In response to Shulkin’s assertion that it is time to stop riding the VA and come together to pull in one direction to insure a forward, positive direction for the VA our stance remains one of total disbelief.
The VA has spent decades developing a demeanor and a well-choreographed application of a whispered policy that has resulted in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of veterans quite well before what their life time expectancy would have been had written policy been followed. The VA ignored the Agent Orange Act of 1991 refusing to acknowledge or diagnose known cancer precursors from AO exposure until it was well too late. The accounts of this are stark but moreover constant across the VA’s national agency geography. In short, these issues alone, like most, are so numerous that anyone who looks close enough at them can only conclude that the delays in care in this single paradigm were nothing short of the results of willful medical malfeasance. The results were catastrophic. This malicious attitude is why 26 years following the Agent Orange Act 1991 thousands of veterans are STILL not being recognized as having Agent Orange exposure spawned issues acknowledged and treated as such by today’s VA.
Mind you this goes FAR beyond just the Agent Orange issues. On a regular and now quite expected basis the VA not only continues to refuse proper diagnosis and treatment of the AO cancers, but also the ischemic heart conditions related to that exposure as well. In addition, even the VA’s most recent issues of refusing proper assessments for traumatic brain injuries continues to be an issue. This too has been an ongoing issue for decades. The VA while aware of the Post-Concussion Syndrome issues that have been faced by tens of thousands many of whom’s medical incident reports were refused by the DoD to be handed over with the rest of the veteran’s records have deliberately failed to get those records to assess the severity of the injury stating that “The severity of the TBI injury has no bearing on the injury assessment of today”, let alone lift ONE finger to properly diagnose and assess the ongoing issues as even having been caused by TBI at all, AT ALL people. All the while however throwing about false diagnosis based on false substance abuse assessments which not only themselves fall far short of the requirements as outlined by the DSM-5, but the DSM-4 as well. From there they go onward to other “assessments” that themselves too viewed through the prism of the DSM fall very short of anything but whole and complete medical fraud. The short of it here is that NO medical incident report of TBI = NO CLAIM TO BENEFITS PERIOD! A total and complete TWO agency (VA and DoD) lockstep to deny benefits to those whose life shattering injuries in service cry out for the grace of our loving nation, and the promise of Lincoln.
In 2011 the 9th Appellate Court found that the VA’s psychiatric “care” was in violation of our veteran’s right to due process ie: the due process being that to injury claim awards these veterans are legally entitled to. The United States Constitution confers upon veterans and their surviving relatives a right to the effective provision of mental health care and to the just and timely adjudication of their claims for health care and service-connected death and disability benefits… their entitlements to the provision of health care and to veterans’ benefits are property interests protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Despite this ruling the VA has continued to deny proper diagnosis and treatment for TBI and now it appears they have pulled the same on those with PTSD as well. Everybody is a wet brained, weak minded malingerer by the VA’s whispered policy leading many to suicide.
Then we have ANOTHER recent judgement against the VA who decided to not pay for the emergency care of those veterans whose immediate life and death issues did not facilitate their delivery to the VA. This too killed many veterans who died trying to get to VA facilities too far away or to poorly equipped to deal with their issues for fear of losing the family home or throwing their families into bankruptcy. The VA by this reprehensible practice put untold economic devastation onto untold tens of thousands of families and no doubt resulted in even more suicides. The VA has been the final straw with its unbridled malice for far too long for anyone to forget so quickly. In addition, they continue by fighting this set of court rulings to prove they are nowhere near deserving of the truce Shulkin is now calling for.
500,000 claims for EARNED medical care may be about to get thrown into the shredder. Loved ones of those veterans who paid the final price to this nation decades ago are still being lied to and stalled in their acquisition of most deserved benefits as well. Homeless veterans who are so because TBI issues covered up all the way back to the Vietnam War are still being told that they must get a diagnosis from medical care professionals OUTSIDE the VA and who themselves were deliberately left OUT of the Affordable Care Act because of their ELIGIBILITY for “care” inside the VA left are still left behind in the streets to die in a world darkened by post-concussion syndrome, unable to maintain a grip or a prayer.
