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  • Four New Reports Show Dysfunction At The VA, Hillary Doubles Down And Refuses To Apologize

    Four new, devastating Department of Veterans Affairs reports are putting the lie to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claims that problems at the VA are largely overblown.

    One of the reports Wednesday discovered that a patient at a VA clinic in Los Angeles in his 70s died while waiting for a surgical consult regarding complaints about dysphagia — that is, he was experiencing trouble swallowing properly.

    He recorded his complaint in February 2011. His surgical consult to install a feeding tube was not scheduled until July 2012. The patient died a week before his appointment, but since no one performed an autopsy, the exact reason for his death is unclear. From June 2011 to January 2012, the patient went from 130 pounds to a mere 118 pounds.

    The report also found long waits for neurology consults, effectively reinforcing the VA’s reputation for long health care delays. A total of 548 consults were open for more than 30 days. Of those consults, over 50 percent were open for more than 90 days.

    The second report examined a clinic in Marion, Ill., and determined that almost every independent practitioner working at the facility did not have proper training necessary to the job properly.

    A third report on a facility in Anchorage, Alaska, found abysmal medical device storage and cleanliness practices. Staff stored clean and dirty medical items together 75 percent of the time in patient care areas.

    Like in Phoenix, the facility has a problem handling suicidal veterans. A total of 80 percent of clinicians were not trained in suicide prevention. Of patients assessed to be high-risk for suicide, 30 percent did not have safety plans listed in their records.

    A fourth report released Friday by the Government Accountability Office determined that the Veterans Health Administration has no idea whether there is sufficient training at its medical centers to ameliorate the shortage of nurses through recruitment and retention programs.

    Clinton stated last week on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show that the problems at the VA have “not been as widespread as it has been made out to be” and instead that Republicans were responsible for blowing the issues out of proportion to forward an ideological agenda. But even the Obama administration has clearly said over the past year that the VA is in a crisis. (RELATED: Clinton: VA Problems Overblown. VA Whistleblower: Let Me Give You A Facility Tour Then)

    Despite heated opposition from veterans’ organizations and members of Congress, Clinton has refused to recant her remarks.

    Clinton maintained in a WMUR interview on Wednesday that we shouldn’t use what’s wrong with the VA as an excuse for trying to get rid of the department.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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