VA providing classic example of just how socialized medicine doesn’t work

Obama signs the Veterans’ Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, at Fort Belvoir, Va., Aug. 7, 2014. The bill was intended to provide the Department of Veterans Affairs the resources to improve access and quality of care for veterans. (White House photo)

Thank goodness that after World War II the government did not open a bunch of Veterans’ colleges but instead provided the GI Bill to finance higher education for veterans.

Healthcare is another matter altogether.

In the summer of 2014 after learning of veterans dying while waiting to see a Veterans Affairs health system doctor, Congress doled out $16 billion to solve the problem. VA officials had been manipulating the waiting lists to make them look like vets were waiting less time to see a doctor than was actually happening.

A year later, The Associated Press reported that the number of veterans waiting more than 30 or 60 days for non-emergency care has largely stayed flat, while the number of medical appointments that take longer than 90 days to complete had nearly doubled.

In March the Government Accountability Office reported that it studied 180 veterans newly enrolled in the VA health system. Sixty of that 180 had not yet seen a health provider and “nearly half were unable to access primary care because VA medical center staff did not schedule appointments for these veterans in accordance with VHA policy. The 120 newly enrolled veterans in GAO’s review who were seen by providers waited from 22 days to 71 days from their requests that VA contact them to schedule appointments to when they were seen, according to GAO’s analysis.”

The analysis found that the system lacks a comprehensive scheduling policy and data weaknesses. In addition there were ongoing scheduling errors.

Nothing seems to change. A VA report in September found nearly 900,000 listed as “pending” for health care, but Social Security records listed 300,000 of those as deceased.

“This will not and cannot be the end of our effort,” Obama said when he ceremoniously signed the bill providing the $16 billion in additional VA funding. “And even as we focus on the urgent reforms we need at the VA right now, particularly around wait lists and the health care system, we can’t lose sight of our long-term goals for our service members and our veterans.”

As Investor’s Business Daily noted in an editorial: “In the meantime, however, the ongoing scandal at the VA should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks socialized medicine is a good idea.”

The bureaucracy is impenetrable.






25 comments on “VA providing classic example of just how socialized medicine doesn’t work

  1. Patricia Larson says:

    Someone forward this to Hillary and Bernie! …and Obama in case he hasn’t noticed that nothing has come of his ‘ceremony.’ (He could possibly care: all things are possible, even if not probable.) ~ p

  2. Patricia Larson says:

    Probably needless to say, my earlier comment was intended to be private, not public…and I would have preferred that public never happened.

    But, regardless, the treatment (or lack thereof) of too many of our service people’s medical issues is a national disgrace and, speaking from personal knowledge, the repercussions sometimes nothing short of tragic.

  3. Rincon says:

    Fact is, almost all other OECD countries have citizens that live longer than we do, and the post natal survival rate is higher as well. They all do this while spending 40% less than than we do (as percent of GDP). It is obvious that their health care systems lead to greater longevity for their citizens for a much lower price. It is certainly possible that the United States government, with its present duopoly and plutocracy, is unable to duplicate their feats.

  4. Patrick says:

    As of 2009, nearly 45,000 Americans died per year, because they lacked (socialized) health care.

  5. Steve says:

    Lack of socialized healthcare leaves 45,000 dead.
    Socialized healthcare (VA) leaves 300,000 dead.

    I like the non socialized medicine odds much better.

  6. Patrick says:

    Sorry Steve, made up numbers (especially made up by you) don’t count.

  7. Steve says:

    Sorry Patrick I should have been more accurate. It’s actually closer to 307,000 people.


  8. Steve says:

    The VA is a perfect example of socialized medicine.
    Lets apply this very same process to the whole country.
    After all, according to you libby peeps, the population is far to large and we need to “preserve” more “public” land for “future generations”.

  9. Steve says:

    And, Patrick, you probably didn’t have a family member die while on the waiting list like we did. Treasury sure is powerful, they took the money straight out of the account immediately after they found he died…..while waiting for it.

    Assholes and you are the perfect one they love to have suck on them.

  10. Patrick says:

    Couple of things Stevetard:

    The article I cited identified 45000 people that died in a single year due to a lack of (socialized) healthcare; the article you provided makes no claim regarding the period of time over which the people allegedly died due to a failure by the VA.

    Second, there is NO evidence, that those former military members, that died, EVER sought care through the VA.

    “The inspector general said due to limitations in the system’s data, the number of records did not necessarily represent veterans actively seeking enrollment in VA health care.”

