Tom Reed on the VA


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’s-tremendous-amount-work-be-done-fix-va-system

About whungerford

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9 Responses to Tom Reed on the VA

  1. solodm says:

    Bruce Maiman’s article was full of indisputable facts; unfortunately those who need to read and absorb them probably won’t. It is frustrating to me how veterans could continue to support Republican legislators, but they do. One possibility that does come to mind is – if the veterans allowed the betrayals by those they trusted enough to go into battle for, to really sink in – Well, who wants to look down at where an arm or leg used to be and be proud you were sent to war on lies? That your sacrifice was for making the rich richer, while your family hasn’t enough to eat?

    Frankly, Reed’s rhetoric sickens me. In my opinion, he hasn’t a moral bone in his body, nor a caring thought in his mind.


  2. WNYPlanner says:

    We have known about the backlog for two maybe three years…it takes an election to make it a big deal but I say to you that nothing will change…all hot air going no where!


  3. solodm says:

    I’m seriously hoping you are incorrect. There has never been an influx of wounded ( physically and mentally) troops coming home before like what we see from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
    it is possible to turn the ship around if – one party would stop defunding, obstructing, and dishonoring those they were happy to send off to serve them.


  4. Barbara Griffin says:

    Agree with solodum. Our military budget is the largest in the world…used to build more weapons of mass destruction rather than to care for our veterans. If Tom Reed actually cared about the vets, he would promote more funding for the VA, rather than hunting down people to blame.


  5. pystew says:

    Our friend at Legal Insurrection is attacking Martha (of course) saying, “Martha Robertson inaccurately blames VA scandal on underfunding“. He said that the funding for the VA has Tripled since 2001. (That was 13 years ago!) They have both Nancy Pelosi and Martha at the Seneca Falls event, where Martha said that they VA system has had decades of underfunding. It doesn’t matter if the funding had tripled in 13 years, but with inflation, and the increase numbers of veterans, most people would say that the system was underfunded.

    The article has a video of Rep. Reed (Channel 18 News) complaining the VA Scandal is a Single-Paye system, which according the Reed, Martha supports.


  6. whungerford says:

    According to an editorial in USA Today which appeared in the Elmira Star-Gazette yesterday, the VA “is grossly overloaded with veterans under treatment and seeking to get through the door.” The editorial claims that the VA has 400 openings for doctors; top pay for VA doctors is less than half the median for doctors in the private sector.


  7. josephurban says:

    This was all about getting an Obama appointee to resign. Remember, General Shinseki was the US officer who said we would need at least 500,000 soldiers to effectively control Iraq. He was castigated and ignored at the time. His analysis countered the “Iraqis will greet us as liberators” prediction of Dick Cheney. As soon as this blows over the Congress will do NOTHING to help the VA meet the needs of our servicemen. I guarantee it. We have seen this show before.


  8. pystew says:

    Here is the link to the USA Today’s editorial mentioned about:

    Here is the link to an article about the February filibuster by Senate Republicans on the Bernie Sander’s original VA funding bill;


  9. josephurban says:

    What the GOP does not seem to understand is that when you send people off to foreign wars….most of them come home. Especially today, with modern medical technology. Soldiers who would have died on the battlefield in wars past are saved today. Many will need care for 30 or 40 or 50 years. This is the same old story. March them off to war and then underfund any services when they return. Remember Agent Orange and the governments’s denial of that problem ? Or the denial of problems caused by the uranium-depletion weaponry in Iraq 1. And the lack of services for PTSD.? And the lack of proper body armor in Iraq 2? Over the years we have learned that our vets have many more problems and are costlier to care for than ever before. It is shameful that this Congress refused to pass the Sanders bill. Shameful even more that they seek to blame the people who are overworked and underfunded at the VA for the problems they have caused by underfunding. But, as in other areas, some of these folks have no shame.


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