BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
IN 2006, CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O SAID RAISING THE DEBT CEILING WAS A FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP.
IN 2013, CHEAP WHORES LIKE MATTHEW YGLESIAS AND JASON LINKINS INSIST THE QUOTE HAS NO MEANING.
HEY, JASE AND MATTY, FOR THE RECORD, DO BARRY O'S PUBES TICKLE?
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Scott Alan McDonald died because of the VA. His widow Heather McDonald explained what happened to Congress this morning.
Heather McDonald: For 15 years, he served honorably in the
uniform of his country and was proud to serve as a UH-60 Blackhawk
mechanic and Crew Chief for MEDEVAC Unit. Bosnia, Panama, Iraq and
Afghanistan are only a few of the war-torn countries he dedicated his
life to changing. In his career, he experienced heartache, unimaginable
violence, death and the overall devastating effects of war. He saw
many of his fellow soldiers give the ultimate sacrifice -- narrowly
escaping many times himself. He loved his country and what the American
flag stands for. He was a brothers in arms to thousands of fellow
soldiers and a truly remarkable man that never met a stranger. Scott
had larger than life expectations for his children. And because of his
commitment and honor, in January of 2011, we married. On April 30,
2011, Scott's career with the army came full circle and he hung his
uniform up for good. He began seeking the treatment from the VA for back
pain and mental illness. The Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care
Center in Columbus, Ohio immediately started prescribing medications
beginning with ibuprofen, nurofen, meloxicam and graduating to vicodin,
klonopin, celexa, Zoloft, valium and Percocet. This is where the
rollercoaster began. My husband was taking up to 15 pills a day within
the first six months of treatment. Every time Scott came home from an
appointment, he had different medications, different dosages, different
directions on how to take them. And progressively over the course of a
year and a half of starting his treatment, the medications had changed
so many times by adding and changing that Scott became changing. We
researched many of the drugs that he was prescribed online and saw the
dangerous interactions that they cause. Yet my husband was conditioned
to follow orders. And he did so. On September 12th of 2012, Scott
attended another of his scheduled appointments. This was when they
added Percocet. This was a much different medication than he was used
to taking and which they prescribed him not to exceed 3,000 milligrams
of ibu -- acetaminophen, I'm sorry. Again, my husband followed orders.
Approximately zero-one-hundred hours on the 13th of September, I
arrived home from my job. I found Scott disoriented and very
lethargic. I woke him and asked him if he was okay? He told me he was
fine and that he just took what the doctors told him to take. At
approximately zero-seven-thirty, I found my husband cold and
unresponsive. At 35-years-old, this father of two was gone. I ask
myself why everyday. And when I ask the VA why more tests weren't
performed to make sure he was healthy enough, they responded by saying:
"It is not routine to evaluate our soldiers' pain medication
distribution." A simple "I am in pain" constitutes a narcotic and a
"This isn't working" constitutes a change in medication. I was sickened
and disturbed by their response and I decided at that point no one else
should die. I have no doubt that if the proper tests were being
performed on our men and women, I would not be here today -- because my
husband would be. I have no doubt that for thousands of the
soldiers that have fallen after coming home from war would be here
today. [Wiping tears] I'm sorry. As the silent soldiers and spouses of
our military members. we almost expect the possibility that they won't
come home from war. But we cannot accept that they fight there for
their country and after the battle is over they come home and die.
A study published last year in The American Journal of Psychiatry found that, "Among patients receiving care from the Veterans Health
Administration, death from accidental overdose was found to be
associated with psychiatric and substance use disorders. The study
findings suggest the importance of risk assessment and overdose
prevention for vulnerable clinical subpopulations." That study
was published in January of 2012. Does no one in the Veteran Affairs
Department know how to read? Clearly, they don't know how to take
action but are they at least literate?
Nine months before Heather lost her husband, a peer-reviewed, medical
study was published warning of what was taking place. Where was VA
Secretary Eric Shineski? Mismanaging again?
