Sen. Graham praises veterans health care bill

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COLUMBIA — The most important part of a new health care bill for veterans passed by Congress is a provision that gives administrators the ability to fire poorly performing executives, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday.

South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston (left) listens as U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham praises a health care bill for veterans. Graham said the bill was a step forward.  JEFFREY COLLINS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston (left) listens as U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham praises a health care bill for veterans. Graham said the bill was a step forward.

Graham said he has confidence that new Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald can shorten wait times and improve the quality of care for veterans, but only if he gets rid of the people who have caused problems in the VA hospitals and clinics.
“If nobody gets fired, we’re going to be right back here dealing with the problem,” said Graham, R-S.C.

Graham praised other parts of the $17 billion bill that passed Congress last week with bipartisan support and is expected to be signed by President Obama this week. The money will hire more doctors and nurses, but Graham said just as important in a rural state with a lot of veterans is the new Veterans Choice Card, which allows veterans to get care from a nearby private doctor if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility or aren’t given an appointment for care within 30 days.

Graham was joined by South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston.

“Properly defending our country is taking care of the people who have given us so much,” Livingston said.

Also included in the bill is $8 million to consolidate several community-based outpatient clinics for veterans in Myrtle Beach and $7 million to open a new clinic for primary care and dental work in Charleston.

Graham said while the bill was a big step forward to veterans, it didn’t mean lawmakers should stop their scrutiny of the VA and other programs. The VA has seen a series of reports of patients dying while awaiting treatment, workers falsifying records to hide delays in treatment and appointments and administrators who ignored or lied about problems.

Graham promised if he is re-elected to give an update in six months on whether the new legislation was helping as much as it should.

“This is a great solution on paper,” the senator said. “But it is on paper. There isn’t a choice card being issued yet.”

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JimS 08/07/14 - 11:23 am
Poser Patriotism in Milked Down Bill

""Private sector lacks capacity, expertise to care for veterans""

Long time want of conservatives, privatize for corporate profit off the peoples, not the wealthy, treasury! As still government agencies they would then stop obstructing much needed spending and build bigger budgets, that means more taxes for those served, not the wealthy, for th needed growth corporate bottom lines! Not in the poser patriot people served responsibility, the VA, especially as to wars and results of nor to fix problems even more numorous in the private sector! No accountability for those private sector corporations and as still government agencies the blame for problems would still be targeted at those working in the agencies!

"First, the private sector does not have the expertise to provide care for the unique needs of veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, prosthetic's, conditions related to toxic exposure in war zones, or traumatic brain injury. The VA was designed to provide care for conditions unique to veterans. Much of this care is provided by veterans who understand the needs of veterans. This was made clear by the CEO of the American Hospital Association, who told the committee that the private sector will need time to understand the unique needs of veterans before it can meet demand.

Second, those in private practice do not share the same singular mission as the VA. In a recent hearing, representatives of major private care providers voiced concerns with reimbursement rates and speed, while repeatedly refusing to share with the committee their expected profit from expanding private care for veterans. The VA has a singular mission, as President Abraham Lincoln said: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.”

Finally, in Nevada and across the country, there is a shortage of private-sector doctors. The Silver State, as measured by the number of physicians for every 100,000 residents, is severely lacking in both generalists and specialists, including family practice doctors (46th in the country), pediatricians (46th), orthopedic surgeons (51st), ophthalmologists (48th), psychiatric physicians (50th), OB-GYNs (40th), and registered nurses (50th), according to University of Nevada School of Medicine researchers. We are doing a disservice to veterans by pushing them into an already overburdened private system."

That 'privatization' should have been more then obvious under the bush and the six years of republcan control in congress, and as well in states with same, with not only the wars and 'no bid contracts' but also the many other area's they readily rubber stamped! Easy wealth building profits and huge tax cuts for those who reaped!!

USN All Shore GMG3 '67-'71 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent **

JimS 08/07/14 - 11:23 am
Why No Coverage?

Aug 6, 2014 - 'POSER PATRIOTISM: "......supposed to be helping the troops" '
"Meet Sal Russo, the man accused of running a faux veterans charity and Tea Party PAC -- to shadily pocket millions"

DeJa-Vu: Veterans Affairs Committees Snow Job

Notice how quiet most of the media is about this. It ain't a drummed up conservative, caused by decades of under funding, and wars from especially the present decade plus and no Sacrifice from those served, wars have yet to be paid for, by obstructing , VA scandal! So apparently not news worthy!

Notice how quiet the Miller, majority rep in the House Veterans Affairs Committee, is. Wonder how much campaign help he got from Russo and those tea party groups. Notice how quiet the Burr, minority leader in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, unless he can obstruct and filibuster VA appointments he always is till elections are coming then he puts out or sponsors a Veterans bill, never any funding for connected, for Poser Patriot votes, wonder how much he got from this Russo as well!!

Rep Miller and Sen Burr, i.e Conservatives: There should never be NO Negotiations, NOR Offsets, Like Your Rubber Stamped For Corporate Profit Wars, Through Their Representatives on Veterans Issues, the Responsibility of the 99% Served!!

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

VA Bill Next Stop: President Obama's Desk ... FINALLY!!

The five Republicans in the House of obstruction, especially in paying for the wars and the long term results of, DeJa-Vu, who voted no on the still obstructed and grossly under funded needs, decades and wars from now, watered down once again, bill: Rick Crawford (Ark.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jack Kingston (Ga.), Mark Sanford (S.C.) and Steve Stockman (Texas). Joining these Senators: Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) , who had voted 'Nay' weeks back while the House delayed after!! None having any problems, Poser Patriots, in rubber stamping All the war costs, no mention of offsets, including the no bid private contracts, off the books till administrations changed and all borrowed, yet to be paid back!!

Was it Politics, to feed the Conservative 'scandal' needs especially in the Rep Miller House Veterans Affairs Committee attack hearings, or Greed Brought into VA Facilities{?} Where politics nor greed should ever cross those thresholds!!

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
{Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from!!}

USN All Shore GMG3 '67-'71 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent **

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