Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trump Victory Gives Veterans Hope For 'Real Change'

by Steven Masone

The bureaucratic inept condition of the Veteran's Administration Department, that has become a national disgrace, will soon face scrutiny and a shake-up they have never seen before. President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to "Drain The Swamp" in this Department to the likes we have never seen. His proposal to let all veterans have their choice of using a new streamlined VA for health benefits, or opt out and have their healthcare paid for in the open marketplace, alone, will send the entitled minded bureaucrats into panic mode.  How that is going to change the landcape of this broken agency, is self -evident. Half of veterans who live too far away from clinics will immediately cut healthcare workers in the agency by 30-50%. ..SHIFTING THOSE JOBS TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

Donald Trump outlined a 10-  point plan to reform the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, which the President-Elect called a “very unfair system.”

He singled out mental health care for veterans as especially in need of attention, but also highlighted the multiple scandals and gaffes the department has struggled through in recent years. He called Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “the secretary of the status quo” and said he is the candidate Americans should trust to transform the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We need to clean up the corruption in government and Hillary Clinton will never be able to do it. She’s incompetent and has proven time and time again that she doesn’t have what it takes. Doesn’t have it,” Trump said. “Crooked Hillary Clinton, sadly, is the secretary of the status quo, and wherever Hillary Clinton goes, corruption and scandal follow.”

Included in Trump’s 10-point

 plan for reform at the Department of Veterans Affairs is a proposal to establish a White House hotline, to be answered not by a computer but by a human being, to field complaints about the department. The hotline would ensure that every complaint is dealt with, Trump said, and any issue left unaddressed would be brought directly to the president himself, so that he could personally deal with it.

Recalling Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald’s comment comparing veterans waiting for medical care to Disney theme park visitors waiting in line for rides, Trump said he would appoint a new secretary who would make it their “personal mission to clean up the VA.”

“And this will be a person of great competence,” he said. “This will not be a political hack.”

Two other points of Trump’s plan concerned Department of Veterans Affairs personnel, specifically the ability to fire and discipline them. The candidate pledged do everything in his power to remove federal authorities or managers who “fail veterans or breach the public trust.” Similarly, Trump said he would ask Congress to pass legislation that would allow the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs to fire or discipline any employee who puts at risk the “health, safety or well-being of any veteran.”

Trump balanced those points with one in which he pledged to protect the “honest and dedicated” people in the department and put them in line for promotions. In another point, the Manhattan billionaire said he would institute a system in which a percentage of any money saved as a result of an employee suggestion would be paid out as a one-time bonus to encourage streamlining of the department’s bureaucracy.

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