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AAV - Early Edition
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/09/2017 01:25:12

Good Morning.

Actually posting on Monday evening - I've got a 7am meeting in Southie tomorrow, so I won't have time to run this in the morning.

I've actually only got one story today. Veterans of America that voted for Trump - YOU'VE BEEN HAD.


Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says his department is seeking to close perhaps more than 1,100 VA facilities nationwide as it develops plans to allow more veterans to receive medical care in the private sector.

At a House hearing Wednesday, Shulkin said the VA had identified more than 430 vacant buildings and 735 that he described as underutilized, costing the federal government $25 million a year. He said the VA would work with Congress in prioritizing buildings for closure and was considering whether to follow a process the Pentagon had used in recent decades to decide which of its underused military bases to shutter, known as Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC.

"Whether BRAC is a model that we should take a look, we're beginning that discussion with members of Congress," Shulkin told a House appropriations subcommittee. "We want to stop supporting our use of maintenance of buildings we don't need, and we want to reinvest that in buildings we know have capital needs."

In an internal agency document obtained by The Associated Press, the VA pointed to aging buildings it was reviewing for possible closure that would cost millions of dollars to replace. It noted that about 57 percent of all VA facilities were more than 50 years old. Of the 431 VA buildings it said were vacant, most were built 90 or more years ago, according to agency data. The VA document did not specify the locations.

While President Donald Trump's budget blueprint calls for a 6 percent increase in VA funding, Shulkin has made clear the government's second-largest agency with nearly 370,000 employees will have to operate more efficiently and that budget increases should not be considered a given in future years. The department recently announced hiring restrictions on roughly 4,000 positions despite the lifting of the federal hiring freeze and also left open the possibility of "near-term" and "long-term workforce reductions." Shulkin is also putting together a broader proposal by fall to expand the VA's Choice program of private-sector care.

The Pentagon's BRAC process often stirred controversy in the past as members of Congress expressed concern about the negative economic impact of shuttering military bases and vigorously opposed closures in their districts.


If anything, we should be OPENING 1100 more veteran's facilities, not closing them. There always seems to be money lying around for a new aircraft carrier, or fighter jet, doesn't there?

And - I lied. I just found another story, perhaps going hand-in-hand with today's lead.


More than 100 veterans died while waiting for care at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles, Calif., over a nine-month span ending in August 2015, according to a new government report.

The VA Office of Inspector General found in a recent healthcare inspection that 225 veterans at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System facility died with open or pending consults between Oct. 1, 2015 and Aug. 9, 2015. Nearly half—117—of those patients died while experiencing delays in receiving care.

The inspector general reported that 43 percent of the 371 consults scheduled for patients who ended up dying were not timely because of a failure by VA employees to follow proper procedure. The report was unable to substantiate claims that patients died as a result of the delayed consults.

Concerned Veterans for America, a D.C.-based nonprofit, cited the OIG findings as evidence that problems persist at the Department of Veterans Affairs despite a series of legislative reforms implemented after the 2014 wait time scandal in Phoenix, Ariz.

"VA negligence can be a matter of life or death," CVA policy director Dan Caldwell said in a statement Thursday. "While the VA wait scandal received the most attention a few years ago, the reality is that Congress hasn’t done anything to change the toxic culture at the VA and we can’t be sure that veterans still aren’t dying waiting for care."

Caldwell told the Washington Free Beacon that it's important to recognize the OIG investigation covers a period that occurred two years ago, suggesting that changes have since been implemented. He said the report reinforces findings that wait list manipulation took place at VA facilities nationwide and was not isolated to a handful of hospitals, as initially suspected.

The VA did not return a request for comment.


So here's something. We're all old enough to remember this iconic 80's bumper sticker?

http://www.velvetparkmedia.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/pic_lightbox/images/promos/Jenny_Aisenberg/ACTUP.2a.jpg


I say it's time to bring it back, but with a minor change.



TRUMP = DEATH

 

15 comments (Latest Comment: 05/09/2017 19:43:50 by livingonli)
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