Friday, October 30, 2015

VA Scandal Continues, Vets Still Waiting, Dying

by JASmius

Barack Obama's political scandals always unfold the same way:  He reads about it in the newspapers, he's angrier about it than we could ever be, he pledges a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of it, time passes, he eventually reverses course and gives his Regime a clean bill of health, DOJ decides not to prosecute, the thorough investigation is closed, and that's that.

Barack Obama's policy scandals also unfold the same way: He reads about it in the newspapers, he's angrier about it than we could ever be, he pledges a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the problem, maybe a top head rolls, time passes, and nothing changes, because to actually reform this little slice of government-run single-payer healthcare would be to kneecap the Agenda and the Narrative, and they're far more important and vital than, in this case, veterans' lives.

Such is the case with the Veterans Administration, whose body count continues to inexorably mount:

Days after Hillary Clinton said that Republicans have inflated problems at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to make them appear more “widespread,” three reports point to shortfalls and mismanagement at VA facilities across the country.

The VA Office of Inspector General released three separate reports on VA facilities in Alaska, Illinois, and California this week that found insufficiencies at the locations.

The first assessment, released Wednesday, found that a veteran who could not eat because of difficulty swallowing experienced a delay in getting care at the Oxnard Community Based Outpatient Clinic at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in California. The patient later died.

The inspector general also found evidence of delayed care for hundreds of patients requesting consults at the facility. The investigation found that 548 neurology consults had been open for over thirty days, and nearly half of those were open over ninety days. Nearly two dozen general surgery consults were also found to have been open for more than ninety days.

The same day, the inspector general released another report evaluating operations at the Alaska VA Healthcare System in Anchorage. It found that one licensed health care professional at the facility had been caring for patients for six months despite having “expired privileges.” Eighty percent of new employees also had not received suicide prevention training.

The Alaska medical center failed the infection prevention assessment, as clean and dirty items were stored together in 75% of the patient care areas reviewed by the inspector general. The facility also had not corrected multiple physical insufficiencies that were identified as long as two years ago.

All of these various and sundry problems are not isolated, but systemic, and for the same reason as every other shortcoming of any socialized system: The incentives are not to provide patients the best possible care at the lowest possible price, but to self-nest-feather, do as little work as possible and collect as much in salary and benefits as possible, and cover up mistakes and omissions to evade accountability.  You can change VA Commissars and you can shovel money in unprecedented stacks into the VA's insatiable maw, but until the system is reformed - which is to say, until the leftwingnut Agenda and Narrative are challenged and kneecapped - the systemic problems are going to continue.

And yet that very reform is what Hillary Clinton considers to be the scandal.

The government-run, single-payer VA system doesn't work and is killing via malign neglect veterans right and left, but that's less important than putting over the fiction that "No VA = no veterans healthcare".  It's a page out of the Democrats' 1965 playbook, and shows how clumsy, obvious, and hamfisted are the Empress's blunt efforts to pander to the extreme Left that is the base of her party.  It was so bad, so pathetic, that she drew stiff bipartisan criticism, to where she had to walk it all back by the usual claim of having been "misinterpreted".

But we didn't "misinterpret" anything.  We knew, and know, exactly what she meant, and what that means for the VA: If Hillary Clinton is elected president, the best that veterans can hope for is that the government-run, single-payer system doesn't deteriorate further - a very poor wager.  To actually improve things, to affect change, means a change at the very top, in the Oval Office.  Such change can and will never happen otherwise.

And vets will continue to die at the cobwebbed hands of the VA.  Which is apparently A-OK with Hillary Clinton.

After all, she's got an Agenda and a Narrative to advance, whether or not she actually believes in it.

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