7-8-15 – Sanders and the VA Scandal

by John McClaughry

Remember the Veterans Health administration scandal, and how President Obama vowed to hold everyone accountable?

A year ago Bernie Sanders, then chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, forcefully defended the VA at a Massachusetts forum, stating the VA provides “very high quality healthcare” and programs such as Medicare and Social Security are “enormously popular.” But then, this: “Right now, as we speak, there’s a concerted effort to undermine the VA,” he said. “What are the problems?  You have folks out there now, Koch Brothers and others, who want to radically change the nature of society, and either make major cuts in all of these institutions, or maybe do away with them entirely.”

Oooh, those awful Koch Brothers again!

In February, VA secretary Robert McDonald asserted that the department had fired 60 people involved in manipulating wait times to make it appear that veterans were receiving care faster than they were. In fact, the department quickly clarified after that interview, only 14 people had been removed from their jobs, while about 60 others had received lesser punishments.

Now, new internal documents show that the real number of people removed from their jobs is at most, three. One was fired, one retired in lieu of termination, one’s termination is pending.

I think veterans would be a lot better off if the Koch brothers, instead of Sanders and Obama, had been put in charge of making the VA work.

– John McClaughry is the founder and vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

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