Abolish the VA

Hospital spokesman Jason Dangel said hospital officials view what happened as unacceptable but have implemented changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We feel that we have taken strong, appropriate and expeditious steps to strengthen and improve our existing systems and processes within the unit,” Dangel said. “It is our expectation that each veteran is transported to their final resting place in the timely, respectful and honorable manner. America’s heroes deserve nothing less.”

And what was it that spurred all these furled eyebrows and expressions of momentary concern again?  The fact a veteran’s body was left in a shower room for nine hours instead of being transported from hospice to the morgue.

We’ve heard these kind of statements before, whether it was falsified records keeping to make a facility look better in reports, to hiding documents by incompetent managers to, veterans being exposed to diseases because proper procedures weren’t followed… the list goes on and on.  Saying “this is unacceptable; we can do better” works the first couple of times.  But when there’s a pattern like this there’s no credibility left in the public mea culpas.

The Veterans Administration was made a cabinet-level agency  under Ronald Reagan, with the assertion that such status would improve the quality of care.  The reality is that it has just become another bloated administrative nightmare, with accountability sorely lacking.

As President-elect Trump looks to dismantle Obamacare (something I sincerely hopes he follows through on), he should also look at the VA — currently the government’s second-largest employer, and simply privatize the whole thing.   Give vets vouchers they can use at any medical facility, not just Uncle Sam’s.  Choice leads to accountability.  Monopolies (particularly government ones) do not.

Remember the saying: having seen federal public housing, why would anyone expect any better services from the government in other areas of life?  And anyone who was watching the VA should have known that Obamacare would be a disaster from the start.

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