Published: Thursday, May 29 2014 9:15 a.m. MDT
"As is the pattern of the Obama administration, no one at either agency has
ever been held accountable for failing to implement the President’s
policy." If the representative had confined his remarks to problems with
military health care (and Obama's failures in dealing with it) rather than
using the crisis as a lever to make political points he would be better
received. The VA has had big problems for years.So, Representative
Chaffetz, what should be done with military health care? I suspect you'll
I really couldn't care less whether Shinseki is forced to resign. To me,
the bigger issue is accountability all down the line.People SHOULD
be fired. They most likely won't be. Whistleblowers SHOULD be rewarded,
instead (not just at VA)they have been chastised and denigrated.The
VA problem is much bigger than Shinseki.
Obama needs someone on his team who understands just how difficult software
engineering is. The failure rate with large software projects is very large -
high in the private sector and even higher in the public sector. When I took
software engineering in college (about 20 years ago) we were told that the
failure rate for large software projects in the public sector was about 50%!
Rep. Chaffetz, your craven hypocrisy knows no bounds.Or will you
show us all the votes you have cast over your years in office to improve VA
funding and operations so that it can keep up with the workload placed on it by
a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Didn't think so.For the VA to have faked its records to show compliance with its own
policies is genuinely scandalous, and yes, heads should roll.But to
pretend that this is a new problem that is solely the responsibility of the
Obama administration and for which GOP military policies and budget cuts play no
role, is disingenuous in the extreme.
I was in complete agreement on the matter - that responsibility needs to be
enacted. Then this morning I was doing a little reading on the subject and it
turns out the directors ability to remove poor performing career administrators
- much like tenure and teaching - the problem becomes a bit more complex.
Because should we ask for Shinseki head, we all feel a bit better, but the
underlying problem hasn't been fixed. The next person in that seat of
responsibility will be equally constrained in enacting real change.These clamoring for responsibility needs to be focused in the right places.
If Shinseki was aware of problems, or enacted policy that caused these problems,
he needs to be held ultimately responsible. On the other had if information was
not flowing up the command chain, or even if it was but he was not able by
statue to address these issues - firing him achieves nothing but political
points - which are worth next to nothing.We need to understand where
the breakdown was - not just shoot the first person through the door. It may be
Shinseki has to go due to lack of confidence in the system. That may not solve
The Senate Republicans decided not to fund a ~$20 billion VA funding bill
because it would bankrupt the country. Yet, their Republicans in the House
decided to pass a ~$120 billion tax credit for large businesses. Should they not
be held accountable as well?
Here comes Jason again!Gosh, we would never have any credible info about
issues in this administration without his help!
"The much-heralded integrated Electronic Health Record (iEHR)
project..." I'm curious, was a planning document ever produced for
this project, complete with costs? Was this document ever reviewed by the
congress? Was there a document produced declaring the project dead? We need to
explore this further. Representative Chaffetz, if the public is to make a
judgement on this matter we need this information.
The VA has a history of dysfunction that goes back decades. Playing cheap
political games by Chaffetz and his GOP co-conspirators is not only
disingenuous, it is hypocritical. During the Bush years, treatment of vets was
abysmal. Take the situation of Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ). To quote an
article (and I remember this well as I not only followed it closely, I am
friendly with Rep. Smith personally): "In 2005, Speaker Dennis Hastert and
Majority Leader Tom Delay removed him [Smith] as chairman of the Veterans
Affairs Committee for not toeing the party line and by insisting more be spent
on veterans’ programs." The GOP is complicit in the VA scandal.
Instead of partisan gamesmanship, the GOP should help work towards solutions.
It's pretty vile.
Apparently Jason Chaffetz (another Koch brothers' employee in Congress who
pretends to work for America) got the final Koch brothers approval to go ahead
and publish another Op Ed in Deseret News.Let's see here . .
.“Obama Administration’s failure are magnified . . .
“ That’s good Jason . . . Don’t forget to bring up strongly
negative terms like “failure” in conjunction with Obama, and then
overblow them with exaggerative terms like “Magnify” . . .
that’s excellent.And don’t forget to pepper the article
with key terms like “agency” (as in evil) and “infusions of
money” and “failed” and “red tape.”It’s almost like poetry really . . . It’s so evocative.OK Jason, you get an “A” . . . For Always Predictable.
Better late than never - Fire ones that wont/cant fix problems and appoint
others who are capable, smart, energetic and determined to transform the VA
hospitals into the best. - and deliver the goods! That is demanded of privately
run hospitals - why not governments?
Why is it that repubs only believe dems should be held accountable?Why not
hold yourself accountable for your own mistakes before pointing fingers? Iraq
for starters. Let's put that administration on trial for war crimes. Then
hold the same administration accountable for their own VA lack of funding.
Shinseki is a great man with an unparalleled record of military service (in
contrast with Mr. Chaffetz, who has NO record of military service). As with all
managers, he has a management problem. He knows it. Let him deal with it.
The problems that existed at the VA existed before he took over the reigns. As
any Field Commander must do, he has to rely on the reports he gets from those
under him and make decisions off those. If the reports he gets are false, he
cannot make accurate decisions.The better question should be
"Can he fix these problems?" And give him the tools to hold those at
the VA accountable for their dereliction of duty.Firing him at this
point would do nothing more than be for show and a scapegoat.
Excuse me, but is this the same Jason Chaffetz who refused to pass a bill which
would have funded the VA?Is this the same Jason Chaffetz who cut
funding for security at our embassies and then went on national tv smirking and
bragging about it?It sounds like Chaffetz wants to hold everyone
accountable but himself. I say we fire Jason Chaffetz and all those repubs who
refused to fund the VA. Then, we can straighten out our VA.
"It’s time to replace Secretary Shinseki and move forward with real
reforms and proven solutions." I don't think Representative Chaffetz
has ever been a developer in a large software project. I have and know
something about the situation Shinseki finds himself. Before we tie a can to
Shinseki's tail let's get the facts, especially in light of his
service to the country. And what, let me ask, are the "proven"
Those of us who have now retired from the medical profession, recall decades of
military men and women frightened of having to get any medical care, what so
ever, from Veteran's Administration hospitals.These Army, Navy,
Marine, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine troops, would do anything to
avoid those facilities.This is nothing new, and those blaming our currant
president, well, we all know what they are up to.
IMO the VA model has NEVER been a good model for price-competitive and top
quality healthcare.It's federalized healthcare. There's
no motivation do quality work or satisfy your customers/patients... where are
they going to go? You have them trapped!The same will be the case
IF we let the Government take over OUR healthcare and be the sole-provider (or
dominant provider) of healthcare to Americans. The same complaint has been
echoed for years and years from the family and friends I have in Canada (long
wait lists for routine visits, often deadly wait times for expensive life saving
procedures, always getting minimum-expense and minimum-results treatments (when
more expensive treatments that are more effective are available, but the
government won't pay for them)... So you eventually get frustrated and
desperate and give up and go to a private hospital in America and pay cash for
the treatment you need.Veterans have been doing the same thing (for
years and years)...
The general has probably replaced field commanders who did function well. Eric
Shinseki is a decorated war hero who deserves our respect, but he is not an
efficient administrator of the VA Health system which is civil service and not
military. Mr. Obama should have rewarded his service with some other type of
appointment. Sorry partisan talking heads, Chaffetz was right.
I like what Chaffetz said if we change it just a little bit.
""It’s time to replace Representative Chaffetz and move forward
with real reforms and proven solutions."
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