After Veterans Affairs Secretary Resigned Where Are the Firings?

The old Veterans Affairs Secretary resigned so we could have confidence that a new one would root out corruption. What happened?

Do the math. There is evidence that 110 VA hospitals or other facilities kept secret lists in order to evade their legal duty to see Veterans in a timely manner. That would mean that at least 110 people were involved in fraud and corruption.

So how many have been fired?

According to Fox News, John Boehner recently erupted over what has happened (or rather, hasn’t happened) at Veteran’s Affairs since then-Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned about a year ago. He angrily said that only one person was fired. Fox confirms:

In February, VA Secretary Robert McDonald claimed in a TV interview that the department had “fired” 60 people connected with the scandal. 

That estimate was later revised down to 14. But The New York Times reported in late April that, according to documents given to Congress, only one person had actually been fired – Phoenix VA hospital director Sharon Helman. Another retired under pressure and another’s “termination” was pending. Several others were disciplined in other ways. 

Boehner likened some of the punishments to a “slap on the wrist,” noting some got transfers and others got paid leave. And “all of them went on collecting checks from taxpayers,” he said. 

Further, Boehner said, the number of patients facing long waits is about the same as it was last year, while the number of patients waiting more than 90 days has nearly doubled

The VA’s problems are so deep that – despite a new law that overhauled the agency and authorized $16 billion in new spending over three years – it can’t even build a hospital, Boehner said, referring to a half-finished project in Denver that is $1 billion over budget

Obviously, the people in power were hoping that replacing the Secretary would make people calm down and forget about the corruption—even while the problems continue and Veterans suffer.

At this point, it is not going to help Veterans get the care in a timely manner no matter how much Congress spends because the bureaucracy is going to spend it on themselves so only a fraction goes to helping Veterans.