“Drain the swamp” was a favorite chant during President Trump’s campaign, and it looks like he’s kept his promise at the office of Veterans Affairs.
A new report says more than 500 employees have been fired at the agency, and another 200 have been suspended.
The Daily Caller reported on statistics released by the department because of Veteran’s Affairs Secretary David Shulkin as a part of their commitment to transparency.
“Those disciplined include 22 senior leaders, more than 70 nurses, 14 police officers, and 25 physicians,” it was reported.
Trump repeated the promise constantly during his campaign that he would fix the scandalous reports from the Veterans Affairs offices. In July during his presidential campaign last year, then-candidate Trump promised “never again will we allow any veteran to suffer or die waiting for care.”
Trump said that the country would “take care of our veterans like they’ve never been taken care of before,” adding, “we will pick up the bill … it’ll cost us less money and the care will be amazing.”
While some VA offices provide admirable care to our military, others have been crippled with inefficiency and incompetence to such a degree that they’ve been accused of causing deaths among those seeking health care.
In August, a veteran killed himself in the parking lot of a Veterans hospital in Long Island after being turned away for the help he was seeking. The 76-year-old went back to his car and shot himself.
According to another report in February, veterans seeking help on a crisis hotline were sent to voicemail for lack of resources. The calls were never returned.
In January, a VA official was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a patient in Tomah, Washington. The mental health employee faced seven charges of taking advantage of a vulnerable patient/veteran.
Conservative critics of the Veterans Affairs office have advocated for a free-market-based solution where those veterans seeking medical help would be given a voucher to arrange for their own health care instead of having to be funneled into the government-provided care. Shulkin has indicated that he wants to seek private industry solutions to the problems plaguing the care the government provides to veterans.