Thursday, April 24, 2014

American Veteran? Need Urgent Medical Care? The VA Often Can't / Won't Help You

Via Firedoglake, we learn from CNN that at least one VA (Phoenix) has two waiting lists, one real and secret, one fake and public. Many vets never make it to the head of the real list to receive care... they die before they do.

Having worked in various institutions in the Texas Medical Center (not including the VA) over a period of more than 20 years, I've known a lot of VA employees... clinicians and researchers, medical staff and support staff. Virtually every one I've talked to voices frustration, usually quietly for fear of their jobs, at the managerial and political malfeasance that ultimately leads to results such as those in Phoenix. It is not the fault of the medical and research staffers; they're doing everything they can to make it work. But it's a herculean effort in the face of insurmountable barriers.

He survived the IED.
Will he survive the PTSD?
How about the VA?
The political obstacles are often overwhelming. When not only Republican administrations such as the deplorable Bush 43 administration but also Democratic administrations such as Obama's insist on involvement in multiple simultaneously active wars and practices that lead to long-term disability in huge numbers of troops after their service in those multiple wars, coupled with elected executive-branch officials (Cheney, for instance) who themselves have "other priorities" than military service and thus have no goddamned clue what combat in today's wars can lead to for individual troops... when you face and unsuccessfully attempt to deal with both of those phenomena... you end up with a view at the highest levels that troops sent into combat are, in a word, disposable, and there is no hesitation in disposing of them when they come back home in a state of utter medical ruin.

This is not right. Not right at all. All presidential administrations from Ronald Reagan's forward through the present one should be ashamed of themselves.


  1. The situation got much better under the Clinton administration. The VA's medical records system was completely overhauled and became state of the art, waiting lists and backlogs were cut back to levels not seen since the Carter administration, and the system became much more responsive. Alas, the Busheviks overloaded the system with their elective wars overseas while at the same time cutting the VA, and the Obamabots did much the same by continuing those wars and not pushing for increased VA funding, so here we are.

    That said, what this Phoenix VA is doing is criminal. People need to go to jail, starting with the head of the hospital. I doubt it will happen though. Veterans seem to be disposable now that the draft is ended and only "those" people join the military -- you know, "those" people, backwoods crackers, spics, darkies, people who aren't "real" people? Sigh....

    1. You are right, 'tux; I should have exempted the Clinton administration from my sweeping accusation. Indeed, during his administration, I considered applying for a position at the VA, but I was too close to vesting in retirement at UT, and the VA imposes some real second-class-citizen stuff on employees who have not served in the military. (You know the leg I recently lost? Well, the other leg was long since seriously damaged. I was ineligible. Not that I was sorry about that...)

      As for the Bushistas, what they did to returning American troops, especially those with service-related injuries, was criminal, and I wish I could say Obama has done much better, but I don't see that he has. That sucks, IMHO.



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