Senator Blunt blasts VA treatment of veterans

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The St. Louis whistle-blower in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs scandal spoke out about allegations of long wait times, delayed care for veterans, and cooked books.

Dr. Jose Mathews said, "What really bothered me was that this-this delay was a direct result of this extremely low sense of caring for the patient."

When Dr. Jose Mathews was the Chief Psychiatrist for the VA in St. Louis, he noticed that doctors seeing veterans with PTSD and other acute mental health issues; were working just a few hours a day, seeing about half the patients they could.

While there were mounting suicides, St. Louis VA officials reported that their productivity was among the highest in the nation.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) was at the VA hospital Saturday, and had this to say about the recent allegations, "It's absolutely unacceptable to delay those appointments or for somebody to be working half as hard at the VA as they'd be working if they were out on their own practicing behavioral health, mental health medicine."

A St. Louis VA Medical Center spokesman said: "The St. Louis VA Medical Center leadership is aware of and is addressing the alleged issues."

15 comments

  • Steven Sweeney

    Obama falsely promised for years to fix this, now vets are being left for dead across the country.Win back congress in November, then impeach this muslim disgrace to the country.

    • ByeByeToTheRite

      Yeah, Steven, vets were treated SO much better under George W. Bush, and the other Bush, and Reagan, and Nixon – right? It’s all Obama’s fault, right?

      Oh, well, may be another right-wing lie, but it works on the guns and religion half of our country’s population, like you. Should be good for a few sucker votes. You should know.

      • Steven Sweeney

        No “secret waiting lists” under Bush and sure as heck no 40 dead vets waiting for care. Obozo trots out the human props for speeches, then leaves them to die.Funny how no executive order for vets, when Obozo uses them for everything else.Obozo denied vets access to WW 2 memorial as well.Obozo sure doesn’t deny 1.5 billion to proven terrorists like Muslim brotherhood to kill more vets. The buck stops at the desk of the president, anyone blaming congress instead is just plain clueless or in need of a civics lesson.

    • David A. Gantt

      Problem is passing benifits then not paying for them. Sen. Blunt gets on his high horse but VA hasn’t been funded to requested levels and that comes from Congress. It is easy to point blame but passing benifits without resources leads to the type of BS. Sen Blunt give the VA the resources needed to fix these problems or shut the hell up. CMSgt (Ret)

      • Steven Sweeney

        When obozo was first elected, Dems controlled BOTH houses of congress. Unfortunately, solyndra and phony stimulus with phony shovel ready jobs took precedent.Obozo could have rubber stamped anything he wanted to help vets back then, AND FAILED to do so.Blaming conservatives for the dog eating dictator’s failures is just foolish and uneducated.

  • Jim Starowicz (@jimstaro)

    Congress does the ‘will of the people’, and the people like ‘free wars’, so patriotic, and to ignore the results from, unless it;’s so patriotic to slam, conservative ideology, the VA their responsibility, use Military and us Vetewrans for their ‘patriotic’ meme’s, like they care!!!

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    WHY? GOOD QUESTION THOSE SERVED SHOULD ANSWER, added to the past decades and wars of the ignoring of many issues along with the denying they exist! Think PTS, Agent Orange and Desert Storms Gulf War Syndrom, to name but only a very few, most now being addressed under This VA and Executive branch even though grossly, decades and wars from, under funded!!

    The real scandal is those Served have yet to Sacrifice, DeJa-Vu all over again:
    The same lawmakers now subpoening, and with their flag waving patriots(?) supporting, that rubber stamped the two wars, and all related, costs off the books and on the credit card, quickly abandoning the missions and those sent after 9/11, while doing extremely little for not only the veterans of but also us previous veterans and from the decades and wars before, while once again under a conservative led VA, DeJa-Vu!!

    Sixth District Congressional candidate Seth Moulton: “Congress has made ‘travesty’ of veterans care” 05/14/2014

    Conservative Veterans Affairs Ideology, Fire Gen. Shinseki, because unlike conservative administrations he’s actually fighting to build the VA the country should have always had, and he’s got the backing and help from this entire executive cabinet, again unlike conservative administrations and conservative congresses!!

    Just what the conservative, in this case the Always reactive and not proactive for vets, the legion, with their grossly over paid executives, ideology wants, Get rid of one that’s doing the job and in this case with help from the entire cabinet, hired to do, just as the conservatives in congress want,

    “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too” “not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    They were Jubilant when conservatives controlled congress and the bush fired the General for being Honest, now their call is being picked up through one of the so called established Veterans organization the American Legion! All were praising the VA during that time, of total conservative control, even though extremely little was being done as the long ignored veterans issues were still being ignored while two more wars, and long occupations from, were being rubber stamped as to costs, still unpaid for, and these younger veterans were joining our veterans community seeking the commitment the Country promises and the Country waved flags, and other symbols, of that ‘patriotic’ commitment only, DeJa-Vu all over again! Their long want is to privatize government agencies for corporate profit, much more costly, and unregulated running of, just like their national security wars!

    TX-19 Congressional Candidate Neal Marchbanks – Veteran: 28 March 2014 – “Congress controls the budget for the VA and it is the fault of Congress that the VA does not have enough employees and that the facilities are too small.”
    Congress, in Veteran Marchbanks statement, are the people served and who representatives work for, or are supposed to!

