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Search Tags: Veterans Affairs
The director of the Phoenix VA hospital and two other employees are on administrative leave following allegations that the hospital delayed medical treatment to veterans. Note: they have not been fired. Legislation moving through Congress would make it easier for the VA secretary to give the boot to senior executives. Susan Tsui Grundmann is chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board, which hears appeals from federal employees on personnel issues. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain how the law could change. Read related article by Federal News Radio's Shefali Kapadia.
The House and Senate have appointed members to a conference committee on legislation to revamp the Veterans Affairs health care system. Regardless of how Congress ends up changing the structure to address long wait times for patients, the system will need more money for emergencies. That is one request from the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents many front-line VA employees. J. David Cox is the union's president and a former VA nurse. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how the problems at the VA are affecting the front-line employees.
Despite reports of delayed patient treatments, falsified records and preventable veteran deaths, the Department of Veterans Affairs said all of its 470 senior executives have been rated "successful" over the past four fiscal years. The ratings have sparked outrage among members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, whose chairman called the performance rating and bonus system at the VA "outlandish."
Legislation in the Senate would allow the Veterans Affairs secretary to dismiss members of the Senior Executive Service on the grounds of performance, and that could mean more appeal cases for the already-swamped Merit Systems Protection Board.
About 10 percent of veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals and clinics have to wait at least 30 days for an appointment -- more than twice the percentage of veterans the government said last week were forced to endure long waits.
The problems at the Veteran Affairs Department continue to unfold. Meanwhile, the largest civilian agency lacks a Senate confirmed leader. We've seen this pattern before: troubled agency, departed leadership. Some come roaring back, some limp along. John Palguta is the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how the VA can shape a more promising future.
The House and Senate have both passed bills to shore up the Veterans Affairs Department. Now they are in conference to reconcile. The final bill would give veterans more opportunities to seek care outside of VA hospitals, while beefing up the VA's own medical staff. The Congressional Budget Office has scored the VA bill and estimates the expense of the additional care would be about $50 billion. Yevgeniy Feyman, fellow at the Manhattan Institute, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss whether all the money will help.