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house Bill H.R. 5620

Is Stronger Punishment for Misconduct or Poor Performance Needed for VA Employees?

Argument in favor

The VA needs broader authority to dismiss or demote employees that perform poorly on the job or are found to be guilty of misconduct.

Ben's Opinion
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09/14/2016
As a government run organization they should be held to a higher standards. If a civilian company did what the VA did it wouldn't be around. The VA needs to have someone that actually checks to make sure they do their job.
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JonDep's Opinion
···
09/14/2016
Always be strict with government employees or they'll do as little as possible, just in it for the benefits
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09/14/2016
The reason the VA health care model doesn’t work is the VA bureaucracy itself. VA health care is top down, single payer, government run health care. Imagine getting your health care at the post office or the DMV — welcome to health care for veterans. Every day Veterans such as myself attempt to navigate a massive government network of hospitals and clinics that are run like a Washington bureaucracy. It’s socialized medicine at its worst. We're told the next billion dollars in funding will fix it, but it never does. Yet, for ideologically entrenched leftists, this type of health care is supposed to be a model for all Americans. These leftists don’t dare try to overhaul the VA because then they would be effectively admitting defeat on government run health care. They refuse to let the facts get in the way of their ideology and Veterans suffer as a result.
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Argument opposed

There’s no need for additional authority to fire or demote underperforming employees at the VA, existing processes work just fine.

Joseph's Opinion
···
09/14/2016
Unlike most people of the United States of America I've been to several VA hospitals since I was a child. Most recently my uncle died in a VA hospital of colon cancer after having to wait for a bed several weeks post diagnosed. I have never blamed the VA employees for any of my family's situations. Throughout most of my life, my family has considered VA hospitals as hospitals of last resort because they are not for the most part state of the art hospitals often without adequate staff and equipment. They are poorly funded, ill staffed, and are asked to treat patients with catastrophic injuries and diseases without facilities or equipment. And why is this; because Congress is repeatedly cutting funding of the VA hospitals and VA programs, not to mention gutting the Veterans bill of rights. It's as if Veterans don't matter to Congress or The United States of America. It is as if Congress is saying through their action, "you have risked your all for this country now go away you bother us." I'm sure this attitude trickles down through all departments of government. So we are now left employees of the VA doing a job that the government doesn't want them to do, in conditions that are all but impossible, without the means to do it properly, and we now have Congress proposing bill punish VA workers for their lack of morale. The shame of this situation rest solely with Congress. If you want to improve VA workers morale--improve their pay, improve their working conditions, give them what they need to do their job right. Do not threaten them with discipline.
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Ian's Opinion
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09/14/2016
Give them more funding. This is just a Republican tactic used to stall the wheels of progress by scapegoating employees who, surprise surprise, make mistakes.
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Oliver's Opinion
···
09/14/2016
It is highly unlikely that the issues with the VA have to do with workers on the ground. They have everything to do with poor structure, inefficient administration, and lack of funding. Putting more pressure on workers won't help a damned thing
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed September 14th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 310 Yea / 116 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedJuly 5th, 2016

