The VA – as currently conceived – should be torn down, blown up, done away with.
A new study co-authored by the reputable Rand Corporation finds the VA health care system…wanting. There are a lot of vets, many of them aging, who suffer from every conceivable malady including numerous life-threatening or chronic illnesses, and many self-inflicted problems. Many of them have psychiatric diagnoses and issues ranging from BS to severe PTSD, depression, and substance abuse. Before you rip me, know that I am a veteran and am very pro-military and pro-veteran. I do respect that a contract has been made with the members of our armed services and that contract should be honored, whatever your politics. Clear?
Those of you who read my contributions know that I have, to put it charitably, a great antipathy toward the federal government and most of what it does, which it does poorly. I have written to you all for years that the goal of the federal bureaucracy is to make itself ever larger – an instinct really – and that health care is the best way to do it. In the push for nationalized health care that has been active since 1991, and implied since 1965, the VA is frequently thrown up as a template for justifying a sort of universal Medicare. Consider the latest from this study:
- “The report finds that VA facilities cost twice the normal amount for public facilities.”
- “The findings also contradict the department’s claim that most patients are satisfied with the care they receive.”
- “At almost every facility visited, at least one leader interviewed mentioned that risk aversion and a reluctance to ‘speak up’ were a significant issue. . . .”
- “VHA providers are expected to see between 10 and 12 patients per day. In the typical fee-for-service care model in the private sector, it is common to plan for 24 visits per day.” Author’s note: Seriously folks, how many of you in the mainstream medical machine could get away with and pay the mortgage on seeing twelve patients a day?
- The VA can no longer deny that its problems, as outlined in this report, are deep-seated and systemic,” the statement continues.
- The statement added that the agency is “challenged on every level.””
Many if not most of us who have gone through med school and residency have had some involvement with the VA, and we know that they have some very fine people working for them. We also know that they have a lot of lazy-ass parasites on the payroll that are just marking time toward a pension. That is not a surprise characterization of the average federal worker.
The point? We are lying to our veterans just as both major political parties have lied to the voters for years about guaranteeing their health care. An ignorant, mob electorate, a bullying, presumptive media, and an opportunistic political class are pushing us toward being first de facto, and then formally, federal agents. That is and will be bad for patients, and bad for physicians hoping to retain a shred of integrity. The VA is punishing its own, and we’re told we should view it as a success to justify an expansion of government care. Want to fix this VA mess? Institute vouchers for vets to see private physicians, and to go to private hospitals, while dismantling the brick-and-mortar VA system. Maybe some of our veterans will find their way to a Direct Primary Care physician, and get the care they have earned.Tweet