While I am certainly not a fan of most things that President Obama does, on the surface at least Mr. McDonald appears to be a solid choice to turn things around. He'd better be ready to hit the ground running if he is confirmed for his work is clearly cut out for him.
I hope when he takes the reins he will quickly look at his senior level staff personnel and the Washington bureaucracy first, for as we have clearly seen, most of the corruption originated by edicts from the top. Secret lists and other unauthorized actions in a wide number of field hospitals don't just show up independently by themselves. They are usually top down policies with field personnel fearful of losing their jobs for non-compliance. And it is clear that most of the damage has been on the management and administrative side of the operation. With the exception of some corruption by medical personnel in high management places, the medical staff personnel work everyday trying to handle the needs of their veteran customers despite trying conditions and rules.
These workers at the lower levels are the ones who need their morale boosted. They are the ones who interface daily with veterans of service from World War II up to Afghanistan, and they often labor with a shortage of basic supplies, everything from snack trays to blankets, while the upper crust continues to buy furniture and fancy conference rooms and hold training junkets.
I wish Mr. McDonald well and hope that he can get to the bottom of the problems that have been ongoing for a long time. In all fairness to Obama, he didn't create the problems but he certainly did nothing to eliminate them. The culture of corruption needs to be swept free and good employees at the working level need to truly know that when they make recommendations for change, they are offering potential solutions, not asking to be disciplined. Let's get the VA under control so that it can be what it was meant to be: a caring group of facilities providing quality medical services and other veterans services for those American heroes who deserve no less.
Good luck, Mr. McDonald, and always remember what your priority must be: looking after the veterans of America, not padding the nest of administrative bureaucrats.