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Clinton Praises Obama’s Handling Of VA

- November 13, 2015

Clinton: “I Think Secretary McDonald Is Doing A Great Job…” CLINTON: “I think Secretary McDonald is doing a great job, but there is a lot more that needs to be done.” (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At A Campaign Event, 11/10/15)

  • Told Directly By A Veteran Who Has Been Waiting Six Years On A Disability Claim About Delays, Clinton Defended The VA, Saying “We’ve Made A Little Progress In The Last Year Or Two Processing Claims…” VETERAN: “I was very glad to hear you talk about New Hampshire not having a full service hospital. First of all, a lot of us have been fighting that for many years, many years. Secondly, as a Vietnam veteran who filed a claim for an increase in my service connected disability six years ago and it’s still pending. I was at the V.A. medical center yesterday for my fourth examination. Six years and it’s still going on, I tell people this on the outside and they think I’m crazy. They say how can the V.A. take six years to process a claim? I say well I’ll show you the facts, so I’m very happy to hear you talk about those two things for sure.” CLINTON: “Well, I want to…We’ve made a little progress in the last year or two processing claims, we still have a big backlog as you know personally. And we’re getting an increasing backlog in appeals from denials or only partial approvals. I think we need a kind of, all hands on deck program, where I’d be working with VSOs and others. Let’s recruit people who have some accounting, some legal, some other experience, and let’s put them to work on this.” (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At A Campaign Event, 11/10/15)

As Clinton Praises The Administration’s Handling Of The VA, Facilities Across The Country Continue To Be Plagued With Wait Times, Inadequate Care, And Misreporting

“Appointment Wait Times At The Department Of Veterans Affairs Are Not Getting Better.” (Drew Griffin, Nelli Black, Scott Bronstein and Curt Devine, “Veterans Still Facing Major Medical Delays At VA Hospitals,” CNN, 10/20/15)

  • “Despite Billions Of Extra Dollars Poured Into The Agency In The Last Year And Numerous Reforms Intended To Improve Veterans' Access To Care … Some VA Facilities Continue To Grapple With Appointment Wait Times Of Months Or More.” “Despite billions of extra dollars poured into the agency in the last year and numerous reforms intended to improve veterans' access to care, whistleblowers and internal documents obtained by CNN reveal some VA facilities continue to grapple with appointment wait times of months or more.” (Drew Griffin, Nelli Black, Scott Bronstein and Curt Devine, “Veterans Still Facing Major Medical Delays At VA Hospitals,” CNN, 10/20/15)

Three October Inspector General Reports Demonstrated Further Deficiencies At VA Facilities Across The Country, Including Hospitals In Alaska, Illinois, And California. “Three new reports were released this week demonstrating deficiencies at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. The VA Office of Inspector General (IG) released separate reports on clinics in Alaska, Illinois and California showing protracted delays and mismanagement at the hospitals dedicated to providing care for veterans.” (Bradford Richardson, “IG Probes Uncover More Problems At VA Hospitals,” The Hill, 10/30/15)

  • The Hill Headline: “IG Probes Uncover More Problems At VA Hospitals” (Bradford Richardson, “IG Probes Uncover More Problems At VA Hospitals,” The Hill, 10/30/15)

An Internal Department Of Veterans Affairs Investigation Found That Schedulers Routinely Misreported When Patients Actually Wanted To See A Doctor Or Receive Care, Making It Impossible To Track Delays. “An internal Department of Veterans Affairs investigation found that schedulers in Texas routinely misreported when patients actually wanted to see a doctor or get some other type of care, making it impossible to track delays in the care they received.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press, 3/10/16)

  • According To The Report, Schedulers Listed The First Available Date That A Patient Could Be Seen As The Date That A Patient Had Wanted To Be Seen. “According to the report, schedulers often listed the first available date that a patient could be seen as the date that a patient had wanted to be seen. This meant there was no way to track how much longer those seeking care waited to get it.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press, 3/10/16)
  • VA Employees Reported That They Sometimes Engaged In Misleading Scheduling At The Behest Of Their Supervisors. “VA employees reported to investigators that they sometimes engaged in misleading scheduling at the behest of their supervisors.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press, 3/10/16)
  • One Employee Said That A Former Supervisor Threatened To Fire Her If She Did Not Make Wait Times Equal To Zero. “A supervisor at COPAC Kerrville stated that, from 2007 to March 2014, she and other schedulers were taught to make the patient’s desired date the first available date by “going out (of the VistA scheduling system) and going back in.” She stated a former VA supervisor threatened to fire her if she did not make the wait times equal zero.” (“Administrative Summary Of Investigation By The VA Office Of Inspector General In Response To Allegations Regarding Patient Wait Times,” VA Office Of Inspector General, 3/8/16)

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