that aim to bring down federal deficits, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said: "This bill would spend more than we agreed to spend. The ink is hardly dry and here we have another bill to raise that spending again."

"Partisan fighting" means the Republican senators filibustered it.

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for that link!! Wow!! (7+ / 0-)

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:23:35 AM PDT

    •  Curious? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, Forward is D not R

      Anyone reading this diary read, heard, seen anything about the Republican obstruction of Veteran's Administration funding on any MSM outlet?  I haven't.

      "American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. " Paul Krugman

      by yippee ki yay on Wed May 21, 2014 at 12:46:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just another fine example (0+ / 0-)

        Of how we veterans are number one.
        Signified by the third digit being raised alone.

      •  I'm sorry who is MSM? (0+ / 0-)
        •  I guess what stations are you talking about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I know MSN ran segments the day this happened with vote they had several guest on local stations the day of but I haven't heard anyone other than MSN repeat it this week.

          Anyway what really annoys the living heck out of me is Americans talk a good game about supporting the troops but don't put their money were their mouth is. People can buy silly bumper stickers but where was the outrage when the   Republican senators filibustered better health care for vets? where was the outrage when a jobs bill was filibustered by the Republicans?? The outrage when service people were sent into war without proper protection for combat? When vender's were using crappy equipment  when service people were being injured?  I can go on and on. No matter if we have served in combat or not the public does service people a disservice. As long as the public doesn't put any skin in the game they fly flags and do things to make them feel good. But aren't willing to fight for those who fight for us.
          Never again should this country send it's armed forces into harms way and not allow the  media show pictures of the caskets coming back into the country or not show our wounded. Maybe if people saw some of what happens to our service people, we won't be so fast to send them into harms way. There isn't a draft so the public is some what shielded from the toll it takes on people that serve. This issue has been going on at the VA for years but the media acts as if this is the first time they ever heard there was a problem.
          This does a disservice to anyone who has served and frankly I know my brother and sisters deserve better. This country needs to step up with more than talk and ribbons. The public needs to start fighting for those of us that made the choice to serve.

          •  Well DUH!! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            This Country has NEVER given a shit about Vets!  All this, "Support Our Troops" shit is to make up for the fact that they treated the Vietnam Vets like shit and it makes their conscious feel better if they pretend to care now.  This "fake flag waving" crap makes me want to VOMIT!!  And if you believe otherwise, you're deluding yourself.

            Where were all these a-holes when my Dad was killed in Vietnam?  They weren't there for my Mom or for her 3 kids!  Where were all these people when my Husband was in the Army?  I didn't get free shit or phone cards or money because I was an Army wife and my Husband was sent overseas.  They didn't care when he was sent to the DMZ.  They also didn't give a shit when my Husband faced the real chance of being called back to active duty during Iraq 1.  And they weren't there when my cousins WE'RE called back to duty and sent over there!  As long as it wasn't them or someone they knew, they could care less.

            The people of this Country only give a damn when it actually affects them PERSONALLY.  Otherwise, it's F-you bud!!  You're on your own!!

            If you can't dazzle 'em with brains, baffle 'em with bullshit!

            by GirlSwimmingInASeaOfRed on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:52:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That was my point I am a vet as was my husband (0+ / 0-)

              So you aren't telling me anything I don't know or have experienced for myself. So I don't think you can tell me I'm deluded. I'm owed benefits, but I have not claimed them. You aren't the only person to get screwed. I chose to make a point, not just to talk about my sacrifice Just like you and many other Americans my family has served not just me. I'm not willing to make a blanket indictment to how all Americans feel. As one vet to another I have a big problem with your disrespect. I worn the same uniform and served the same country - don't direct your anger to me. Unless you are under ten, duh does not become you.

        •  MSM (0+ / 0-)

          Main Stream Media outlets-IE: MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, etc..  (I know, I hate these damn acronym thingys.  It takes me a while to figure what they're supposed to stand for!)

          If you can't dazzle 'em with brains, baffle 'em with bullshit!

          by GirlSwimmingInASeaOfRed on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:38:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This country has a disease (6+ / 0-)

      This country is infected with a disease worse than AIDS, worse than malaria, worse than MERSA - it's infected with the Republican Party, a pack of hypocritical parasites that take money from the 1% to make them ever richer, while making sick veterans, old folks, students, working people, and children ever poorer and poorer.  The premature deaths of sick veterans isn't just a side effect of this process, it is a premeditated method of making sure that taxes for the wealthy will continue to spiral downward.  

