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Rachel Maddow’s well-researched piece goes way back to pre-Iraq War. She highlights what seems to have been a continuous undermining of General Eric Shinseki for speaking truth to power. He correctly estimated the number of troops that would be necessary to occupy Iraq to the dismay of his bosses. Soon after, Gen. Shinseki was no longer President Bush’s Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

President Obama picked Gen. Shinseki to lead the VA because of his stature and his fearlessness to buck prevailing thought in order to do what is right for the troops. It was evident then as many pointed out that the VA was antiquated and underfunded. In other words, political resolve was necessary, not only by a president, but by a Congress willing to institute changes and increased funding.

The VA budget has increased by more than 50 pecent since the president came into office. It went from $100 billion to $154 billion. Does that mean that throwing money at the problem is not what is required? Not so fast; the number of people eligible for VA benefits went from 400,000 to 918,000. That is more than a 125 percent increase in eligible recipients and counting. We sent thousands into unnecessary wars. Thousands were maimed. We are a lot better at keeping our soldiers alive than caring for them humanely when they leave the battlefield.

The VA was given an impossible task given its structure, funding levels, and most importantly the number of bodies needing its services because our leaders are fighting wars in a vacuum. They choose to forget that the fighters of those wars will need substantial care. To solve the impossible task, administrators likely fraudulently cooked the books to give a semblance of success. Of course the veterans ultimately pay the price with their health and their lives.

Rachel Maddow had a very prescient statement:

There is a modern American dysmorphia when it comes to veterans. We see things that aren’t really there. We tell ourselves that we are doing things that we are not really doing. We have a poetry in this country about our love and respect for veterans that is not matched by the prose of how veterans are actually treated.
Rachel went on to point out that Congress cut $13 billion from VA health care as soldiers were invading Iraq in 2003. Even as the war became bloodier and it was evident that it would be long-lasting, the claim in Washington was that no more additional resources would be required for the VA.

Ultimately the VA problem is a lack of resources. They will study it to death to avoid their ultimate responsibility. Conservatives will talk about privatization. Liberals in Congress will cower as they seek someone’s head on a platter. All will ask for the head of Eric Shinseki. But no one will tell Americans the truth. We love to send our citizens to war. We have no interest in paying the taxes necessary to take care of all the ills that come with war and the veteran that has experienced real war.

Originally posted to ProgressiveLiberal on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this (5+ / 0-)

    Shinseki was slimed up one side and down the other in posts yesterday.

    It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

    by chuckvw on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:00:17 PM PDT

  •  You speak the truth and so does Maddow (9+ / 0-)

    I am one of those disabled veterans that was blown up in Vietnam.  I am an old soldier now with many problems that have gotten worse over the years.  This is the same that will happen to my son and the rest of our sons and daughters that went to fight yet another useless war of choice.  The secretary should remain and the congress should have to answer why they have been screwing us for all of these years.  Veterans should be outraged at not only the chickenshit congress but for organizations like the American Legion for being such toads for the right wing to be dumbass enough to allow the privatization question to even be discussed.  Thanks for your diary.

  •  The only way to get to the truth (2+ / 0-)

    is for there to be a one time, time limited - say, ninety days - window for every VA employee to come forward and detail every fraudulent act they've committed in service of "making the numbers."

    Those coming forward should be granted amnesty from firing or criminal prosecution, but be be deemed unpromotable. It's going to be necessary to keep some folks with relevant experience to man the VA through the coming purge.

    After the ninety days a special prosecutor should be appointed, perhaps paid according the head count, a bonus for each and every VA official he puts into prison, mostly for the theft of their wages and bonuses by knowingly submitting false "numbers."

    Nothing less is going to get at the scope, and complexity, of the problem. And, of course, finally fund the VA according to how much it needs, not how much is left over in the budget.

    We could fund the whole effort out of a surtax on defense contractors, er, contracts.

