Friday, May 23

Government health care in action, part 486,735

You may have heard that at several hospitals of the Veteran's Administration--which is charged with providing health care for disabled or impoverished veterans of our armed forces--vets seeking medical treatment often had to wait six weeks or more to see a doctor.

That's bad enough--and a hint of how nationalized health care would work.  But even worse was how top management at many such hospitals responded to this problem:  Required by regulation to keep records of how long patients had to wait to see a doctor, they created fake records showing acceptable performance, while hiding their real performance records from the public.

They did this because the VA has a bonus system, and presumably wouldn't give big bonuses to hospital administrators whose facilities didn't meet waiting-time goals.

Is there anyone in the country who doesn't believe the practice of keeping fake records should be grounds for immediate firing?  The House of Representatives agreed, and this week passed a bill that would make it easier to for the VA to fire employees for on poor performance.  (Right now it's almost impossible to fire a government employee for *anything*--other than revealing incompetence or illegal acts to the public.)

The bill--the Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act--passed the House by a vote of 390 to 33.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that all the nay votes were from Democrats.

So now the bill goes to the senate, where a senator asked for "unanimous consent" to pass the bill into law.

In light of the VA's scandalous conduct you might think this would be unobjectionable.  But--Socialism triumphs again!  Bernie Sanders-- a self-proclaimed socialist senator from from Vermont who caucuses and votes with the Democrats--objected to the request for unanimous consent and insisted on holding hearings on the bill. 

The first hearing wouldn't take place for several weeks--enough time for the story to fall off the headlines and out of ten-day attention span of most of the public.

Sanders chairs the senate's committee on Veterans Affairs and has been one of the most outspoken defenders of the VA against charges of misconduct.

And here's the kicker:  When asked about reports of multiple deaths related to long wait times at the VA healthcare system, Sanders replied: “People die every day.”

That statement is of course true, but you need to understand the context to see what he really meant:  By flippantly remarking that "People die every day" this asshole was implying that any deaths were perfectly normal and that VA administrators and managers had done nothing that might have contributed to premature or needless deaths of the veterans they'd been hired to care for.

Ah, compassionate government in action.  Or rather, inaction.  And a glimpse of what government-run health care will be like.

Unless you're politically connected, of course.  Like members of congress.  Including socialist asshole Bernie Sanders.


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