Vets May Suffer from Sen McCain’s Latest Captivity

This just appeared in Beyond Chron.

Vets May Suffer From Sen. McCain’s Latest Captivity      

by Suzanne Gordon on August 25, 2015

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Earlier this summer, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had the chutzpah to question John McCain’s military record. “He’s not a war hero. I don’t like people who were captured,” Trump asserted, because of McCain’s experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In response, the Military Officers Association and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America leapt to the Arizona Senator’s defense. They demanded that Trump apologize to the still physically scarred former prisoner of war.

A similar public outcry is needed now by these same organizations to stop McCain himself from doing far greater harm to millions of veterans. At stake is the future of the whole Veterans Health Administration (VHA), not just the personal reputation of one man who served.

Unfortunately for veterans, McCain’s current captivity to conservative ideology has far out-trumped his past solicitude for fellow “wounded warriors.” On August 5th, McCain introduced legislation –The Permanent VA Choice Card Act -- that would seriously undermine the quality of care received by … Continue reading

Bezos Response to NYT Amazon article

18amazon-master675Today Jeff Bezos responded to yesterday’s Amazon article in the business seciton of the New York Times.  It’s pretty hilarious, like reading a memo from Stalin sent out to the commanders of the Gulag.  They should be kinder and gentler, how could this possibly happen?  I had no idea the prisoners were unhappy.  Who is doing this?  Not me!  LOL!

Amazon : Sadistic Boss, Non-Masochists Need Not Apply.

5fPv9jQI just read yesterday’s front page New York Times story on “Amazon’s Bruising, Thrilling Workplace.”  And I have to wonder, what is so “thrilling” about it.  The story portrays a cult-like culture in which workers are abused, forced to work brutal hours, ratted on by co-workers through a system of secret informing linked to the internal  phone directory, which “instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: “I felt concerned about his inflexibility and openly complaining about minor tasks.”)  Employees are encouraged to work into the wee hours of the night, without overtime pay, and may actually have to fork out money to pay for their own work-connected travel.

The article describes workers who are so harrangued at meetings that they are reduced to sniveling toddlers.  As one former employee described it, “You walk out of a conference room and you’ll see a grown man covering his face,” he said. “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”  What is even worse is that female employees were … Continue reading

We Need to Move Beyond Obamacare to Real Healthcare Reform

ObamacareI am not a right wing opponent of Obamacare.  Far from it.  But our new healthcare reform is simply not working as health reform should and has been a boondoggle for the insurance, medical equipment industry, big Pharma, hospitals, and some physicians.  If you doubt any of this read Trudi Lieberman’s excellent and depressing piece – Wrong Prescription: The Failed Promise of the Affordable Care Act –in last month’s Harper’s.

Here is another piece of evidence that highlights how this piecemeal reform is failing.  This story was posted on my friend Jon Flanders’s Facebook page.  Jon sent it to me and I asked him to write a bit more about it so that I could post it on my blog.  So here it is.  What he observed and experienced during a recent hospitalization.

“Nancy and I witnessed a heartbreaking exchange in the hospital today. My roommate was a 50 ish year old truck driver in for a double heart bypass. When he was informed that his procedure would be delayed he became very anxious and on top of worrying about his heart and his chances of survival began to worry about … Continue reading

GOP Attacks on VA Hurt Vets in Need

Just had this published in Beyond Chron

GOP Attacks On VA Hurt Vets in Need

by Suzanne Gordon on July 30, 2015

Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert A McDonald

Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert A McDonald

Any US veteran who depends on the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for their healthcare should check out CSPN’s broadcast of the July 25 House Committee on Veterans Affairs. For over two hours, Congressional representatives grilled the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert A McDonald and Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, physician James Tuchschmidt.

The level of hostility that Republican committee members displayed toward the VHA should give any veteran – and any citizen who cares about the fate of t he nation’s veterans – pause. It demonstrated how little Republicans – and even some Democrats — on the Committee — understand the complexity of VHA services and perhaps more importantly, what is involved in delivering healthcare to sick, vulnerable human beings.

The topic under discussion last week was the $3 billion dollar shortfall the VHA is experiencing and which threatens … Continue reading