A VA spokeswoman, Walinda West, responded, telling the Huffington Post that the VA can’t subtract dead applicants from the list; thus, some may never have completed an application but remain on the back log. West also said that more than 80% of veterans who come to the VA
...have either Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or some
other private insurance. Consequently, some in
pending status may have decided to use other
options instead of completing their eligibility application.
Davis doesn't buy West's explanation, calling it "immaterial" and a "farce." He said:
VA wants you to believe, by virtue of people being
able to get health care elsewhere, it's not a big deal.
But VA is turning away tens of thousands of veterans
eligible for healthcare. VA is making it cumbersome,
and then saying, "See? They didn't want it anyway."
It is essential that Congress pass legislation to
provide the requested budget flexibility by the end
of July 2015. This is necessary to replenish critical
operations funding that VA had to reallocate from
other medical services programs to sustain Care in
the Community, after those funds were depleted....
if these program funds are not restored, VA will face
shutting down hospital operations during August 2015.
How much in taxpayers' $$$ does Slown want? $3B.
The VA's ongoing problems raise at least two issues:
Issue #1: The compact between veterans and the government they served must never be broken. That is to dishonor them and their service to the nation. What the veterans were promised, they must be given. However, the government is now discovering that it cannot fulfill the promise made efficiently or effectively through the VA. This failure requires redoubling the effort, irrespective of the cost. The contract and basic ethics demand that, even if doing so means downsizing the VA and contracting its services out.
This issue raises a second issue:
Issue #2: If the federal government can't run a healthcare program that's limited in scope neither efficiently nor effectively, these data would suggest that the federal government would be far less capable of running a national healthcare program either efficiently or effectively. For consumers, Obamacare is already causing premiums, deductibles, and co-pays to rise, doctors to leave their practices, and thus, waiting lines in primary care physicians' offices. Data indicate that the 80% of people who had insurance are now subsidizing 7-8% of those who didn't. But, here's the dirty little secret: 13-14% continue to remain uninsured. For the federal government, the costs associated providing healthcare are higher than originally predicted, causing the nation's deficit to grow.
The nation's veterans don't deserve to have to wait in line for days, weeks, months, and years to receive the healthcare they've been promised. But, who in Congress or the White House cares enough to do what's required to rectify this breach of contract?
However, that's just the warm up act for what's to unfold in the near future.
When the folks who now are on or in the future will be on Obamacare are treated in the same way as veterans are being treated by the VA today, they can howl all they want. The folks in Congress, at the White House, and over at the Department of Health and Human Services will be about as helpful as are the folks over at the Department of Motor Vehicles or Social Security Administration in delivering to them what the contract specifies.
So, learn the lesson now: Take your number, sit down, and wait patiently...your number will eventually be called. That is, if you don't die first.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Huffington Post article, click on the following link: