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As I See It

Politicians should not be exempt from blame in VA scandal



As it turns out, there is plenty of blame to go around for the tragedies that happened at the Tomah VA Hospital. The problems of over-prescription of medicine at that facility was the site of a Congressional field hearing held in Tomah yesterday. That’s where the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released a comprehensive 376 page report that examines what allowed the seemingly well-known penchant for handing out drugs like candy to continue for so long, ultimately contributing to the deaths of three patients there. The report places much of the blame on the VA Office of the Inspector General, which although told of the rumors, failed to launch an investigation. But the report also lays blame with the DEA, the VA police and Tomah police. Clearly, this was a systematic failure. But the report fails to address the role politicians played in ignoring these allegations. There are reports that whistelblowers informed a number of politicians, including the author of this investigation, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of what was happening at the Tomah VA. They did little or nothing at the time, but now are trying to tell us that only because of their hard work are we finally finding out what really happened. It is good that we find out the facts, and finally come clean, but if we are going to come clean, we should come clean all the way. That includes the politicians who failed to act.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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