Are VA Scandals Becoming a New Normal?
In part two of our story, on VA scandals, we look at several bombshells that have rocked the VA the past couple of weeks. The first story is about a dentist in the Wisconsin VA. The dentist may have infected hundreds of his patients with HIV or hepatitis because he purposely diverted from VA standards. The next scandal we covered is out of Florida where it was discovred an indifferent staff of a VA hospice care facility left a deceased veteran in a shower for 9 hours. The biggest bombshell came from a report broken by USA Today surprisingly, which uncovered a VA hospital rating system. The rating system showed subpar hospitals across the country. The report also showed over 500,000 veterans were waiting over 30 days to be seen by a doctor, thousands were even waiting over six months to be seen. The USA Today Report showed there was a mixed bag of results over the past few years.
We're not saying all of the employees at the VA have nefarious intentions. The majority of the leaks have come from whistleblowers from within the VA. The majority of VA employees are good people. The problems are structural, and they empower the individuals who are nefarious or incompetent. From what we can tell, none of the employees involved in these scandals have been prosecuted or even fired for there malfeasants. There hasn't even been civil ligation. As a veteran, I find this disgraceful. A country that isn't up in arms about this has no business saying they stand with veterans. To make matters worse, there are elected officials on both sides of the aisle calling on President-Elect Trump to keep the current head of the VA. I don't think he plans on doing that, but the very idea is proof of how blind our leaders are to the problems facing the VA.
I think it's no secret I think this agency should be dismantled at the federal level. The savings from that should be block-granted back to the states so they can invest it into private health care funds that are managed by professionals. Let the states administer benefits to veterans through vouchers so they can purchase there own private health insurance policy. At this point, the VA only exist to serve a bloated and indifferent bureaucracy. Policy makers have often missed the obvious structural problem facing the VA since its inception. The problem is that the VA is big government health care. The program closely resembles the failed programs implemented in more centrally controlled economies in Europe and South America. The VA has had a long scandal ridden history. Primarily because they don't operate in the free market. Their customers have no choice but to patronize them even if they receive sub-par care. I realize my proposal is unlikely to be implemented for a number of reasons, but now is the time to push for some kind of real reform, or admit that VA scandals are the new normal.