For several decades, the Department of Veterans Affairs has neglected, abused, and even caused the death of countless American soldiers. Whether it was secret waiting lists, endless bureaucratic red tape, or even infection of Vets with HIV and hepatitis, the VA has simply been a disgraceful mess.
However, under the new Trump administration, it seems that Veterans are finally getting some relief from the horrord of the VA.
We have previously reported that Veterans’s choice in healthcare is expanding due to a new bill that the President signed. But he is not stopping there. The new Secretary of the VA has also begun working internally to ensure that Veterans who do use VA facilities will have better quality of care, The Daily Caller reports.
Five hundred and forty-eight Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees have been terminated since President Donald Trump took office, indicating that his campaign pledge to clean up “probably the most incompetently run agency in the United States” by relentlessly putting his TV catch phrase “you’re fired” into action was more than just empty rhetoric.
Another 200 VA workers were suspended and 33 demoted, according to data newly published by the department as part of VA Secretary David Shulkin’s commitment to greater transparency. Those disciplined include 22 senior leaders, more than 70 nurses, 14 police officers, and 25 physicians.
The thorough nature of the firings and suspensions is truly unprecedented. Hardly ever are government employees disciplined for misconduct, let alone fired. But under David Shulkin’s new leadership, it seems that accountability is now becoming a component of the VA.
There were also higher level officials who were discipline as well, including a program analyst from the Government Accountability Office, a public affairs specialist, a chief of police, and a chief of surgery.
Then, lower on the totem pole, in housekeeping and food service, workers with felony histories and even sex crime convictions were also terminated.
Talk about thorough, right?
For many years, public sector unions have effectively erased all accountability in government jobs. As Shulkin himself pointed out, the VA was even forced to rehire an employee who had a rap sheet with three DWI convictions.
Sometimes employees were fired, but then along came the Incompetence and Corruption Protection Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
In addition to reluctance by managers to vigorously pursue firings, the overturning of firings after the fact by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) — often with little public acknowledgment — has been a longstanding problem.
Shulkin asked for new legislation that reduces the role of MSPB, especially when firing senior leaders. Congress passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act in answer, and Trump signed the bill in June.
With the new act signed and a Secretary willing to do the right thing, maybe our Veterans can finally get some better treatment to repay them for their years of service.
I anticipate that more VA accountability and reform acts will be signed during Trump’s tenure. Hopefully those bills will incentivize workers to treat our Veterans the right way. You know, by not putting them on secret lists where they end up dying and things like that. That’s not an unreasonable request, is it?