Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Administrative Error

It was merely an “administrative error.”

Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System Director Sharon Helman was awarded an $8,500 bonus, even while her operation was under investigation for falsifying patient wait times and possibly causing the deaths of 40 veterans.

The bonus has now, after much publicity, been rescinded.Rep. Andy Harris

Sadly, the veterans who died in a fraudulently inefficient system cannot be brought back to life.

The hefty bonus money adds cruel insult on top of a much more serious injury — one we now know extends far beyond Phoenix. The investigation has spread to 26 facilities.

Major veterans organizations demand that Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki resign, or that the president (who once again discovered the crisis from media reports) replace him. That’d be a logical first step, signaling in deeds, not just words, that folks will be held accountable.

The personnel changes shouldn’t stop there. And those guilty of fraud should also face criminal charges.

Still, some gloss over this scandal. Montana Senator Jon Tester says Shinseki should stay and that the VA has done a “remarkable” and “a pretty darn good job.”

A Washington Post editorial played down the scandal, noting that “Delayed treatment has been an issue for decades.”

The Post is half-right. The problem of this federal healthcare bureaucracy shortchanging vets is certainly not new.

But Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) is 100 percent right. The Navy vet and doctor, with years of VA experience, wants to offer vets a choice between the VA or a voucher to pay for their private care.

It’s a solution aimed at protecting the vets who need care, rather than the VA bureaucracy.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rick says:

    I like the voucher idea and maybe he can expand that to vouchers for education too. It probably would be inflationary for overall healthcare costs but it would compensate veterans who served in wars started by old men with no kids in the conflict to lose.

    We could fix public education and get it off the back of taxpayers in 3 years with school vouchers. It’s the free market way of destroying bad schools, bad teachers and bad administrators. Same with veterans healthcare.

  2. JFB says:

    The Washington Post is correct, delayed treatment has been a problem for years, in the VA, Canadian and all socialized systems. If you cannot control demand with price then it must be done by limiting supply, aka rationing.
    It is coming to a hospital near you.
    (By the way, either system “kills” some, as both must as they act to allocate a service with limited supply, a fact we must understand and accept.)

  3. Eagle says:

    You really believe the President didn’t know anything about this problem (or any of the other “scandels” that have occurred during his administration) until the media reported on it? That would mean he’s merely guilty of gross incompetence.

  4. Linda Liberty says:

    As I learn more about this situation I realize that one of the problems (among many) is that the people that work at the VA are public employees covered by unions so no matter how bad they perform they can’t be fired. Even FDR was against federal employees being unionized.

  5. Rick says:

    Here’s a trending beltway topic for you:

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Air Force official awards $10B+ contract uncompeted & then takes lucrative job w funds recipient
    7:40 PM – 22 May 2014

  6. Drik says:

    No error.
    They are leading just as promised.
    This is the direction that the whole country is being nudged.

  7. Drik says:

    The President has been outraged over this and not tolerating it, since 2008.

  8. Pat says:

    One question: why are ‘public servants’ getting any kind of a bonus? Any and all money saved by bureaucrats should be returned to taxpayers.
    Unlike in decades past, today’s government workers earn high pay and generous benefits, which most private sector workers can only dream of.

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