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The real reason Boehner wants to privatize the VA

John Boeher wants to privatize the VA, while Gen. Shinseki makes $200K, and the health-care industry donates $265 million to politicians [1]

Apparently the people at the VA don’t donate enough to politicians.

Gen. Eric Shinseki is in charge of the VA, and is a service-disabled veteran. The operation is immense.

one of the nation’s biggest health care systems, a far-flung operation that treats 6.5 million people a year at 151 hospitals and 820 outpatient clinics, with more than 18,000 doctors and an annual budget of more than $57 billion.

The need for care has increased with a surge in the number of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, coming on top of a population of aging veterans who were already straining the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Improvements in battlefield medicine mean that many service members survive with severe injuries that need treatment after they leave the armed forces….

Q: How big is the Department of Veterans Affairs?

A: The clinics and hospitals serve more than 230,000 veterans a day and deliver care in 85 million appointments a year. The 6.5 million patients treated each year include more than 757,000 whose military service began after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

via History and Context of an Embattled Department of Veterans Affairs – NYTimes.com [2].

And while heads of local Dayton health networks make upwards of $4 million, to run a much smaller operation- that claims to be a non-profit, and receives well over half of its revenue from the government via Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements- Shinseki makes $200,000 a year- doing his public service job for the taxpayer.

And while mistakes happen in all health care facilities, the latest uproar over delayed care or medical malfeasance has Faux News in an uproar, all medical providers screw up, get sued, lie, cheat and steal, that’s how lawyers make money in this country.

But, when Speaker John Boehner, who served 8 weeks in the Navy before being discharged for a bad back, says he wants to privatize the VA, one has to wonder why?

More than two decades ago, Boehner said he offered an idea that was controversial at the time: Why not privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs?

The idea was soundly rejected by veterans organizations.

Now, in the midst of a sweeping scandal over reports that veterans had died waiting for treatment, Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., said Friday that the idea still has merit.

“I still like the idea and especially now,” he said, but cautioned that “until we understand what’s happening and until we understand whether it can be fixed or how it can be fixed, all veterans seeking care shouldn’t have to wait.”

Boehner, in an exclusive interview with the Dayton Daily News on Friday, said he believes the problems at the VA are “systemic,” and said he is not convinced that having VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resign will fix the problem.

via Boehner wants to privatize the VA [3].

As a veteran who receives excellent care for myself- and my 87-year-old father, I can only come to one conclusion: VA officials don’t contribute money to political campaigns anywhere near as much as the people who run our private health-care system.

In the 2012 cycle- the health industry ranked sixth in all giving, donating $265,727,881. [4]

56% of the donations went to Republicans, not that it matters. The reality is, money spent on political campaigns by companies that receive public dollars should be banned. This means if you are a defense contractor, a health provider, any company that sucks on the public teat, you shouldn’t be able to buy your way into office with the taxpayers picking up the tab.

Gen. Shinseki isn’t the problem in the first place – if the idiots in government had listened to him, when he warned Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld that the numbers of troops to occupy Iraq would be in the hundreds of thousands and would suffer casualties, we’d have a lot less dead and wounded soldiers.

It’s time to hold Boehner and the rest of Congress responsible for a war that has bankrupted our country, a political system that is corrupt, and a media conglomerate that feasts like vultures on the only truly successful health care-organization in the country when it comes to providing care efficiently- the VA.

Thank you Gen. Shinseki for your service, as a general and as chief of the VA.

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Ice Bandit

…the year was 1998 and the Dayton Daily News was in full-blown, Barry Horowitz style back-patting mode. The inspiration for the self-congratulatory spectacle was the Pulitzer Prize awarded the paper for a series of articles written by Russell Carrollo. And the subject of those articles was mis-, mal-, and non-feasance at the nation’s VA hospitals. So like pedophile priests and financial derring-do at various charities, editors can unleash investigators every dozen years or so and uncover the same scandals at the same organizations. Fact is, dear David, the VA is a bureaucracy and the goal of every government department is the enlargement and self-perpetuation of said agency. So when folks complain that a bureaucracy, like the education monolith, isn’t doing what it is designed to do by educating kids, the Old Bandito responds that the education behemoth is doing exactly what it is designed to do, which is provide long-term and unaccountable employment to members of the teachers’ union. Presidents come and go, but the entrenched appartatchik need only weather this storm before reverting to past behaviors. But this is a problem that can be solved in an afternoon, merely by dissolving the VA, selling assets including real estate, and giving the money directly to vets by way of vouchers accepted everywhere from the local clinic to the Mayo Clinic. Or, we can wait a few years for the next VA scandal…

lollercats

serious derp going on in this post. wow.

