Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

Rob Nabors Cites ‘Corrosive Culture’ in VA Scandal

nabors051514 445x295 Rob Nabors Cites Corrosive Culture in VA Scandal

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors found “a corrosive culture” and inadequate resources contributed to the VA health care scandal in a report he delivered to President Barack Obama Friday.

Nabors and acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan D. Gibson briefed Obama on their latest findings and actions taken to date — including new protections for whistleblowers and $393 million in spending to accelerate care.

“A corrosive culture has led to personnel problems across the department that are seriously impacting morale, and by extension, the timeliness of care,” the Nabors’ report says.

Nabors blamed the culture problems in part on the difficulty in hiring and firing employees and also on history of backlash against whistleblowers.

He also said the 14-day scheduling standard was unrealistic and may have incentivized inappropriate actions.

But he also pegged blame on a lack of resources and outdated systems.

The computer scheduling system hasn’t been updated since 1985, pre-dating the Internet. The Department hopes to get a new system up and running in fiscal 2015.

Nabors, who will stay on at the VA for now at the request of the president, also said the VA needs more doctors, administrators and facilities like parking.

The department’s inspector general is now investigating 77 VA facilities, according to Nabors. Reports about scheduling problems started at least as early as 2005.

You can read the publicly released summary of the Rob Nabors VA report at this link.

According to a readout from the White House, the VA has acted to counter wait lists at facilities nationwide, contacting 135,000 veterans, scheduling 182,000 appointments, training 10,000 schedulers and budgeting $393 million for accelerated care.

“Additionally, VA has taken specific actions at  some of the most challenged VA facilities, including: hiring more support staff to help get veterans off wait lists and into clinics, deploying more mobile medical units for veterans awaiting care, and expanding access to care to local communities. VA is also utilizing high-performing facilities to help those that need improvement,” according to the readout.

Twice monthly updates will be posted at VA.gov/health.

Gibson also expressed support for protecting whistleblowers.

  • YONATAN C

    The Republican party has failed the three million unemployed families without an unemployment extension since late last December. While the republicans made delay after delay, and postponement after postponement to stall the voting on the bill, these families have fallen into financial ruin and deep poverty.

    • greg

      they are just lazy people who don’t want to work. Many jobs are waiting for people to fill them. Let them starve.

    • Don Strutz

      Get a job… Problem solved.

    • Chief Wild Eagle of the Hekawi

      This is about veterans dying on Obama’s watch because of gross incompetence from the cabinet level down. Further the massive backlog in VA claims throughout Obama administration has resulted in suffering to many of our returning wounded and disabled veterans… Suicide rates are 22 per day for young veterans… All you got is this partisan clap trap… Shut the hell up….

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    With three million unemployed families still without an extension of benefits since late last December, the republicans and democrats have walked away from the issue , leaving these families in financial ruin.

    • AMS

      They don’t need handout’s they need jobs. I graduated last year and have been unemployed since, I don’t qualify for any ‘government handouts’ and if I did I would take them because I don’t need a handout, I need a job!

    • Don Strutz

      Tell them to get a job. I’mpaying for enough as it is.

  • Pretty Ricky

    I have been voicing my opinions about this since 1999 to Senator John McCain’s office and there has been nothing done. In this video I informed him that veterans should receive additional non-VA Doctors care and he told me it was “FOOLISH”. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=537976092981159

  • Don Strutz

    So a govt agency is screwed up? I’m shocked… shocked I tell you…

  • http://ptab-outoforder.blogspot.com/ Ptab01

    Odd how that works out – things sucked under last President but got done Now we have the President these agencies wanted & things Got WORSE. Further proof the bigger something gets the less likeliness it will be successful at its total goal.

  • Oscar’s Wilde

    If this video is any indication, Obamacare isn’t anything more than an ever-shifting mirage of deceit and delusions: http://youtu.be/DXqKp5B0ZLE?t=1s

  • conservativechick

    There is a corrosive culture throughout the entire Federal Government and it starts at the top.

