One can only shake one’s head and wonder. If you are charged with running the second largest public employer in the United States, entrusted with the care of millions of men and women who have served their nation, often at great personal cost, and that entity also happens to have been responsible for the deaths of over 1,000 veterans in recent history due to negligence and systemic failure on a massive scale–well, you think you would do everything in your power to ensure that no further stupid missteps take place, wouldn’t you?
But that is not what we see in the case of the Veterans Administration. This federal agency has paid out hundreds of millions in medical malpractice lawsuits. This federal agency has been rocked by scandal for several years. And we are not talking about minor problems in this case. We are referring to an agency wherein many administrators have pleaded guilty to criminal offenses for everything from fiscal malfeasance and embezzlement to wait-time manipulations and over-prescribing. Hundreds of veterans have died or sustained serious injury in the VA system. We are talking about an agency that runs over budget on the construction of new facilities to the tune of hundreds of millions or, in the case of the new facility in Aurora, Colorado, one billion dollars.
Tens of thousands of veterans still wait years to have their claims for compensation paid. Tens of thousands of veterans still languish on our streets, homeless. As a recent study affirmed 20 veterans a day commit suicide. Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) still struggle to access services. Against that backdrop and amid non-stop scandals over the course of years, you would think that the administrators at the Veterans Administration would be diligent in their efforts to prevent any further acts of crassness and brazen from taking place.
One can understand the occasional problem in such a large bureaucracy, but amid all of the scandal how are we to take the expenditure of $20,000,000 dollars on artwork and decoration at VA Hospitals and Administrative facilities? This is not a mistake, this is a blatant insult indicative of an utter lack of concern for the veterans that the Administration is supposed to serve. The disregard and lack of concern. redolent of an utterly profane lack of respect, are wholly unacceptable.
Written by Raven Clabough
Source: Report Reveals VA Spent Millions on Art While Veterans Died Awaiting Care
July 30, 2016, 8:46 AM
An oversight report by an independent taxpayer watchdog into the Veterans Affairs administration reveals more troubling information connected to the VA scandal, Fox News reports. According to the report’s findings, the VA spent $20 million on artwork and sculptures and added nearly 40,000 new jobs, though just one in 11 were medical positions, all while more than a thousand veterans died awaiting medical care.
In 2014, the Veterans Administration became the subject of significant controversy after reports exposed that the Phoenix facility had been altering its scheduling books and that at least 40 veterans had died while awaiting care. Reports later revealed similar issues with lengthy waiting times in at least 10 states. Investigation into the Veterans Affairs wait-time scandal has revealed a number of startling revelations, including evidence of fraud and regulatory violations related to scheduling issues at over 50 VA medical facilities.
Multiple investigations ultimately found that more than 1,000 veterans have died while waiting to be seen by a doctor, and employees who dared to blow the whistle on conditions at the facilities have received retaliation while many of those responsible have virtually avoided punishment.
And just when it seems that the VA scandal has been fully explored and exposed, more disturbing revelations appear.
An oversight report by taxpayer watchdog group Open the Books and COX Media Washington, D.C., entitled “The VA Scandal Two Years Later,” reveals that while veterans had been waiting for care and facilities were altering its scheduling books to cover up the lengthy waiting lists, the VA was instead utilizing millions of dollars in financial resources to improve the artistic ambiance of its facilities, among other things.