      Warren/Grayson 2016! Yes We Can!

      by BenFranklin99 on Wed May 21, 2014 at 06:58:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  HAHAH (16+ / 0-)

    I literally JUST posted the same exact thing on an article on Politico about this topic:

    (I think it is top comment at the moment)

    We think alike sir.

    Romney: Believe in (half of) America

    by kmoros on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:24:11 AM PDT

  •  This all makes perfect sense to Pubs... (27+ / 0-)

    to them wars are free and so why would they have to allocate money to treat veterens after the wars are over?  I mean this is all Obama's fault, right?  He is the one that ended the free wars so he should be the one to cover any costs for ending them.

    Perfect sense.

    The more you learn, the less you know.

    by quiet in NC on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:28:11 AM PDT

  •  SOP for the GOP. First block funding. The (35+ / 0-)

    complain about the result. It's the same thing with Benghazi. They "prove" that government can't do anything by preventing government from doing things.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:32:59 AM PDT

  •  Gee i wonder just how that 24 billion (22+ / 0-)

    would bust the budget but the 24 billion wasted on a shutdown, has no effect on the budget.
    just the same circular reasoning of the TGOP.

    •  Would love to see that exact question (0+ / 0-)

      On billboards, ads, and all the pols shows for a month. Imagine putting that question to insHannity, OH'Really, or any of the FOX bots and even the Speaker of the House, or McConnell.  Go ahead and explain how, THIS 24 billion is "too much", but, that 24 billion, "was worth it".

      I double dog dare someone to get this question out there.
      Colbert, Stewart, we'd love for you to pose it.

  •  It's sadly ironic that the Republicans... (24+ / 0-)

    would vote against the $24 billion for veterans' healthcare because it "... would bust the budget."

    U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget.
    But they had no problem shutting down the government recently over Obamacare, costing (you guessed it) $24 billion.

    The Republican party has no discernible, socially-redeemable value to this country whatsoever.

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:36:28 AM PDT

  •  Didn't catch all the info (14+ / 0-)

    Stephanie Miller brought up one of the bills that did pass. For more tanks the military does not need or want. Millions for the superfluous. And we know more went to other unnecessary war toys.

    Why is it we can have the best military by far the world has ever seen, and not give them the best medical care?

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:36:56 AM PDT

    •  Aspirins suck as bullets. Easy answer! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal, Ginny in CO

      The more you learn, the less you know.

      by quiet in NC on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:58:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  War is a racket (6+ / 0-)

        It's a huge profit maker for some.....
        the soldiers are just an expense that eats into the profits.

        It's just sound corporate practice.
        What we used to call being an a-hole or a traitor is now called being a savvy businessman.

        Big Business/ Big Money owns our government, especially the GOP.
        The GOP couldn't give a crap about the American people or the vets.
        It's all about profit for their puppetmasters.

        Big Business/ Big Money is global, they are not American and profits will trump what's best for America EVERY time.
        They can always run off and move their headquarters to Dubai like traitor Cheney's Haliburton.

        That's the story in a nutshell.

    •  All the military is really getting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      out of all that spending is a headache. Once the military gets those tanks, it's just going to store them. Like the extra engine that was being produced for each F-23 fighter jet that came off the assembly line -- the Air Force was running out of storage space for those.

      But building tanks means paying defense contractors, and funding the VA means hiring government employees. And we can't have that, right? It's worth noting that some of the Republicans are already calling for privatizing the VA in response to this scandal.

      •  "But building tanks means paying defense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        The Republicans oppose publicly-financed campaigns.  So they shovel tax-payer dollars to the military industrial complex, which donates much of that back as Republican campaign donations.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:07:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Surely the call for "privatization" is just (0+ / 0-)

        a coincidence. Right?

    •  Why should active duty troops get health care? (0+ / 0-)

      We already give their families food stamps.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:04:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rience is shocked Shocked I say (6+ / 0-)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:37:17 AM PDT

  •  As long as this is a hot button issue (13+ / 0-)

    Reid and Pelosi need to step up and put that same bill back on the front burner and demand that it get passed with 100% support.

  •  Need billboards: (17+ / 0-)

    Feb 2014:
    McConnell filibustered better healthcare for vets.

    May 2014:
    McConnell outraged that healthcare for vets is not better.

    Is McConnell confused or simply a LIAR?