    War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

    by DaNang65 on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:06:33 PM PDT

    •  Fantastic idea (0+ / 0-)

      In addition to your great idea all of the vet organazations should jointly call for a million vets to decend on Washington and not leave until congress opens the purse strings.

      Hey dumb dumbs, if tax cuts created jobs, we would have so many jobs that we would glady let the illegals come in.

      by hkorens on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:06:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OT but the embedding of the RM show (0+ / 0-)

    is not fun with all the commercials and I know that they have "fixed" it so that you probably cannot get them out.

    ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

    by glitterscale on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:43:03 PM PDT

  •  So-Called Vet Love? (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans always talk a good, patriotic love fest for "those in harm's way", "those who are risking their lives so you don't have too" & "support the troops, support the troops".

    However.......that's not their reality or the vets.  Republicans are the first to cut their benefits after they come home from their phony Republican wars.

  •  I remember watching Jim Nicholson, (15+ / 0-)

    one of the VA secretaries under Bush, telling a Congressional committee, "No, we don't need more money."  We all knew then what would be happening with a new war creating more vets -- and more seriously injured vets as improved body armor protected vital organs even while limbs were being blown off by IEDs. More vets, more limb injuries, more traumatic brain injuries, more PTSD.

    Love vets, support vets -- but don't pay for the care they need.  It's always been the same story.  Shinseki is a great guy, and Congress needs to listen to him.  

    And we all need to listen to Rachel Maddow.

    Remember. Bring them home. ● And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here … and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once -- Michelle Obama.

    by edsbrooklyn on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:13:01 PM PDT

    •  Kipling & Mark Twain (7+ / 0-)

      Kipling -" Hurrah for the life of a soldier" Tommy Atkins

      Twain-The War Prayer

      Then there is always "war is a racket" Gen. Buttler

      •  May-July, 1932 (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, edsbrooklyn, Arfeeto, gfv6800

        The Bonus March (May-July, 1932)

        And for a stuffed shirt, overly worshiped general of WW II aptly nicknamed "Dugout Doug" by his men . . .

        Civil War—better not have any bad habits . . . show your stump and " affidavits from friends and comrades in their applications to corroborate their disabilities and testify about their character and habits" to show you are "deserving."

        Take it back to iron men on wooden ships of the Royal Navy that had been press ganged into "service," came back with stumps and begged on the streets or just died. I've long read the novels, from Hornblower to Sharpe, set in that period and over the last twenty or so years seen an increasingly unpleasant reflection of that society in our own. Too damned often I've read in fiction or fact about that period of "gentry" and "nobility" and "privileged" and "corruption" and seen not what was long ago but what we were increasingly becoming.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:29:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The lessons of history (0+ / 0-)

          Like you, I have also read extensively about the British Royal Navy of the Napoleonic wars era.  I, too, am both struck and dismayed by the obvious parallels between English society as depicted in the novels of C.S. Forester and Patrick O' Brian and contemporary American society.  More recently, I became interested in the French revolution.  I'm even more unnerved by the similarities between the political and societal conditions of pre-revolutionary France and those that now prevail here.  Consider this paragraph from the historical novel, Scaramouche, by Raphael Sabatini.

          "Consider, after all, the composition of this France of ours. A million of its inhabitants are members of the privileged
          classes. They compose France. They are France. For surely you cannot suppose the remainder to be anything that matters. It cannot be pretended that twenty-four million souls are of any account, that they can be representative of this great nation, or that they can exist for any purpose but that of servitude to the million elect."

          Ring a bell?  

          George Santayana famously said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  How true. And how prescient.

  •  As a Vietnam Veteran, I can remember... (28+ / 0-)

    ... the days when Vietnam Veterans were shunned -- not just by the "peaceniks and hippies" as some would relate, but by the Republicans, the traditional Veterans Organizations (VFW, American Legion, DAV) and the VA itself which was largely staffed by WWII veterans who felt we had, unlike their largely WWII membership, lost our war!

