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Where VA has taken veterans, Obamacare is leading all Americans
The Cleveland Plain Dealer ^ | May 20, 2014 | Kevin O'Brien, deputy editorial page editor

Posted on 05/22/2014 1:35:20 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The White House says Americans can't draw any conclusions yet about just how screwed up is the Department of Veterans Affairs medical care system.

Well, yes, Americans can. And if they have any sense — always a debatable proposition — Americans will.

One conclusion we can draw is an old, familiar one: No matter what the issue or activity, bureaucracy's first and strongest instinct is to protect itself in the face of a perceived threat.

Another conclusion is probably just dawning on those Americans with the wit to see it, because so very few of us have had a brush with a medical system of which government is the sole proprietor: Putting a government bureaucracy in charge of one's health is a gamble likely to end badly.

And yet, if Obamacare stands, that is precisely the gamble each and every American eventually will take.

There is no better predictor of the course of a single-payer medical system in the United States than the VA system, because it is a single-payer system.

If an enrolled patient needs something done, he or she applies to the government-run system for approval; waits until the government-run system is ready to act; accepts the government-run system's solution or, if dissatisfied, appeals to that same government-run system for relief. Because the bureaucracy pays the bill, the bureaucracy makes the decisions — when or if treatment will be given, and whether or not the patient has been well enough served.

In the VA system, it has recently come to light, scores of patients somehow got stuck on the second step of the bureaucratic flow chart: waiting. Their medical problems apparently were not deemed pressing enough to get them into a doctor's examining room.

Forty veterans in the Phoenix area alone died while waiting for care at the VA, it's alleged. It's further alleged that VA employees maintained "secret waiting lists" and falsified records — in some cases under superiors' orders — in an effort to hide the system's inability or unwillingness to do the work taxpayers should expect.

Whistleblowers at six other VA offices across the nation are alleging similar treatment — or lack thereof — of veterans. Supervisors are being placed on administrative leave. A VA undersecretary has resigned. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki professes to be "mad as hell." The president professes to be madder yet.

Republicans, being out of executive power, will rage and clamor. Democrats, being in executive power, will fume and sputter. "Reforms" will be enacted. "Safeguards" will be put in place. A few heads may roll.

But in the end, the bureaucracy will survive and set about restoring the illusion that it works for something other than its own preservation.

And the great triage — which is really what this is all about — will resume: A system with finite resources of money, time, talent and equipment will go back to deciding, on the basis of its own best interests, which corners to cut in which patients' care. The demand will always outstrip the bureaucracy's ability to offer treatment, so some will go without.

The VA system revelations are a scandal. But it isn't a scandal attributable to Barack Obama, nor to George W. Bush, nor to any specific administration. It is the scandal of a promise that will not be kept because it cannot be kept — the promise that a government bureaucracy will find a way to stretch limited resources far enough to meet infinite demand.

Americans who watch this story play out and fail to make the clear and obvious connection to Obamacare will be guilty of willful ignorance. The systemic flaw is identical. It's just magnified on a massive scale. Rather than making a false promise to treat all of the ills of a relatively few sick and injured military veterans, Obamacare has put the federal government on the path to taking responsibility for the medical needs — and the attendant costs — of the entire U.S. population.

Financial incentives and disincentives written into Obamacare will, if allowed to play out, wipe out first the market for individual health insurance plans and, not long after, the plans that employers buy for employees. The result — and this was certainly an intended consequence — will be a medical insurance system at first dominated by and eventually exclusive to the federal government.

The experience of veterans who get their medical care at the sufferance of the VA should be instructive to all Americans. The VA offers precisely what Obamacare offers: not a guarantee of treatment in time of need, but a guarantee of a place in line for treatment at a time of the bureaucracy's choosing. For some, that time will never come.

Bureaucracies rightly see people as captive clients, not as customers free to take their business elsewhere. (If Obamacare is allowed to remain the law, eventually there will be no "elsewhere.") So the place in line can change — or simply disappear — to suit the needs of the bureaucracy. Unless, of course, you "know somebody."

Put government in charge of health care and medical need will be well down the list of reasons for making any decision.

When abuses come to light, everyone will be mad as hell. But after a little window dressing, the same system, based on the same false promise, with the same deficiencies and the same impossible mission, will go on and on.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: deathpanels; neglect; obama; obamacare; obamacarefuture; vawaitlistscandal; veterans
It's actually up to 26 "alleged" sites now, and growing.

Many of us have no other choice. People in jail, prison, mental health facilities and illegal alien detention get immediate medical attention while people who willingly risked everything for their country and fellow man get shunted aside. Sound right to you?

1 posted on 05/22/2014 1:35:20 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obama knows precisely where he’s leading Americans - he’s a moron, but he’s read Marx and Lenin.