    Or something like that for each perp.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:39:16 AM PDT

  •  Consistent inconsistency (4+ / 0-)

    is a Republican hallmark.

    Taking the road less traveled since 1967 .

    by Paragryne on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:40:25 AM PDT

  •  But filibustering everything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, Amber6541

    is now an involuntary reflex, and in no way are Republicans responsible for so doing.

    Or so they would have us believe.

    We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

    by ramara on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:43:43 AM PDT

  •  Let's form a Select Committee....get to the bottom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, bufffan20, hawkseye

    of this.

    •  Issa should be chair of the committee -- (0+ / 0-)

      he always gets to the bottom of the barrel.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:09:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Which makes PERFECT sense with their base... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  They'll never get a better chance to talk down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, PrahaPartizan

    single payer -- we should start seeing them waving a bill to privatize (they'll call it "choice" of course) the V.A. any day now.

  •  So G-O-TEA politicians "LOVE VETERANS"... (5+ / 0-)

    So much, they voted to deny veterans health care & education. But, but, but... #Benghazi!

  •  Block funding, whine about result (11+ / 0-)

    Yeah, that is the modern GOP.  And actually they don't give a damn about any result other than re-election

  •  I think this is why some GOP'ers are holding (10+ / 0-)

    back on the outrage. THIS is dangling over their heads, and it's fresh. Remember Bob Dole out there in a wheelchair pleading for vets? I do.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:49:21 AM PDT

  •  A POV thing (6+ / 0-)

    Vet's get Excellent Health Care.  Every study shows this.  The problem is not the Health Care part.

    It is getting ACCESS to the Health Care that is the problem.

    Putting more money into improving a high quality system of health care, while a good thing, won't fix the lack of access to the system.

    The problem the VA has is it is not letting Vets get that great health care.

    Mitch filibustered "better" health care funding, (on the grounds that the quality is great now I guess) but is upset that vets health care access is not better.

    The VA is not being accused of shoddy treatment by doctors and hospitals.  it has been hiding and delaying documents of Vets which keep them from getting access.  it is a paperwork issue.  Something Shinseki promised to fix in 2009.

    That is the problem!  People have died because Shinseki's fix was to hide people to make the numbers look good.  And it is not just access to health care, but VA loans, GI Bill, Counseling,  housing aid, etc.  All paperwork things that are fixable with leadership that holds people accountable.  

    The Rot is at the TOP.  VA Sectary Shinseki needs to resign or better yet, be fired.

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:50:46 AM PDT

    •  this isn't just a paperwork thing (0+ / 0-)

      unless you are suggesting that the VA has doctors and other medical professionals sitting around with idle time during their shifts every day because some clerk didn't want to fill in their calendars with appointments.

      When you get to the doctor, the treatment is great, if a small percentage of people die because they have to wait months to get to a doctor, it really doesn't matter that the doctor would have done great things, if only.

      •  I see the same thing in the private health care (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        system.  Doctors who aren't accepting patients.  Doctors who are, but won't be able to see a patient on first appointment for more than a month.

        While at the same time the "interface" between public and medical staff is virtually impenetrable.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:14:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

          speaking to a doctor is hard, and my personal opinion with apologies to the doctors that aren't like this, most of them don't listen to the patient and give them the benefit of the doubt that the pain or ill feelings are real and as the patient says.  If it doesn't present how the doctor expects, the doctor discounts the patient's experience in the diagnosing.But that is a different kettle of fish than this diary.  Except maybe not, because an industry that tends to devalue the people that bring them their money, the clients, the reason the business exists, probably suffers from an overwhelming amount of hubris and can't see themselves at fault, leading to falsifying records, etc. rather than addressing the problems.

          •  I know of a medical facility who urges the patient (0+ / 0-)

            to "Speak up!" if there's a problem.  But when the paient does speak up, the facility retaliates with two options: either shut up and take it, or go somewhere else.

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:30:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I saw this 25 years ago, where the appt (0+ / 0-)

          to see an allergist, was so far out, my allergies had passed before the appt.
          The fact the GOP likes to use "too few doctors for all the new patients" meme to try to unsell the ACA, suggests, they mean, since there are not enough doctors to afford prompt appts, we should go back where the poor couldn't get coverage, so as to not inconvenience those with money. Sounds a bit like social Darwinism to me. Do we really support human sacrifice in America?

