Donald J. Trump: America First Means Veterans First

Today, Donald J. Trump spoke at the Westin Virginia Beach Town Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Mr. Trump declared a commitment to upholding law and order in this country, and fighting to ensure that our veterans are served with the best medical care.

Clinton Has Failed Our Vets

The Clinton/Obama era has been disastrous for our nation’s veterans. Under their failed leadership, too many of our nation’s finest died waiting to receive medical help from injuries suffered protecting our country. Clinton’s refusal to acknowledge the “widespread” and “systemic failures” that exist in our VA is only intensifying the problems. As Americans we need to demand more from our public officials to serve our heroes as they served us. The Clinton/Obama way of enriching bureaucrats who fail our veterans is wrong.

vahealth_small-2 Donald J. Trump: America First Means Veterans First


THE VETERANS AFFAIRS SENATE REPORT SHOWS “SYSTEMATIC FAILURES” AT VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTERS


In May, A Senate Investigation Revealed Widespread “Systemic Failures” By The Veteran Affairs Inspector General’s Review Of The Veteran Affairs Medical Center In Tomah, Wis…” “A Senate investigation of poor health care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis., found systemic failures in a VA inspector general’s review of the facility that raise questions about the internal watchdog’s ability to ensure adequate health care for veterans nationwide… One of the biggest failures identified by Senate investigators was the inspector general’s decision not to release its investigation report, which concluded two providers at the facility had been prescribing alarming levels of narcotics.” (Donovan Slack, “Senate Investigation finds ‘Systemic’ Failures At VA Watchdog,” USA Today , 05/31/16)

  • The Probe Found The VA’s Inspector General “Discounted Key Evidence And Witness Testimony, Needlessly Narrowed Its Inquiry And Has No Standard For Determining Wrongdoing.” “The probe by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found the inspector general’s office, which is charged with independently investigating VA complaints, discounted key evidence and witness testimony, needlessly narrowed its inquiry and has no standard for determining wrongdoing.” (Donovan Slack, “Senate Investigation finds ‘Systemic’ Failures At VA Watchdog,” USA Today , 05/31/16)


“One Of The Biggest Failures” Was That The VA IG Failed To Release An Investigative Report That Would Have Forced VA Officials To Publicly Address The Excessive Prescription Of Narcotics At The Facility. One of the biggest failures identified by Senate investigators was the inspector general’s decision not to release its investigation report, which concluded two providers at the facility had been prescribing alarming levels of narcotics. The facility’s chief of staff at the time was David Houlihan, a physician veterans had nick-named ‘candy man’ because he doled out so many pills. Releasing the report would have forced VA officials to publicly address the issue and ensured follow up by the inspector general to make sure the VA took action. Instead, the inspector general’s office briefed local VA officials and closed the case.” (Donovan Slack, “Senate Investigation finds ‘Systemic’ Failures At VA Watchdog,” USA Today , 05/31/16)

  • The Chief Of Staff At A VA Facility Was Nick-Named “Candy Man” For Prescribing So Many Pills. “The facility’s chief of staff at the time was David Houlihan, a physician veterans had nick-named ‘candy man’ because he doled out so many pills. Releasing the report would have forced VA officials to publicly address the issue and ensured follow up by the inspector general to make sure the VA took action. Instead, the inspector general’s office briefed local VA officials and closed the case.” (Donovan Slack, “Senate Investigation finds ‘Systemic’ Failures At VA Watchdog,” USA Today , 05/31/16)


The Investigation Raised Concerns That The VA’s Watchdog Is Able To Ensure “Adequate Health Care For Veterans Nationwide.” “A Senate investigation of poor health care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis., found systemic failures in a VA inspector general’s review of the facility that raise questions about the internal watchdog’s ability to ensure adequate health care for veterans nationwide.” (Donovan Slack, “Senate Investigation finds ‘Systemic’ Failures At VA Watchdog,” USA Today , 05/31/16)


According To The Report, In Three Months “The VA Investigated And Substantiated A Majority Of The Allegations That The VA OIG Could Not Substantiate After Several Years.” “‘In just three months, the VA investigated and substantiated a majority of the allegations that the VA OIG could not substantiate after several years,’ the committee report notes.” (Donovan Slack, “Senate Investigation finds ‘Systemic’ Failures At VA Watchdog,” USA Today , 05/31/16)


An Internal VA Investigation Also Found Widespread Problems


An Internal Department Of Veterans Affairs Investigation Found That Schedulers Routinely Misreported When Patients Actually Wanted To See A Doctor Or Receive Care, Making It Impossible To Track Delays. “An internal Department of Veterans Affairs investigation found that schedulers in Texas routinely misreported when patients actually wanted to see a doctor or get some other type of care, making it impossible to track delays in the care they received.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press , 3/10/16)

