Faux Outrage From Fox News Ignores GOP Role In Veterans Administration Scandal

The news that Veterans Administration facilities in Arizona were allegedly falsifying records to hide extensive backlogs in patient care has roiled both Democrats and Republicans in Washington. If the allegations are proven, this would be a monumental abdication of the government’s obligations to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for their country.

Right-Wing Media Circus

Unfortunately, partisan politicians and pundits have sunk to the depths where they are most accustomed as they seek to politicize the matter. At the bottom of that list is Fox News where reporting has consumed much of the airtime they had previously reserved for their Benghazi frenzy. In the few short weeks that the VA has been in the news Fox has already attempted to assign personal blame for it on President Obama, and Republican alarmists are calling for administration scalps. That’s all before any responsible investigations have been completed that would ascertain the actual causes and the identities of those responsible. It’s straight out of the GOP attack manual: Ready…Shoot…Aim.

However, while Fox News, and the rest of the right-wing media machine, is predictably trying to indict the President for crimes for which they have no supporting evidence, real facts are being dismissed and/or ignored. Foremost among these would include inquiries into the root causes of a health care agency abandoning its primary mission. In that regard, the economic pressures on the agency would be most relevant. So let’s take a look at the recent congressional budget battles that show Republicans aggressively cutting veterans benefits and funds for the VA:

2/12/2007: The Bush administration’s budget assumes cuts to funding for veterans’ health care two years from now — even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

03/21/2012: If enacted, the Ryan GOP budget would cut $11 billion from veterans spending, or 13 percent from what President Obama proposes in his own plan.

02/27/2014: U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget. […] For example, it called for 27 new medical facilities to help a healthcare system that is strained by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Needless to say, these funds would have gone a long way to serving the growing veterans community. Instead, the efforts on the part of the GOP to facilitate their top legislative agenda – deficit reduction – clearly weigh on the ability of the VA to perform its core mission. And the Republicans obsession with debt far outstrips their commitment to veterans, or any other financially-challenged constituency. The same priorities were in effect when Republicans led the nation into the devastating budget sequester and the government shutdown last year:

10/10/2013: Politicians love to love veterans, but the military heroes could be suffering some major losses due to the ongoing GOP-led government shutdown.

For the record, the problems at the VA are neither new nor the fault of Democrats. As noted above, it was Republicans who have repeatedly denied scarce funding to the VA. What’s more, the delays and deficiencies have been an ongoing issue dating back at least to the beginning of the Bush administration. Documents acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that

“A database of paid claims by the VA since 2001 includes 167 in which the words ‘delay in treatment’ is used in the description. The VA paid out a total of $36.4 million to settle those claims, either voluntarily or as part of a court action.”

For some reason Fox News never complained about any of those delays during the Bush years. Nor have they acknowledged that much of the current stress on the system is due to the surge in new veterans produced by Bush’s wars. There is, of course, no excuse for falsifying records and putting veterans lives risk. However, in order to fully comprehend the problem, all of the contributing factors need to be reviewed. And conservative media is way too devoted to poisoning the public debate with unfounded attacks against the President and his administration, to honestly present a balanced portrait of the situation and the potential solutions.

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Consequently, we can expect Fox News to continue to point a bony finger of phony blame at Obama, just as they have been doing with Benghazi, the IRS, the Affordable Care Act, and a multitude of other fake scandals (ObamaCars, ObamaPhones, ObamaGolf, ObamaBirth, etc. ad nauseum). And they will exploit these inanities rather than seek real answers to real problems. Because just like the GOP, Fox is more concerned with their own parochial interests than the welfare of Americans or America.


22 thoughts on “Faux Outrage From Fox News Ignores GOP Role In Veterans Administration Scandal

  1. we have two separate health care systems, when one is all we need. I suggest the government fold the VA health care into the Affordable Care Act, with premiums for veterans and those on active duty paid for by the government. This should result in an overall reduction in medical costs.
    With such a single health care system, VA hospitals as such would be folded into the health care system. Military, veterans or citizens could go to whatever hospital is convenient.

    • You are rolling the wrong way. Medicare for All – it’s the most efficient insurance plan in the country.

  2. My favorite tactic that Conservative media uses is to throw baseless accusations out and then say, “you won’t see this in the mainstream media.” They consistently fail to mention that they’ve pulled their “facts” out of their butts but they’re pretty sure they’re saying what their listeners want to hear so no one will question the validity of it. They also consistently fail to mention the mitigating Republican factors in their accusations because that is definitely not what their audience wants to hear.

    • It would also run counter to the “Democrats are always bad and Republicans are always good” narrative in the right-wing media. It might also result in their constituency attempting to contemplate opposing viewpoints simultaneously, which would probably cause their heads to explode.

