A new, damning report from federal investigators into the corruption at Hines Veteran's Hospital in Illinois reveals that staffers with the Department of Veterans affairs manipulated records to make it seem as if patients were not placed on long waiting lists for treatment, when in fact they were. Worse still, the investigation revealed that there was a shorter, secret waiting for patients who could afford to pay cash bribes.
ABC7 provides a brief recap of the report's findings:
Since 2010 at Hines, Special Counsel investigators say veterans with mental health problems were made to wait months for help, and then VA staffers falsified records to cover the wait times.
According to a report sent to the president, Hines officials had directed staff to "zero out" patient wait times, creating a false appearance that sick veterans were actually receiving timely care.
A new investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel focuses on Hines Hospital and secret waiting lists kept by appointment schedulers in exchange for cash bonuses.
Now, former federal employee and union president turned whistleblower, Germaine Clarno, confirms she and others at the Department likely let veterans die because they did not want to alert Republicans to the misconduct.
Another whistleblower on the case, Dr. Lisa Nee corroborates Clarno's account. Both spoke with radio host John Howell about their fight to end the corruption and expressed deep regret over their decisions.
“If I would’ve gone to him two years ago, who knows what kind of lives could’ve been saved,” Germaine Clarno told a radio interviewer Monday, referring to the Republican leader of a VA subcommittee. Clarno, a lifelong Democrat and social worker at the Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital in Hines, Ill., was president of the union representing doctors at the hospital as the deadly wait-time scandal unfolded.
Daily Caller notes that by 2013, as many as 40 patients seeking treatment at a VA treatment center in Phoenix, Arizona, and that these same practices took places at Hines with the full knowledge of its director.
Only in the warped, polarized world of special interest politics would people charged with caring for our veterans actually allow them to die rather than seek help from Republicans.
Clarno and Nee's radio interview is featured above.