Sunday, July 13, 2014

Iraq Was Not the True Cause of the Veterans Administration Scandal

           In order to excuse the Obama Administration and blame the Administration of President George W. Bush, liberal Democrats particularly blame the recent Veterans Administration scandal of delays in the scheduling appointments for veterans who critically needed care on the increased caseload of veterans on the returning from the Liberation of Iraq of many American soldiers, in addition to the other campaign in the global War on Terrorism, the Afghan War.  However, no American soldiers have been returning from the war in Iraq since the end of 2011, when the United States withdrew. 

            The liberals also contradict themselves repeatedly in this regard, as they do in many aspects of the Liberation of Iraq.  They first criticized President Bush for not having enough soldiers for the war, then criticized him for his troop surge in his second term, and then claimed the surge strategy was not responsible for the subsequent success in Iraq they did not expect, which means necessarily that the success had to have come from the prior strategy for which they claimed there were not enough troops.  The General whose expertise they relied upon was Eric Shinseki, who argued that far more troops were needed to occupy Iraq – the same man who resigned as Secretary of the Veterans Administration because of the scandal.  Surely, the liberals would have criticized the Bush Administration for having too many troops in Iraq and thereby having too large a footprint and being too overbearing of an occupying force had Bush heeded Shinseki’s advice because their only consistency in regard to Iraq has been to disagree with every decision Bush made, no matter how contradictory and regardless of all the facts. 

            There are two reasons for the increase in caseload at veterans’ hospitals, despite the rapid loss of veterans from the Second World War: 1) the advancing age of veterans of the Cold War (remember that many veterans during this time, which was the period of the draft, did not necessarily see combat, but sustained peacetime injuries or simply retired from service and thus earned post-retirement healthcare benefits), including the Korean and Vietnamese Wars, with many veterans of the latter campaign now becoming senior citizens, and 2) a shortage of healthcare workers, which is partly because of a lack of tort reform for medical liability and partly is exacerbated by the federalization of health insurance (“Obamacare”), which is causing some doctors to leave their practice, at a time of an increase in the number of patients because of free health insurance. 

           Whatever the reasons for the increase in the caseload, the cheating by bureaucrats at the Veterans Administration was selfish and inexcusable and the senior management was ineffective in discovering the problem and correcting quickly.  In fact, its strategy to diminish the caseload – however well-intentioned – by providing financial incentives, likely provided the temptation for the bureaucrats to cheat.

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