Recycling The VA For Scandalous Purposes …

Government Health CareGovernment scandals du jour are sometimes media fodder and other times, almost ignored. Which, depends upon whose interests are being served, a more complex scene than usually appreciated.

Benghazi and the IRS misuse are duly reported but the responsible folk aren’t demonized as was Richard Nixon. The Obamafolks’ use of the Justice Department to lean on banks to deny financing to gun sellers and payday lenders was hardly reported. And the “VA scandal” is receiving the spotlight from all directions.

The curious side of this is that the VA, that dates back to President Lincoln, is no more nor less than a major U.S. government department that persists over decades, pretty much unchanged but for budgets, just like other government departments. Most of the time, it’s invisible unless you are a veteran pursuing medical care. But every few decades, it provides a new scandal, after which it subsides back to invisibility pretty much unchanged until the next time. Apparently, it’s handy for the media on occasion. A New York Times piece provides some context.

The Obama Administration we are told, has known of the conditions at the VA for years. Well, of course it did; the conditions date back many decades. Can you recall any big government bureaucracies that change much?

Time magazine wrote a feature in 2006: “How the Veterans’ Administration Hospitals Became the Best in Healthcare.” It concluded that the VA provided better care than most American hospitals. Time seems to have been selling government health care rather than reality, illustrating one of the characteristics of reporting on these sorts of things.

From what we can see, the VA has remained pretty much the same in reality, reflecting the fact that it is part of government and so answers to political rather than economic standards. That makes it bureaucratic and so cumbersome, inefficient, costly and generally, second rate; hot shot folks don’t work for bureaucracies. It uses rationing of care to compensate for the swings in demand imposed by wars when budgets fail to match. What else should we expect from government health care?

The President has replaced the VA boss, what else can he do? The new boss will shuffle some things and some people until the media lose interest, at which the VA will sink, unchanged, back into invisibility. Until next time. For now, Congress and the Prez are faced with enormous deficits plus the huge spending increase that is Obamacare. Where will more VA budget be found? Cuts to Medicare? Obamacare has already done that.

The military is shrinking for lack of money, Social Security and Medicare are in deficit, the public is tired of wars. The VA will soon drift to the back burner, until the next time. But have no fear, the Obamafolk and the media will not run out of crises, plenty of which will be scandals. That’s the new normal.





About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Government, Health Care, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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