Watchdog groups are all over the Veterans Affairs these days and rightly so. Fraud, ghost schedules, poor care, unnecessary deaths, and overpaid employees are prescriptions for failure and the VA just keeps signing their own death certificate.
Fox News Politics yesterday published yet another VA fiasco. The Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, spent nearly a half a million dollars in taxpayers’ money on two robots and one lead laser extractor, neither of which were ever put into service.
The robots were ostensibly purchased in 2012, to move supplies throughout the facility; however due diligence was not done and the robots were unable to navigate through the facilities’ crowded hallways. The cost to taxpayers was approximately $410,000.
The laser lead extractor, which was leased by the facility’s cardiology department, went unused for approximately two years. The cost to the taxpayers was approximately $100,000.
All of that waste looks a bit like “chump change” compared to Wisconsin’s sister state of Minnesota where their Veterans Affairs Department paid out $2.3 million in federal stimulus dollars for a wind turbine that never worked. Yes, that was installed in 2012, too, when the Obama Administration was handing out stimulus funds to nearly every agency that applied.
Today, the 245 foot wind turbine in St. Cloud remains, literally, a shining example of one more thing the VA has gotten wrong. The Department of Veterans Affairs failed turbine project was included in a White House document touting President Obama’s executive order for “federal agencies to lead the way on renewable energy. ”
All of the monetary waste pales in comparison to the latest failure of the VA. This week, a whistle-blower at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA hospital in Illinois, contacted news sources with the horrifying news that bodies of deceased veterans have been left to rot in the facility’s morgue. It is alleged that the unclaimed corpses have been unattended and unclaimed for two months. One hospital manager said he would “try to figure it out with the funeral home.” He statement was a sad commentary on the entire VA system.