  • The Report Tracked Problems In Clinics And Medical Facilities In Central And South Texas. “The report released Tuesday by the VA’s Office of Inspector General tracks problems in clinics and medical facilities in central and South Texas.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press , 3/10/16)
  • According To The Report, Schedulers Listed The First Available Date That A Patient Could Be Seen As The Date That A Patient Had Wanted To Be Seen. “According to the report, schedulers often listed the first available date that a patient could be seen as the date that a patient had wanted to be seen. This meant there was no way to track how much longer those seeking care waited to get it.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press , 3/10/16)
  • VA Employees Reported That They Sometimes Engaged In Misleading Scheduling At The Behest Of Their Supervisors. “VA employees reported to investigators that they sometimes engaged in misleading scheduling at the behest of their supervisors.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press , 3/10/16)


An Employee At An Austin Clinic Said her Supervisor Taught Her How To Make Patient Wait Times Equal To Zero. “An employee at an Austin clinic said her supervisor and another employee taught her how to make patient wait times equal zero by manipulating appointment dates, and that she was again trained to “zero out” wait times after moving to another facility.”(Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press , 3/10/16)

  • One Scheduler Reported That A Supervisor Threatened To Fire Her If She Didn’t Zero-Out Wait Time Data. “A Kerrville scheduler reported that a supervisor threatened to fire her if she didn’t zero-out wait time data.” (Will Weissert, “Internal VA Report Finds Misleading Wait Time Data In Texas,” The Associated Press , 3/10/16)


In A Previous Report, The VA Inspector General Also Found Widespread Problems At VA Facilities


The VA IG Found Serious Fraud And Regulatory Violations At 51 VA Medical Facilities But Failed To Recommend Corrective Actions. “Investigators for the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General found serious fraud and regulatory violations linked to scheduling problems at 51 VA medical facilities, but then failed to recommend any corrective actions.” (Ethan Barton, “VA Watchdog Finds Serious Fraud, But Suggests NO Corrective Action,” Daily Caller, 2/26/16)

  • IG Investigators Failed To Adequately Investigate Whistleblower Disclosures. “[T]he VA IG ‘failed to adequately investigate whistleblower disclosures about veterans’ access to mental healthcare,’ the Office of Special Counsel reported Thursday. Two whistleblowers… reported that they were required to ‘violate VA scheduling protocols,’ which ‘created a false appearance of acceptable wait times while masking significant delays in veterans’ access to care,’ OSC wrote in a letter to Congress and the White House. ‘The OIG failed to adequately address the whistleblowers’ core concerns about access to care and whether these practices violated VA directives,’ the letter said. The IG ‘limited its investigation to whether’ employees were using ‘secret’ spreadsheets outside the VA’s official scheduling system, rather than if there was an issue with access to mental health care or wait times”(Ethan Barton, “VA Watchdog Finds Serious Fraud, But Suggests NO Corrective Action,” Daily Caller, 2/26/16)


Special Counsel Said That VA Investigation Into Misconduct Allegations Was “Incomplete” Because It Didn’t Respond To Issues Raised By The Whistleblower. “The OIG investigations that the VA submitted in response to both referrals are incomplete. They do not respond to the issues that the whistleblower raised.” (Carolyn Lerner, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Letter To The President, 2/25/16)

  • The OIG Investigations Found Evidence To Support Whistleblower Allegations That VA Employees Were Intentionally Working Outside Of Official Systems. “The OIG investigations found evidence to support the whistleblowers allegations that employees were using separate spreadsheets outside of the VA’s electronic scheduling and patient record systems.” (Carolyn Lerner, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Letter To The President, 2/25/16)
  • The OIG Limited Its Review To Whether The Spreadsheets Were ‘Secret.’ “The OIG largely limited its review to determining whether these separate spreadsheets were ‘secret.'” (Carolyn Lerner, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Letter To The President, 2/25/16)
  • “The Special Counsel Determined That The Agency Report Does Not Meet The Statutory Requirements, Nor Do the Agency’s Findings Appear Reasonable.” “Specifically, the report offers no findings regarding the allegations that scheduling personnel failed to follow proper scheduling protocol and were not properly trained on agency scheduling policies and practices, or that management encouraged the manipulation of electronic scheduling system.” (Carolyn Lerner, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Letter To The President, 2/25/16)
  • The Evidence Does Not Fully Support The VA’s Findings And Conclusions. “The evidence does not fully support the VA’s findings and conclusions.” (Carolyn Lerner, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Letter To The President, 2/25/16)
  • The Report Does Not Sufficiently Address The Whistleblower’s Allegation That There Was A Significant Delay In Access To Care That The VA Electronic Scheduling System Did Not Reflect, Which Endangered Public Health And Safety. “The report does not sufficiently address Mr. Wilke’s allegation that there was a significant delay in access to care in the Overton Brooks Mental Health Clinic that the VA electronic scheduling system did not accurately reflect, which endangered public health and safety.”(Carolyn Lerner, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Letter To The President, 2/25/16)


