Dateline, Washington, DC, 5/30/14 -- Our posting of 21 May 2014 in www.politicsofhealthcare.com stated that General Shinseki was "being prepared and prepped to take a fall." It can now be stated with reasonable legal certainty that the foreplay is over. The General has resigned. He has been sliced and diced, his head served on a platter to an irate public, while other problems with veterans outside the VA system continue to be buried in the avalanche of scandal.
Among these items is how a forensic panel reportedly altered the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for 14 formerly active duty soldiers in order to rescind their expensive PTSD retirement benefits. In our previous release on this subject (see reference below) we told how this diagnosis and its attendant retirement benefits were predicted to cost the government from $400,000 to possibly over one million dollars. So, in a process akin to Utilization Review for injured workers in California, akin also to the Independent Medical Review process in California, officials who did not interview or examine the patients were reported to have altered the medical diagnoses from PTSD to "anxiety disorder" or something else less expensive in terms of retirement benefits to satisfy fiscal demands (see Army's denial in NBC story cited below under references). Our opinion is that the PTSD benefits for these soldiers were sacrificed just as the veterans who were denied care were disenfranchised. Now that Shinseki has taken the hit, we can expect more self-serving outrage and maybe even prompt house cleaning at the VA. There is still time to see whether or not there are PTSD retirement benefits to other injured veterans at Madigan and elsewhere that should be restored lest they lose out in a smokescreen of retaliation against a bureaucrat who turned out to be out of his métier as the VA Secretary.
"Army releases findings of Madigan PTSD investigation," Rebecca Ruiz, NBC News, 3/15/13
"What we don't want is people making decisions based on money instead of care of troops," comment by Rep. Norman Dicks, The Weinmann Report, www.politicsofhealthcare.com, 2/26/12