Tom Reed Monday (June 2) said problems within the VA extend far beyond resignations and administrative troubles to what could be criminal activity. Reed says anyone found guilty of criminal activity including manipulating official documents must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. And while Reed said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s decision to step down is the right one, Reed says it doesn’t go nearly far enough.
Here Reed focuses on punishment which is unlikely to solve problems or help veterans. Reed is mighty quick to judge others while stonewalling on his own involvement in what may be illegal interference with fair elections.
“We cannot lose sight of the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to fix the VA,” Reed said. “We’ve reached a whole new level of egregiousness within the VA – removing one individual will not solve the systemic problems across the whole system. Fixing this problem at its root means holding anyone found responsible of criminal activity responsible to the fullest extent of the law. We owe it to our veterans to see that they receive the best possible care for their service and sacrifice. They deserve nothing less.”
More punishment and pontificating — whatever happened to Reed’s motto “Fix not fight.”
With the VA’s budget being increased by 256 percent over the last decade and staffing seeing an increase of 56 percent since September 2000, Reed says the VA faces deep-rooted cultural problems, not resource-based problems.
Nonsense–Reed is looking at costs not needs. Is it possible he doesn’t understand why an increase of 256% might not be enough to meet demands for services?
“The VA has received significant resource increases in funding and staffing levels, both at new highs,” Reed said. “The next phase in fixing the VA is improving care and giving veterans more choices when it comes to health care. Thousands of veterans and their families have been hurt by the negligence at the VA and we have to focus on holding those responsible accountable and making sure they are not in a position to do any further damage.”
Giving veterans more choices sounds good, but does it solve the problem? Can veterans find the services they need at civilian institutions, or would they just find themselves on a waiting list there?
Astonishingly, Tom has nothing to say about the cause or cure of problems at the VA. The link below, “Bruce Maiman: Republicans are shameless hypocrites on veterans.” gives another view.
© William Hungerford – June 2014