Data Reveals Phoenix VA Prioritizes Bureaucrats Over Veterans

Last month, COGC praised   OpentheBooks.com in their efforts to increase transparency and post “every dime” of government spending online. Founder Adam Andrzejewski warned that with increased transparency in government spending, citizens should “be prepared, though, because the results aren’t pretty.”

Mr. Andrzejewski is right; the results are certainly not pretty.

With information obtained by OpentheBooks.com, Fox News has is reporting a startling revelation; Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System employees have been pocketing lucrative salaries and misusing funds at the expense of wounded veterans. According to the data:

  • Top 100 employees made $70 million in salaries (2011-2013)
  • 59% of salaries was spent on administration/operations, not medical care
  • Only 1 employee out of 3,170 with the job title of Quality Assurance
  • Millions spent on gardening($180,000+ in 2013), public affairs, interior decorating($211,000 + over the past 3 years), and architecture

According to the records, salaries for Phoenix VA doctors reach as high as $357,528 and $147,724 for nurse staff. In comparison, the average Arizona doctor makes a little over half of that of the top-paid Phoenix VA doctor.

Bureaucracy, not health care, seems to be the VA's priority. The Phoenix VA only employs 226 doctors and currently treats 78,000 veterans, a doctor-to-patient ration of  1-to-345. This egregious misuse of taxpayer dollars has potentially led to more than forty veterans dying while waiting for care, while another 1,400 veterans waited months for critical appointments.

“Our nation’s veterans need access to health care and doctors, not interior decorators and designers. I’m proud of the work ordinary citizens and groups like Open the Books are doing to hold the VA accountable,” said Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

Since Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testified in front of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday , more details of the case are sure to be exposed, including allegations that the Phoenix VA ran a secret waiting list and destroyed key records. 

It is horrific events such as this why there must be transparency in government spending, COGC stands behind and supports Open the Books effort as the repercussions have a lasting impact on not only the nation’s veterans, but on all citizens.

TAGS: BIGSTORY, Transparency

blog comments powered by Disqus