They served in times of peace. They sacrificed so much in time of conflict.
And yet, they died here at home.
In the wake of the VA scandal in which a reported 40+ Heroes died waiting for medical attention, we disgustingly get the numbers released of VA healthcare bonuses paid during this time.
And it’s shocking. AP/Star Tribune:
About 65 percent of senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department got performance bonuses last year despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics, the agency said Friday.
Workers at the Phoenix VA Health Care System — where officials have confirmed dozens of patients died while awaiting treatment — received about $3.9 million in bonuses last year, newly released records show. The merit-based bonuses were doled out to about 650 employees, including doctors, nurses, administrators, secretaries and cleaning staff.
In a system clearly run amok, the bonuses were handed out as an expectation, and not as an earned reward.
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the committee chairman, said the VA’s bonus system “is failing veterans.”
Instead of being given for outstanding work, the cash awards are “seen as an entitlement and have become irrelevant to quality work product,” Miller said.
And the whole system was setup to fail. By realizing the ‘report card’ contributed to maximizing pay, changing the grade was a natural. And deadly.
The VA’s inspector general has said that the bonus system — which has been suspended amid a criminal probe of wrongdoing at the agency — contributed to the fake record-keeping, since employees knew that bonuses for senior managers and hospital directors were based in part on on-time performance.
All this, while over 56,000 veterans waited up to 3 months or more just to be seen by their doctor. And now, a reported 43,000 that never got in to a scheduled appointment over the last decade.
Overall, 304 out of 470 senior executives received these bonuses.
Some 13 percent of VA schedulers surveyed by auditors reported being told by supervisors to falsify appointment records to make patient waits appear shorter.
And all this, while our Heroes died and were just left behind…