I hate to bring this up right after Independence Day, but the Veterans Health Administration appears to have devolved from an expensive and failing bureaucracy to an even more expensive and failing bureaucracy.
We have already discussed that waiting lists have grown one year after the scandal broke. Now, see what they’ve done with the billions of dollars Congress handed them in the wake of the scandal:
o Bonuses at the most troubled VA facilities ran virtually unabated.
o Out of 23,000 new employees added to the employment counts during the scandal, fewer than 2,000 were doctors. Less than 1 in 12 new hires were doctors.
o At the troubled Hines VA in Cook County, IL bonuses leapt to three year highs, but the number of doctors actually decreased.
o Across the system, the VA cut the number of accountability positions: inspector general, auditors, and quality assurance officers.
o There are only 23,768 doctors in the system, but over 338,297 total employees. It’s still an employment farm, not a medical system.
o Yet, the VA increased the Public Relations Directors total salaries by $3,000,000. Painters, Interior Decorators, and Gardeners also increased in headcount and salaries.
(Open the Books, July 4, 2015)