While the Obama regime has tried to ignore its role in precipitating the massacre of Americans at our Benghazi consulate, it is having a lot less luck evading the consequences of its own incompetence in the rapidly snowballing Veterans Affairs scandal.
Last week the regime tried to pretend that the long planned retirement of VA Under Secretary for Health Robert Pelzer was actually a firing. Yesterday, White House spokesman and dunderkind, Jay Carney claimed the American Legion had demanded the firing and the administration had given them what they wanted... only to be called out by suddenly sentient journalists.
In the latest developments we have Obama calling VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to the White House (no word if he wore hid black beret) where Obama held a press conference announcing that he was putting Eric Shinseki in charge of finding out what went wrong (no word on what Shinseki has been doing, presumably playing marathon sessions of Candy Crush):
Third, I’ve directed Rob Nabors to conduct a broader review of the Veterans Health Administration -- the part of the VA that delivers health care to our veterans. And Rob is going to Phoenix today. Keep in mind, though, even if we had not heard reports out of this Phoenix facility or other facilities, we all know that it often takes too long for veterans to get the care that they need. That’s not a new development. It’s been a problem for decades and it’s been compounded by more than a decade of war.
That’s why, when I came into office, I said we would systematically work to fix these problems, and we have been working really hard to address them. My attitude is, for folks who have been fighting on the battlefield, they should not have to fight a bureaucracy at home to get the care that they’ve earned.
We heard, also from Carney that Obama had slept through transition briefings in 2008 when he was warned about the vulnerability of the VA scheduling system to manipulation and only heard about it recently from the press. You'll notice here that Obama says he was aware of the problems but decided to wait until the last half of his second term to do anything about it.
To show you just how serious Obama is about fighting the problem known about for decades but he only just found out about, he's nominated a guy named Dr. Jeffrey Murawsky to replace the fired/retired Dr. Robert Petzel as undersecretary of health.
Murawsky is currently network director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network for the Great Lakes region, which includes Edward Hines Jr. VA hospital in Chicago. The AP reported May 15 that the hospital made secret lists to conceal long patient wait times for appointments.
Prior to a promotion within the VA, Murawsky spent almost five years as a senior administrator at the hospital, from 2001-2006.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., called for the investigation into the alleged secret waiting lists to be expanded to include the Chicago hospital, saying, "The inspector general should immediately broaden its investigation to include Hines VA and deliver a swift and immediate report."
Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix hospital that triggered the investigation, also served as director of Hines VA from 2010 to 2012. Helman worked for Murawsky in that capacity.
So to recap. The problem has been known about for decades but Obama only heard about in recently from press reports and is just now starting to fix it. The guy in charge of fixing it is the guy who has been in charge of fixing it for the past five years. The new guy in charge of the health system was an official in a hospital that is under investigation for scamming the VA's appointment reporting system. One of his key subordinates has just been suspended in an investigation in Phoenix.
Yessiree bob. He is totally going to fix this mess.