  3. The VA scandal is just another Obama scandal. And we do NOT want Obamacare or universal healthcare. The VA hospitals hire a lot of foreign doctors instead of US trained physicians. Then they get nurses from agencies. My VA hospital is just fine and they are building a new 150,000 sq ft clinic, which will be done by mid-2015. My medical care has been just fine. Most of the posters above have not even been in the military. They should just keep their mouths shut.
    See: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/18/obama-warned-about-va-wait-time-problems-during-20/?page=2
    Signed, Major, USAF, MC, 1968 – 1974 (VN Vet)

    • Yeah, another phony scandal. Would the VA issues even BE issues if we hadn’t sent 1.5 million men and women to bullshit, unfunded Bush wars? Remember when we were told the total cost of the two wars would be $50 billion? Try $4 trillion, including health care costs we are now dealing with. The next time I go to a Washington Times article for facts will be the first time.

    • So the VA was perfect before Obama became president?

    • Major, I was a navy corpsman in VN. You are showing a lack of education and a boatload of bigotry. I use the VA, and the only problem VA has at this time is lack of proper funding, too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Staff I have encountered in my care are hard-working everyday people and mostly veterans like you claim to be. The reason you were SUPPOSED to have served is so everyone could have an opinion regardless of their level of service. You should be ashamed, and Republicans who have consistently tried to interfere with a duly elected president and Democrats like Senator Bernie Sanders trying to do what’s right by the 1% who served, (as opposed to the 1% who have money) should be too. You make me ashamed to claim veteran status because of your ugly attitude.

  4. This VA problem started when President Bush was in office. He is not in office anymore. Obama has had almost 6 years to get this problem fixed, and it has only gotten worse. This stupid blame-Bush reflex action for all these problems only makes the left wing look even more petty and ineffective than they already are.

    • Actually, things have improved significantly under Obama:

      The allegations facing the VA are serious and troubling and are largely the result of years of systemic issues. The Obama administration has worked to ease those problems, including reducing backlogged claims and beginning to transition claims away from the traditional paper-based systems that have largely been responsible for the backlogs. In 2012, the VA implemented the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), “a web-based, electronic claims processing portal created to give VA the ability to process Veterans’ claims paper-free.” According to the VA, the VBMS has allowed the agency to reduce the processing time from 272 days to 78 days. The Veterans Benefits Administration is now processing claims at a higher rate than ever before, although “the number of claims continues to exceed the number processed.”

    • I was thinking the same thing – also, this is probably the first “scandal” for this administration HE can actually call a scandal because he still works really hard to find reasons not to blame the current boob we have occupying the white house. Before this finally comes to an end – if it goes against his savior – he’ll be back to lumping this in with the other “false” scandals as he likes to call them all.

    • And you would probably vote for the idiot again if you could.

  5. “U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget. ”

    I believe that’s the exact cost of the most recent gov’t shutdown instigated by republicans. They didn’t have a problem with frivolously wasting taxpayer dollars then so we know “busting the budget” isn’t really the concern they have. Turns out when they stand in front of a TV camera and say they support the troops, they are lying. Color me shocked, shocked I say.

    What a bunch of hypocrites.

    • Always a joy to have someone whose entire livelyhood comes from the federal government complaining about why we just can’t steal more from the people of this country vs. cutting something else to cover this expense. I’m sure some bloated federal program can be reduced in funding to take care of this.

        • I’ll admit I get ignorant when comenters such as Bigtoe – a double dipping federal worker – acts like he is doing us a favor by taking our money and get’s upset when people push back against federal spending – so be it. Don’t like it CS – too bad. He’s right about the hypocrisy though – but it’s hard to take it from one of the pigs feeding at the federal trough.

          • You write comments in such a nasty, vile, and unfunny way that clearly they are not intended to present and argument, but rather to vent some sort of general anger and hostility. It would not be overreaching to conclude that you are a miserable person whom other people avoid.

            • He can’t help it. It’s all he’s got. But since he doesn’t know anything, it’s expected. He figures by insulting people it makes his argument more coherent.

              And to be sure, empathy is foreign to him. Just give him some time, he’ll prove it to you.

            • I do have a deep seated disgust for today’s progressivism – you got that right – and it’s hard to contain when presented and supported as it is here. You have absolutely no regard for anyone who just wants to get along without people like you demanding we comply with the state and the collective will – to you, I will always be vile and hated for that reason – but it is a 2 way street and i can dislike your view just as much – don’t expect funny or nice.

            • Sorry Bigtoe – we don’t all think you and the giant federal work force which is paid to rule over the people with our own money is a blessing or of any value – some maybe, but when you act like somehow we owe you – don’t expect any love or support. You just need to be reminded once is a while who is paying your salary. I save empathy is for those who actually deserve it – not some crybaby who is afraid we’ll actually vote to keep our property and not hand it over to our federal overlord against our will.

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