The problem with the U.S. Veterans Affairs giving inferior and delayed care to veterans is a good window into the future of Obamacare. Both the VA and Obamacare suffer the endemic problems of a government-run single-payer system (aka socialism) -- no choice of doctors or hospitals, no insurance companies, broken promises, lengthy waits and bureaucratic cover-ups.
Before President Barack Obama was elected, we were assured by experts writing in the mainstream media that the VA was a U.S. health care leader and a model for the country. The New York Times oracle Paul Krugman wrote in 2011, "Yes, this is 'socialized medicine,' but it works, and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care more broadly."
Obama made a lot of big campaign promises about the VA to reassure veterans. The VA scandal is now embarrassing front-page news that he can't ignore, but he continues to pretend that there is no systemic problem in the VA system. more >>
Conservatives are arguing that the current scandal involving Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals supports their view that the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," will not work well. Liberals counter that the VA scandal involves isolated incidents; with better management and more resources VA hospitals can provide a shining example of government run healthcare.
The current VA scandal, still developing, first became news when a Phoenix, Arizona, newspaper revealed that 40 veterans died while on a long wait list at a VA hospital. Further investigations uncovered that documents had been forged to conceal the problems and administrators at the hospital were given performance bonuses. The investigation has now expanded to 26 VA facilities suspected of providing false information about patient wait times.
The scandal provides a window into the future of government run healthcare under the ACA, some conservatives have argued. more >>
A medical doctor working at Phoenix Veteran Affairs' post-deployment clinic has revealed that even seriously injured Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are being forced to wait for months to receive the care that they need despite a national mandate giving them priority access.
"People that are 100% service-connected that are polytrauma were waiting anywhere from six to 10 months to get into a new appointment when I found out about 'em," Dr. Katherine Mitchell said on CNN's "AC 360°" on Wednesday night.
"We're talking about people that were injured by being blown up by IEDs. We're talking about people who had a mental breakdown and have severe PTSD and ... are having trouble functioning." more >>
The recent scandal involving the horrific conditions and appalling lack of care at some of the Veterans Affairs medical facilities is dogging the Obama administration. CNN correspondent Jake Tapper took them to task for doing nothing despite having been apprised of the problems at least a year ago. Assurances that these are isolated instances have become more difficult to maintain, as new allegations involving more VA hospitals keep emerging. President Obama has called for an investigation, but stated he has "full confidence" in Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, drawing further indignation from those who believe that heads should roll.
Republicans are eager to pin this on the President, whose party is already struggling to avoid massive losses in a mid-term election year. In the hunt for more details and expedient scapegoats, however, the larger lessons are obscured. Here are three:
Lesson One: this is not the first time that the VA has been embroiled in a scandal involving poor care and bureaucratic mismanagement. more >>
Retired neurosurgeon and conservative darling Ben Carson scored big points with the audience and actor Terry Crews in an appearance on ABC's "The View" Tuesday when he argued that welfare "doesn't provide a way out of poverty."
Carson who appeared on the show to promote his new book 'One Nation' was asked by Crews if he thought the welfare system in its current state is racist.
The neurosurgeon who was raised by a single mother argued that welfare works against people who are seeking to become independent productive citizens. more >>
Professor Brendan Bain, one of the Caribbean's pioneers in clinical infectious disease practice and a leading medical authority on the HIV epidemic in the region, was fired by the University of the West Indies this week for testifying that men sleeping with men is a danger to individual and public health.
Bain who served as director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network gave his testimony on behalf of a group of churches that lobbied to retain Belize's sodomy law in 2012.
CHART works to "continually strengthen the capacity of national healthcare personnel and systems to provide access to quality HIV & AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support services for all Caribbean people." more >>