    I was actively working on anti-war and Vietnam Veterans issues for many years after I returned from Vietnam in 1971.  It was lonely work as most Vietnam Veterans wanted to disappear rather than confront their problems or the hypocracy of their families and communities who expected them to come home "normal"!  We uncovered Agent Orange, Post Vietnam Syndrome (later named and enshrined into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), high veterans suicides and high incarceration rates.

    What's sad is that those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to face the same problems.  What was lost in the transition from Post Vietnam Syndrome to PTSD was the tie-in to fighting in an illegal and immoral war that was ambiguous in nature and did not have the support of the American people.  As the main common denominator between the Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan experiences, I would have to posit that our point back then has been well-proved, although it still hasn't made its way into the mainstream treatment for veterans with PTSD.

    The VA has many problems.  And there is no doubt that a full investigation of practices throughout the VA is necessary.  But while it is easy to say that the practices in Phoenix and Albuquerque are widespread and systemic, I would have to say they are more likely unique to a few regional systems.

    I've avoided the VA Health Care System like the plague since my early work with Vietnam Veterans.  I was lucky enough until recently to have excellent employer-provided health care and truthfully did not need the VA, which is often inconvenient to access.

    But 3.5 years of unemployment and rising blood pressure due to lack of medication led me back to the VA in January 2013 and I have to say that I have been pretty satisfied with my care. This has included mostly routine stuff, but recently I had a couple of things that really threw me off kilter, including a prostate related issue and cataracts.  Although I had some delay, from my perspective, in seeing a urologist my primary care team worked hard to push for an earlier appointment and my condition resolved within a month.  And I just had successful cataract surgery on my left eye, with the right eye to follow sometime this summer.  These services were not free, but during a time of hardship for me they were a lifesaver!

    And yes, veterans are -- as a group -- getting older and for those of us over 60, and particularly those in their 70s and 80s and those with serious conditions, any waiting period could be fatal and it may not always be obvious in the appointment-setting process just how critical an appointment might be.  But there is a process in place to work with an advice nurse who helps to determine critical need to be seen.  And there's always the emergency room.  For veterans who are enrolled in VA health care system and do not have other insurance, trips to a non-VA emergency room when necessary are paid for by the VA, as are ambulance services -- I know because I had my first ambulance ride ever in mid-April!

    And yes, it was President Jimmy Carter who began the reform of the VA health care system which recognized PTSD, established the VET Centers and generally made the VA a safe and friendly place for Vietnam Veterans.  And President Obama has made many reforms and improvements, albeit there's still a ways to go.  But things would have been much, much worse under President Romney (ugh! I shudder at THAT thought!)

  •  We discussed in Houndog's diaries, but in (8+ / 0-)

    addition to new vet with issues, there has been a large increase in Vietnam era vets with PTSD and Agent Orange issues as well.   VA funding was not equipped for these changes.

    See here for starters:  http://woundedtimes.blogspot.com/...

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:30:28 PM PDT

  •  As long as... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, gffish, jeannew

    the only folks screaming about this are dastardly liberals like Maddow and Bernie Sanders, our veterans will continue to be screwed over.

    This story needs to be properly told - yet another instance where NOT having a "liberal echo chamber" in the mainstream media hurts this country.

  •  Why does it take a scandal to figure this out? (11+ / 0-)

    Rhetorical question. I know the answer. It's the same reason Democratic voters don't show up at midterms. The same reason states and corporations don't fund their pensions. Out of sight, out of mind. Life is hard enough without having to pay attention to other peoples' business.

    It went from $100 billion to $154 billion. Does that mean that throwing money at the problem is not what is required? Not so fast; the number of people eligible for VA benefits went from 400,000 to 918,000. That is more than a 125 percent increase in eligible recipients and counting.
    If you increase the number of recipients by 125% and only increase the budget by %50 percent, how did we not see this coming? The efficiency gains required to reduce wait times while improving outcomes as your serviced population doubles are mind-boggling.

