Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, June 26, 2017
What a Wounded Veteran Thinks of Trump’s VA Reform
By Heritage Foundation @ 4:55 PM :: 1887 Views :: Health Care, Military

What a Wounded Veteran Thinks of Trump’s VA Reform

by Fred Lucas, Heritage Foundation Daily Signal, June 25, 2017

Sgt. Mike Verardo’s military career ended seven years ago because of an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, but he said the worst part of his injuries was dealing with a “broken VA” when he returned home.

He had to go to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital weekly, wait 57 days for a prosthetic leg, make long drives to VA medical centers to verify he had injuries and undergo more than 100 surgeries. He said the doctors were patriotic and cared about veterans, but much of the bureaucracy failed those returning home from war.

“When I came home it was incredibly difficult going once a week to the VA trying to get the basic care that I needed,” Verardo told The Daily Signal in an interview at the White House shortly after President Donald Trump signed legislation to hold VA staff more accountable and improve service to veterans.

In the East Room, surrounded by veterans groups, Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.

The bill was set up to create a new streamlined process to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct. It also provides expanded protections for whistleblowers and bars the VA from using this removal authority if the employee has an open whistleblower complaint.

The new law also allows the VA secretary to to reduce an employee’s federal pension if he is convicted of a felony that influenced his job at the VA and to directly appoint individuals to the positions of medical center director at VA centers.

“President Trump definitely engaged with the veterans on his campaign. He definitely listened to what we had to say,” Verardo told The Daily Signal.

Verardo also spoke at the bill signing ceremony before Trump spoke.

During his remarks, Trump asked Verardo to stand up and the president shook his hand. Trump joked, “He gets up better than I do.”

“What happened to Michael is happening to many but it’s rarely happening under our leadership and David’s leadership,” Trump said, referring to VA Secretary David Shulkin.

The president talked about the 2014 VA waiting list scandal, in which the department’s inspector general determined that some VA medical centers’ falsified waiting lists led to denied care and in some cases deaths.

“We all remember the nightmare that veterans suffered during the VA scandals that were exposed a few years ago. Veterans were put on secret wait lists, given the wrong medication, given the bad treatments, and ignored in moments of crisis for them,” the president said.

Trump added:

Many veterans died waiting for a simple doctor’s appointment. What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls. Outdated laws kept the government from holding those who failed our veterans accountable.

Shulkin talked during the bill signing ceremony about how the department could not fire employees with a record of driving under the influence or an employee who watched pornography during work hours. Still, he said the purpose of the new law is not to fire more people but to set up a culture of higher standards at the department.

During a press conference at the White House after the bill signing, Shulkin told The Daily Signal:

Every organization needs to see whether something works and whether you need to make changes. So it won’t surprise me if we’re going to need to ask for further legislative changes. Frankly, I’m looking for additional support on the hiring piece because getting the right people in place not only involves removing people that have lost their way but more importantly it involves attracting the very best and the brightest to serve our country’s veterans. And it still takes too long to do that and we’re still too restrictive so I’m going to be looking for help in that area.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Hawaii Votes

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Copenull

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT