Is the VA turning our nations veterans into drug addicts? This is the new charge being alleged. This puts the scandal prone Veterans Administration back in the news once again, but his time for a new undercover video sting by James Okeefe’s Project Veritas. In the undercover sting Veritas journalist talk to VA officials, some high ranking. VA officials candidly describe how they over prescribe our nations veterans strong narcotics that include Morphine, Oxy Codone, Ativan and other medications.
The video starts with an exchange between Dr. Maureen McCarthy, Deputy Chief of VA Patient Care Services, talking to an undercover Veritas journalist.
Veritas: “Is the over prescription thing like common with the VA?”
Dr.Maureen:”It’s common in the whole country”
Dr. Maureen: “Its not… you know what people think of as sick patients, so much. It’s people that have drug problems, some of which are caused by us and our prescribing.”
“We also look at the combination of patients on opiates like morphine and benzodiazepine like Ativan and Kolonopin.” interrupted
Veritas journalist: “Is that for anxiety?”
Dr. Maureen: “Yes that combination in particular is like candy for some people, its like they want it, they want it, they want it.”
In a separate encounter Veritas journalist spoke to Garret Patterson, President elect Association of Veteran Affairs nurse anesthetists.
Garret Patterson: “In general there has been an over amount of prescribing at certain VA’s”
“It’s not every VA but they’ve singled out….” interrupted
Veritas: “Allot of them?”
Garret Patterson: “And narcotics too. But see chronic pain…”interrupted
Veritas: “What specific ones?”
Garret Patterson: “Oxy Codon, Morphine, Dilaudid.”
Joe Soloman also a nurse from a Little Rock VA had this among other things to say.
Joe Soloman: “The VA does push pills”
Veritas: “Right like indisputably they did it all the time?”
Joe Soloman: “I agree with you.”
Okeefe and Project Veritas also spoke to the father of Marine veteran, David Cranmer. Bob Cranmer told Project Veritas in a sit down interview that his son was being treated for a back injury sustained while in the Marines where he served in Iraq. After a year of waiting to be seen for his back injury he was told he would need surgery. After the diagnosis he didn’t receive an immediate appointment to remedy his injury which is common in the VA system. Over a number of years, while waiting for his surgery, his son was feed an endless supply of pain pills, primarily oxycodone. After years of taking those pain pills he began forming an addiction. He then enrolled in a rehab program. David said his son was later diagnosed with PTSD and given more medications. The events led to David committing suicide.
Joseph Gougn a VA Contractor summed it up perfectly in his conversation with Veritas journalist.
Veritas: “What is with the VA and over medicating?”
Joseph Gough: “So it’s the first slide in my presentation.”
Joseph Gough: “It’s sick care not health care, right. Its administer, administer, administer. Instead of dealing with root structural problems, right, foundational problems, your state of mind, your social atmosphere, your quality of life, lets just medicate them.”
Veritas: “Not treat them?”
Joseph Gough: “Not treatment.”
The VA has consistently proven that it is not up to the task of caring for our nations veterans. As a veteran myself, I can testify to the frustration of dealing with the indifferent and time consuming bureaucracy. VA officials have been replaced, they’ve been fired, their agencies has been reformed, and reformed again. The department has even admitted to mismanaging billions in appropriations. This just proves that the only solution is a complete and systematic over haul in how we approach veteran healthcare. Lawmakers in Washington will move heaven and earth for every other group or plight to include non citizens while over 20 veterans commit suicide daily. This new video will only add to frustrations and a new call to action.