AMAC Action On Capitol Hill

President Obama’s Pathetic VA Press Conference

by Andrew Mangione

President Barack Obama spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, May 21, regarding the lack of accountability, long wait times for care and falsifying records scandals that are plaguing the Veterans Administration. True to form, and as is his administration’s standard operating procedure, the President acted outraged and immediately ordered a full investigation to determine “if there was misconduct”.  If there was misconduct?  Mr. President, veterans died due to long lead times for care, how much proof do you need to determine culpability?

He spoke glowingly of veterans’ commitment to America and how America has a “sacred trust” and obligation to care for them, and he’s right. However, he did spend time at the presser in “it’s not my fault” mode.  Obama cited the influx of patients into the VA System due to two wars in the Middle East as partly to blame for long wait times for care. Whatever happened to the promise he delivered while campaigning for President that should he become Commander-in-Chief, he would “ask…every single day whether I am serving you as well as you have served America. I will have no greater calling than standing by those who have answered our country’s call.”[1]

Is he just discovering the increase in veterans pursuing care now? Where has he been over the last five years? Where was his proactive plan to deal with the rise in veterans’ seeking care as a result of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan? He claims that veterans and their care is “a cause for his presidency” and promises “accountability and punishment” after yet another investigation into a federal entity for which he is ultimately responsible.  Accountability and punishment?  What does he have in mind? What is his plan to increase accountability in a bureaucracy that is clearly too large to be managed? What kind of punishment does he intend for some entitled bureaucrats who have grown comfortable and safe after years dwelling in a tax payer-funded career?

No, the best President Obama has to offer is a promise to look into the problems and get back to us later.  One can’t help but wonder if by “later” he means after this scandal is nothing more than a faded memory in Americans’ collective minds. Will we actually see substantive action to correct the systemic problems that are puncturing the VA as a result of another White House investigation?

The President did, however, take a whopping two questions from his friends at the Associated Press and Reuters at the end of the press conference. This seems to be the same old, same old from the Obama White House—act concerned, order an investigation all while hesitating to take on tough problems and face the difficult reality of solving them.



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8 years ago

We should excuse the president for his lack of knowledge and interest in the VA. He has some really important golf games and vacations to tend to.

Throw the bum out.

8 years ago

Maybe this is a generational and/or regional thing but my dad never had to wait more than 30 days without being allowed to go outside the VA system for care with them paying for it. Same when he had an urgent need, certainly not more than 3 and though we just missed this, were told they’d just implemented same day walk-in services.

The only thing we ever had a problem with was them not being willing to pay for a local MRI.

I suppose this may all have been a regional thing but as far as generational, I can see where the younger veterans would like the voucher system but at least for the older ones, which I realize won’t be much longer so maybe we could start with a two-tier system, they like the idea of a VA system, at least for their primary overseer of their health care, with the flexibility of primary referral to the local outside, rather than having to go to the large VMAC’s that are often hard for the elderly to get to because of distance, but maybe we and they, the younger ones, also need to think about the fact that they, too, will be the elderly one day

8 years ago

The current VA system is exactly what single-payer would be like. So take a good look folks at what YOUR future and the future of all your loved ones is should the Democrats ever get their wish and convince enough voters, over the next few years, that single-payer is the panacea to all their health care needs and the “fix” to the Obamacare debacle. Government run hospitals with all doctors and staff being government employees. Administration of the entire process is by the federal government, with ZERO real accountability to either the taxpayers or the veterans reliant on this badly broken system.

By the way, if you don’t believe me, just take a look at England’s much-praised single-payer solution. You know, the one that the Democrats all praise and say should be the model for what we ultimately have here at some point. Government run hospitals, with doctors, staff and all administration personnel all government employees. Wait times for things like MRIs, X-RAYs, complex medical procedures and treatments run into either months or even years in some cases. People get “lost in the system” routinely. It is not uncommon for the seriously ill to simply die before they received the much-needed diagnostic procedures or medical treatment.

As to the faux outrage Obama expressed today, he expressed similar outrage early on to almost all the scandals that have occurred under his administration. There were promises to get “to the bottom” of whatever the issues was, but that always morphed into “slow-walking” or stonewalling any investigation and then eventually stating that “we’ve already investigated this for months now, so it’s time to move on”.