CLINTON CLAIMED VA PROBLEMS UNDER OBAMA WERE NOT “WIDESPREAD”


In An October 2015 Interview, Clinton Said The VA Scandal Has “Not Been As Widespread As It Has Been Made Out To Be .” CLINTON: “Yeah, and I don’t understand that. You know, I don’t understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans, and overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment. Now…” MSNBC’S RACHEL MADDOW: “Much more so than people in the regular system.” CLINTON: “That’s exactly right.” MSNBC’S RACHEL MADDOW: “Yeah. Right.” CLINTON: “Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have.” MSNBC’S RACHEL MADDOW: “But in part because there has been real scandal.” CLINTON: “There has been. And – but it’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be.” (MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” 10/23/15)

  • Clinton Accused Republicans Of “Constant Berating Of The V.A. That Comes From The Republicans, In Part In Pursuit Of This Ideological Agenda…” CLINTON: “Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the V.A. that comes from the Republicans, in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have.” (MSNBC’s ” The Rachel Maddow Show,” 10/23/15)

Click To Watch


Through A Spokesman, Clinton Refused To Apologize For Her Remarks. “‘Republicans are trying to suggest the only solution to the VA’s problems is to privatize it, but Hillary Clinton will not apologize for insisting on doing the hard work to reform the VA, rather than ending it altogether,’ [Clinton campaign Press Secretary Brian] Fallon said.” (Ben Kelsing, “Republicans Take Aim at Hillary Clinton For VA Remarks,” The Wall Street Journal , 10/28/15)


Days Later, Clinton Dodged Questions On Whether She Stood By Her Comments In Which She Downplayed The Scandal Plaguing The VA. QUESTION: “So this week, taking a lot of criticism about some recent comments you made about the VA, saying the scandal was overblown and that the problems aren’t as widespread as people would have you believe. Do you stand by these comments?” CLINTON: “You know, I share the outrage that everybody felt when the scandal was finally discovered and people began to address it. There were clearly systemic problems and those problems must be dealt with, I’ve already been talking about what I would do. But I am worried about some people trying to use the fact that we need to make major reforms as a justification for dismantling the VA and I think my comments were really more directed at that. I want us to fix what’s wrong, I want us to make sure that anyone who’s ever served our country, no matter what age, no matter when they served, gets whatever medical support that they need and I support the program that was passed to provide the opportunity if you can’t get the services that you need in your VA to be able to go out and get those services in the community. But from all of my work on behalf of veterans, there’s a lot about the VA that’s right, a lot that works. So let’s focus on what’s wrong and fix it and not let anybody use that as an excuse, because there are things that have to be fixed, to try to dismantle the VA.” ( WMUR Interview With Hillary Clinton, 10/28/15)

  • Clinton: “There’s A Lot About The VA That’s Right, A Lot That Works.” CLINTON: “But from all of my work on behalf of veterans, there’s a lot about the VA that’s right, a lot that works. So let’s focus on what’s wrong and fix it and not let anybody use that as an excuse, because there are things that have to be fixed, to try to dismantle the VA.” ( WMUR Interview With Hillary Clinton, 10/28/15)


VA Secretary Bob McDonnell Companies Wait Times To Disney Land


VA Secretary Compares Hospital Wait Times To Disneyland “‘The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring. What we should be measuring is the veteran’s satisfaction,’ McDonald told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, according to The Hill newspaper. ‘When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?’ he asked. ‘What’s important is what’s your satisfaction with the experience.'”(Rebecca Shabad, “Veterans Affairs Secretary Compares Wait Times To Lines At Disneyland,” CBS, 5/23/16)

Click To Watch

The Clinton/Obama administration has betrayed our veterans’ trust. Mr. Trump unveiled a 10-point plan to reform the VA and place veterans’ healthcare as a top priority. A transcript of the prepared remarks can be viewed via the link below: 

https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/America_First_Means_Veterans_First.pdf