  • danshanteal

    Bob Gates in his new book says the VA is worse that the DOD in terms of bureaucracy. He also faults the vet organizations. They only care about retirees.
    The budget for the VA has gone up tremendously since the start of the two wars. We had 2 million million go through those two countries and now have 1.7 million potential claims. What’s up with that? There have been about 35,000 injuries; so where do the 1.7 million come from? I’m a vet (half-ass as a reservist called up for seven months) and I’m always interested to see the military get its due. So why would you have the No. 2 guy at the VA and a West Wing hack investigate the VA? The No. 2 guy is part of the VA problem and the West Wing guy is covering Obie’s political behind. Then there are the congressional committees. They theoretically oversee the VA. That’s a laugh. The key word running through my mind is ACCOUNTABILITY. THERE AIN’T NONE. So with that, have a nice day and don’t mention another word. SACRIFICE. We see plenty in the WOUNDED WARRIOR programs but none at the White House or Congress.

  • Jeffrey A. Trueman

    The “FBI” needs to investigate Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers and DVA-Inspector General (DVA-IG) criminal agents, individually and collectively for allowing 1 billion dollars in VA medical malpractice cases estimated at 4500 over the past 10 years.

    For the record, in these 10-years—under the IG Act—congress was provided
    semi-annual reports for them to uphold their separation of powers authority
    under the Constitution for which they have miserably failed.

    Getting to the point, under the December 4, 1950 Supreme Court of
    the United States (SCOUS) Feres Doctrine—Second-Rationale—Mandate-
    case or “Feres Doctrine Mandate or SCOUS-FDM” the DVA statutory system is supposed to be administered in a ‘no fault,non-adversarial’. Also, under 38 USC Section 1151 — no lawsuits need apply because the system is set up to quickly remedy medical malpractice cases and treat such negligence as service-connection for surviving Veterans. Obviously, if a Veteran dies under the DVA system their loved ones should be compensated monthly until the spouse passes on or the children are emancipated. This
    would cost essentially $3,000.00 per month.

    So, where does corruption in the DVA begin? The answer lies at the DVA-Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) who if not provided a get out of jail free card under 38USC 511—and forced to carry out their oaths of office with oversight of the “FBI” and Office of Special Prosecutor (OSC) genuine change would happen and Veterans health care and lawful entitlements under the DVA-BVA system would be timely granted for the good of the nation as a whole.

    In plain language—clerks and managers should only be ‘monitoring’ not
    deciding FDM-claims for service-connection as the U.S. Armed Forces
    Military-Disability Evaluation System (DES) is better set up for that initial
    diagnoses and compensation rating prior to the member’s discharge from military service and to achieve a “smooth transition” mentality that is lacking under the unconstitutional Feres doctrine.

    Clearly, with a reported 750 lawyers in the DVA … all federal employees in the DVA must be questioned about witnessing or being told to ‘shut up’ about corruption in their respective agencies or departments and these employees must be defended by DOJ if they come forward. In short, how in the world can
    DVA help Veterans when clerks at VBA regional offices are practicing medicine
    and law without licenses in arbitrarily denying service-connection when the
    evidence screams no pre-existing medical conditions existed at the time of
    their entry into the U.S. Armed Forces is beyond the scope of justice! Henceforth, “Murder Inc. at the VBA” is the core of the problems in the “DVA”
    statutory system and that cancer and denial of due process and equal protection of Veterans’ Fifth Amendment property rights must come to an end without further delay …

  • Alexis Bannister

    Today’s liberalism is impelled by the same destructive forces as its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors.

  • YONATAN C

    The Republican Party has failed the three million unemployed families STILL WITHOUT an extension of benefits, since late last December. Over the past six months, the Republican senate has held the extension bill “hostage” in the senate, for political leverage, and party agenda. They have sentenced these families to financial ruin and deep poverty, which many may not recover from. While they fought tooth & nail for the Koch Brother’s oil pipeline bill to be passed, they totally ignored these struggling families. The Republicans have shown a total lack of compassion, and common decency towards the disadvantaged in our country. The new face of their party is Senator John Boehner. This is a man that has rejected every idea and every bill that would benefit average Americans. Billions of dollars have been approved for the Ukraine, while the extension bill is still not passed to help these families.

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