    Vox or 538 (or someone) needs to work this whole thing up into a data-driven feature. How has VA spending per capita (veteran) changed over time? How has VA performance (in terms of outcomes) changed over time? What policy changes have been put into place? What effects can we see from those changes? What were the alternatives proposed at the time? Did anyone see this coming? Who did? Who didn't? Why not?

    There's been so little analysis done that Rachel Maddow is the first to prominently note how hypocritical and shallow the coverage of this has been. Just knee-jerk reactions and appeals to emotion. And so far, it's all "SHOCKED SHOCKED". Seriously?

    Pentagon funding needs an independent ombudsman exclusively focused on properly budgeting for healthcare for veterans. If we go to war, we need to ensure that the resources are there for our veterans when they come back.

    •  One of the differences (4+ / 0-)

      was an amazing increase in the # of severely injured saved. I can't find the link. Bottom line, some of the most severely injured were saved and require much more care  than those who made it in previous wars.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:31:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (4+ / 0-)

        Instead of letting soldiers die, medical science can now save people with horrific injuries. With drugs, prostheses, surgery, whatever. And helicopters or ambulances take the injured to a decent hospital. In WWII, they would have died on the way to the hospital. Now they're saved, but it costs much more to fix them and keep them alive.

        "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

        by Dbug on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:51:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've never understood why so many vets are (14+ / 0-)

    Such hard-core Republicans - nobody treats veterans worse than Republicans, both while they're in the military and especially once they get out.

    "Jika Anda membutuhkan produk untuk meningkatkan kualitas hubungan seksual Anda atau membutuhkan produk obat pembesar penis!" - Bintangpasutri

    by Fordmandalay on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:39:11 PM PDT

  •  Buddy can you Spare a Dime? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missississy, gffish

    Listen to that old song. (Youtube has several)

    It was about the Great Depression but it speaks to most periods in US history.
    "I built a railroad/and made it run/Made it race against time/"
    Well, the railroad is done, the building's built, the war is won--you've been paid for your service so go away.

    My point is that veterans are yet another special group who should get special treatment but aren't getting it.

    Enough special cases.

    It's always the children/the police/the firemen/young mothers/inner city youth/mental health/etc. etc.
    Fact is, most everybody needs help at some point.  

    What we/they do not need is to compete with every other special interest in the country.  All any of the talk does is move money from one pocket to another with no general improvement.  
    Betcha any money for the VA will come out of someone else's meager benefits.

    "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

    by jestbill on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:51:01 PM PDT

  •  Why no discussion of DoD? (8+ / 0-)

    The ridiculous backlog at the VA is, in part, caused by the failure of DoD systems to communicate with VA systems.
    That's not a VA problem.  That's a DoD and White House problem.

    The 600 day wait time exacerbates the problems with those that have PTSD and other urgent issues.
    It seems to me that people are getting discharged from DoD without proper diagnoses and treatment plan.
    That's not a VA problem.  That's a DoD and White House problem.

    VA is a the end of the slop chute of issues created by DoD and failure of White House CIOs to architect systems integrations / changes.

    So, why the exclusive focus only on the VA?

    Why not focus on the DoD and White House - where the problems begin?

    •  The version of TRMS I saw at MSNBC (0+ / 0-)

      did cover that.  I didn't watch this one.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:45:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  how many new VA facilities did they build? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ginny in CO, gffish, dfarrah

    almost NONE

    Forget it, this is such a pathetic disgrace.  Our government wont lift a GODDAMN finger to get this economy back on track.  They don't give a DAMN about our veterans, about our families and about our lives.

    The VA should be spending over 500 billion each year for the next 10 years to provide REAL health care options to ALL of our veterans (like their GODDAMN SUPPOSED TO)

    Happy fucking memorial day!