    •  Agreed, Shinseki has to go. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I appreciate his service, and his forsight prior to Iraq.

      That does not excuse his incompetence now. At best, he has responded too slowly to a gaming system that was first reported on in 2010. At worst, he passively encouraged and abetted it.

      I watched his testimony. I almost threw a brick through my computer screen when "isolated incident" left his lips for the third time. How tone deaf is he? How ignorant? That very day it was reported that the investigation was expanding to include hospitals in two more states. Now the total number of hospitals being investigated for abuse is up to 30.

      Christ knows how many vets are dead. It was 22 earlier this year. Now the number is 40. The number will go up as the investigation goes on.

      The longer people prop up this failure for political reasons, the worse this is going to be in the end.

      •  Pay attention -- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There was lying on the ground.  That means that Shinseki wasn't being provided the facts, and wasn't being told he was being lie to.

        The Bushit criminal enterprise cut taxes during wartime -- the first time in US history that was done.  In order to cut taxes he also cut funding to the VA -- during wartime.

        Stop blaming his predecessors for inheriting a mess that the Republican'ts are filibustering against fixing.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:18:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Shisheki (0+ / 0-)

          Doesn't matter. He is in the lead position. He promised to fix this 5 years ago and no progress. He needs to go. Sorry that someone needs to fall on his sword but that's the way it is.

          •  What, specifically, did Shinseki promise to (0+ / 0-)


            The lack of funding -- and the allocation of sufficient funding -- is Congress' exclusive prerogative.  The Executive branch -- Shinseki -- can't allocate funds the Congress doesn't authorize and provide.

            We saw the same happen with State: Hillary requested increased funding for increased security at diplomatic assets around the world.  The Republican'ts did the opposite: cut the funding for that security.

            And now it's --


            And there's no little racism behind not only the Republican'ts' self-righteous hollering, but also on the part of some veterans.

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:35:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •   I see a pattern, and it points at the GOP, AGAIN. (0+ / 0-)

              When will people wake up, and pay attention? It is not "incompetence" on ones part, to have someone else create a situation, and then prevent any actions to change that situation, and turn around and not only blame you for the situation,  but, persecute you for not fixing it, despite their total obstruction and resistance to the logical fix.

              The GOP handed Obama a firestorm in progress, then defunded the fire dept, and obstructed all access to the fires, only to soon, blame Obama for the fire, but, call him incompetent for not getting them out.
              Both the VA problem, and Benghazi, were exacerbated by funding cuts, at the GOP's behest, despite Hillary speaking on 2-14-2011 about the very outcome that happened, as a possibility, and common sense suggesting war casualties, along with Viet Nam, and Korean vets retiring and reliance upon VA for healthcare, would strain the system were it not given a funding boost. Smart people, don't add a heavy need for care, while cutting the budget for that care, and expect a good outcome.

    •  lopping a head or two won't fix a systemic problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo, raspberryberet

      As a veteran in the VA system, I can tell you first hand; the quality of health care is top notch. It's the fact that even in the rural area that I live in with few veterans, the wait to see a Dr is disgusting.
      Quite frankly when the ACA was first brought up, the VA was what I pointed to when I made arguments about what single payer health care would look like in America. Underfunded, undermanned, incentives to do the wrong thing.
      Am I angry about this? Yes! "Shocked"? Hardly, When I was on active duty in the late '80's, there was a two week wait on most any health care and since active duty always gets put at the top of the list; that meant vets had even longer waiting times.

      I don't think firing or asking for resignation of Sec Shenseki will do ** to even begin to resolve the problem. The problem is systemic, widespread, and one of culture both within the VA AND DC.

      •  The first issue to address are the Bushit criminal (0+ / 0-)

        enterprise cuts in VA funding during his war of choice against Iraq.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:20:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't about paperwork. It is about shortage of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      employees, resulting from shortage of funding.

      The Bushit criminal enterprise cut VA funding during their war of choice in Iraq.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:12:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Veteran health care (0+ / 0-)

      Getting into the system is as much a nightmare as dealing with the veteran pension administration. Paperwork, time on hold, time sitting makes for long days especially if you are in need of care. This system needs to be fixed now.

  •  If we can't set the media straight on this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, Aquarius40

    ... our folks are exceptionally poor advocates.