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    As a government run organization they should be held to a higher standards. If a civilian company did what the VA did it wouldn't be around. The VA needs to have someone that actually checks to make sure they do their job.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Unlike most people of the United States of America I've been to several VA hospitals since I was a child. Most recently my uncle died in a VA hospital of colon cancer after having to wait for a bed several weeks post diagnosed. I have never blamed the VA employees for any of my family's situations. Throughout most of my life, my family has considered VA hospitals as hospitals of last resort because they are not for the most part state of the art hospitals often without adequate staff and equipment. They are poorly funded, ill staffed, and are asked to treat patients with catastrophic injuries and diseases without facilities or equipment. And why is this; because Congress is repeatedly cutting funding of the VA hospitals and VA programs, not to mention gutting the Veterans bill of rights. It's as if Veterans don't matter to Congress or The United States of America. It is as if Congress is saying through their action, "you have risked your all for this country now go away you bother us." I'm sure this attitude trickles down through all departments of government. So we are now left employees of the VA doing a job that the government doesn't want them to do, in conditions that are all but impossible, without the means to do it properly, and we now have Congress proposing bill punish VA workers for their lack of morale. The shame of this situation rest solely with Congress. If you want to improve VA workers morale--improve their pay, improve their working conditions, give them what they need to do their job right. Do not threaten them with discipline.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    Give them more funding. This is just a Republican tactic used to stall the wheels of progress by scapegoating employees who, surprise surprise, make mistakes.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Always be strict with government employees or they'll do as little as possible, just in it for the benefits
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    It is highly unlikely that the issues with the VA have to do with workers on the ground. They have everything to do with poor structure, inefficient administration, and lack of funding. Putting more pressure on workers won't help a damned thing
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    The reason the VA health care model doesn’t work is the VA bureaucracy itself. VA health care is top down, single payer, government run health care. Imagine getting your health care at the post office or the DMV — welcome to health care for veterans. Every day Veterans such as myself attempt to navigate a massive government network of hospitals and clinics that are run like a Washington bureaucracy. It’s socialized medicine at its worst. We're told the next billion dollars in funding will fix it, but it never does. Yet, for ideologically entrenched leftists, this type of health care is supposed to be a model for all Americans. These leftists don’t dare try to overhaul the VA because then they would be effectively admitting defeat on government run health care. They refuse to let the facts get in the way of their ideology and Veterans suffer as a result.
    Like (9)
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    I do believe that a system to handle this already exists. What the VA really needs is funding, period lock. The rest of this is a smoke and mirror diversion of the GOP while they liquidate the system into yet another failed 'privatization' venture. Failing the vets while lining the pockets of big pharmaceutical and of course; their own pockets as well.
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    The bill doesn't seem to be addressing the real problem. Penalizing the floor level medical staff is not the answer to the VA's problems. Issues with quality and delivery of care stem from the administrative level and can only be changed from higher up. Administrators, politicians, and funding are the issue here not the staff. Notice the VA has its own very unique problems, while the nurses, physicians, and PA's are all trained the same way as every other hospital. There is already a system in place and no need to make it more aggressive.
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    It should be noted that this bill is just another build up to what the Republicans really want, the total elimination of the VA medical System. As a user of that system I realize that there are problems of access, but once into the system I find it functions as well or better than any medical program I have ever used. Those of us who have used the VA for many years realize that besides providing medical care the system is also a teaching hospital system that provides the years of training doctors need in order to be fully qualified. Additionally the VA has a robust scientific program of research which has helped not only veterans but everyone. Finally the VA has specific programs that exist nowhere else for specific needs of veterans. And yet Republicans are still looking to privatize it and we must not let that happen.
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    A proposal such as this in particular were to be ratified incompetence in the Veterans Administration (VA) will greatly decrease for the imperative sake of aiding our veterans physically, mentally, socially, and medically as well. As citizens of the United States we can give our sincere appreciation to veterans by vehemently advocating that their right to receive a federal or state regulated care for their medical circumstances is a necessity and must be fluently and responsibly prioritized as well. My step father could convey to you that he has had multiple complications with the veterans administration! He served 20 years in the army as a sergeant first class and even was recruited by his peers to hold a leadership position in being a professor for The ROTC Program at Two lane university in Louisiana as well. There he proudly trained and guided his cadets to becoming officers. If I recall he may of been 2nd infantry as well. To the point now, he should not have to go through complications with these certified primary care physicians and employees to simply get an MRI. It's an ordeal that our veterans should not suffer through. In my perinatal opinion this proposal needs very minimal explanations and justifications. The bottom line is its self explanatory and evident to the American people that our brave heroes are not be properly nourished medically and we as patriots have to implement actions to make know to our governments that these manners our concrete and it needs to be immediately alleviated!
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    This is long overdue!
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    The real criminals are the people who vote against spending bills even when they're important for government run facilities.
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    Private industry has performance standards. Why should the Federal entities not be held accountable?
    Like (3)
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    Fire their sorry asses.
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    More funding, leadership and accountability from the top is what needs to take place. Causing employees to fear extreme discipline won't help anything.
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    As someone who was denied a medical appointment at the VA and been hung up on by both a nurse and a patient advocate when I asked them to document that I could not receive care the same day, I fully support this. I carry HMSA through my employer because accessing medical appointments in the Hawaii VA system has been unattainable. An ER visit where I was vomiting blood resulted in me being discharged quickly and told that no follow up care was available for 2 months and that I should go back to the civilian ER where I paid $400 after insurance. I have given up on the Hawaii VA. Please take the people to task that do not serve our veterans yet reap the tax dollars for work they do not perform.
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    You'd have better chances surviving the war than surviving the VA healthcare system. Needs to be more checks and balances.
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    Veterans deal with enough when they serve. Much less PTSD and a much higher suicide rate. Make sure they're cared for... Please?
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    It's unacceptable for them to get away with treating veterans so poorly. My husband has had poor care since the start. He's not been listened to, taken seriously, and not given anything he needs. Veterans should not have to fight so hard to get good quality care! And they should not have to fight to much to get all of the benefits they are entitled to! So much is hidden from them and then when they do learn about things it's a constant battle to get because they "waited" so long. All of the informations needs to be presented from the start! It's absolutely terrible. And anyone who has taken part in doing this should face punishment. There has to be consequences. Otherwise, where is the accountability? We need a government who is going to fight for the rights of veterans, not turn a blind eye to the gross negligence of our VA system.
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    Punitive action is required when federal employees do not meet standards. They are civil servants. When they do meet the standards or act in an unprofessional manner, the behavior must be corrected.
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