joe_mamma

“And while heads of local Dayton health networks make upwards of $4 million, to run a much smaller operation- that claims to be a non-profit, and receives well over half of its revenue from the government via Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements- Shinseki makes $200,000 a year- doing his public service job for the taxpayer.” – DE It doesn’t bother me one bit how much the head of Kettering Health Network or my “private” primary care provider makes. The wait times for treatment/appointment at KMC and their doctors is most often measured in hours. Wait times are usually not measured in weeks, months and years. It is relatively routine to get an appointment the same day that you call for one. People don’t take government leader positions for the pay. They either want to “help” or they want the power. Besides Shinseki is a millionaire several times over so he’s not sweating the pay cut. When he leaves office he’ll go right back to being on the board of directors for several large corporations. Good work if you can get it. “And while mistakes happen in all health care facilities, the latest uproar over delayed care or medical malfeasance has Faux News in an uproar, all medical providers screw up, get sued, lie, cheat and steal, that’s how lawyers make money in this country.” – DE Faux News. LOL. Here are some Faux News links…. http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/23/politics/va-scandals-timeline/ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/26/veterans-appeals-leaves-wwii-vietnam-vets-without-benefits-for-decades/9448265/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/05/21/a-guide-to-the-va-and-the-scandals-engulfing-it/ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/26/opinion/thank-you-for-being-expendable.html?_r=0 “As a veteran who receives excellent care for myself- and my 87-year-old father, I can only come to one conclusion: VA officials don’t contribute money to political campaigns anywhere near as much as the people who run our private health-care system.” –DE That’s great that you receive excellent care. That doesn’t help those are not receiving ANY care at all. “Gen. Shinseki isn’t the problem in the first place – if the idiots in government had listened to him, when he warned Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld that the numbers of troops to occupy Iraq would be in the hundreds of thousands and would suffer casualties, we’d have a lot less dead and wounded soldiers.”… Read more »

John Ise

There might be a point to “what is the point” of the VA system. Why not put all veterans into the Medicare system that allows for public insurance but privately delivered…but why stop with vets…why not put everyone into Medicare and eliminate private for-profit insurance companies (that contribute precisely nothing to health care) entirely?

Pat Merris

David
I just got back from the VA a feew minutes ago after spending 4 hrs of my own time to find out why my provider Doctor wants me to jump through all the hoops I had been through many times before. My previous PA who was a Ranger in the service and was great, sent me for everything after he physically examined me. My new doctor saw me when she double booked two of us for the same time. I sat in a chair for 10 minutes while she entered data in her computor for a different vet. I felt that I was a bother to her and she did not care what any doctor before her had found she was going by VA policy recently handed down from the Administrator. Long story short although I believe in General Shinseky our problems are much closer to home. Directors saving money by keeping doctors who rubber stamp Vets to get them in and out as quickly and cheaply as possible. I have been to the patient advocate and filed a complaint, but I guess I’ll have to go to the IG and media.

John Ise

That guy John Ise has his head up his ass. Per the New Republic on privatizing the VA:

…Veterans health care is different—the story here is 100 percent ideological, and zero percent fiscal.

It’s not that big government foes are after spending less money on the VA, per se, or want to isolate efficiencies within its existing structure and ply the savings into building out capacity within the department. They instead want to spend more money on veterans by transitioning them into an entirely different, private-sector oriented system of care. This includes House Speaker John Boehner.

Costing out the idea of paying for veterans’ health care outside the VA system is a thorny business, both because the GOP doesn’t really have a score-able plan, and because of the methodological problems you encounter when you try to compare VA and non-VA costs per patient or unit of care.

But you can come pretty close. Phil Longman tackled the problem in the third edition of his book Best Care Anywhere.1 He cites a study published in 2004, undertaken before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which asked the question ”What would it cost to provide the same healthcare benefits as the VA using Medicare as the surrogate payor?”

According to Longman, “[t]he answer that came back was that Medicare would cost 21 percent more.”

(Another alternative would be to provide vets with fully subsidized, ACA-compliant insurance, but somehow I can’t imagine Republicans arguing that we should replace the tyranny of the VHA with the liberty-restoring ambrosia of Obamacare.)

The point is, Republicans won’t easily be able to disguise a “smaller-government” plan to voucherize veterans health care in the language of fiscal prudence. They’ll either have to propose spending as much or more money than Democrats propose on an unpopular plan, or appear to be completely unresponsive to the problems they’re claiming to be so incensed about.

And if the legislative response we’ve seen thus far is indicative of how the issue will ultimately play out, then Republicans will choose the latter.

joe_mamma

“Another alternative would be to provide vets with fully subsidized, ACA-compliant insurance, but somehow I can’t imagine Republicans arguing that we should replace the tyranny of the VHA with the liberty-restoring ambrosia of Obamacare.” – John Ise

Maybe Obama can give them a “waiver” that ALWAYS works. LOL.

Bilonzo Butweat

Total nonsense. I’ve been side-by-side in both systems. The difference is night and day.
…but only on certain things:
1. Wait times are rediculous in the VA
2. Doctor attitude is rubberstampish. The only ones with good attitudes are recent transfers who haven’t got a nice big wiff yet but will soon the exit train about 12 months in their career, leaving behind the underwear stains who cant qualify elsewhere.
4. The VA doctors will lie to your face, and you will see entries into your private record that are false.
……………..I would GLADLY sacrifice a lot of things if it would have gotten me off of VA. I cant move on quick enough. How many more lies and scandals do you have to see?