Excerpts from an Op-Ed by Congressman Gus Bilirakis with the hyper-optimisitic title, “Holding the VA Accountable.”
Good luck with that.
Earlier this year, a Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General report found “serious” problems with enrollment data for veterans seeking healthcare. The VA’s inspector general confirmed that nearly 900,000 military veterans have officially pending applications for healthcare. Of those 900,000, an estimated 307,000 veterans listed died before their applications for care were processed.
Our worst fears were confirmed by these reports. Our efforts to improve the VA have taken on a greater urgency. ….
One concrete example of how Congress intervened to provide relief to Veterans was through passage of the Choice program, which was enacted a year ago. The law was intended to ensure veterans had better access to care through the use of community providers; however, its implementation has been woefully inadequate.
Just last week, we held a hearing to examine how the Choice program has been implemented. The testimony indicated that too many veterans are still struggling to receive care in a timely manner, as the VA has instituted many procedural barriers and demonstrated poor coordination and communication in all aspects of the program rollout.
This shouldn’t surprise Bilirakis, who is the vice-chairman of the responsible committee in Congress, for crying out loud. Indeed, his own constituents, he admits, are getting the usual $#+ sandwich service for which the VA is well known:
These concerns have been echoed by many local veterans from the Tampa Bay, Fla., area who report continued delays and unnecessary burdens accessing care. They are facing egregious wait times and lack of coordination between the VA and local healthcare providers when attempting to even set up appointments.
We’ve already announced a much better approach that Bilirakis’s idea of more grandstanding at more hearings. (It’ll be great for his re-election, no doubt, but won’t do a Goddamned thing for the vets). We take the moment to restate our policy here:
Burn it to the ground. Close VA. Fire every employee, with the same ban on government employment that the PATCO payroll patriots got after their illegal strike. (The good ones will land on their feet in the private sector. The bad 90% — who cares about them? Not the vets they’ve made a career of screwing. Screw ’em back). Give the eligible vets access to Medicare, like seniors. Sell the usable facilities and the land they’re on to the highest bidder.