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:53:35 AM PDT

  •  That and more $ecurity for Benghazi. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, a2nite, Sherri in TX

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:55:01 AM PDT

  •  more importantly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, Aquarius40, DrPlacebo

    They are feigning surprise that socialized medicine for vets is not working while still trying to convince the public that what they characterize as socialized medicine for the rest of us will not work. Can't have it both ways. If the ACA is bad, then give vets a subsidy for private insurance.  Furthermore, while we must take care of out vets, if they are unwilling to care for the hero who is raising a family on minimum wage, getting the kids to school, holding it all together, why should such a hero care about the other heroes.

    •  George Washington said it: (0+ / 0-)

      If we don't take care of our veterans, their sons won't want to fight.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:23:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A flaw in your thoughts (0+ / 0-)

      You assert that, "socialized medicine" is not working, and suggest "vets get subsidized for private insurance", which would cost every bit as much as just FUNDING the VA system. Please explain how adding a "profit driven" provider, would save, by ADDING profit margin.

      Something, PLUS, profit, is always going to be more expensive than, something, alone.

  •  The Pubs were right in this accident. (0+ / 0-)

    Putting more money in the hands of these patently corrupt officials who dishonored their oath of office and quietly cheated the health care of veterans while collecting bonuses against perverse incentives would have been a mistake. These VA twerps give ammunition to every Puke whoever said you can't trust the government to do the right thing.

    It is outrageous that the GOP comes squawking about veterans health when they leave service members to rot once their utility to the MIC is complete, but I'm actually a little happy they are making a big fucking deal of this. Lord knows this crap would have gone on in perpetuity if there wasn't an opposition party looking for the next big scandal. They finally found a legit one and we're all better for it.

    •  this is the VA the Republicans wanted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, ferg

      The reason we have the VA (rather than just giving veterans Medicaid) is to provide a higher level of medical service to our military veterans than is generally available.

      And the VA does great things for veterans all across the country.

      The Republican faux obsession "fraud" and "waste" is the source of this scandal. If the federal government provided the resources to properly pay for veterans' treatment, there wouldn't be wait lists.

      So, no. They weren't right. In fact they were 100% wrong. Just like they were 100% wrong to deny State's requests for more security funding (which led to Benghazi).

      What you need to understand is that for Republicans, robbing government programs of the funds they need to work properly is the whole point.

      •  That's not true... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neo Control

        The VA created perverse incentives that allowed senior VA officials to get paid more for cooking the books. Performance bonuses were tied directly to metrics that were intended to reward top providers, but could be manipulated by keeping the sickest veterans out of the hospital entirely.

        Wait lists are prudent as long as they are of reasonable length and fair. It accounts for the ebb and flow of patient needs. It's too expensive to have a health system that maintains a staff to meet demand during surge.

        Keeping the neediest veterans on a wait list to pump up performance bonuses is criminal. This has nothing to do with the GOP starving the beast and everything to do with a few public servants driven by greed and a performance culture that looked the other way when issues were raised time and again.

        •  You got sources for that? (0+ / 0-)
          Keeping the neediest veterans on a wait list to pump up performance bonuses is criminal.
          I can't find reporting that says that the reason for the waiting list was financial incentives tied to waiting times.

          I can't find reporting that says that the people on the list in Phoenix were there because of the severity of their problems.

          • (0+ / 0-)


            Nicholas Tolentino, a former mental health administrator at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire, said in April 2012 that VA hospital managers across the country regularly sought loopholes to get around meeting performance requirements.
            The officials also had a financial incentive to game the system, since the numbers were tied to bonuses worth thousands of dollars a year, said Tolentino, an Iraq and Afghanistan combat vet who served 14 years in the Navy before being medically retired.
            •  Were they profiteering? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Dillonfence's premise is that the VA hospitals using secret lists were profiteering by denying service to veterans. (And so giving the VA more money would just encourage this fraud.)

              I do not believe that the article you linked to has any evidence of that kind of malfeasance.

              "The upshot of these all too widespread practices is that meeting a performance target, rather than meeting the needs of the veteran, becomes the overriding priority in providing care," he told Congress.
              What's reported in the article (and elsewhere) reflects what predictably happens when resources are scarce and superiors make impossible demands. Everyone faked it.

              In this case Shinseki (apparently) demanded that wait times be cut to two weeks without providing sufficient extra resources to address the problem.

              That's outrageous. You don't reduce wait times by fiat. By itself that's grounds for Shinseki to go. But maybe it's more complicated than that.