    “12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families.” Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: ‘With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility’ {two tax cuts, especially huge for the wealthy, with not a bit of guilt conscious for, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again from the previous decades and wars from! Ignore the many issues, by those served, no need to fund!}

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent

    • Jim Starowicz (@jimstaro)

      “Lets not treat these Vets like Vietnam Vets”

      That’s what the whole country served said about us Vietnam Veterans and the now OEF and OIF Veterans right from the beginning!!

      Then they quickly cheered on abandoning the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11! They started slapping on magnetic ‘support the troops’ symbols all over which quickly just plain disappeared! Then the talk was about everyone, elected officials especially, should be wearing lapel flag pins, I don’t even pay attention whether they do or don’t knowing they’re not ‘supporting’ anyone who Actually Sacrifices, and that includes public servants of all stripes! They loves waving them ‘patriotic’ flags and think they’re more ‘patriotic’ then many others! Then they want Parades and complain because we have yet had a Ticker Tape NYC parade, even though the abandoned 9/11 missions is still ongoing but finally winding down! They loves passing around the cute video’s of returning soldiers surprising their kids and families! And on and on and on!

      But None Of That Is Sacrificing as in Paying For Wars and Especially the Decades To Follow Results From!!!

      DeJa-Vu all over again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pat Gray

    This is the United States of America. We do not treat our veterans like this. We have to reclaim our country and our pride. This administration is
    Dishonest and cares about keeping their fat paycheck a and trips around the world. Allowing our ambassador to be murdered and no effort to arrest the thugs and now no accountability for mistreatment of our military heroes. This is not the democracy we love and cherish. Demand accountability. This is a democracy and these politicians work for us.

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    There’s another Republican, harshly denouncing bad care for veterans by the VA, while completely and utterly ignoring all the same bad care given to millions of Americans every day by private health insurance and health care corporation! More hypocracy from the Republican right!

    Gee, shouldn’t Mr. Blunt be denouncing how medical care for veterans by the VA is SOCIALIST MEDICINE and horribly close to being communist? Shouldn’t Blunt be insisting we CUT the VA and medical care for vets because it’s “Big Government” and “just another socialist entitlement”??

    Ah, how suddenly things change when it’s those who serve the wealthy – er, I mean Israel – er, excuse me gain, I mean us… sort of.

    The bottom line is Blunt should be concerned about quality health care for ALL Americans, and yes, vets should get outstanding care for serving in the military, just as ALL Americans should get outstanding care for serving our country and our private corporations.

    Just not sure why we should be concerned only with vets getting good care from a socialist government health care program while gutting and being so against any other socialist government health care for the rest of us. Smells like more fishy hypocracy from Republicans just to score a few more votes from military folks. And of course, we know, just throw in a couple of sound bites about guns and religion, and that strategy works every time. Sad but true.

    Now go pass another huge tax handout to the wealthy that service people will pay higher taxes to pay for, Mr. Blunt. They won’t notice.

    • Jules

      How about this you moronic left wing nut ByeBye…. Let’s allow our vets to use ANY hospital they choose and for free. I would rather have my tax money going to fund their healthcare than those that I currently fund with my tax money. After all, those vets kept us all (right, left or has no clue) safe at night! This is one “entitlement” I would gladly pay for.

  • marten5050

    Really BBTTR, you pay more attention to the computer biz, four failures is enough for anybody.

    K, K?

  • Jim Evans

    I had a Lipoma Mass under my right shoulder blade and went to Popular Bluff VAMC and was told it was to big to do outpatient so they sent me to John Cochran VAMC in St. Louis, Mo. back in 2010 then they told me it was not serious enough to remove. three years later I went in to the Hospital on December 5, 2013 and had it cut out. It was so HUGE i intertwined with the muscle tissues and rib cage and was pressing against my lung. So a half hour outpatient surgery turned into a 2 day stay in that unforgiving Hospital. Then I went home with a drain tube in my back for 15 days. Also as of today I suffer with this massive dimple in my back that is very uncomfortable today.
    This don’t include my knee surgery and neck surgery they screwed me over on that I finally went to a private doctor for because of denied medical attention.

  • stl va employee

    the reality of being a psychiatrist in the st louis VAMC is that you start the day with a maximum of 10 scheduled veterans. then, because the communication is so shoddy, about 25 % of those 10 don’t even know their appointment is that day, often because the appts get cancelled and rebooked frequently. so, at most 6-7 vets show up. then you act busy and give each 15 minutes of your time.
    the vets feel the poor doc is overworked. but the reality is as Jose states it, over half the day is unaccounted. vets call in and are told the “next available appt is in 30 days”

  • cheryl michalski

    I don’t know why people are blaming OBAMA FOR THE POOR HEALTH CARE.I HAVE BEEN GOING TO THE STL VA;S SINCE 2003.i THINK IT HAS GOTTEN A LITTLE BETTER SINCE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE.1 THING the va really needs to change is there sartp program,its only 2wks long n it should be at least 30 days.Dr.mathews was my dr. for a while and he is a great doc.Also I was standing next to the veteran that was talking to sen blunt.

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