As to how to fix this problem at the VA, that’s relatively straight-forward. However, you’ll never see it put into practice:

1) Issue every single veteran a gold medal I.D. card upon their honorable discharge from the service.
2) If a veteran requires medical treatment and is told the wait time is going to be 30 days or longer for diagnosis or non-urgent medical care, then the veteran could go to ANY doctor or hospital in the United States for care using this card. Doctor and hospital services would be charged back to the VA, since these private doctors and hospitals are handling the workload the VA can not accommodate. The authorization code would be automatically approved for such treatment during the initial call by the veteran to the VA and the veteran was told of the projected excessive wait time for treatment at VA facilities.
3) If a veteran requires urgent medical treatment and is told the wait time is going to be 3 days or longer for medical diagnosis or 1 day for urgently needed medical care, then the veteran could use the process outlined in step two.

This type of process would effectively eliminate much of the backlog at the VA within several months, as veterans would be free to get the medical care they need through private hospitals and doctors, with the VA picking up the tab for services they are clearly not capable of handling under the way the VA is managed.

8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

And THEN maybe something would be done about the doctors & nursing staff who don’t do their jobs effectively but still expect their paychecks AND bonuses. I think the VA has been used as a free ride for way too long for SOME people based on the stories by whistleblowers especially by doctors who have left the system because they were frustrated by what they saw and had to deal with. Now these same freeloaders are more worried about losing their jobs than they ever cared about the patients.

I am sure there are good doctors and nurses working for the VA and this comment is not aimed at those individuals so please don’t bite my head off.

Chuck Martin
8 years ago

It is well documented that the current administration were briefed on the problems before taking office. Defense Secretary Gates was aware of the problems that related to the VA Administrations bureaucratic resistance to change. It is hard to imagine that the president was not fully aware and chose not to act as well as members
of congress.

Kris Jackson
8 years ago

Oh, so now you’re in favor of government-run health care? Aren’t you one of these right-wingers who want to abolish Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid? Do you now support an increase in expenditure for veterans, or are you just out to criticize Obama?

8 years ago
Reply to  Kris Jackson

AMAC supports veterans, period. Your response, which is typical of your liberal elitist ilk is to…wait for it…spend more money! Actually, it would be nice to see the VA dismantled and veterans issued vouchers with which they could seek their own care in the private sector instead of being forced to endure treatment within a woefully mismanaged and, what we’re now seeing, corrupt bureaucracy.

8 years ago
Reply to  Kris Jackson

Kris, what’s to criticize, the “Pinocchio” president lied so many times to sell his crappy health care bill we expect the same every time he opens his mouth. And he never disappoints!!! His legacy is a legacy of lies, lies and more lies!!! How does it feel to know that the two worst presidents in the history of our country are both Liberal Democrats … “Pinocchio” Obama and “Jackass” Jimmy, I’ll bet you can figure out the last name. As I’ve said before, “if liberals had any common sense, they would be conservatives” !!! Liberals can never defend their arguments with facts, so they have to attack with dirty tricks, exaggerations and name calling!

I like the one that calls me a racist because I didn’t vote for Obama … The next presidential election I’ll be able to call you a racist because you didn’t vote for Dr. Ben Carson and I did! Dr. Ben Carson is the worst nightmare for the Democratic party, a “real” Christian Conservative, with more honesty and integrity than any law school educated, “reasonable doubt” lying attorney Socialist Democrat!

8 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Couldn’t have said it better Rik. I too prefer the voucher system and get rid of the VA. Just like most other government run programs, it has not lived up to what it was originally set up to do and has been used for fraud and personal gain at the expense of the people it was supposed to help. BUT the Obama administrations answer us throw more money at it so the money can be used for bigger bonuses, unnecessarily replace furniture with more high end expensive furniture (as they did recently at another government agency), and other wasteful spending because hey, there’s more money where that came from, right?

Kris Jackson is evidenty a TROLL for the this administration. We get them on this forum periodically. They are just trying to cause trouble.

8 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Rik, you are correct.

Winston Churchill one said that if young person isn’t a liberal he has no heart, if an old person isn’t a conservative he has no brain.

We can all see this is true, can’t we Kris.

Tommy Hudson
8 years ago

This administration and its massive bureaucracy does not care about our country’s veterans. It is time for Americans to wake up and realize this country is bankrupt! Everyone who is concerned about the future of our nation should read The Contract On The Government. It is the book the politicians and bureaucrats DO NOT want you reading. Find out more here:

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