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282 TVs in a VA Closet and Nothing’s On

Thursday August 18th, 2016   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:41am PDT   •  

13057094 - a wall of old vintage tube televisions with wood trim The Department of Veterans Affairs has gotten itself into hot water with its Inspector General again, this time, for wasting over $292,492 to buy some 282 television sets for a new patient area in the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan that was never built, where the TVs were thus never installed. Instead, they have sat for over two and half years in storage.

The Daily Caller News Foundation‘s Luke Rosiak has the story:

Detroit’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital spent $311,000 on TVs that were never used and remain in storage.

The federal agency’s facility ordered the 300 TVs “because they had funds available,” which “may have violated the bona fide needs rule,” according to a new report from the department’s inspector general (IG).

Now, the TVs have sat “in storage for about 2 1/2 years. Further, warranties for the TVs expired.”

Detroit’s WJBK adds more to the story with personal interviews.

“You got a lot of homeless veterans that need help,” said veteran Robert Height. “To buy TVs and not use them, come on, we could have done something better with the money.

“There is a lot more that can be done. What’s more important -homeless veterans or TVs?”

That’s a good question, and other veterans interviewed by WJBK had some suggestions.

“For one thing, they can start off with some wheelchairs,” said veteran Earnest Smith. “I see a lot of veterans don’t have their wheelchairs. A lot of veterans have to be waited on, and water fountains that the veterans can use as they wait to see their doctor.”

“Basically the care here is more like a clinic than a hospital, I can get more help going to the DMC.” said veteran Larry Smith.

Imagine that. Veterans believe the VA should focus its priorities on providing medical treatment and disability accommodations to meet their health needs. The question remaining to be asked of the VA’s administrators is will they ever tune in to the reality show going on around them?

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August 2016