It has been one scandal after another under Shineski. It really is time
he resigned. Heather McDonald was testifying before the House Veterans
Affairs Subcommittee on Health -- US House Rep Dan Benishek is the Chair
of the Subcomittee and US House Rep Julia Brownley is the Ranking
Member -- as part of the first panel retired Air Force member Kimberly
Stowe Green, retired Sgt Joshua Renschler and retired 1st Sgt Justin
Minyard. Panel two was Dr. Pamela Gray, Claudia J. Bahorik, and the
VA's Dr. Steven G. Scott. The third panel was the VA's Dr. Robert Jesse
accompanied by Robert Kearns.
Kimberly Stowe Green's husband, like Heather's husband, should be
alive. He went in for back surgery. That's not usually life
threatening. But what the VA did before that ensured that it was.
Kimberly Stowe Green: My husband Ricky Green died as a result of
the VA's skyrocketing use of prescription pain killers. On behalf of
my husband, my self and our two grieving sons, I want to ask this
Committee to do all that it can to prevent other veterans from dying in
the same manner that my husband died. My husband died on October 29,
2011 -- at the age of forty-three -- four days after lower back
surgery. The Arkansas State Crime Lab and it's medical examiner
performed an autopsy and determined that the cause of death was mixed
drug intoxification complicating recent lumbar spine surgery. My
husband died because of the prescription pain and sleeping medications
that the VA and its doctors prescribed for him and dispensed to him out
of the VA pharmacy. In treating Ricky's service-connected back pain,
the VA doctors wrote prescriptions for the following drugs.
She noted the 2010 VA clinical practice guidelines have not been fully
implemented and they're not being followed. What does Eric Shineski say
to that? More to the point, what does US President Barack Obama say to
that? How many screw ups is Shinseki going to rack up before his
inability to do his job results in his resignation?
Kimberly Stowe Green stated, "Ricky survived serving in combat zones in
his over 20 years of military service but he could not survive the VA
and its negligent treatment of him."
Iraq War veteran Josh Green survived a mortar attack in Iraq and the
pain from the wounds led the VA to prescribe one pill after another --
he was taking 13 pain killers at one point. The result? The VA medical
treatment left him with liver damage and no feeling in his left leg.
(Heather McDonald noted her husband had Stage II liver failure but it
was "only discovered by the coroner.") That is awful and the VA owes
Green much more than an apology. But something else should be
registering. If it's not, let's note this statement from Green about
Percocet, "And what happened was, the more I took it, the less it worked
because my body became tolerant to it.
Do you get it yet?
Do you get the problems that are being created under Shinseki? The
problems that will cost millions to clean up and will be harrowing for
the veterans going through it?
You can't just dispense pain killers like they're Flintstone chewables
or candy out of Pez dispenser. This attitude was overcome long ago
everywhere except the VA. It's why former First Lady Betty Ford went
public and set up The Betty Ford Center.
When it comes to addiction, there may not be a more vulnerable
population than veterans. The reasons for that are they are taught to
mask the pain while serving and, as both widows pointed out, to follow
orders -- the following of orders often carries over the medical
treatment from the VA. The VA doctors are prescribing like it's 1947
and, as a society, we've never heard of pain killer addiction.
People in pain need help and need treatment. They do not, however, need
to develop an addiction because a bunch of lazy or quack doctors don't
want to do their job.
Under Shinseki, the prescriptions are killing veterans, yes. But also
under Shinseki, the prescriptions are resulting in addictions that will
have be treated years from now.
That's unacceptable -- from a health standpoint and from a taxpayer standpoint.
Shinseki is supposed to be on top of things. He shouldn't need a Congressional hearing to take action.
It was really distressing to hear Josh Green detail his objections to
the pills and how, when he would raise these objections, he would be
prescribed more pills.
Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran Justin Minyard suffered from chronic
back pain (tied to a 72 hour continues shift at the Pentagon, searching
for any survivors after the Pentagon was hit on 9-11). The existing
back pain was amplified by his later service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The treatment? Pills, pills and more pills. That's all the VA offered
him. He explained, "My life revolved around when is my next pill, when
is my next dosage increase and when can I get my next refill? At my
worst point I was taking enough pills daily to treat four terminally ill
Repeating, this isn't just medical malpractice with effects people see
and feel now, this is medical malpractice that is turning veterans into
addicts. That is unacceptable. Civilian doctors prescribing in this
manner risk loss of license and criminal charges but the VA just looks
the other way. The VA motto appears to be: "Addiction gets you out the
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