Right Hooks

VA Secretary Lied About Wait Time Firings

Feb. 19, 2015

When Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald first took his position, he said he was going to clean house after the wait-time scandal left veterans without care. He had a list, and he was going to fire 1,000 VA employees. In an interview over the weekend, McDonald claimed the VA fired 60 people who manipulated wait times. The Washington Post fact-checked his claim, however, and found that only eight VA employees were fired, including just one executive. The VA’s own spokesman James Hutton told the Post, “Regarding the 60 figure, it is most accurate to say that ‘VA has proposed disciplinary action related to data manipulation or patient care against more than 60 employees nationwide.’ This takes into account the full range of accountability actions including admonishments, demotions, reprimands, and termination.” Because of the VA’s misleading report and its failure to speed up wait times, it has turned into a bureaucracy only concerned with keeping the bureaucracy in place – and it will lie to do so. It’s a good thing former Obama adviser David Axelrod says “there hasn’t been a major scandal” during Obama’s administration, or vets would really be in trouble.

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