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    Veterans Administration Tag

    President Donald Trump made a promise on the campaign trail that he would reform our beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs. The latest reform puts an and to official time within the department, which means that medical employees at the VA will not receive taxpayer money while doing work for the unions. From the VA news release:
    “It’s common sense,” VA Acting Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd said. “Allowing health care workers to do taxpayer-funded union work instead of serving Veterans impacts patient care negatively. President Trump has made it clear – VA employees should always put Veterans first. And when we hire medical professionals to take care of Veterans, that’s what they should do at all times. No excuses, no exceptions.”

    USA Today has dropped another article on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as the publication continues its investigation into the department. This investigation discovered that a VA policy has allowed hospitals to hire health care providers with revoked licenses, but it's illegal to do so thanks to a 1999 law:
    The VA issued national guidelines in 2002 giving local hospitals discretion to hire clinicians after “prior consideration of all relevant facts surrounding” any revocations and as long as they still had a license in one state. But a federal law passed in 1999 bars the VA from employing any health care worker whose license has been yanked by any state.

    USA Today has done an excellent investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs. Its latest bombshell shows that the VA has hired doctors they know have malpractice claims and felony convictions. How could this possibly happen? A not so thorough hiring process:
    Applications are vetted, education and licenses verified, references checked, and interviews conducted. For clinical hires, a review and approval by a professional standards board also is required. But when applicants disclose prior problems with medical licensing short of revocation, malpractice or criminal histories, VA hospital officials have discretion to weigh the providers’ explanations and approve their hiring anyway.

    After three years of constant problems at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, the Senate passed a bill that will make it easier to fire offending VA employees currently protected by layers of bureaucracy. Fox News reported:
    The bill would lower the burden of proof needed to fire employees -- from a "preponderance" to "substantial evidence," allowing a dismissal even if most evidence is in a worker's favor.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced scandal after scandal, some of which caused veterans to die while waiting for care. There was even a dentist putting veterans at risk for HIV. But the VA has also punished those who blow the whistle on VA wrong doings. President Trump took a step in the right direction to fix these problems when he signed an executive order that creates the "Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection" at the VA.

    The general inspector for the VA found that veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C., face "imminent danger" due to the horrific conditions. USA Today reported:
    The VA inspector general found that in recent weeks the operating room at the hospital ran out of vascular patches to seal blood vessels and ultrasound probes used to map blood flow.

    Embroiled in scandal and mounting allegations of inefficacy, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doled out more than $142 million in bonuses. While VA executives and employees are rewarded for their performance, wait time for veterans needing medical attention has increased more than 50%. The issuance of bonuses is what helped shove the VA scandal into the spotlight. Veteran wait times were fudged by VA employees who were required to meet certain metrics to be bonus-eligible. And yet, the VA did it again. USA Today reported the generous bonus story earlier today:
    WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs doled out more than $142 million in bonuses to executives and employees for performance in 2014 even as scandals over veterans' health care and other issues racked the agency. Among the recipients were claims processors in a Philadelphia benefits office that investigators dubbed the worst in the country last year. They received $300 to $900 each. Managers in Tomah, Wis., got $1,000 to $4,000, even though they oversaw the over-prescription of opiates to veterans – one of whom died.

    Last week on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show, Hillary Clinton downplayed recent scandals at the Department of Veterans Affairs which resulted in the deaths of vets who were waiting for care. Since then, a growing chorus is calling for Clinton to apologize. CNN reports:
    Veterans' groups fire back at Clinton's VA comments Some veterans groups are firing back after a comment Hillary Clinton made about the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal. The former secretary of state suggested in an interview late last week that the controversy which shook the VA last year was overblown, and Republicans used it to serve their own agenda. "It's not been as widespread as it has been made out to be," Clinton said Friday on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" when asked about the scandal and how she would fix the VA. Yet the federal government's own report contradicts Clinton's remarks.
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