Over 400,000 claims in an appeal process that is taking more than 5 years on AVERAGE and with an ill wind blowing up from the VA that could soon put that wait time at 25 years. Yet, it is time to play nice with those who continue to drag our veterans and their families further under the dirt, and out of sight of a public now demanding action.
With ALL of this and more we are to end the battle for our brothers and sisters before the issues have even began to be settled? We think not. To do as Shulkin has asked would be like the Allied forces deciding at the opening moments of D-Day that it was time to start liking the Nazis, and to stop being mean to them. Like it was time to lock arms with them in peace and harmony and to march forward arm in arm with them to insure THEIR agendas were met.
Sounds pretty crazy doesn’t it? And that is exactly what it indeed is for this Secretary, to call for such total and utter rubbish. This nation’s veterans are dying, and their families crashing under the heel of the VA’s jack boots. Our answer must be one of steadily increasing push back. They must be pushed back away from the lies, and away from the reprehensible and incorrigible nature that has been groomed over decades that left too many to die in the streets, and at those facilities by issues spawned by a VA designed to incite that last breath of a veteran decades before their reasonable expiration time. The VA has woven the love of this nation into a sick mask to conceal unbridled malice, and malignance fueled greed served by lies and malfeasance at every single level.
Where in the love of God or the over half million words in the English language can anyone find an ounce of grace for the VA at this time? Pray tell us THAT David Shulkin! Yet you dare to stand by while the VA is about to shred 500,000 EARNED claims to care and blame the veteran? Your agency continues to REFUSE the grace of this nation onto the thousands of survivor cases like that of Denise Caldon Sorkness and Sandra Ross Mutter? Yet while you re-call 24,000 TBI cases for what is being billed as finally an honest assessment only to be in fact only another shot at burying those cases under another pile of lies? While patients are STILL being opened up in ORs that have rust billowing from the ventilation and fecal matter dripping from the overhead? You do this whilst continuing to fight against those financially broken family’s reimbursement of emergency medical expenses wrongly denied veterans who would have DIED had they gone the distance to a VA facility for issues whose address simply did not permit that? YOUR VA does this while continuing to deny OUTSIDE doctors too their EARNED wages who took in our veterans under the Choice “Care” program after taking 4.3 BILLION from that allocation for everything the VA got itself into with cost overruns and yet, continue to build out facilities that the wind might soon be heard whistling through when our nation’s beloved veterans are FINALLY granted the same civil RIGHT as every other citizen to choose their own care providers OUTSIDE the VA? And THAT people is what David is really fighting, the prospect of CLOSING DOWN the VA for the mercy, grace, and dignity of a nation totally disgraced by its actions. HE is there to bolster the 5th column and to put the truth right down in the dirt alongside those killed by the VA. He is there to maintain the status quo. If not he would welcome the efforts of those struggling to provide an ounce of dignity to those whose life shattering injuries continue to be denied by VA system that was spun around to oppose Lincoln’s promise decades ago behind a 5th column kept in place by that 25 million dollar a year PR budget.
And you sir, call yourself a LEADER? Leader of what dare one ask at this point? What did you accomplish at the VA as the Undersecretary of Health? Pray tell us doctor, what did you change as undersecretary there? The waiting lines are longer than ever. The whistleblower retaliation has not abated. The treatment of the Agent Orange exposure cancers is still the same old denial, the diagnostics of TBI is still the same old denial despite the 24,000 patient re-assessment. The cost over-runs on at least 4 facilities all projected in the beginning to be at or under 400 million now way over 1 Billion with one fast approaching 2 billion and still no end in sight there. No end in sight to the end of the battle for justice by the families being strangled out of their economic security by the VA’s continuing to refuse the emergency care reimbursements. No end in sight to the never-ending ping ponging of claims between the Board of Appeals and the Regional Offices that has gone on for decades in too many cases. No end in sight to the over 400,000 appeals backlog, no end in sight to the wait for even OPENING round care for 500,000! No end in sight to the VA’s psychological wounding that is keeping the suicide victims headed for the grave yard. No end in sight in fact to a SINGLE issue which you yourself were assigned the Undersecretary’s position to address and FAILED to do so!
