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Women and men who risked their lives and health in service to our country have more than earned our support; they also deserve our admiration and gratitude.
For the present discussion I would like to focus on the reciprocal commitment we should demonstrate to those who have put all they have, and all they may ever have, on the line for us.
Most of us have heard news reports of veterans who were forced to wait for needed health care. Treatments have been delayed—sometimes, apparently, until the veteran had died. It takes no level of genius, and one need not be a moral titan, to say this is wrong.
We should expect this situation to be fixed speedily. There must also be investigations into how the deplorable conditions at veteran’s hospitals developed.

It is my personal belief that, as tax cut mania took over the Republican Party and swept much of the country up in a “grow the economy by shrinking government” fantasy, many valuable functions of government were underfunded. Not providing resources for the care of veterans who did their bit is unconscionable—just as were many of the other penny-wise, pound foolish “savings” claimed by so-called conservatives.
As the economy slowly recovers from the supply-sider’s attempt to “revitalize” it we are already hearing claims that they want to carve away yet more waste, fraud, and abuse. Our most potent rebuttal may be to examine what has been “trimmed” in the past, and ask our fellow citizens, “Is this waste?”
The Republicans loyalty (fealty isn’t too strong of a word) to the interests of the richest .1% is obvious, but such blatant disregard not only for the rest of us but for veterans as well may help to temper any lingering appetite for tax cuts without limit.
I don’t think we should hesitate to “use” our advantage here, at least partially because the Republicans—having mostly created the problem themselves—have shown such gleefulness in exploiting their imagined opportunity.
Democrats do share some of the blame. Not only were some eager cheerleaders for the reckless tax cuts, all should have pointed at the spending cuts needed to match the reduced revenue. Both of those errors should be addressed at the highest levels within the party.
Major pain has been inflicted upon those least able to bear it so that the most affluent can have ever more. Anyone complicit in this grotesque abuse deserves to be exposed.

Author note: In the comments section I wish to avoid blaming the victims. We may have supported few, if any, of the “military actions” engaged in by our veterans—that shouldn’t reduce our esteem for them. The Republicans treat the military as if they were mere props, no need for us to do the same. If you feel that veterans are getting what “they deserve,” please feel free to write that diary—this diary is not that diary, though.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, weezilgirl

    If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign of weakness. President Obama

    by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sat May 10, 2014 at 12:29:15 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for the diary.. but funding is not (2+ / 0-)

    the only problem.   Underfunding and overworked is part of it...BUT where the money goes after funded is a whole other problem.   The Federal government allocates Funds to all the VISN groups and their needs and oversights.   The trickle down theory applies here for leadership unfortunately.   The top guy....then the Under Secretary...
    Then down to the VISN groups...forwarded on to the directors and when they screw up.. up the chain it goes again after the public outrage and inspector generals who have written up certain hospitals and clinics and then the VISN ( Veteran Integrated Service Networks) are supposed to report back up the chain..make adjustments and do all of this without making money for themselves  by a bonus program....That WAS started at the top.  Needs to go.   The whole idea of the bonus program is to save money ( supposingly) yet talk about your inequality in the workplace??????  The doctors, the janitors, the patient advocates, the nurses, the transportation people, clerks, you name it take Hell for sacrafices they make while the top administrators of that hospital line their pockets.   There is supposed to be guidelines under Title 38 but it is only as good as the VISN group.

    Precisely why you see some VA's functioning properly and others like crap in the wind.  The oversight and the follow up and the use and abuse of federal mandated funds once allocated or even the accountability of such.   Private sectors do this only more so , so privatizing is not the answer but accountability is.

    Thanks for this diary and watch this.   You will kind of see what is up.

    I was in the investigative video....  Follow the money.

    Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat May 10, 2014 at 01:02:05 PM PDT

    •  I'm sure you are more informed on topics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      relating to veterans than I am. I didn't serve myself.

      To whatever extent mismanagement or other misuse of resources compounds the problem, everyone responsible should be identified and the situation rectified.

      As I admitted in the diary, I didn't research this at all. It seems to fit with the butcher's axe school of budget trimming. Always the few, one percent or less, enjoy the advantages their current wealth gains them in order to get even more. I'm thinking of examples such as oil corporations making record profits while being granted subsidies even as home heating assistance programs for the less fortunate are slashed.

      If there are problems within the Veteran's Affairs department, maybe people should be allowed to seek assistance outside of it? If necessary a health insurance option might be added to the exchanges created by Obamacare? Certainly this would be funded by taxpayers, but we should be able to fix the problems within the current system if a lack of resources isn't the problem, shouldn't we?

      If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign of weakness. President Obama

      by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sat May 10, 2014 at 01:35:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are right of course ..and we have created (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Had Enough Right Wing BS

        more veterans than we can treat.  I appreciate and wish there were more of you out there wanting better care.
        I really liked General Schenski wanting an audit on EVERY single VA facility and clinic.

        Those exchanges would not work in areas where the State where the VISN groups are turning down the expansions.  The truth also is VA healthcare when done right is the best there is..... I have seen awesome VA's and those that just are buildings with no oversight.  The RW is playing games as you point out with props and blame.. They haggle over Cost of Living adjustments and budgets but the first to want to throw out the baby with the bathwater and point blame to our Secretary when the former administration is solely to blame for these wars and lack of oversight to begin with.  IF I were advising anyone in the VA system and I have been known to give unsolicited advice to the HQ..I would do exactly what Schenski is doing and then send an oversight team into facilities to make sure the IG's recommendations were followed up on.   I would fire and I do not mean administrative leave.. I mean fire people who had two sets of books.   This has been reported in Phoenix.
        I would work from top to bottom making change and adjustments to honor and treat our soldiers with the dignity they deserve.  

