And they found it has a “corrosive culture.” Gee, ya think? Basically, the report written by the President’s designated fix-it guy, not a manager but a political operative, says all the same stuff about the VA that veterans have been saying for years, while the White House and VA management have been singing, “La la la la la we can’t heeeear you!”
But now they find it has a “corrosive culture” and “systematic problems.” No $#!+, Sherlock. Or as John McClane might say, “Welcome to the party, pal.”
The report written by Rob Nabors, the president’s deputy chief of staff… says the agency needs to take “significant further action” to address “systematic problems” with providing health service for former service members.
“It is clear that there are significant and chronic systemic failures that must be addressed by the leadership at the VA,” Nabors says in his report, presented to President Obama on Friday.
Nabors deems a 14-day scheduling standard, which requires VA hospitals not to allow patients more than two weeks to see a doctor, “arbitrary, ill-defined, and misunderstood.”
He writes that the 14-day goal was “unrealistic” and is a “poor indicator of either patient satisfaction or quality of care.”
The report also finds that a lack of “transparency or accountability” within the VHA leadership structure led to an “inability to effectively manage or communicate to employees or veterans.”
It said “cumbersome and outdated” technology complicated the scheduling of patient care, and that an “inability to clearly articulate budgetary needs” resulted in key shortages of certain types of specialists.
The VA also conducted little planning for anticipated demographic changes of veterans, including increases in female veterans, mental health needs, and a surge of younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The report got the usual Friday scandal-hour dump to friendly media. It does not appear to have been posted to the White House website, or by any of its media recipients, but the White House does have a “Readout” of a meeting between the President, Nabors, and Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson, the guy who’s promised all VA wrongdoers immunity. It’s here. Here are a few things they’re promising:
- Initiating reforms to improve access to care
- Increasing transparency.
- Protecting whistleblowers.
These would be OK if there was any real indication they’re doing them, but we’re skeptical (that’ll shock you, we’re sure). Specifically:
- Information in the media about Nabors’s solutions suggests that his way of “improving access to care” is simply to change the 14-day appointment standard to a 90-day one, or none at all. Bingo! No more late appointments. Forgive if we think getting to this point by redefining “late” is bogus and lawyerly, but then again, all these asshats (the President, the Acting Secretary, the Hatchet Man) are lawyers so what were we expecting?
- How do you think they’re increasing transparency? Hold on to your hats — they have promised us a website. That’s the answer to everything with this gang — load up some words on the TelePrompTer and launch a website, problem solved! They’ll be practically blogging the revolution, because they’ve promised to update VA.gov/health as often as twice a month. Whether it needs it or not! (The only updates posted are of the waiting lists, data we know to be contaminated and partly falsified).
- No concrete action at all has been taken on protecting whistleblowers, let alone restoring the jobs and privileges that the VA’s punitive approach to what it sees institutionally as “snitching” have stripped from some of these people. Instead, the President and Gibson have read empty speeches about how angry they are.
Angry? These losers have no idea.