The Veterans Administration’s director Bob McDonald appeared on Meet The Press to tout thenew “I Care” plan, intended to change the culture at the scandal-plagued agency. The plan is being met with open skepticism from veterans, and now some people are even questioning the new leader’s claims of reform.
The plan includes a reminder list for employees of what their mission should be, including integrity, commitment and respect.
Pete Hegseth of the group Concerned Veterans for America told the Washington Times:
“Adopting a catchy acronym and circulating a checklist is not enough. It’s easy to put on an ‘I CARE’ pin, but it doesn’t matter unless you actually demonstrate that care through your actions and the results you deliver. That’s what veterans, military members and their families are looking for: real results, not a slogan.”
“That claim is seriously undermined by numbers the VA itself has given to Congress, which show the VA has really only fired 8 rank and file workers, and a few other senior officials who were targeted for their role in the health care scandal, but were ultimately let go for other reasons.”
McDonald didn’t help himself when, in testimony before Congress last week, he fired back at his Republican antagonist, Congressman Mike Coffman:
“I’ve run a large company, sir. What have you done?”
Aside from being a sitting Congressman from Colorado, Coffman is also a Marine and Army combat vet who served in both the Gulf War and the Iraq War. Though Coffman didn’t respond at the time, he later issued a statement:
“Let me start by telling you something I haven’t done. I have never run a federal agency that tolerates corruption the way the VA has. I’ve never been a shill for inept bureaucrats who allowed American heroes to die on a medical waiting list while waiting for medical service.”
Veterans groups have demanded the VA chief apologize to Coffman.
They are also less than enthused about what they perceive are limited improvements in the VA wait times:
A person calling himself ‘future user’ who commented about the Washington Times story says:
“Prisoners and homeless people get better medical care than vets….”
Commenter DW Stick alluded to the Bradley/Chelsea Manning story:
“Convicted military traitors demanding sex-change operations get better health care than veterans.”
Fixing the VA may take a long time, but the head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars says they will be patiently watching the progress.
—Courtesy of IJ Review