May 23, 2014
Responding to the ever-widening "secret death list" Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal, on of the Senate's leading liberals has not only blocked legislation aimed at fixing fundamental problems within the VA's health care system, he's also let little doubt to exactly how he feels of the accusation that scores of vets have died due to administrative cover-ups that have resulted in medical care being needlessly withheld. As reported by The Washington Free Beacon on May 22, 2014, Vermont's junior US Senator, Bernard "Bernie" Sanders, has effectively frozen in committee the Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act (VAMAA), which was aimed at giving the Secretary of Veterans Affairs sweeping power in clearing out bureaucratic dead wood.
In what many veterans reasonably take as adding insult to injury, the Green Mountain State's senator very matter-of-factly said in a CNN interview (via News Busters) earlier this month "people die every day," giving the distinct impression he was was making an attempt to downplay the 40 patients deaths earlier this month in the VA's Phoenix, Arizona facility.
Sanders is a self-described Democratic Socialist, but within the halls of Congress, he's officially tagged an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Despite never serving in the military himself and ostensibly because of his past and present support of the Democrat Party's liberal platform, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev) has rewarded Sanders with the chairmanship of the Senate's Committee on Veterans Affairs. As chairman, Sanders was presented all three pages of the VAMAA after it flew through the House of Representatives with overwhelming bi-partisan support. Reportedly, a mere 30 House Democrats voted against it.
Nonetheless, Sanders has elected to hold off on passing the proposal to Reid for a senate vote. Instead of the VA Secretary having the ability to dump department personnel with a history of poor performance, the hoped for legislation will have to wait weeks or months for Sanders to hold committee meetings to consider the bill. Despite both Republicans and Democrats agreeing that the VA is in dire need to reform, Reid was quoted at stating Sanders' delay is "not unreasonable."
While the 3-page game changing document tips the scales at a total of one half of an ounce, Obama's Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obama Care, is roughly 11,000 pages and weighs approximately 110 pounds.
Said the guy with a Senate Health Care plan...
In a recent exchange with CNN's Chris Cuomo, sparks flew as the CNN anchor held Sanders to task if the secret scheduling delays at the Phoenix medical facility led to negligent death. As Sanders attempted to get off that vein of discussion:
We know that people die every day. We don't know why they die. All right – anyhow, Chris, I don't want to argue that point until the cows come home. Here's what you've got: you've got a system that, by and large, I think, works reasonably well for veterans.