    Third, the VA operates on a shoestring budget mostly due to the far right screeching to their constituents that we must “Cut Cut Cut” all spending, and “Cut Cut Cut” all taxes. Its really the perfect plan for that group of idiots; they make it IMPOSSIBLE to do the job that the system was set up to do by making sure that the system doesn’t have the funding it needs to do the job THEN they blame the system for not doing what they claim it is supposed to, all with the intention to get rid of the system so that it can be turned over to the private system that is set up to screw individuals at every opportunity.

    Fuckfaces, and you my fine retarded friend, are their wet dream.

  11. Rincon says:

    Whether the VA is a mess or not, Steve calls attention to the (alleged) exception rather than examining the rule. The health care systems of other countries give better, objectively measured results than ours while being far less expensive. If the VA is screwed up, it just says our government is less competent that those of other OECD countries. These countries prove that socialized medicine is workable. Unfortunately, such proof for capitalistic medicine is lacking.

  12. Steve says:

    Patrick is defending the indefensible.
    Rincon repeats himself.


  13. Steve says:

    Oh, Patrick, the VA is slowly and quietly admitting to their errors.

    And my family remembers how they treated us when he was waiting….but the VA was FAST when they needed to get his to the cemetery. 21 gun salute and the flag were gratis the US Navy who just happened to be there for another internment, the VA didn’t even offer that and he was active in the Gulf of Tonkin.

    So you may wish to be insulting with your powerful keyboard hammer. But you should know, it’s a reflection on who and what you are in real life.

  14. Patrick says:


    I tried to explain to long ago that I wouldn’t resort to name calling unless someone started it first. (Told Barbara the same thing repeatedly before she found it impossible not to insult me)

    But, you couldn’t help yourself, and now, like a small child, you start it, and now whine when you’re joined.

    Think what you want Steve, you’re an idiot. So, it doesn’t matter.

  15. Steve says:

    Again, the insults attempts “(especially made up by you)” began with you, Patrick.

    If you mean what you say, then apologize. Or continue to be the king of the sham plea.

  16. bc says:

    I’ll tell you about the VA. My son is a medical resident and as part of his residency he rotates though the VA where he lives. The lack of urgency and work ethic at that hospital absolutely appalls him. Nobody works, nobody tries to get anything done, no accountability. The University hospital and Children’s hospital that he spends most of the time are full of hard working, caring individuals, but the VA, not a chance.

    My family took a year long journey through a local cancer clinic here in Chicago three years ago. A lot of hard working, very caring, very smart people work there. I cannot imagine if my wife was a veteran and had to depend on the VA for her care, I do not think she could have survived.

    The issue of the VA is not a funding issue, it is a management and cultural issue.

  17. Patrick says:

    Since we seem content to give anecdotal stories about the VA, here’s mine; my dad (76 year old Navy Vet) has utilized the services of the VA in Cleveland for more than 15 years. He’s not a whiner, and he’s had two different surgeries, and receives regular if intermittent care through the VA and has never expressed anything but admiration for how he’s been treated. He did have to wait approximately 1 month to receive one surgery (can’t remember what it was but nothing life threatening) and he wished it would have been done sooner but it happens.

    However, EVERYTHING, is a funding issue, and in this semi-capitalist world we live in, the day this country invests in healthcare for veterans, like Steve Jobs does in his healthcare, is the day every vet, gets all the treatment they need, when they need it.

  18. Patrick says:

    To Wit:

    WATCH: Senator Destroys Republicans for Underfunding VA by $850 Million

    As I said, the problem is that there are some people in this country (the far right) that WANT the government to fail. They consistently work to ensure that government programs fail by nder funding programs, then they sit back as the people served by those programs suffer (some tragically dying in the process) then the right wing seizes on that “failure” and blame the system that they ensured was not capable of succeeding, then immediately claiming that “we” are wasting our money, and tha therefore these programs need to be cut even further.

    It’s truly heinous and only the willfully ignorant would believe.

  19. Patrick says:

    He’ll, there’s so many of them, let’s just throw in another right?

    Here’s from the Veterans themselves talking about what republican cuts to the presidents proposals would mean.

  20. Steve says:

    And the sham continues.

  21. Rincon says:

    Brilliant reply, Steve.

  22. Steve says:

    Patrick is the king of the sham plea, he owns it with those links to total left wingnuttery.

  23. […] was nearly a year after Congress doled out $16 billion to solve the problem of lengthy waiting lists. VA officials had been manipulating the waiting lists […]

  24. […] more than 90 days for non-emergency care has nearly doubled. This was nearly a year after Congress doled out $16 billion to solve the problem of lengthy waiting […]

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