Patriots: For over 25 years, your generosity has made it possible to offer The Patriot Post without a subscription fee to military personnel, students, and those with limited means. Please support the 2021 Year-End Campaign today.

After More Money and ‘Fixes,’ VA Gets Worse

Wait times are longer now than last year.

For veterans seeking care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, let’s just say that this year isn’t going to be any better than the last. Despite all of the promises from Barack Obama, Congress and unelected bureaucrats that the government would “fix” the problems with the VA, little to nothing has been done. Unless you count making things worse.

About a year ago, news broke that veterans were dying while on secret VA waiting lists. Obama promised that his administration would fix the problems. We were told by incoming VA Secretary Robert McDonald that “he would fire over 1,000 VA employees over the wait time scandal.” Yet the fixes and firings didn’t happen. Nope, we were lied to again.

Perhaps the VA simply needed more money to operate more efficiently. In keeping with the status quo for every government agency that is failing, Congress pumped $16.3 billion into the VA to give it some help — that after its budget nearly tripled between 2000 and 2012. How’d that all work out? Fast forward to today, and the results are pathetic. In fact it’s worse now than it was a year ago.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is facing a new crisis. The number of veterans waiting one month or more for care is actually 50% higher than it was during last year’s problems, and the VA is also facing a nearly $3 billion budget shortfall.

To address this continuing crisis the VA is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and “significant moves” to close the budget shortfall. It’s also considering rationing Hepatitis C treatments, specifically for those who are in more advanced stages of illness or advanced dementia. How’s that for veteran care?

On a positive note, doctors and nurses within the VA have handled 2.7 million more appointments than in any previous year and sent an additional 900,000 patients to see physicians in the private sector. With these numbers, what’s the problem?

The VA has seen a massive increase in veterans seeking care, primarily aging Vietnam vets and those who have returned from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. With this increase in demand for care comes a need for more doctors and nurses to provide the treatment that our veterans deserve. But according to many experts there is a shortage of doctors and nurses. In addition there has also been an increase in the cost of drugs and medication, and the largest driver of costs has been from patients seeking medical attention from physicians in the private sector. Thanks, ObamaCare.

“Something has to give,” conceded VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson. “We can’t leave this as the status quo. We are not meeting the needs of veterans, and veterans are signaling that to us by coming in for additional care, and we can’t deliver as timely as we want to.”

Why not? The VA has more money and more people, yet we’re supposed to believe that still more money is the answer? No doubt most Americans would rather see their tax dollars go to fund the VA’s operations than to most any other federal project. But the problem isn’t the lack of money, it’s the ineptitude of bureaucrats who don’t know how to properly manage the money or personnel that they have.

As Mark Alexander suggested last year, perhaps Congress should consider another piece of legislation to improve services at the VA: Make the commander in chief and all of his cabinet level appointees get in line for VA medical services instead of the VIP medical treatment they now receive. Let’s add Congress to that list as well. Can anyone imagine our elected officials and their staff having to wait like veterans do for treatment? We doubt that this will happen anytime soon, but if it could, we bet there would likely be some significant, real changes to the VA.

Meanwhile, ObamaCare was passed to give all Americans access to medical care and is funded by taxpayers. Yet it is unaffordable, unsustainable and un-American. It’s certain that within a few years, as ObamaCare grows and takes deeper root, all Americans will be on waiting lists to receive care. There will be calls for reform, to pump more money and people into it. But these “reforms” won’t fix the problem, either — because the problem is federal bureaucrats who insist on spending more of our dollars to increase their power and take away freedom from individuals. Need proof? Just look at the VA.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.