              The hospitals should have been screaming, "This is not possible! Veterans are waiting because we do not have enough doctors and nurses to see them all." Instead of that it appears they said, "Fine. We're going to just have a waiting list for the two-week waiting list." And they continued to do business as usual.

              Neither Shinseki nor the VA hospitals are covered in glory here. But, as we've seen with NCLB, holding money back from struggling programs doesn't make them "shape up" it makes them cannibalize each other.

              •  I think you misread his point... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dillonfence's premise is that the VA hospitals using secret lists were profiteering by denying service to veterans. (And so giving the VA more money would just encourage this fraud.)

                I do not believe that the article you linked to has any evidence of that kind of malfeasance.

                The hospitals were not "profiteering," rather the administrators who ran those hospitals were trying to pad their bonus checks. That's what he meant when he said:
                The VA created perverse incentives that allowed senior VA officials to get paid more for cooking the books. Performance bonuses were tied directly to metrics that were intended to reward top providers, but could be manipulated by keeping the sickest veterans out of the hospital entirely.
                This was about greedy public employees making money by lying about their performance, and how that deception has been known to Shinseki since 2010... yet he didn't do a single thing about it. That is why he should be fired.
              •  Oddly enough, this is precisely how private (0+ / 0-)

                businesses handle their goals. They simply pass down productivity "goals/requirements", and demand their employees meet them. My former employer, did this regularly, and had consequences connected to failing to meet their productivity targets, pulled out of a clear blue sky, with little connection to real world obstacles. An example; they suggested, we, technicians, could get from one side of town, to the other, in 15 minutes, while just one red light, could take 4 minutes alone, with a dozen on the route, as well as RR crossings, and traffic issues. Bottom line, 30 minutes was more accurate, and double their wishful thinking figure, imposed upon the work force.

        •  How Does This Differ From Private Health Insurance (0+ / 0-)

          Our private health insurers do this as a matter of course in order to justify their bonuses and to collect them.  They do it by denying claims for procedures which their members thought were covered by their policies.  In some cases, the insurance companies assured the members they were covered before the procedures were done but retroactively disallowed the claims.  The insurers don't have any problem effectively increasing their profitability or productivity by massaging the numbers, which is the real crime in this instance.  I've yet to hear a Republican come out against blatant disregard for CONTRACTS, which is one of the shibboleths they worship at.  This focus on veterans is yet another feeble effort by the Republicans to wrap themeselves in the flag, which is all they've done since the end of WW2.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Wed May 21, 2014 at 12:43:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It differs because this is a gov provider. (0+ / 0-)

            This is largest government provider in this country, in fact.

            This is the system that is supposed to show that Universal Healthcare is desirable and would not lead to the horror stories pubs like to push.

            And what the fuck is in the news? People dying on fucking wait lists, and corrupt bureaucrats lying about it...

            I just. I don't even.

    •  The Bushit criminal enterprise cut VA funding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      DURING their war of choice against Iraq.

      Who cuts funding for medical treatment of vets who are coming home from the current war?

      Gung-ho draft-dodging war-mongering REPUBLICANS, such as Dick "Five Deferments" Cheney, and dry-drunk cocaine-burnout G. DUI Bushit.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:27:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "The food here is terrible!!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, MikeTheLiberal, ferg

    "Yes, and in such small portions!"

    (Woody Allen in Annie Hall).

  •  Cong Hrng: 43k die w/no Health Insur/YR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sherri in TX

    According to a Harvard study in 2009.  Forty-Three Thousand people die each year from lack of Health Insurance.  We're Free, sure,  free to die from lack of health care.

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:27:02 AM PDT

  •  When you look in the dictionary for the meaning of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the word Hypocrite, it has but two words - See Republican.

    "The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope." -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardi

    by Frank In WA on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:29:43 AM PDT

  •  Someday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All of the once proud professional journalism Will Actually Report The Facts, ALL The Facts!!!!

