A whistleblower claims that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs prioritized Obamacare applications over veterans healthcare processing.
The VA is engulfed in a corruption scandal involving secret waiting lists and other forms of alleged mismanagement at VA hospitals designed to conceal the true extent of the backlog for military veterans waiting for medical care, some of whom allegedly died while they were in limbo awaiting doctors appointments.
Commenting on the VA massive backlog in general in an interview with FNC’s Neil Cavuto, whistleblower Scott Davis asserted that “There’s so much pressure on the employees to get stuff done so that management can meet goals, it’s easy to make mistakes, it’s easy to have mishaps. What happens is, instead of the VA focusing on doing what’s right for our nation’s veterans — meaning taking time, processing each application diligently and appropriately — pressure is placed on frontline employees to overwork themselves, rush through the application process, to hit goals for members of management.”
Davis, a program specialist at the VA’s Georgia Health Eligibility Center, also claimed that 17,000 applications for VA healthcare may have been destroyed and that the pending application backlog for veterans seeking care could possibly be as high as 600,000.
Explaining how Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, affected veterans applications for health services, Davis added that
What you find is that there’s extensive pressure on the staff to process applications, to focus our attention to applications based on specific campaigns. For example, I shared with your producer that we actually put incoming applications aside so we could focus on the [Obamacare] related applications that came in over last summer. That’s wrong. We should treat each veteran equally and focus on applications, as they come in, not because of special campaigns coming out of D.C.”
Watch the interview and draw your own conclusions:
Reaffirming his claims about Obamacare and its effect on the VA bureaucracy, Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “veteran health applications were left in pending status, were not given the appropriate amount of attention, veteran health programs such as the Veteran Health Identification Card was disastrous in its deployment nationwide so that VA Health Eligibility staff could focus on doing promotional material for the Affordable Care Act.”
Perhaps even more disturbing, Davis also disclosed to the newspaper that “We don’t discuss veterans. We do not work for veterans. That is something that I learned after working there. Our customer is the VA central office, the White House, and the Congress. The veterans are not our priority. So whatever the initiatives are or the big ticket items, that is what we focus on.”
Separately, news broke today that an elderly military veteran collapsed at the Albuquerque, N.M., VA hospital cafeteria and tragically died during a 30-minute wait for an ambulance to take him to the emergency room located in the next building. The ER is about a five-minute walk or 500 yards from the cafeteria, but VA policy inexplicably requires an outside ambulance to handle the transportation in medical emergencies.
VA Whistleblower Scott Davis is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill early next week.
Problems at the VA predated President Obama’s Democrat administration, but as part of his 2008 election campaign, Obama vowed to fix the VA. A report just issued by the Obama White House, however, blasted the Veterans Health Administration in the VA for having “a corrosive culture that has led to poor management, a history of retaliation toward employees, cumbersome and outdated technology, and a shortage of doctors, nurses and physical space to treat its patients.”
Have your views on government-run or regulated healthcare changed as a result of either the VA scandal and/or Obamacare?
[top image credit: A.F. Branco, legalinsurrection.com]