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Amid Scandal, Veterans Affairs Issues $142 Million in Bonuses

Amid Scandal, Veterans Affairs Issues $142 Million in Bonuses

Meanwhile, veterans face lengthy wait times to receive medial care

Embroiled in scandal and mounting allegations of inefficacy, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doled out more than $142 million in bonuses.

While VA executives and employees are rewarded for their performance, wait time for veterans needing medical attention has increased more than 50%.

The issuance of bonuses is what helped shove the VA scandal into the spotlight. Veteran wait times were fudged by VA employees who were required to meet certain metrics to be bonus-eligible.

And yet, the VA did it again.

USA Today reported the generous bonus story earlier today:

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs doled out more than $142 million in bonuses to executives and employees for performance in 2014 even as scandals over veterans’ health care and other issues racked the agency.

Among the recipients were claims processors in a Philadelphia benefits office that investigators dubbed the worst in the country last year. They received $300 to $900 each. Managers in Tomah, Wis., got $1,000 to $4,000, even though they oversaw the over-prescription of opiates to veterans – one of whom died.

The VA also rewarded executives who managed construction of a facility in Denver, a disastrous project years overdue and more than $1 billion over budget. They took home $4,000 to $8,000 each. And in St. Cloud, Minn., where an internal investigation report last year outlined mismanagement that led to mass resignations of health care providers, the chief of staff cited by investigators received a performance bonus of almost $4,000.

As one of his final acts last year before resigning, then-VA secretary Eric Shinseki announced he was suspending bonuses in the wake of revelations that VA employees falsified wait lists to meet wait-time targets — ostensibly as part of efforts to secure the extra pay. But he only curtailed them for a sliver of VA executives — those in senior levels of the Veterans Health Administration, which oversees health care.

This is not the first time the VA has been criticized for handing out bonuses. A CBS News report airing in 2014 explains how $2.8 million in bonuses were issued despite revelations that wait times for veteran care were horrendously long.

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton drew the ire of veteran advocacy groups for saying the VA scandal was not, “as widespread as it was made out to be.” Despite calls to recant her remarks, Clinton refused to apologize.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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Bonuses for what? Getting away with murder?

This is the…THE…result you can expect from BIG GOVERNMENT.

Every. FLUCKING. Time.

The Gell-Mann effect is the only possible excuse.

The DMV will kill you, go home to their upper-middle-class living, and EXPECT their fat bonus.

They might as well spend the money now.

Within a year of a GOP candidate getting elected, the VA is going to be massively downsized. Just enough bureaucracy to handle the payments of the private-sector health insurance policies for our veterans.

The VA, the IRS, Hillary Clinton, and anybody brought before the so-called Ethics Committees. It doesn’t matter. They are all government employees and look out for each other. Nothing happens to them.

The new Aurora V.A. hospital was supposed to be completed well over a year ago. It’s still not done,it’s 3 to 4 times over cost & the Republican Congress is considering a bill of about 2/3’s of a billion dollars to complete the project. 4 out of 5 of the present Colorado Republican delegation have “served” for the duration of the Boehner house. All any of them that have been involved with the project have done is used it to make political points.
The Colorado Republican delegation has been & is a disgrace!

Politicians on both sides, to their Uniparty benefit, have seen to it that it takes an act of The Almighty to fire bad federal employees and by allowing public sector unions to exist at all.

This wholesale abuse of public trust must be ended by the next president.

July 4, 2018, during the mid-term election cycle, should be the due date so there is enough time to kick out Capital foot-draggers that dont go with the program.

They get bonuses because they are operating the VA precisely the way R and D politicians have designed it.

in ’03 i was transfered to the Retired Reserve after doing over 20 years with the CA ARHG.

i went to the VA for help with several injuries, and a surgery, that i sustained while on duty over the years.

the VA said i’m not a veteran, and therefore i’m not entitled to any care what so ever.

    bobtuba in reply to redc1c4. | November 12, 2015 at 9:37 am

    They have some weird rules about who is a veteran and who isn’t. It all depends on what is on your DD214. Moreover, even if recognized as a veteran, there is still a Byzantine procedure to determine what is a service-connected problem and what isn’t.

Va care in my area is an abomination. My father is a 90 year old vet who has specific and urgent needs. The wait times for his care are ridiculous. We have a clinic locally that can’t really handle more complex issues. They refer us to the hospital which is a 35 minute drive away. That is beyond difficult for him. My father served honorably in the US Navy in WW2 in the Pacific theatre. The treatment he gets in his twilight years is incredibly disrespectful for the sacrifice he made for this country. 3 months for a silly podiatry appointment. 3 months for a heart specialist. 5 months for a neurologist.

    PhillyGuy in reply to PhillyGuy. | November 12, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Because of this, I had to sign him up for Medicare. That is also a disgrace. His premiums just went up 50% in one year with higher deductibles. And since his SS didn’t increase, it just means he is getting squeezed. At 90 years old! When he needs the care the most.

How does a government service (or lack thereof) embroiled in scandal for falsifying numbers and letting veterans die get bonuses?

Why not give bonuses to the IRS for targeting conservatives. Oh wait.

Welcome to Obama’s world.