VA scandals never end
By Mark Luedtke
Veterans Administration (VA) scandals are as old as the VA. I can’t remember a president who didn’t have one. President Obama knows this. He criticized President George W. Bush for a VA scandal. Despite the never-ending failures at the VA, Obama and his minions pushed the VA as a model for healthcare, via Obamacare, for all Americans.
World Net Daily reported: “WND has discovered that during his transition into the White House in 2008-09, President Obama proposed in his ‘Obama-Biden’ plan to ‘make the VA a leader of national health care reform so veterans get the best care possible.’”
In a representative piece quoted by Truth Revolt, Paul Krugman wrote with breathtaking dishonesty, “Multiple surveys have found the VHA [Veterans Health Administration] providing better care than most Americans receive, even as the agency has held cost increases well below those facing Medicare and private insurers … the VHA is an integrated system, which provides health care, as well as paying for it. So, it’s free from the perverse incentives created when doctors and hospitals profit from expensive tests and procedures, whether or not those procedures actually make medical sense.”
Ask Paul Krugman if he thinks Exxon should have a monopoly on oil and gas production, refinement and delivery, and he will undoubtedly explain why monopolies are always a bad idea. Yet, he claims a government monopoly on health care is better than a competitive system. Furthermore, the costs for the VA skyrocketed from $88.8 billion in 2007 to $123.5 billion in 2012.
This propaganda wins Nobel Prizes in upside-down world.
Obama played stupid when the news broke, like he had no idea of the problems at the VA, like he wouldn’t keep on top of the model for his signature legislation. He probably ordered the cover-up and counted on his accomplice press to keep it quiet.
And the cover-up continues. The VA initially admitted 23 veterans died due to long waits for health care, but the Dayton Daily News discovered, “The VA paid $188.7 million to resolve claims where the description includes ‘delay’ of care – including $64 million paid for 304 cases that resulted in death.”
That’s since 2001.
And the VA is rife with corruption beyond long waits including falsifying records and leaving the bodies of vets unburied in morgues for over a year. The extent of corruption is unfathomable to most Americans because most Americans work in the private sector, but it’s typical of socialist programs. We just don’t hear about it much with other programs because they don’t leave vets sick and dead.
Krugman concluded, “Yes, this is ‘socialized medicine’… But it works, and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care more broadly.” You can’t make this stuff up.
With every new VA scandal comes calls for heads to roll to fix it. These calls are misguided. Every socialized medicine system in the world has the same problems because the problem is inherent in socialism. Socialism can’t be fixed.
The root problem is socialism has no prices and no profits. The people in charge cannot perform economic calculation. Unable to do so, they can’t make rational economic decisions about providing their service. The VA could be run by the most intelligent, compassionate and experienced people in the world and it would still be terrible because those people wouldn’t have the price information necessary to provide an effective service. Instinctively, people at the VA know this. That’s why they outsource some of their care to the fascist, misnamed private healthcare system. While greatly perverted by government to the detriment of consumers, the fascist system at least has prices and profits. Economic calculation can still be performed, making the system less bad.
Unable to perform economic calculation, socialists make rational decisions that advance their own interests based on other factors, mainly politics.
Economist Ryan McMaken explained why government is obsessed with providing health care: “The reason for this of course is that by providing health care directly through VA health care and VA hospitals, government can more easily subsidize and favor certain corporations and other government contractors who provide drugs, equipment and services to VA providers. If veterans were simply given stipends, then the veterans themselves might choose the ‘wrong’ (i.e., not-politically-favored) providers.
“Consequently, the real constituents of the VA are the corporate providers of health care supplies and services, not the veterans themselves. So, who can be surprised when we find the veterans are being treated like garbage? … Any intelligent VA official quickly figures out how to thrive in that system.”
You might think Speaker John Boehner’s call to privatize the VA is good news, but don’t be fooled. As crooked as Obama, Boehner is playing politics, too. The Republicans controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress for four years and did nothing to abolish the VA. When out of power, Republicans pretend to support smaller government to win votes; when in power, they rule no differently than Democrats. Both parties profit from socialism, so both parties advance socialism at the expense of the people.
The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.
Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.