    But don't hold your breath, them days, even with the bad journalism, are long over as is this so called 'united states'!!!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:43:03 AM PDT

  •  We must use all of our funds for that really count (0+ / 0-)

    More wars,less food the for the poor, poor wages to live on, made up Benghazi,Benghazi,Benghazi.  Of course we must pay for the Politicians extraordinary benefits,their annual pay increases,their junkets that include family members,their expense accounts(that alone breaks our budget).  Veterans are always given the crumbs.  They are worth more than all of the politicians put together.
    Republicans speak with such forked tongues it's a wonder they don't trip over them walking.  They only care to send people into battle,afterwards it's the same stance as their pro birth motto.  Buddy you are on your own.  We gave you a chance to serve your country,now go away quietly.  The fault is not with the Pres. or Shinseki,it is with the Right wing branch.  Outraged over 4 deaths but not over the thousands lost and many more wounded and suffering mentally and physically.  They are a joke.  Start sending their heirs to fight instead of keeping them safely ensconced in the political dynasty's they have created.  They are Americas Royalty and do not fight for you and me.  Self Servants is what they are. Time to throw away the Public Servant saying.

    •  Hence the origin of the slogan, "Army of one" (0+ / 0-)

      You're in the Army, and then when you discharge, you're alone.
      At least this generation, gets the lip service and fan fare, vs the quiet hitchhike home of my generation coming home from Viet Nam.

  •  Obviously, the bill lacked pork. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, DrPlacebo, lartwielder

    All legislation tastes better with bacon in it.

    If music be the food of love, then laughter is its queen, and likewise, if behind is in front, then dirt in truth is clean.

    by glb3 on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:55:45 AM PDT

  •  It's the standard GOP playbook. (0+ / 0-)

    Oppose every dime of spending on health, education, worker, consumer and public safety, then go batshit when something goes awry.

    But I have to get something off my chest. This is as relevant a place as any.

    I attended a conference in January. The subject was architectural standards. A guy from the VA was a featured luncheon speaker.

    Apart from him being boring to the point I wanted to poke my eyes out with my salad fork, there was one thing he talked about that stuck with me.

    And that was that Shinseki actually showed up at staff-level meetings concerning projects that were late and over budget. The speaker wouldn't shut up about it. He told one anecdote about a meeting that started at 8:00 a.m. and didn't conclude until 8:00 p.m. because Shinseki was demanding answers on every last detail.

    You can probably see why I am bringing this up. How could this guy, who demanded accountability on every last brick of a building project, be fooled on an issue of such consequential human and political sensitivity? It's hard to believe the WH didn't tell him it was a point of emphasis.

    I don't know the answer. Maybe the VA speaker was lying about Shinseki's meticulous manner because there were VA spies in the room. Maybe he just wanted to impress the audience because he had such close access to the general.

    Or maybe Sinseki is totally past his depth in the administration of a giant health care organization and chooses to focus on matters he can comprehend. Like getting a building finished on budget.

    I don't know, but it bugs me. A lot.

  •  Isn't this usual for the Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, Amber6541, JJustin

    They cause a problem than blame the Democrats for the outcome.

    Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

    by arealniceguy on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:07:36 AM PDT

    •  Including the Wars (0+ / 0-)

      Indeed, Republicans want to see wars fought so badly that they usually wind up handing off their failed efforts to their Democratic successors and then complain that the Democrat hasn't solved the problem upon coming into office.  Earlier today, I was reading a Washington Times report accusing Obama of knowing that VA reporting on wait times was suspect as far back as 2008, based on 2007 numbers, but hadn't done anything about - between the 2008 election and the 2009 inauguration.  The crazy makes my eye teeth hurt - and I had them removed fifty years ago.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Wed May 21, 2014 at 12:48:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who is worse? (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans that cut the budgets then complain about the failure to perform, or the "true believers"  who believe and support every lie and hypocritical act?  

    What is the victory in demonizing the opposition while refusing to fund Veterans health care?  

    It seems that Republicans are deeply concerned about health care for the vets but indifferent to the needs of the citizens of their own  states.  

    This is the Republican attempt to privatize the VA.   Of course, it will be taxpayer funded but the contractors in the  private sector will get to add to the cost and their profits.  The vets are just collateral damage in the Republican  battle to privatize the VA.

    Same campaign as privatizing Medicare.   Once in the private sector, where do the unhappy patients go to file a complaint?  Sue them?   All suits will be presumed "frivolous"  with limits on punitive damages.   Then who will get fired for poor quality of care and needless deaths?  

  •  Fuck the republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are shameless and ignorant and as a service-connected disabled Vietnam veteran who has been fighting for increased ratings since 2005, I have a perfect right to say this.  They are disgusting human beings.

  •  McConnell hasn't earned his Pay (0+ / 0-)

    It's time he was retired. If Kentucky doesn't throw him out, it's their own fault..Same with ALL states. Few of these guys work "for actual PEOPLE"..and "Corporations" are NOT people. If they were they'd be jailed for murder and massive fraud .

