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Washington Times: Team Obama knew about VA’s cooked books for years

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By Doug Powers  •  May 19, 2014 09:49 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said yesterday that President Obama was “madder than hell” when he found out about the VA’s serial incompetence and alleged book-cooking that caused as many as 40 U.S. veterans to die while on “secret wait lists.” The question is now exactly when the administration found out about it.

The Washington Times found evidence the Obama administration knew about the problems from the time of its transition into the White House:

The Obama administration received clear notice more than five years ago that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care — problems that have turned into a growing scandal.

Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting.

“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying — and potentially denying — deserving veterans timely care,” the officials wrote.

The briefing materials, obtained by The Washington Times through the Freedom of Information Act, make clear that the problems existed well before Mr. Obama took office, dating back at least to the Bush administration. But the materials raise questions about what actions the department took since 2009 to remedy the problems.

To remedy the problems though would have made them public, and think back to early 2009: Team Obama was trying to sell America on Obamacare, so it’s extremely unlikely that people calling for a greatly increased government role in health care would want to make public a horrific example of what can happen when bureaucrats are in charge of a health care operation. The Obama administration — or any Dems pushing for Obamacare or single-payer — wouldn’t have wanted to shine a light on the VA debacle for the same reason airlines don’t show “Mayday at 40,000 Feet” as the in-flight movie.

There does appear to be a time span that will allow Team Obama to blame Bush, and don’t think they won’t run with that. However, that does little to explain why nothing was done about the problem for years since.

Based on his “phony scandal” track record, President Obama will say he learned about the VA issue from news reports like everybody else:

Also: The VA’s deadly bureaucratic drones

Update:

A reminder that the VA scandal isn’t exactly “news” to Obama, because he campaigned in part on fixing the very problems his administration is now claiming come as a shock to him:

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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