2 posted on 05/22/2014 1:44:21 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When obamacare first came on the scene, I said they will find a way to roll us over to that system.
Well this is the way he is going to do it, this was nooo surprise to him. He will just spread the love around, make it all one big system. same same GI

3 posted on 05/22/2014 1:47:39 PM PDT by easternsky
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What makes anyone think that government healthcare could possibly be better than private enterprise healthcare?
In the private sector there is competition and if you don’t like your doctor or insurance plan, you simply get different ones.

4 posted on 05/22/2014 1:47:59 PM PDT by BuffaloJack (ItÂ’s 2014 and muslims still own and profit from slavery and selling slaves.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
While this has been going on for a very long time and both parties share responsibility, it is fortuitous that it's becoming a national issue now.

Can you see the ads against Obamacare supporters in the House and Senate?

Still, I don't want to see Republicans off the hook either. Everyone in DC knew about this. Everyone.

And nobody has done jack about it.

5 posted on 05/22/2014 1:48:39 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Most people miss the true benefit here...huge upside for SocSec and Medicare/VA budgets as the life expectancy slides.

Most folks under 40 will cheer it on, and those that grouse will get some Groupons from the regime for student loan forgiveness.

6 posted on 05/22/2014 1:52:13 PM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; maggief; WildHighlander57; null and void; crosslink; LucyT

It appears that the VA scandle has exploded to Americans the danger of Obamacare that many of us have been pointing out since it was forced upon us !

We must remember to tie them together at every possibility

7 posted on 05/22/2014 2:33:57 PM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; All
"Where VA has taken veterans,
Obamacare is leading all Americans"

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8 posted on 05/22/2014 2:36:18 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Jack Hammer

People who apparently don’t know $h!+ from Shinseki about the detailed workings of a major Gov’t agency shouldn’t be involved with multi-billion dollar enterprises…

Besides, if their feigned ignorance were true that wouldn’t absolve Obama from responsibility, only emphasize his serious lack of Management skills & overall incompetence for the job.

9 posted on 05/22/2014 2:52:15 PM PDT by mikrofon (Founders BUMP)
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To: easternsky

How America Treats Illegal Aliens vs. Veterans
Michelle Malkin

5/23/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin

A government that fails to secure its borders is guilty of dereliction of duty. A government that fails to care for our men and women on the frontlines is guilty of malpractice. A government that puts the needs of illegal aliens above U.S. veterans for political gain should be prosecuted for criminal neglect bordering on treason.

Compare, contrast and weep:

In Sacramento, Calif., lawmakers are moving forward with a budget-busting plan to extend government-funded health insurance to at least 1.5 million illegal aliens.

In Los Angeles, federal bureaucrats callously canceled an estimated 40,000 diagnostic tests and treatments for American veterans with cancer and other illnesses to cover up a decade-long backlog.

In New York, doctors report that nearly 40 percent of their patients receiving kidney dialysis are illegal aliens. A survey of nephrologists in 44 states revealed that 65 percent of them treat illegal aliens with kidney disease.

In Memphis, a VA whistleblower reported that his hospital was using contaminated kidney dialysis machines to treat America’s warriors. The same hospital previously had been investigated for chronic overcrowding at its emergency room, leading to six-hour waits or longer. Another watchdog probe found unconscionable delays in processing lab tests at the center. In addition, three patients died under negligent circumstances, and the hospital failed to enforce accountability measures.

In Arizona, illegal aliens incurred health care costs totaling an estimated $700 million in 2009.

In Phoenix, at least 40 veterans died waiting for VA hospitals and clinics to treat them, while government officials created secret waiting lists to cook the books and deceive the public about deadly treatment delays.

At the University of California at Berkeley, UC President Janet Napolitano (former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) has offered $5 million in financial aid to illegal alien students. Across the country, 16 states offer in-state tuition discounts for illegal aliens: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. In addition, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and the University of Michigan Board of Regents all approved their own illegal alien tuition benefits.

In 2013, the nation’s most selective colleges and universities had enrolled just 168 American veterans, down from 232 in 2011. Anti-war activists have waged war on military recruitment offices at elite campuses for years. The huge influx of illegal aliens in state universities is shrinking the number of state-subsidized slots for vets.

In 2013, the Obama Department of Homeland Security released 36,007 known, convicted criminal illegal aliens, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. The catch-and-release beneficiaries include thugs convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and thousands of drunk or drugged driving crimes.

the rest of the history

10 posted on 05/23/2014 6:35:42 AM PDT by Dqban22
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To: Jack Hammer

Obama and the people he has appointed have one primary motivation -

destroy successful/comfortable people’s lifestyle.

11 posted on 05/23/2014 6:37:04 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: MrB
Having an eye problem, and needing to travel 2000 miles, I looked into the VA for this one circumstance. (After 44 years following my military service).

After filling out an hours-worth of paperwork, the VA answered me by mail saying, "You have too large an income for receiving VA benefits. However, if you'd been sexually attacked, or just returning from a tour in Afghanistan, you can appeal our decision." :(

12 posted on 05/26/2014 1:28:53 PM PDT by Does so ("Miranda Warnings" and loss of "Common-Law Marriage" = 2 Big Mistakes...)
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