Comments about ‘Secret waiting lists, deaths: Claims roil U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’

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Published: Wednesday, May 14 2014 12:14 p.m. MDT

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4601
Salt Lake City, UT

This is but a preview of single payor government medicine. Those familiar with the VA medical system can only sadly smile at these public revelations of policies long known to insiders.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

@4601
So true. Just a few months ago the Obamacare advocates were telling us how great the VA Hospital System is.
Maybe they held off with all the bad news to sell the ACA rollout.
I was a bit surprised that they would call the VA a success story. Even my med student pals at the U had stories to tell. But students have to learn somewhere.

MtnDewed
Salt Lake City, UT

BTW 4601 and Say No,

Just yesterday, there were quite a few veterans at the SL hospital there to just tell workers there that they loved the SL VA and thought that their service was exceptional.

They went out of their way just to let SL know that the vets love the medical facilities and providers there.

Ask a vet. Ask them if they want to have a voucher and go to any hospital. Overwelmingly, they want theirs separate and run by the government.

All it takes to cause an uproar is a few disgruntled workers to spread a few stories about 40 deaths (non of which they will name, btw) and the VA is taken to task in the media.

How many veterans did we add with our two wars just completed? How many new VA hospitals did we add? How many employees did we add? They are really doing a pretty good job with what they have. I know that most of those employees are dedicated and feel privileged to work with the best America has to offer - our Vets.

Ex-Pat of Zion
Lititz, PA

4601 and SayNO

And this isn't going on with private insurers? I've watched my premiums skyrocket along with my copays. Before this country even gets to single payer (and lobbies will guarantee that it will be a long, painful, expensive process) we will have to go insurance carriers.

Is a bonus for saving money any different whether it's paid by the stockholders or the government? I promise you there are hundreds of thousands (not the 40 or so quoted as related to the Phoenix VA) dying annually of preventable conditions. When a $10K deductible is required before insurance will start paying benefits, the premium or the ACA subsidy goes directly into the pocket of the insurer. If you can't buy maintenance meds because you have to make a choice between eating and paying the rent, you risk of death increases exponentially. The fact that your Walmart job only gives you purchasing power for staples of low nutritive value (Great Value Macaroni!) simply compounds your health problems. But I guess in an advanced "civilized" society, the free market should dictate who lives and who dies.

4601
Salt Lake City, UT

For routine care and free medications, the VA does a credible job. For those with more complex problems, the VA perpetuates the myth that you are in good hands. That is why veterans have died and many others have unnecessarily suffered from unacceptable waiting times. Like many bureaucracies, the VA's first priority is to protect itself.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Government run healthcare!

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Ex-pat
How can your premiums and co-pays have skyrocketed? BO PROMISED costs would go down under Obamacare? You mean BO lied?

What the apologists fail to acknowledge is certain VA hospitals were TRAINING their employees to NOT use the computerized systems so the long wait lists would be hidden. I watched a TV interview with one of the employees so trained. The program I watched (MSM – NOT fox) said this started in 2010.

But what do you expect? The BO misadministration is the most corrupt and incompetent since Harding and Carter.

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

The VA has spent $500 million on new furniture while veterans wait and die because of lack of resources.

Anti Government
Alpine, UT

@MtnDewed

To some extent you are right. I'm sure there are other problems with other insurances and healthcare companies outside the govt system. All systems have flaws.

Here is the big difference though.....are you ready...if one doesn't work for me I can choose to go get healthcare from a different one that does a better job! There will always be another who is newer, smaller, and hungry to earn your business. Where do the disgruntled Veterans get to go if there results are poor?

When you have only one place to go there will inevitably be complacency and poor service.

There is no perfect system but the instances of govt waste and poor service never stop and yet people continue to put their faith in a system that repeatedly fails its citizens.

Obamacare already is a system that has increased costs dramatically for virtually everyone that was already paying. Despite the increased costs/higher premiums all of our actual healthcare benefits have deteriorated. Companies are all switching to essentially catastrophic plans which means massively high deductibles before anything is covered. Those who weren't paying now get free or subsidized healthcare on our dime.

The Final Word
Alpine, UT

The other point in all this is that you really don't need "death panels". Waiting lists work effectively the same way.

You stall and delay long enough and depending on the health condition and accompanying complications someone will die.

It happens in Canada routinely. There are millions on waiting lists for surgeries and there are millions more on waiting lists to see "specialists" to get on the waiting lists for surgeries. Total population only 35 million!

Complications happen and as a result people die waiting. I am from Canada and have family still living there. I have parents that are elderly but in good health living completely independent at home. As a result of their age their efforts to get even basic health services are routinely stalled and delayed. Gee I wonder why?

People ought to be careful what they ask for. You want universal healthcare? Get ready for 35-45% taxes and long waiting lists. Oh ya, and they also have copays and deductibles on top of the taxes in many of the provinces because of course your health services are depending on a govt "budget" which is "underfunded" based on "overwhelming health needs".

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