Friday, June 27, 2014

Congress Blows another Chance

Perfectly predictable.  That is the description of the incoherent, and inept US Congress's attempt to fix the VA problems.  Their solution: Throw money at it, the same as they have always done.

Then the Congressional Budget office throws the proverbial monkey wrench into the works: the current VA fix bill will cost a cool $50 BILLION!!!  Let's write that out: $50,000,000,000.

The response from Congress?  Also perfectly predictable: That can't be right!  Do it again CBO and get it right this time!  More wasted money from the over-taxed taxpayers!

Here we have Congress abrogating their responsibility to budget and appropriate money for the operation of the Federal government.

Congress doesn't get it.  

The answer, as we outlined in a previous post [ VSOs and S. 2450 - McCain-Sanders Bill to Improve VA Healthcare  ], is LESS, NOT MORE!

It is pretty much obvious to most of the American people that the VA has grown too large to be managed properly.  We say most, because also obviously, Congress does not get it, and neither do the Veterans Service Orgnizations. 
  • Hire only Veterans.  Exclusively!  
  • Eliminate all bonuses. Totally!
  • Close the treatment clinics.  Completely!
  • Lay off the doctors, technicians and nurses currently employed by the VA [including Psychiatrists, Psycholigists, Specialists, Pharmacists, Eye Doctors, Dentists, and so on.  Most of them.  
  • Fire the administrators of the VA Hospitals, and if there was malfeasance found in any of their actions, charge them in criminal court. 
  • Divest the VA of all of its unused real estate and office space.  Immediately.  
  • Turn the VA Medical Centers into long term care and rehab facilities.
  • Hire homeless Veterans to staff and care for the long term care and rehab facilities.  Train them and pay them for it, and charge them rent if they are housed on site. 
  • Issue all Veterans a Photo ID card which covers them for all medical, pharmaceutical, and lab costs at full medicare rates with NO Deductable.  
 Laid off physicians technicians and nurses will quickly find good paying jobs in he civilian market, as there is a shortage for all of them.  This will also reduce the cost of healthcare throughout the country.

The Veterans of this country deserve no less: Get more of the money applied to the Veterans as directly as possible, and place health care decisions in the hands of those Veterans. 

It does not require $50,000,000,000 dollars!  It can be done for 2% of that, and with the money realized by the divestiture of the real estate holdings, and stoppage of the rural health clinic construction, it can be done for less than that. 

But then, Congress knows no solutions to problems in government other than to throw more money at those problems.

Maybe what needs to be thrown is their butts out of office.

And perhaps it is time for the Veterans Service Organizations to have a wholesale change of heart, and stop playing the Government game.  They represent Veterans.  Not taxpayers, not lobbyists, not special interest groups, but Veterans who put  their butts on the line when it really counts.  Veterans deserve better from their organizations!


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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