The VA: a big-govt spawned travesty, not a partisan political scandal
The Department of Veterans Affairs — formerly the Veterans Administration — started out with a noble mission: Taking care of those who sacrificed for our country. It has become what so many other federal agencies have become — a bloated bureaucratic mess that, for the most part, disrespects the people it was intended to serve.
I’ve seen and heard all kinds of propaganda from the Republican Party and its candidates trying to pin the mess at the VA on Barry Obama. (Our genius of a senior senator, Richard Burr, has decided to pick a fight with the VFW and DAV over all this.)
While I believe a lot of negative stuff can be pinned on Barry, this is not one of them. This three-part series from National Journal points out that the VA’s problems can be traced all the way back to the Kennedy administration.
I’ve talked with a number of friends and family members who have served the country in uniform over the decades about the latest VA hubbub. They’ve told me horror stories about dealing with the agency as far back as the late 60s. The consensus among the group seemed to favor the idea of scrapping VA hospitals in favor of vouchers to allow veterans to get treatment from private facilities close to their homes. THAT has GOT to be more efficient and cost-effective and compassionate than the current mess at the VA. Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL) is planning legislation similar to this idea. His bill will allow any veteran who can’t get treatment within 30 days of his request to see a private specialist of his choice at the VA’s expense. This is a great idea that ought to be passed and utilized as a starting point for eventually phasing out the VA altogether.
Some politicos are screaming for the firing of VA secretary Eric Shinseki. What will that fix? He is a political appointee. Appointees and presidents come and go — but the bureaucrats responsible for a lot of the messes and outrages perpetrated by federal agencies seem to hang around forever to make even more messes. It’s a systematic problem that can’t be fixed with a few cosmetic personnel changes.
5 thoughts on “The VA: a big-govt spawned travesty, not a partisan political scandal”
VA staff is all union.
Generals are not trained in managing union folks.
They are trained to lead Teams.
This is a predictable pattern for the so-called opposition to the liberal/left – when the going gets heated, bend over backwards to avoid blaming Obama and the left. I would remind you that Barry Obama ran for President criticizing the Bush administration’s handling of the VA. He has been handed a doubling in funding for the VA, yet the current mess is represents a historical low. Instead of wondering where the money went, you would absolve him of any responsibility, and you blame John F. Kennedy. Not even true leftist Ted Kennedy, but the one Kenney, gone from this planet for 50 years, who actually a conservative could agree with on occasion.
Shinseki is in charge. In the real world people in charge have to take responsibility. However, you and others want him viewed as simply a figurehead. If there is one thing you can count on in Barry’s administration, his appointments are not figureheads. They may not be doing what you might expect them to do, but they are definitely implementing Barry’s agenda. You can count on that.
Burr can be an idiot – like when he turns on the Tea Party, or has dinner with Obama. But not when he is calling for Shinseki’s resignation.
All in all, a disappointing post for what is usually a very good site.
Hmmm. If you read through my entire post and came away thinking that I am apologizing for Obama, you need to read it and re-read it a dozen more times. The point of the piece was to show that presidents of both parties have come and gone, VA directors and secretaries from both parties have come and gone, and the VA has consistently been a mess. Getting rid of Shinseki will not make one iota’s worth of difference in the performance of that agency. Raising cain about Shinseki right in front of an election is pure selfish political nonsense. The problem with the VA, as I said, is systematic. We need to free our veterans from that bureaucratic hell-hole and do what ever we can to ensure they get the best care possible.
OK, I’ll try one more time.
When Barry did his criticizing of the Bush VA, I guarantee you no noteworthy Democrat told Obama to knock it off, as Bush clearly cared for the troops with his heart and soul, and the VA had been a mess since John F. Kennedy. No way, no how, not ever.
So Barry gets doubled funding, says it’s a centerpiece of his administration, then as usual pleads ignorance when the VA only gets worse.
And then some of Barry’s critics say, oh,well, poor old Barry can’t really be blamed on this one. He didn’t really know what he was saying. Sure it was a goal of his administration – it’s just a goal too far…
I just want to point out – the left may be made up of some of the craziest single interest groups in the country, but when it comes to holding conservatives to a real or made up accountability, they fly in a formation tighter than any Blue Angel team (has Barry disbanded them yet?).
The guy said he would fix it. He did not. He could have recommended vouchers for veterans stuck waiting for care. He did not. Instead, he is sitting on a scandal that is horrific. He is incompetent. Everything he touches is the worse for it. Hold him accountable, not John F. Kennedy or George Bush or the “system” or anyone or anything else.
“…vouchers to allow veterans to get treatment from private facilities close to their homes.”
I honestly hadnt given it too much direct thought before these recent events, just in general…but my immediate reaction was exactly this…. followed by confusion as to why it hasnt been the default position all along.
Really, what did one expect, setting this big government solution up? Surely not that it would work effectively… 🙂
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