The Democratic Party’s Koch Brothers campaign before was cynical politics. But now it’s become something truly evil.
Senator Sanders isn’t just bashing Republicans, he’s covering up the documented abuses of veterans by claiming that the whole thing is a Koch Brothers conspiracy. And that suggests the complaining Vets, including the dying and the dead, are just employees of the Koch Brothers.
This is plain evil.
Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee Sen. Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) appeared to blame the VA scandal on the Koch brothers last Friday at a North Hampton, MA forum with The Nation’s John Nichols.
Sanders forcefully defended the VA and other federal agencies at the forum, stating the VA provides “very high quality healthcare” and programs such as Medicare and Social Security are “enormously popular.”
However, Sanders’s critique of the VA scandal then took a bizarre turn.
“Right now, as we speak, a concerted effort to undermine the VA,” he said. “What are the problems? The problems are, is, that all of these are large, governmental institutions and you have folks out there now, Koch Brothers and others, who want to radically change the nature of society, and either make major cuts in all of these institutions, or maybe do away with them entirely.”
It’s Sanders’ own party that is pushing to cut health care for veterans. The TriCare cuts are an Obama project.
The abuses at the VA have been documented for years even by mainstream media.
The ranks of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits grew from 11,000 in 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency, to 245,000 in December — an increase of more than 2,000 percent.
Since 2009, the number of Southern California veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits has increased from 262 to 21,567.
More than 3,000 Southern California veterans have been waiting more than two years for their benefits.
The agency tracks and widely reports the average wait time: 273 days. But the internal data indicates that veterans filing their first claim, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, wait nearly two months longer, between 316 and 327 days. Those filing for the first time in America’s major population centers might wait up to twice as long — 642 days in New York, 619 days in Los Angeles and 289 days in San Diego.
These are obscene numbers and the latest information has been even more disturbing.
At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.
The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.
For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.
The VA health care system has so many perverse incentives that it may have actually given rewards to those who treated veterans the worst.
All this was extensively documented across numerous media outlets with testimony by whistleblowers at the VA and veterans.
Senator Bernie Sanders is calling all these people liars who secretly work for the Koch Brothers.