Well, the information is available if you want to see it. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the cost to provide veterans with non-VA medical care who cannot get a medical appointment within 30 days or live more than 40 miles from VA hospital at $54 billion dollars per year. Billion, with a B.
The estimate for H.R. 3230, Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014, is stunning. This number is based on the VA currently having 8.4 million veterans enrolled now, and potentially 8 million additional veterans that are qualified to enroll, but have not. The CBO estimates that if health care were easier for veterans to get, more would enroll and the ones currently using the VA system would increase their usage.
Additionally, there would be delays in getting additional members enrolled in the program and that it would simply not be financially sustainable in the long run. Either we fix the system we currently have, or get rid of the VA entirely and move our veterans into more traditional health care programs.
Getting rid of the VA is not feasible. The specialized medicine the VA hospitals provide to veterans would be cost prohibitive under any other form of health care due to the paucity of cases outside of veteran groups, so we are forced into figuring out the best method of fixing the VA system.
“The Veteran’s Administration doesn’t have a ‘getting’ money problem, they have a ‘wasting’ money problem.”
I am all for providing veterans with the care they need, but throwing money at the problem is not going to solve anything. This measure must be temporary and our country has to get its fiscal house in order. The Veteran’s Administration doesn’t have a ‘getting’ money problem, they have a ‘wasting’ money problem. An outside regulatory group with the authority to get rid of problems and curb abuses in the system needs to be formed. It needs to be composed of people who are interested in solving problems, not in living off government wages.
Getting rid of a third of the bureaucrats in the VA would be a good start. Use the money saved to hire additional doctors and nurses and ensure they are trained in the problems that the veterans are experiencing. Don’t spend more; spend smarter.
Unfortunately, once a government agency is created, they are nearly impossible to destroy, and with the VA administration centers and hospitals being unionized, it is going to be an incredible feat to even hold the people at the center of this scandal accountable and punish them for anything. Unless, of course, the FBI does find evidence of criminal activity that can’t be sloughed off as just stupidity and the people responsible are charged with crimes.
Personally, I think we will be lucky if any crimes are exposed. Anyone involved with the negligence that permeates the system will be moved to a different position or asked to retire early. The only people who will be punished are the veterans.
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