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Political Editors / February 23, 2016

Who Loses VA Musical Chairs? Vets Do.

Bad employees were just moved, not fired.

Instead of firing misbehaving administrators, the Department of Veterans Affairs simply shuffled the bureaucrats off to another VA hospital in another state. After crunching the data, the Daily Caller found that almost 100 VA administrators worked in at least three states over the last eight years — often at the cost of pay bumps and hefty relocation fees. When it comes to doctors or pharmacists, some of whom ran afoul with disciplinary or licensing issues, the VA simply played bureaucratic musical chairs, shuffling about 600 VA employees across the country. “Whatever the reasons,” wrote Luke Rosiak, investigative journalist for The Caller, “Secretary Bob McDonald, who promised a transformation of the VA when he took over in 2014, is trying to fix past mistakes by moving around the same people who oversaw them, not bringing in new leaders.” Recently, the Deputy Secretary for the VA Sloan Gibson said he stood by his decision to fire a VA medical center director in Albany, despite the decision being reversed by the department’s Merit Systems Protection Board. The bureaucracy in the state-run health care system is entrenched, protecting its own at the expense of those it is supposed to serve — veterans.

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