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Profit Motives Drive Calls For VA Privatization

By The Reverend Published: May 26, 2014

It is not surprising to see this from the Wall Street Journal....

The modern VA is a vestige of the flood of veterans coming out of World Wars I and II, but it is as unnecessary as a health-care system dedicated solely to police or firefighters. The best solution is to privatize the system. At the very least veterans ought to receive vouchers that allow them to seek subsidized care from private providers that removes the VA as the choke point. Why are politicians punishing veterans with inferior government health care?

If the Wall Street Journal is pushing privatization of the VA, then Fox can't be far behind......

Calls to move veterans’ health care into the hands of private hospitals....gained momentum this weekend with House Speaker John Boehner and a Department of Veterans Affairs whistle-blower backing such a plan.

“Let our veterans choose the health care that they need and want the most, and not have to be bound to just going to the VA,” (Senator John) McCain told the newspaper Roll Call.

Is it true that the care at Veterans Administration facilities is inferior to care available at private, for-profit facilities?

.....as was made clear in recent testimony to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, studies have shown that the VA system, which serves almost 6.5 million veterans annually, as a whole outperforms the rest of the health care system by just about every metric. Surveys also show that veterans give VA hospitals and clinics a higher customer satisfaction than patients give private-sector hospitals.

So, no.....private, for profit health care is not superior to health care provided through the VA.

So, what gives with all the hew and cry over privatizing VA services?

Couple things. Obamacare is one. Blind ideology is the other.

Republicans have lost their multi-year guerrilla war against the Affordable Care Act. But they can still bitch and moan about the law which will forever be known as Obamacare. If you paid attention to the radio squawkers immediately following the "breaking news" of an alleged VA scandal.....you know that the usual suspects quickly compared reported problems at the VA to the terrible, awful, no good, problems America is experiencing under the tyranny of Obamacare.

Nothing makes the GOP madder than fighting like hell against progress and then....losing the fight. Republicans lost their foolish battle against the ACA but the alleged VA scandal has given them a new opportunity to swing at their favorite pinata.....blindfolded, of course.

But that's just the theatrical part, the window dressing for the rubes, so to speak.

Whether it's public schools or national parks or Social Security or Medicare......or veterans health care....the GOP's response is always....privatization. The reason is simple. Profits.

In the mind of your average conservative ideologue, government is the problem and never the solution.......and that is why we so often hear Republicans wanting to "reform" Social Security and other reliable government programs by privatizing those programs.

But all the 'government can't do anything right' tantrums are but partisan distractions to divert attention away from the GOP's real motivation......rewarding their donor base, the wildly rich.

If conservatism had it's way in America, all government services would be for-profit services. Conservative nirvana is when all tax dollar revenue streams collected on any level pass through the hands of profit seekers.

Ever wonder why Republicans are always hammering on the Post Office, always trying to chink away at what has been a trustworthy and reliable government service? Profit seeking. Instead of paying 50 cents to mail a letter, Republican ideology prefers privatizing the Post Office.....jobbing the service out to, perhaps, Fed-Ex or UPS. Sure, citizens might have to pay $1.50 or $2.00 to send that letter under a privatized Post Office.....but, hey, think of the profits....and don't you know that government is the problem?

Many other Americans, like me, think that making profits off of the misery and suffering of veterans, or the educating of children, or senior services...is reprehensible.

Yet, that is exactly what Republicans are recommending this Memorial Day. Conservatives are arguing, wrongly, and again, that profit-seekers are what the VA needs in spite of the inarguable fact that VA services exceed those in the for-profit arena, and at a lesser cost.

This has been a prime example of what I mean when I say conservatives and Republicans choose profits before people.

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