Tags: VA Scandal

Privatize the VA

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Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 12:31 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Combat veterans are learning the hard way they may cheat death on the battlefield only to find the Grim Reaper saving a seat for them in the Veterans Administration healthcare queue.

AP found an internal VA report “indicating that nearly one–third of veterans with pending applications for VA healthcare likely have already died.”

VA bureaucrats complain it’s hard to know if the vets were really “seeking VA healthcare or had merely indicated interest in signing up.” With the VA, it’s probably a good idea to get on the waiting list the day you graduate from boot camp.

The best part of being a VA administrator is as far as responsibility goes it’s an out–of–body experience. They read about mismanagement and incompetence in the newspaper and hear congressmen yelling at them during hearings, but none of it is their fault. The situation is unavoidable. And if we don’t get more money, the public will look back on these days and consider them the golden years for the VA.

The amount this time is $2.5 billion. For that additional money taxpayers can expect the VA to maintain the current level of animosity toward veterans and indifference to the welfare of the patient. Without it, welcome to Bedlam.

Sending money to the VA and expecting it to be spent well is like sending arms to Iraqi militia and expecting it to fight well. In Colorado the VA has wasted over $1 billion on a hospital that has yet to be built. Details on that fiasco and other multimillion dollar extravaganzas can be found by clicking here.

One thing you can be sure of is that after the VA waiting-list scandal hit the news head will roll. It’s easier to get volunteers for an Ebola vaccine test than it is to find someone responsible after a scandal. House Speaker John Boehner claims only two senior officials were fired in the wake of the long waits and falsified medical records outrage. (The VA might not be top shelf when it comes to treating patients, but it is expert at doctoring records.)

Not so, claims the VA! The number fired is double that for a total of four. But VA spokesman Robert McDonald assures us, “Veterans need VA, and many more Americans benefit from VA.” This is only true if you count the 312,841 employees covering the VA’s portion of the federal feeding trough.

A more accurate statement would be the employees depend on the paycheck and the vets don’t have a choice.

One innovative way the VA is dealing with lines of veterans waiting for care is making sure they never make the line in the first place. The Washington Examiner interviewed Scott Davis, a program specialist, who said one strategy to keep the waiting list down is to simply ignore applications.

Vets have a five year window to apply for VA healthcare after discharge. So the VA lets the paperwork marinate for half a decade and then informs the vet he’s missed the deadline.

By Davis’ count 34,000 applications were kept in “pending” hell.

Even if your paperwork does make it out of limbo there is no guarantee a doctor will see you now or ever. USA Today found Iraq combat vet Chris Dorsey who was turned down for treatment at two different Georgia clinics. And his “only remaining VA option is the medical center in Atlanta, more than 50 miles from his home.”

When confronted with this latest VA denial of service administrators contended it was impossible because Dorsey’s situation lies at the intersection of two VA buzzword initiatives: ICARE that stands for “integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence.” (Not to be confused with Apple’s iproducts that work.)

And McDonald’s own “MyVA,” which come to think of it may only mean he’s now the boss.

It’s time for the Vietnam solution: Destroy the VA in order to save it. Privatize the hospitals, give a generous severance package to all the paper pushers, let the senior executives make that fortune in the private sector we’re always hearing about, and give vets that qualify a card that entitles them to medical care anywhere they want to go.

Then the market and competition will take care of the vets in a timely and efficient manner.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.
 
© Copyright 2015 Michael Shannon.

 






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MichaelShannon
Destroy the VA in order to save it. Privatize the hospitals, let the senior executives make that fortune in the private sector we’re always hearing about. Then the market and competition will take care of the vets in a timely and efficient manner.
VA Scandal
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2015-31-30
Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 12:31 PM
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