    Be the change that you want to see in the world

    by New Minas on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:15:06 PM PDT

  •  The prize (5+ / 0-)

    goes to Jon Stewart montage of how the Government, in a bipartisan way, screws the veterans, starting with those who fought the British during the revolution. This is a looong standing problem and the solution, at least as far as medical care is concerned, appears simple, the politicians will not admit that single payer care for most vets will solve the waiting issue but it will. My advice would be Medicare, without copayment, for vets. This will provide a "private" release valve for the bottle neck. It will eliminate a good chunk of the administrative quagmire that complicates medical care for the vets seeking medical care and at the end of the day it may even turn out to be less expensive

  •  If the true cost of war were actually ... (7+ / 0-)

    paid, we would have fewer of them.

    We can have neocon glory wars only if we shaft the returning veterans.  Even then we go a trillion dollars in the hole because the Bush Administration kept double books.

  •  Vet care is bumper sticker politics (6+ / 0-)

    I've waited over a year and a half just to get some teeth pulled and a set of dentures made. I'll finally get them sometime in June for which I'm truly grateful, but it's been a year and a half for something that should take far less than 6  months much less going on 2 years.
    The congress and rubes in particular are in such a great big rush to war, but it's like abortion with these cocksuckers. PROTECT UNBORN FETUSES, BUT once born they don't give one rat turd if the cat drags the kid away to eat it.

    Jesus only performs miracles for people with enough time on their hands to make that crap up.

    by KneecapBuster on Sat May 24, 2014 at 10:19:00 PM PDT

  •  Shinseki was literally the perfect man for that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, Creosote, FindingMyVoice, jfdunphy

    job. So this is really kind of disheartening. I don't know who he could get to do better. Watched that segment when it was on.

    Obama is the most progressive president in my lifetime.

    by freakofsociety on Sat May 24, 2014 at 10:55:33 PM PDT

    •  I saw firsthand how VA hospitals (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou

      were rushing to re-paint and clean up the hospitals I was visiting when he came into office. Veteran friends of mine have nothing but praise for the care they are receiving from the local VA hospitals. Shenseiki can only do so much with his budget, and if the VA execs are covering up, then by definition the problem is not on his desk. The move to remove a competent executive smacks of Republicans trying to put their own guy in power at the VA. let's not forget how many vets got put into the VA system by Reagan, Bush I, and Bush the lesser. You don't see John McCain offering one of his seven or eight homes for homeless vets either. The hypocracy is galactic.

  •  what is unfortunately lost in this discussion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffersonian Democrat, jfdunphy

    is that the VA is very effective (and efficient) in treating those who manage to get into the system. Yes, tragically, the stress of underfunding creates crap like the current headline. This is the lot of social compacts that are unattended.  Try to imagine any fully socialized medicine model existing in the fragmented health care system that we have, and you will start to appreciate what the VA is up against.

  •  As usual, Rachel is right on point (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for avoiding the easy answers, Rachel.

  •  One more time... (9+ / 0-)

    A day after being challenged by a soldier on the Army's failure to provide adequate armor for vehicles used in Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld responded: "You go with the Army you have and not the Army you want or wish for."

    Apparently, that's the same philosophy these slithering war criminals applied to a Veterans Administration that would shortly be overwhelmed by the military victims of their excellent adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan — including thousands who, were it not for advances in battlefield medicine, would have died in the field.

    ... and a special shout-out to all the GOP short-pants warriors in their skidmarked Jockeys — now calling for Shinseki's scalp — who blocked and filibustered increased VA funding! With the trembling, stenographic, uncritical press as their chronic enablers and apologists, Republicans wave the fucking flag, wrap themselves in "our troops" and brand themselves 'patriots'. Every time one of these GOP frat-house generals bleats about the VA and calls for Shinseki to be sacrificed, the press coverage should clearly identify him/her as a pandering hypocrite... y'know, the Connect-The-Dots school of journalism.

    Scumbags... all of 'em!

