As Bob Allen pointed out recently, the Obama regime’s defenders (he quoted someone pointing to Paul Krugman) used the VA Hospitals as proof that Obamacare would drastically improve American medical practice. Everyone in the administration knows that Krugman is out there promoting the Obama agenda. To be silent while he extolled the virtues of the Veterans’ Affairs bureaucracy is to participate in the argument.
Especially when you know better.
Because the White House did know better. They knew the VA system was incompetent and was covering it’s incompetence by deception.
And yet they let the VA Hospitals’ false reputation be used as an argument that the government could craft a system that would take care of all people better than the free market (on the pretense that we had a free market in health care and health insurance before the Affordable Care Act).
From the Washington Times:
The Obama administration received clear notice more than five years ago that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care — problems that have turned into a growing scandal.
Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting.
“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying — and potentially denying — deserving veterans timely care,” the officials wrote.
The briefing materials, obtained by The Washington Times through the Freedom of Information Act, make clear that the problems existed well before Mr. Obama took office, dating back at least to the Bush administration. But the materials raise questions about what actions the department took since 2009 to remedy the problems.
So the problems existed all the way back during the Bush Administration. I hope this gets remembered (especially if Jeb tries to get the GOP nomination). But no matter what you can say about it, the Obama Administration let it continue even though they were warned.
And what were they warned about?
- They were warned that the schedules were not being followed.
- The consequences of this failure to follow the proper schedule were spelled out: Veterans were having needed health care “delayed” or even “denied.” If this was life-saving care then veterans were dying.
- They were told that the VA was putting out fraudulent reports.
And instead of doing anything about the VA system they pretended it was working fine so that it would back up their argument for the Affordable Care Act.
Think about how much the Obama Administration needed to ignore and feign ignorance of sick and dying veterans. If they had attempted to clean up the mess, they would have had to admit that there were not enough resources assigned to the VA hospitals. They would have had to admit that the bureaucrats in charge of the VA hospitals were incompetent as far as delivering health care was concerned (they were much more competent at saving face). They would have provided tangible proof that government is not trustworthy—that bureaucrats prefer to lie than to face up to problems. All of this would have worked against the Obama agenda to convince Americans that the government could “fix” healthcare in this country. If they can’t be trusted with veterans then why trust them with more?
The only way to really promote Obamacare was to sweep those sick and dying veterans under the rug. They were necessary sacrifices to sell the myth that government can take care of us.