Veterans die on secret VA hospital waiting lists

We owe them absolutely EVERYTHING: Our freedom, and, let’s face it, our very way of life. I’m talking, of course, about the brave men and women who have selflessly guarded us during peacetime and defended us during wartime, our home-grown heroes, American Veterans.

And how do “we” repay them?

Well if you’re the Feds, apparently it’s by dooming them to a long and painful death on a VA hospital waiting list.

By now, you likely have heard the appalling reports about the American Veterans who were left to die while sitting on sham waiting lists. If you haven’t, trust me when I tell you that you’re going to want to sit down for this.

The story first broke with the shocking news that at least 40 American Veterans have already died while languishing on what amounts to little more than a secret death list at a Phoenix VA hospital. These 40 American heroes—along with as many as 1,600 other veterans—had gone to the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Heath Care system with a simple request... they asked for a doctor’s appointment.

You see, when a veteran requests medical help from the VA system they’re supposed to be granted an appointment within 14 to 30 days. After all, decent medical care is the least we can do to help repay them for all they’ve sacrificed for us.

At least 40 died while on a secret sham waiting list!

But it turns out that the backlog at the Phoenix VA hospital had gotten so bad that the paper-pushing federal employees running the joint decided to cook up an elaborate plan to cover up the problem. Rather than admit to their inability to meet the deadlines they allegedly swept the vets onto a super-secret sham waiting list where they were left to suffer for months on end, in some cases even dying before being seen.

Meanwhile, the “official” second list that was being submitted to Washington showed that the VA was not only providing vets with timely appointments, they were IMPROVING wait times!

This revelation is devastatingly horrific enough all on its own. And, frankly, it’s hard to imagine any way in which it could get worse. But believe it or not it does, MUCH worse.

Reports are emerging that this isn’t an isolated incident pulled off by a few bumbling bureaucrats at one single Phoenix VA hospital. Now there’s evidence that the VA in Albuquerque came up with a very similar hideous wait list “solution” for handling the backlog of waiting vets in their city.

We don’t know yet how many vets died while waiting on Albuquerque’s list, but judging by the Phoenix debacle there are likely to be hundreds who were left to suffer while waiting months to be seen. (As both a med student, and an intern at the VA hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee, I very much hope not all VA hospitals were involved.)

But let’s face it, there’s every reason to believe that the Phoenix and Albuquerque VA’s are just the tip of a very big iceberg. There are already five more states being named as potential players in this horror story. Who knows how many more sham waiting lists, and how many more dead veterans, will be uncovered before we reach the end of this ghastly road?

Feds have American vet’s blood on their hands

And make no mistake about it; these incidents aren’t just the snafus of some low-level paper-pushing office workers in these two VA hospitals. Not only did top-management in at least one of the hospitals know about the “death list” (according to news reports they even defended the practice!), officials much higher up the food chain were well aware that there was a problem.

Even before the story of the Phoenix VA scandal broke, the office of the Veterans Administration’s Inspector General had apparently launched an investigation into accusations that the Albuquerque VA hospital was covering up waiting times.

And now, it would appear that our Veteran’s blood is on the hands of those at the very TOP of our government too. In fact, according to the Washington Times, the Obama administration has known about the inaccurate waiting times, and scheduling failures, for more than five years now!

According to the report, VA officials warned the administration as far back as 2008 that the wait times that were being reported shouldn’t be trusted. I shudder to think how many brave men and women have suffered and died since then. Like 71 year old retired Navy vet Thomas Breen, one of the veterans who was apparently shuttled onto the Phoenix VA secret waiting list.

Mr. Breen died an excruciatingly painful death from pancreatic cancer while waiting to be seen, despite the fact that after an ER visit to the VA hospital his chart clearly stated he should be seen within one week. According to his daughter-in-law, in the months before his death she watched Breen—a real tough guy by all accounts—literally weeping in pain as he sat at the kitchen table waiting for a call back from the VA.

That call didn’t come until about a week AFTER he died, and well over a month after Breen’s VA emergency room visit and request for an urgent appointment.

Our veterans have willingly made sacrifices for us and our country, and I think you’ll agree with me that the very least they can expect in return is decent, timely medical care. It’s time for us to demand a FULL investigation into this fatal scandal, and the stiffest punishments possible for those involved in this shameful nightmare.