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Jeff Miller calls for cooperation as Augusta VA congressional visit looms

Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 11:48 PM
Last updated Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 2:19 AM
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The chairman of the House Committee on Vete­rans Affairs said Friday that the success of his congressional oversight visits to VA medical centers in Augusta and Columbia next week will hinge on one element: cooperation.

Jeff Miller, the chairman of the House Committee on Vete­rans Affairs, will visit will visit the Char­lie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta on Monday.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jeff Miller, the chairman of the House Committee on Vete­rans Affairs, will visit will visit the Char­lie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta on Monday.

“Given that the tragic events in Augusta and Columbia are part of a pattern of at least 21 recent preventable veteran deaths and other patient-safety issues at VA hospitals nationwide, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ full cooperation with the committee’s investigation is absolutely essential to ensuring the VA delivers the top-quality medical care America’s veterans deserve,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said in a statement.

Miller will visit the Char­lie Norwood and Williams Bryan Jennings Dorn medical centers Monday.

Miller said the oversight visits are the result of at least nine preventable deaths linked to delays in medical care at the Columbia and Augusta facilities.

The issue of delays in care at the hospitals surfaced as part of a March committee hearing. Investigative efforts identified more than 4,500 unresolved gastrointestinal consultations at the Augus­ta VA and a backlog of nearly 3,000 consults in Columbia.

“Monday’s oversight visits will provide an opportunity for members of Congress to hear directly from VA officials in Augusta and Columbia regarding the steps department leaders have taken to address problems with delays in care and hold accountable VA employees and executives who may be responsible for allowing patients to slip through the cracks,” Miller said.

In September, Miller’s committee requested copies of all current accounts of appointment backlogs and patient injuries. It also asked for any records reflecting performance reviews, pay bonuses and disciplinary actions issued since 2002 to those who oversee patient safety in Augusta.

Singled out in the reports was Rebecca Wiley, who served as the director at each facility at different times from 2007-13.

Officials said the department delivered the first documents Friday.

Once committee investigators have had a chance to review the documents, its members have said they will decide how to proceed with the review and work with House counsel to determine how the information can be released publicly in accordance with privacy laws.

“When the department drags its feet in providing information requested by Congress, it inhibits our ability to ensure America’s veterans are receiving the care and benefits they have earned,” Miller said. “Our veterans deserve a VA that sets the standard for openness, honesty and transparency. When the department fails to do so, we will make sure it has to answer for that failure.”


The wife of a Vietnam veteran says a delay in care and misdiagnosis by staff at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center led to the death of her husband.


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JimS 01/04/14 - 09:18 am
Miller should do job he's charged with

So the VA can carry on the charges, people served responsibility, All that they are charged to do!!!!!!!
The Abandoning of the missions and the purposes of, along with the once
again promises to the Afghan people, first time was after the
Afghan/Soviet long war, quickly after 9/11, with the Lives still being lost, those serving still being wounded!!! Giving rise to, with the rhetoric from within, not a victory over, and spread of al Qaeda type ideology criminal terrorism!!!

The Cost of War, All Costs, the Responsibility of Those Served

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility
to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility'

There's only one branch of Government, Federal and States, consistently
doing for not only us Veterans' but also the Military personal and their
Families and without the control of the Countries purse strings and combining
the Cabinet agencies abilities to help where possible with their
budgets. That's the whole Executive branch under President Obama. Doing
what Congress, and State legislatures in passing feel patriotic support bills that are unfunded, and the people represented by them and served by the
Military refuse to do, Sacrifice, especially the wealthy!

Decades, and wars of, of under funding the VA. With these two recent
wars little was done for the Veterans of as well as the Military
personal, i.e. Walter Reed as one example, and their Families, in the
first years of both under the previous executive branch and those
congresses. Rubber stamped war costs, off the books and on the countries
credit card with no bid private contracts, including building an
expensive private merc army! That's not adding in all the other rubber
stamped costs of the bush administration policy wants, especially in the
first six years of!

Rachel Maddow: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in
this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded
Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway.
How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was

Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we
gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war
started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about
it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth
our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a
specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

David (CBS News) Martin: "Then there's the financial cost. To date,
the Pentagon has spent more than $500 billion on the war in Afghanistan.
A defense spending bill the Senate is expected to pass this week would
add another $80 billion to that." 17 December 2013

That's not counting those decades to come results from costs and the once again ignored, by those served, issues!

The wars, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq, have yet been paid for. Nor
especially the now decades to come, DeJa-Vu all over again, the of
results for those sent, over and over, and the continuing under funding
the Peoples Responsibility, the Veterans Administration charged with
much more then just caring for the wounded, as those served ignore most
of those results from!!

'Cost of War' site {real and estimated costs}: "Total
US federal spending associated with the Iraq war has been $1.7 trillion
through FY2013. In addition, future health and disability payments for
veterans will total $590 billion and interest accrued to pay for the war
will add up to $3.9 trillion." 19 March 2013 © 2011 Watson Institute, Brown University

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

SemperParatus 01/04/14 - 07:54 pm
Cooperation? A politician is

Cooperation? A politician is insisting upon cooperation? First of all, regardless of party, politicians seldom exhibit cooperation at any level. And second, we have a system whereby when a government employee's (including politicians) backside gets too close to the fire, claiming the 5th Amendment has gotten way too convenient and easy to use. The thought that we have critical issues going on within our VA hospitals and our politicians are preaching cooperation in advance of their meetings with hospital employees seems odd to me. Lives are at stake, literally. But what can be done? There are federal employee unions in play, politics, of course, and ultimately the 5th Amendment. The bad apples in the hospitals continue to tread water and the patients lose.

Darby 01/04/14 - 10:00 pm

Serving, (not all that) proudly?

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