The horrific treatment of our American veterans should go down as one of the darkest moments in recent U.S. history. How long has it been since we first learned about our men and women who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice being placed on waiting lists – and some dying before being seen? We heard the rhetoric about getting to the bottom of this, being disturbed, and guilty parties would be held responsible. So far, as we’ve shared here, only one person has been fired. A program was created for veterans to receive services at facilities of their choosing, closer to where they live. Sadly, the bureaucrats made it so difficult that our veterans gave up. And then the program funding was reduced due to lack of usage — typical.
But wait, it has not gotten better. As reported by Fox News, “The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over false records and long wait times wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs, The New York Times reported.
The VA also faces a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion, the Times reported in a story posted online ahead of its Sunday editions. The agency is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and other significant moves to reduce the gap, the newspaper reported. In the last year, the VA has increased capacity by more than 7 million patient visits per year, double what officials originally thought they needed to fix shortcomings, the Times reported. However, the newspaper added, department officials did not anticipate just how much physician workloads and demand from veterans would continue to soar. At some major veterans hospitals, demand was up by one-fifth, the paper reported.”
I have a simple recommendation: stop the incessant bonuses paid to VA bureaucrats and focus on providing services to our veterans. This is not a matter of more money — then again, that’s what every government agency will tell you – but it’s a matter of prioritizing care. And if this is a glimpse into what Obamacare will become — then “Katie bar the door.”
We should be examining how to incorporate veterans into local healthcare systems for their care, especially those in distant remote areas. And speaking of budget cuts, just look up the new VA hospital in Denver and the cost overruns it has encountered – that’s waste that could go to our veterans.
Now, let me add this little tidbit in as well. To my veteran brothers and sisters, we also have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and do our best to live a healthy life. I know there are many ailments and sicknesses that have resulted from our service. But, you guys, let’s watch the drinking and smoking. Let’s get out and go for walks and try to keep our cardio-vascular condition as healthy as possible. I’m not looking for folks to be PT studs but watch the type of foods we are consuming. Look, I still get up and do PT in the mornings and I do enjoy a nice Five Guys burger at times — not everyday though. Healthcare is a personal responsibility and we need y’all in the fight to encourage this next generation of warriors.
Read more: allenbwest.com