Tags: Healthcare Reform | VA | Obamacare | Veterans | Phoenix

Inept VA Is a Bad Omen for Obamacare

By Michael Reagan   |  

I’ve always liked the phrase, “and then it dawned on him.” For me it creates a mental image of comprehension where awareness rises slowly, like the sun, and then bursts into illuminating the whole landscape.
 
I was reminded of this phenomenon when reading a National Journal column by Ron Fournier. The piece was a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger effort chastising the Obama administration for its lack of candor regarding the failure of Obamacare. (He also criticizes Republicans, but that’s to be expected from a mainstream media reporter.)
 
His case in point is the number of enrollees and the controversy surrounding a very simple question: How many of the newly enrolled have paid their first month’s premium? Fournier says Republicans cooked the books in their survey, but then follows by calling out Obama.
 
“Instead, the Obama administration has insisted beyond the limits of plausibility that it cannot obtain paid-policy numbers from insurance companies. They must think we're pretty stupid . . . This lack of transparency (from what President Obama promised would be the most transparent administration in U.S. history) undercuts the administration's "8 million enrolled" victory lap.”
 
That number is less than impressive for him. “The White House keeps changing the enrollment goals, including the percentage of young Americans required to make the marketplace math work. They must think we're too blind to see a goal posts shift.”
 
This critical eye that sees both GOP and Obama flaws is very rare among MSM reporters. But then Fournier proves that comprehension so far is in the very early, twilight phase. In an attempt to re-establish his progressive chops, he writes, “I want the ACA to work. We need to solve our crisis of the uninsured and bend the cost curve without undermining the choice and innovation that make the U.S. healthcare system unique.”
 
Fournier is not far enough along to realize this is impossible with centrally controlled government healthcare and what’s more I can prove it. The U.S. already has a pilot program of government healthcare that’s been running for years. It’s called the Veteran’s Administration and its hallmark is substandard care, periodic scandals, and bureaucratic cover-ups of the truth.
 
The latest scandal is at the Phoenix VA hospital where as many as 1,600 vets were waiting more than a year for first-time appointments with primary-care doctors and referrals to specialists often took more than 200 days. As a result it is estimated 40 veterans died while waiting for care and others were forced to join the crush in the beleaguered emergency room to get routine care.
 
Hospital management kept that accurate list a secret and gave fraudulent documents to Washington bureaucrats and elected officials that showed everything was fine and dandy at the government hospital. Then, with investigators closing in, management tried to shred the documents and began a cover-up.
 
That’s small-scale government healthcare at the VA. Expanding that type of centrally controlled, bureaucrat-dominated system nationwide and forcing the rest of the population into it is a recipe for catastrophe.
 
Obamacare can’t work, the flaws are part of the design and the VA proves my point. Let’s hope comprehension continues to dawn for Mr. Fournier.
 
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
 
 
 
 

© Mike Reagan

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I’ve always liked the phrase, “and then it dawned on him.” For me it creates a mental image of comprehension where awareness rises slowly, like the sun, and then bursts into illuminating the whole landscape.
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