A wake up call from Walter Reed

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Redhots, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Redhots
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    Redhots Member

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    Privatized Healthcare for the win!

    The irony, it kills me... of course i'm talking about the attitudes on this subject, and other related ones, from many people on this forum.

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/03/Weightmansubpoena/

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, after Army officials refused to allow him to testify before the committee Monday.

    Read complete coverage of the Walter Reed controversy.

    Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and subcommittee Chairman John Tierney asked Weightman to testify about an internal memo that showed privatization of services at Walter Reed could put “patient care services… at risk of mission failure.”

    But Army officials refused to allow Weightman to appear before the committee after he was relieved of command.

    “The Army was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the decision to prevent General Weightman from testifying,” committee members said in a statement today.

    The committee wants to learn more about a letter written in September by Garrison Commander Peter Garibaldi to Weightman.

    The memorandum “describes how the Army’s decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was causing an exodus of ‘highly skilled and experienced personnel,’” the committee’s letter states. “According to multiple sources, the decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed led to a precipitous drop in support personnel at Walter Reed.”

    The letter said Walter Reed also awarded a five-year, $120-million contract to IAP Worldwide Services, which is run by Al Neffgen, a former senior Halliburton official.

    They also found that more than 300 federal employees providing facilities management services at Walter Reed had drooped to fewer than 60 by Feb. 3, 2007, the day before IAP took over facilities management. IAP replaced the remaining 60 employees with only 50 private workers.

    “The conditions that have been described at Walter Reed are disgraceful,” the letter states. “Part of our mission on the Oversight Committee is to investigate what led to the breakdown in services. It would be reprehensible if the deplorable conditions were caused or aggravated by an ideological commitment to privatize government services regardless of the costs to taxpayers and the consequences for wounded soldiers.”

    The letter said the Defense Department “systemically” tried to replace federal workers at Walter Reed with private companies for facilities management, patient care and guard duty – a process that began in 2000.

    “But the push to privatize support services there accelerated under President Bush’s ‘competitive sourcing’ initiative, which was launched in 2002,” the letter states.

    During the year between awarding the contract to IAP and when the company started, “skilled government workers apparently began leaving Walter Reed in droves,” the letter states. “The memorandum also indicates that officials at the highest levels of Walter Reed and the U.S. Army Medical Command were informed about the dangers of privatization, but appeared to do little to prevent them.”


    The memo signed by Garibaldi requests more federal employees because the hospital mission had grown “significantly” during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It states that medical command did not concur with their request for more people.

    “Without favorable consideration of these requests,” Garibaldi wrote, “[Walter Reed Army Medical Center] Base Operations and patient care services are at risk of mission failure.”
     
  2. Redhots
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    6 pages about Al Gore's utility bill and not a single response to this.
     
  3. 90K
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    Yeah there have been, but under different post about Walter Reed. This shouldn't be just focused at WR in general but all military facilities where troops are recovering or being operated on due to injuries in any fashion.
    I still hang on the theory that BRAC was the reason the Army wasn't going to focus on sinking any money in a lost cause once it closed. One thing is that this very issue will come back again at some other facility.
    My opinion is that in the military you are allowed to transfer every 2-5 years depending on the duty and rank of the individual, in the civilian world it normally doesn't work like that unless you are a shitbird and get fired or quit. Thus accountability isn't a long term concern and more personal gain is. I'm not bad mouthing the troops that are in the middle of this deal because I served 13 years and know the drill. Hopefully this ordeal will go away and while it disappears the system will be overhauled for the better cause of the people it was to assist.
     

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