  •  I am helping HD with pleasure on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sillycarrot, FindingMyVoice

    research and as far back as 03, some of us were raising Hell with the cutbacks... The CD I put out in GOTV actually showed examples of Bush and war hawks lying about their exit strategy and cutting funding as Rachel does here with 13 Billion upon invasion...   Congress needs to be held accountable for this mess as projection is so easy when one has lied their way into war and now sits with helping the veterans to do list right next to the mythical weapons of mass destruction.  We knew in 04 what would happen...Why didn't the republicans????

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

    by Vetwife on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:47:31 AM PDT

  •  Privatization begins with a manufactured crisis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sillycarrot, GreatLakeSailor

    Don't overlook the long term crisis created by austerity & failure as the justification for VA privatization.

    Watch what congress does following this fiasco. It will be classic good cop v bad cop theater if BOTH parities agree to outsource VA services.

    Remember, Obama, Rahm, Cuomo, Villagiarosa, & Duncan have orchestrated public education privatization with republican like  ruthlessness.

  •  To quote the author, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hkorens

    "We love to send our citizens to war. We have no interest in paying the taxes necessary to take care of all the ills that come with war and the veteran that has experienced real war."

    Pretty much sums it up.

    How many members of so called Congress have experienced
    REAL war ?

  •  This is not a criticism.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amygdalavet, jfdunphy

    I'm confused by the number of "eligible" vets going from 400,000 to 918,000 vs the half-assed budget increase.  What are we talking about here?  400,000 new eligibles?  Eligible since the wars started?  The numbers just don't make any sense to me and it's hard to discuss an issue with facts if you don't know what the facts actually are.

    I spend a lot of time bringing up issues to, well, pretty much anyone I speak with and I'd like to know that any numbers I cite I put into proper context.

    As a disabled Viet vet, I'm under VA care and have received excellent care here in NC.  In fact, the way it's run here, I believe, is an example of how single-payer care for all of us could work.

  •  Other countries that had easily as grave losses (0+ / 0-)

    in the massive wars of the 20th Century did not build something like the VA system. They built national healthcare systems. The idea that veterans needed there own special healthcare system is a direct consequence of there not being a healthcare system for everyone else. The solution is not simple, the usual state of affairs in this country, but it is clear.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:44:28 AM PDT

  •  This was an issue in 2004 when Shrub (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, Naniboujou

    ran for re-election against Kerry.  The Republican Congress had already begun slashing VA funding, in order to make their military budget seem smaller.

    I told my veteran Bush supporting Republican uncle I couldn't believe he would vote for someone so overtly screwing over veterans, but he was convinced it was a lie.

    The Neocon coup d'etat that stole the 2000 election neither paid for the wars they started or the damages to the military veterans they sent to fight them, much less the older vets from Viet Nam, Korea, and WWII.

    All while carrying a cross and waving the American flag.

    "Woe to those who make unjust laws,
    to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights
    and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, 
making widows their prey
    and robbing the fatherless."

    by Snarky McAngus on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:03:27 PM PDT

  •  Some Disconnected Comments: (0+ / 0-)

    First, the people I know who are eligible for VA care are quite satisfied with the care, and grateful for how much more straightforward it is than regular health insurance.

    Second, this brings back (infuriating) memories of an article I read shortly into the Afghanistan War, that laid out how many soldiers were surviving horrific injuries who would have died in previous wars. The way the article was written, I interpreted it to be saying that significantly more and better post-injury care would be required than ever before. However, Rush Limbaugh and his ilk interpreted the article to be saying the soldiers would be better off dead. Naturally this led to a complete suppression of how to provide better care for our veterans with brain injuries and multiple amputations, for fear that we might be accused of saying the soldiers should have died and good riddance. Thanks again, Rush, for all your help.

    Third, it has seemed to me that with this go-round of VA hospital problems, they are concentrated in states with a lot of retirees, who of course would be older and in need of more care anyway. Do I have this wrong? My friends and relatives who have liked the care they receive through the VA are all in the Northeast, not a popular area for retirement.

    For every occasion there is a song, and for every song, an occasion.

    by mww01833 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:28:32 PM PDT

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