Let's give a round of applause to two whistleblowers for the VA.
First we have Dr. Sam Foote. He began trying to blow the whistle, but then began to receive some kickback in 2013 for doing so. When he tried to alert those within the VA of the scandal, he began receiving increased caseloads and harassed more and more. In fact, he had planned to retire in 2015, but changed his plans with the new treatment and retired in 2013.
Thank you sir for your sacrifice and service to our vets by being willing to cut your retirement short or maybe not even retire at all.
Then we have Dr. Katherine Mitchell. She had even more to lose being in her mid 40's. She also tried to reform the beast within as she claimed that veterans were in jeopardy in the ED and that suicides had escalated amid the shortage of mental health staffers. But as the case of any whistle blower in government, she to experienced kickback. She said at first she was transferred to another unit and then reprimanded. It was then she tried to write a confidential letter to John McCain to ask for help in her plight. Almost immediately upon mailing the letter, she was suspended indefinitely. She says that she felt Senator McCain had violated her confidentiality, and seemed indifferent to the plight of Veterans as he threw her back to the wolves. Ironically, the suspended her on the premise that she had violated the confidentiality of the veterans by writing the letter to Senator McCain.
Interestingly, Sam Foote also tried to contact Senator McCain, but with no avail. He too was ignored. Luckily, Sam turned to a nobody in Washington named Jeff Miller, a Congressman from Florida. It was he who started digging to try and help the veterans.
But did they receive help? Katherine Mitchell said that the problem is not enough qualified staffers to help with the demand. She said the scandal is the result of low pay and slow hiring practices.
So what did Congress do? They fired the Secretary of the VA, Eric Shiniski. Then Congress passed legislation to allow the future secretary more power in firing and demoting people in the VA.
???????? Why are the firing when the problem is that they need more help?
How did they help the situation? The answer is that they did nothing to remedy the situation, much like the handling of the IRS scandal. In fact, Dr. Sam Foote said that more than likely Mr. Shiniski was a good man who simply took the fall because he had been duped and overmatched by a monolithic, out of control bureaucracy.
To sum up, it seems that the only representation Americans have anymore are whistleblowers such as these heroic individuals who stand up to the machine. However, even if they are heard, which almost did not happen, they are still ignored.