"A tiger never changes its stripes. Perhaps a whole new approach
to providing veteran's healthcare is in order."
Stephen Moore, Investor's Business Daily (IBD)
using Open The Books data
"Obama's VA scandal is growing| Freedom of Information Act Request filed by IL watchdog group, Open The Books"
The Rush Limbaugh Show, read online here
"VA Scandal Deepens As Bonuses Went to Worst Hospitals"
Stephen Moore | Investors Business Daily, read here
Brain Trust Editorial | May 28, 2014
Based on Open The Books data, the IBD piece spotlighted bonuses at the troubled VA facilities under federal investigation. Veterans have died after being wait-listed for appointments, yet employees were "cooking the books" on efficiency numbers.
From Investor's Business Daily Stephen Moore:
* In 2013, only about one-in-four of Hines' 4,230 employees were those providing the actual primary care: doctors (309) or nurses (about 800), Open the Books found.
* In Chicago, $1 billion in salaries were supplemented with $4 million in bonuses over a three-year period.
* In 2013, Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman received the No. 1 bonus out of 3,170 employees (at Phoenix): $9,345. The number of avoidable deaths was higher than at nearly any other hospital.
* At the seven most troubled VA facilities, almost $9 million in bonuses were paid out to 13,000 employees.
Read full column here
Here's what I said: "This would be like giving a bonus to the management and players of the last place Chicago Cubs. What the VA executives must answer is why every veteran didn't receive world-class health care."
Yesterday, many in the national media sourced Open The Books when referencing VA spending. Here's a sample:
The Rush Limbaugh Show did an entire segment.
Read online here
National Review's Morning Jolt by Jim Geraghty wrote, "Don't Get Distracted: VA Scandal is still Unresolved, Still an Outrage."
WND's Alana Cook and Bill Unruh wrote detailed reports worth a good read: VA hands out millions in Bonuses; VA Execs took home millions in salary.
My interview on WABC- Los Angeles radio ended with the host (a veteran) calling for the VA to move to a voucher system so veterans could find their own healthcare. Listen here.
Stay tuned. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is on the hot seat and rightly so. In the coming days, we'll expose even more VA spending with even deeper data.