  •  More money (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't solve the problem unless you also change the system.

  •  We go to war at their insistence, and when the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    vets need our help because of injuries sustained in the wars they started, they give them third world treatment, sort of like all the money cut from the embassies for defense, and then look what happens.

  •  I can't wait for the blockbuster hearings in the (0+ / 0-)

    House, as the Republicans investigate the Bushit criminal enterprise cuts in the VA budget during its illegal invasion and occupation of non-threatening sovereign nation Iraq, when the US body-count, and maimings were on the increase.

    I'm sure the Republicans will endeavor to impeach and remove the Bushit criminal enterprise retroactively.

    Hell, they might actually be so pissed that they send themselves and their own kids to war -- just to underscore their objection to partisan Republican treasons.

    This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

    by JJustin on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:59:44 PM PDT

  •  VA issues (0+ / 0-)

    I'm tired of hearing it's one party or the other. Like John Stewart, I'm furious with all of them. Vets often put their lives on the line for this country whether you support wars or not. I'm one of them and we deserve better than this. I spent two days in waiting rooms just trying to get medications filled with no success. I gave up. This is a crime against the US. It needs to be fixed and I don't care who gets the credit or the blame.

    •  "blaming both", when one is advocating for you (0+ / 0-)

      and the other, advocating against you, is being blinded by your duly earned anger. At least, direct that anger at the proper source. The parties are NOT, "the same", they are complete opposites in most subjects, while one has successfully prevented a myriad of bills and efforts to bring change that would HELP, as the other tries as hard as they can.
      Example; the VA expansion bill killed in Feb, by the GOP because it would cost 24 billion, and called "too much" by the GOP, would be paid for, with the 24 billion they cost us with the govt shut down in another attempt to repeal the ACA.  So, WHERE are the priorities of the GOP, willing to spend money to CONTROL govt from the minority, but, not for the vets they got wounded and harmed?

  •  Mitch McConnell Trying To Count To Ten (0+ / 0-)

    Most people know how dumb the Republicans are, but this is a dead give away.

    Mitch asking himself: "What comes after two"?

  •  And EVERY Republican House or Senate since the (0+ / 0-)

    Reagan administration has pursued wars without commensurate compensation for those who are fighting their wars.  Bush did more to reduce the effectiveness of the VA than any other president, and still has the balls to claim that he helped veterans.  What is extremely disturbing about this is that so many veterans do not see that this is so.  Republicans have forever been tied to the military industrial complex (about which Eisenhower warned us) and the appropriations for the waging of wars have gone in the pockets of business and industry, NOT into the care and treatment of sick and wounded veterans.  There are STILL Vietnam veterans roaming the streets, struggling with mental disorders, NOT receiving the treatment their government should be providing them.

  •  Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    can now add Veterans to the list of those who will not vote for them. About all they have left is old, white fundamentalists whose effective lives ended in 1947.

  •  Kind of funny... (0+ / 0-)

    Right after I see this, I see an e-mail from Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) stating that she is doing everything that she can to help our veterans, and that the way our veterans are being treated is just unacceptable.

  •  I wondered when this would show up. (0+ / 0-)

    Apparently the Pubs didn't hide their Congressional Records deep enough or under a big enough rock.
      My friend, a WWII vet, is furious at the poor treatment of the people who care for the veterans as well as those veterans getting not getting the care they deserve.
      Just found out from him that the new Nurse Practitioner at our outpatient clinic was thrust into the job with little training and is putting in 14 hour days, and for some reason, is thinking about quitting.
       And is he mad about the General in charge.  He has little time for upper echelon officers that know nothing of what the rest of the ranks have gone through.

  •  So (0+ / 0-)

    republicans had their hands in forty veterans that died in AZ.

  •  You know, (0+ / 0-)

    I HOPE all the damn Dems. remember this and USE it to fight back against the Republosers during this coming election.

    This is the perfect opportunity to show people just how evil the Republosers are!  The Dems. just better not blow this chance, like they've done every other time those a-holes have done something shady.  

    Fight fire with fire, I say!  It's past time to play nice.  It's time to chew bubble gum and kick some ass.  And were' all outta BUBBLE GUM!!

    If you can't dazzle 'em with brains, baffle 'em with bullshit!

    by GirlSwimmingInASeaOfRed on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:35:32 AM PDT

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