Veterans Health Care and Why Vets are Being Ignored

Partisan politics results in an overabundance of the major export of the southern region of a bull facing north. That’s one of my many ways of explaining BS.

Consider all of the questions concerning VA hospitals and just the basic treatment of Americans who chose to volunteer for service in our military. Their reasons for making that decision may differ. No disrespect intended toward any veteran, but I consider individuals who volunteer as firefighters, first responders, and other efforts which are too numerous to list with the intent to help others, strengthen, and protect the United States of America all in the highest regard. All of these people are making sacrifices for the benefits of others, and I believe it is safe to state that many of these individuals could have better financial returns and perhaps more stable or calmer personal lives if they went into other professions or chose other ways to volunteer or if they focused on themselves more than their fellow individuals.

What I’m saying is that individuals who choose to put their life on the line or to sacrifice personal comforts for the benefit of others are people who deserve respect, consideration, and fair treatment in return.

At this time, I cannot give an informed opinion about Secretary Eric Shinseki and his efforts heading Veterans Affairs. My readings and conversations have not gathered enough information for me to either criticize or commend.

I have read a number of reports from various VA health facilities, and some of the information is appalling. On a firsthand perspective, I’ve seen service at such facilities that I rate as excellent and other services that I rate as lacking. I have never been personally connected to a life and death situation in a Veteran Health facility, but regardless of current standards anything can be improved. I do not doubt that problems exist. Some of these have been in media reports and others have not been shown the light of day.

At this stage, I’d argue that the focus needs to be on fixing the known problems and digging down to discover other problems and weaknesses which can be addressed to make health care services at the facilities efficient and of the highest possible quality. Do that first and then investigate and deal with the who, the how, and the why of how many individuals are not receiving the care and treatment they deserve.

The partisan political aspect in these “investigations” sickens me. Once again, it appears the Congressional focus is on scapegoats and gaining political points versus actually fixing the problems. Liberals this and Conservatives that types of rhetoric among Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Party individuals seem to dominate most discussions on the Floors of either Chamber and in the media.

I think that enough problems exist that there is enough blame for everyone regardless of label. Senators Cruz, Rubio, and Paul love to blow hot air just as Senators Reid and McConnell in their positions of Majority and Minority leaders.

Look at some actual Floor activity on the Senate. Seriously, how easy is it to forget because the 113th Congress has done so little in either Senate or House?

Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats which are the majority party. At one time and perhaps still today, Senator Sanders has described himself as a socialist. On several occasions, the GOP has referred to Sanders as an ineffective extremist. Just search using your search engine of choice. I’m only linking one example since I used the Internet Archive for an earlier project. Many describe the Senator as the most liberal of individuals on the Hill.

Well go to Thomas and search legislation put forth by Senator Sanders this Congress.

How many submitted by Sanders have been to provide better healthcare and other services to Veterans?  The majority of approximately 100 that he has introduced have been about Veterans and services to assist them.

Now you may or may not agree with the particular bills submitted by Senator Sanders. Read some though, and then look at their fates. Many are sitting in the Committee on Veterans’ Affair. One example would be S. 825 the “Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2013’’ which proceeded to hearings but is still gathering dust.

Another is S. 1950 ‘‘Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014’’ which found a filibuster from the minority party.

In other words, why are all these Senators shocked that many Veterans are not receiving at minimum adequate healthcare? Why is Senator Cruz up running his mouth about the necessity for all these investigations and cover ups coming from the White House? Why is the “conservative” press treating all of this as “breaking news?” Apparently neither give a rat’s rear end about the Veterans if photo ops aren’t going to happen or if it might endanger tax breaks for NASCAR tracks, racehorses, or vacation homes to fund health care for Veterans.

Could it be that the Senate, both the majority and minority parties, made the decision to not make any decisions that might influence future election cycles?

Actually, I’m not a huge fan of Senator Sanders. Like most I agree with some of his positions and disagree with others. On specific topics, I might be among his greatest advocates, his harshest critics, or just lukewarm to the point where I would discuss anything else just to stay awake.

For those people so obsessed with partisan politics, labels, and the other party is the enemy mentality, it really doesn’t fit the rhetoric that the most liberal, a socialist even, United States Senator has been one of most resonating voices in trying to help United States Veterans get the health care they deserve.

Meanwhile the proclaimed “patriots” make noise, pat the Vets on the back, but filibuster and fail to propose their own legislation to provide better access to healthcare.

Few things are simple, and telling you what you want to hear might make one popular, but it certainly ain’t doing a blasted thing to fix the problems which will only get bigger.