It certainly comes as no surprise to us here that you were put into the slot. The pressure from the national VSOs whose own self interests are in jeopardy by anything you might do short of maintaining the status quo and getting everyone to be a “go along, get along” partner in the VA’s ongoing fraud, malpractice, malfeasance, mal-hearted criminal death and theft scheme mandated they pushed for you. However, MOST veterans were against you taking that post. Now we are praying that you are there as nothing but an easy to place shim for the here and now with a replacement who is determined to lead coming once this administration gets a better hold of the entire issues facing this nation.
So we now present our demands to you sir; In that we demand that you order your VA to cease and desist its fight against those seeking due reimbursement for emergency care. We further more demand that you order the VA to cease and desists in its refusal to pay those wonderful doctors outside the VA who cared for our veterans during the period of false hope incited by a Choice Program was really deliberately designed to pry loose that 4.3 BILLION the VA needed to cover their fiduciary malfeasance and NOTHING ELSE. We demand that you order the VA to end the wrongful, deliberate mis-diagnosis of Agent Orange cancers until it is too late for that veteran to be saved. We demand that you order the VA to end its abusive psychiatric practices designed to deny benefits to TBI and PTSD victims as seen by the 9th Appellate Court 6 years ago in their opinion. We demand that you order the VBA to put an end to the ping pong game with claims between the appeals board and the regional offices and to SETTLE THOSE CLAIMS! We demand that you order the VA to immediately re-align your appeals stack to take care of those oldest claims FIRST. We demand that you order the VA doctors to stop lying about the TBI assessment results and to fire all who continue to do so from this day forward. We demand that you order the VA to immediately get those records being withheld by the DoD on TBI incidents back to Vietnam and beyond as the law mandates. We demand that you order the VA to cease and desist in the continued denial of health care to those 500,000 applicants still awaiting a decision. We demand that the bogus testing for the water contamination exposures from Camp LeJeune as well as those from the McClellan exposure issues to be ended. We demand that you order the VA the immediate re-opening of ALL past claims to survivor’s benefits whose legitimacy was thwarted by the VA’s lies for eligibility be tended to ASAP. We demand that the VA END the practice of operating on our veterans in those filthy, horrid operating rooms that spawn infections that are then denied to even exist until the veteran has suffered lifelong complications and death from them AND that you immediately arrive at a restitution figure for those surviving that putrid malice. We further demand that you order the VA to arrange and pay for all care outside the VA by a care provider chosen for by the veteran whenever and for any all reasons that veteran deems reasonable. In short, an order to cease and desist the practices of forceful sequestration of veteran care to the VA. We demand that you order the VA to finally (26 years after the Agent Orange Act of 1991) stop lying about the Blue Water Veteran’s Agent Orange exposures and forward care to them as such IMMEDIATELY. We also demand that you issue an order to the VA to immediately cease and desist in the practice of allowing management personnel without proper medical licensing to direct the care procedures for any and all patients at the VA.
So you now see sir, what we have here is a stalemate and there will be NO FORGIVENESS from the majority of this nation’s veterans nor our general citizenry until these issues mentioned above are tended to and a real choice in unbridled care OUTSIDE the VA is handed over to our veterans. Until we see movement in all of these quadrants the battle will continue and you sir, will lose. How much you will lose is quite up to you. While you might view this as a desire on our end to see the VA fail, the obvious reality is that the VA is a failure and that without the immediate actions cited will continue to be an ever-larger failure if left to your most pronounced and non-existence “leadership”. YOU sir to date are a FAILURE as well in your stewardship of the duties assigned to you under both this and the prior administrations. You have done NOTHING to end ANY of the ongoing failures at the VA and we hold precious little hope for anything more out of you considering your ongoing and arrogant denial of the continuing issues there.