Friday, May 30, 2014

The VA mess, bonuses, greed, and the hopeless situation of our veterans

Resigned VA Chief Shinseki: his 
resignation is called for, but it won't
solve anything

So, Erick Shinseki has resigned. He had to go. He seemed, until almost the last millisecond, blind to the problems of veterans waiting for months for appointments. Or not getting them at all. Or dying while waiting to see a doctor.

How did he miss the scandal going on under his nose? Was he blind? Couldn't he at least read a newspaper in the morning?

Alas, like any good General, Shinseki listened to his field commanders. (in this case their equivalent are Veterans Administration managers) when he wanted field intelligence. That’s normally a good practice, based on the assumption that the field commanders are telling the truth. But when they start turning in false intelligence, a good practice becomes a terrible one.

Yes, we can and should punish the VA managers who lied about appointment times and did other egregious forms of book keeping to make themselves look good so they could get bonuses, even as American heroes died awaiting medical care. But simply jailing them all won’t fix the problem, which lies not in the VA but in America's tight-fisted, politically doctrinaire, fact-blind, self-aggrandizing Congress

The real reason vets weren’t getting the medical care to which they’re entitled, and which they’ve surely earned, is that the VA doesn’t have enough medical staff to treat them all in a timely manner. And the reason for that is that Congress won’t appropriate enough money to hire more medical staff.

Until Congress is willing to pay for medical care what medical care needs to cost, we’ll have VA managers without bonuses and we’ll still have American heroes dying waiting for a doctor's appointment.

The people who should really be punished at the penny-pinching agents of the Koch Brothers’ (and other political campaign “donors”) greed.

Yeah, that’ll be the day.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

I know personally, of one Vietnam vet, who still has ongoing issues from Agent Orange, who still goes round and round in this circle jerk and has given up on the VA, and got treated privately. I also work with an Iraq War veteran who would have had to wait so long for treatment from a hernia he sustained, during the war, and finally gave up and got treatment through his insurance from Obamacare. It is so disgraceful, that we were so willing to send our own people to war and then act as if they had no injuries. Thank you for this post but I am sickened that, if it wasn't for people like you, courageous enough to call these cowards out, so that our war heroes can get the care they rightfully deserve. Thank you Crank.