        This should not be partisan politics but it is and the right wing wants it that way.   When Miller was on there ( CNBC video)  spouting about how bad things were ( Chairman of VA House committee) he did not include his own backyard of right here in Florida.   #! in the nation for veteran healthcare.  and  not much oversight.   The congress, the president and the Secretary on down needs to shake things up to the point they have to do right.   STOP THE DAMN BONUSES.  Right now man can not possibly fix this problem....  Many veterans do not have the money to go to another primary care facility and you will find the ones denying ACA medicaid exchange  is hard hit.  

        Thank you for this wonderful post !

        Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sat May 10, 2014 at 02:11:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My thought about the exchanges (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          wasn't really intended as a permanent fix or replacement for the veteran's hospital system. More of a patch for the time until proper repairs can be done--and they must be.

          I agree that punishments should follow if some have neglected veteran's needs while enriching themselves. I wouldn't stop at terminating employment, either. If we're talking about theft, it should be prosecuted.

          Maybe I've had too many arguments with right-wingers about "pampered" soldiers in the past to see this objectively. Some of the same people who have benefited from the GI Bill, housing programs for vets, etc. have insisted that today's veterans have it too good.

          My genuine appreciation for the service of our military is probably mixed with a form of survivor's guilt; as I've said I didn't enlist. To me that is beside the point; if we are anything as a nation we have to value our veterans.

          I'm still honestly hoping that the Republicans are trying to score cheap political points based on a few isolated incidents of less than stellar management. I'll have to be convinced that the Veteran's Department has adequate resources and hasn't just "wasted" them. I can be convinced, but I'll admit it will be an uphill battle.

          If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign of weakness. President Obama

          by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sat May 10, 2014 at 02:50:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No they have not had enough resources (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Had Enough Right Wing BS

            but the lower levels HAVE wasted a great deal.
            We cannot have all of these veterans and wounded warriors returning and keep the same budget and less COLA's than in the past.
            The Obama administration has done more for the Veteran than recent administrations but the Right wing wants to get to him by any means nececessary BUT the people without oversight I have ran across are no better than the CEO's or the typical tea partier.  

            Pampered too much?  Wow I would have to back someone into a wall over that statement.   So they are pampered like the chickenhawk who  never sacraficed even a tip to a waitress much less stood on foreign soil?  

            Allow me to give you some advice.  Please try not to feel guilty for not serving,   Serving in the military is one way of serving.. Serving the veteran once he/she comes home is another.   We need to buckle down and support those waiting years for an appointment and we need to stop the backlog and find the root of the rot. The system is pretty complicated as it does not just have healthcare for the vet but on permanent disabled veterans, a benefit of Champ VA is for family members as well.. Also ,it is about jobs..
            There are many many veterans working at the VA.   Job loss would be horrible if the VA was dismantled or even put in private hands.   It needs a redo but the General has his hands full.   New policies should be implemented in a more uniform way of procedure and key again is oversight.   Bush did not give one thought of how overburdened and understaffed those wars would have on healtcare for veterans ...Not a  clue.  Can't have tax cuts and 2 wars going at the same time and expect quality healthcare from a facility running under the monies expected alloted from no wars or returning soldiers.    The monies that are given need to be inspected and audited.
            We have had so many things go wrong for many reasons but too much money and coddling was not any of them.

            Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sat May 10, 2014 at 03:07:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In addition to the reasons you include for (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              a continued VA, may I suggest that the people best equipped  to treat vets are other vets? I will never understand some of the issues (PTSD, for an obvious example) associated with the trauma which many who have served must deal. Where I might offer sympathy, one who knows these things first hand can empathize.

              I kid you not: on more than one occasion I've had to walk away from some jerk whose vehicle was draped in a flag and had multiple "We support the troops" bumper stickers, yet they insisted that the "current crop" of soldiers needed to "man up." They (and I'm talking about maybe half a dozen different people) used their "tough love" approach as a way of bragging about their own strength, bravery, etc. It wasn't very pleasing when I mentioned that I'm sure glad I don't need to rely on their support for anything and can't imagine they would risk their neck for a fallen comrade, whom they begrudge even normal care and assistance.

              I've always thought the care at VA hospitals was mostly very good, but I haven't informed myself on the topic at all; I figured my acquaintances were outliers among the Republicans and that most Democrats would do everything possible to keep the VA in tip top shape just because it should be. My congress critter will be hearing from me about that.

              If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign of weakness. President Obama

              by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sat May 10, 2014 at 03:40:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Vets helping Vets is good but some (0+ / 0-)

                ptsd and survival guilt has to get more intense therapy.
                There are also physical problems.   Vets do help vets in many areas but I know many vets who don't want to talk about anything and in the VA hospitals most or the psychologists ARE vets themselves.   When they do go to the VA they can intermingle with other veterans and regular hospitals just do not know how to deal with a severely ptsd patient.  The VA is bigger than just healthcare and it is worth preserving. Veterans relate to other veterans.   That is a fact.

                The republican chickenhawks don't have a clue and the democrats even if they did not serve have enough sympathy to provide....

                Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

                by Vetwife on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:25:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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