Thursday, May 22, 2014

Understanding and Fixing the VA problem not the point of GOP criticism.

Republicans are always looking for the next hammer to pummel the administration with. So the recently reported VA deaths was a ripe area to exploit. While many are quick to blame Obama for everything, isn't it better to wait for the facts, and then decide what might be done to reform the system. We might even be able to rightfully blame someone.

That may seem like a stall, but it isn't really once you think about many of the reasons why this could have happened; VA's overwhelmed with patients, fewer doctors available, hiding actual wait times to impress the brass, and lack of funding due to Republican insistence that it be offset in the budget.

It's even more ironic for many Republicans, who want to turn VA care into a privatized voucher system, which would basically make it resemble ObamaCare. Didn't that supposedly failed?

Here's Chris Hayes and Bernie Sanders raising a few of these points in this edited segment:

Digby said it this way:
“I was forced to watch Fox for a while yesterday and realized that the burgeoning VA scandal is really about Obamacare, which seems odd, but makes sense when you remember they lie constantly about everything. The argument rested on the idea that the VA is a government program and so is Obamacare, and that automatically makes them useless. Now, when it was pointed out that they were very different programs and that Obamacare is basically just a bunch of vouchers to buy healthcare rather than a real government program like say Medicare…”
It’s worth remembering that some of the problems veterans are having right now have very little to do with the VA and a whole lot to do with American health care. As Phil Longman, author of Best Care Anywhere, noted in his own congressional testimony last week, long waits for services are actually pretty common in the U.S.—even for people with serious medical conditions—because the demand for services exceeds the supply of physicians. (“It took me two-and-a-half years to find a primary care physician in Northwest Washington who was still taking patients,” he noted.) The difference is that the VA actually set guidelines for waiting times and monitors compliance, however poorly. That doesn’t happen in the private sector. The victims of those waits suffer, too. They just don’t get the same attention.

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