When our military men and women fight for our country, they are willing to sacrifice the most cherished aspect of their being, their life and all that it entails including their family, friends, dreams and desires. What do they get in return if they need health care? The subject of health care to our veterans has become public news, but it is really not a new problem. The ability of the VA to provide health care to our veterans has been a major challenge for decades. What is worse is the huge dollar amount paid out for approximately 3,000 medical malpractice claims. Hence, the level of care and treatment as evidenced by the VA paying out over $100 million each year in the last decade leaves much to be desired. And, that is only part of the equation. We are not talking about money, but actual individuals who gave 150% to fight for our freedom, but receive inadequate care and attention.
The above referenced lawsuits have occurred all over the country rather than concentrated in one region or at one, two or a small handful of particular VA hospitals. Moreover, these cases include all types of substandard care, including the failure to diagnose a medical condition or illness, prescribing the wrong medicine or drugs and simply bad surgeries.It is not a matter of finding someone to blame, it is the hard truth that lives are at stake;while the medical care should be provided at an optimum level, it is far too frequently deemed below the standard of care.
Certainly, the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, offers little in the way of confidence that anyone else will fix the problems that are endemic to the VA as they mirror those found in most forms of government. This is not meant to be a political attack, and it is not about being conservative or liberal, Democrat, Independent, or Republican. but an undeniable and harsh reality. Our government agencies, departments, policies, procedures and operations, whether city, county, state or Federal, are simply not operated for profit,which is the very engine that drives people and business to succeed. Whether one calls it accountability, a burning desire to succeed,extremely high energy, and/or an optimum level of action and responsibility, the motivation of private enterprise is simply lacking in the business of government.This is not an indictment of government as a whole, but an observation that seems to be missing when the subject comes up. Regardless of your perception or the truth about government and/or the VA, our soldiers and military deserve much better. Let’s fight for them as they fight for us!