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Protecting the Essentials

3:34 PM, Aug 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The big bill to reform Veterans Affairs will be signed tomorrow.  With, no doubt, much ceremony and patting of backs.  Washington has done it again.  Rescued the rest of us from … Washington.  

As Travis J. Tritten of Stars & Stripes reports:

Despite public outrage over dysfunctional and dangerously run hospitals, a landmark VA reform bill set to be signed Thursday by President Barack Obama will retain some department perks: Hefty bonuses for executives and other employees … allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue handing out up to $360 million in employee performance awards each year as it attempts to overhaul its health care system and ease chronically long patient wait times.

A question from outside the beltway:

If people earned performance bonuses of $360 million for denying care to those eligible and then lying about it and covering it up, then why preserve the obviously ineffective slush fund?

Other than the usual reason, of course, which is … that's just what Washington does.

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