By The People

There are fundamental flaws in how American government operates today,
contrary to the Constitution and the vision of a representative republican form of governance.
I intend doing something about it: by educating and informing others who
are not even aware of the dangers.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The ACA is the VA Way!

The real cost of healthcare will not really hit until after the mid-term elections, and quite possibly not until the People are fooled once again into believing the Democrats will fix everything once they have another socialist in the White House and return the House to a socialist majority. Don't expect the Republicans to do any better.

The latest in a long list of scandals, the problems with the Veterans Administration is no surprise to millions of veterans and their families.
J.D. Gordon, a retired Navy Commander who served as a spokesman with the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2005-09 and a senior adviser to several Washington-based 'think tanks' reported on Fox News last week that Al Qaeda prisoners have better health care than America veterans.

According to the post at Fox News Opinion:

"Despite the fact that Al Qaeda terrorists carried out the Sept. 11 terror attacks, killing 3,000 people in America, the admitted co-conspirators and their roughly 150 fellow jihadists at Gitmo have approximately 100 doctors, nurses and health care personnel assigned to them.
Doctors and medical personnel are at their beck and call. Got a cold, a fever, a toothache, a tumor, chest or back pain, mental health issues, PTSD? No problem, come right on in. Military doctors are waiting to see you.

The VA and Gitmo eligible patient-to-health care provider ratios speak volumes.

While the Gitmo ratio is 1.5 to 1, for America’s 9 million veterans receiving VA health care and 267,930 VA employees, the ratio is 35 to 1.

I know from my own personal experience of the VA. My father was a disabled veteran of World War II and served in the Army Air Corps. His injuries would take over a decade to begin to manifest themselves, just as he was told by the excellent Army and Navy surgeons that treated him at Walter Reed Army Hospital. In 1958, he was admitted to the VA Hospital, in Philadelphia, where a decortication was performed to remove most of his left lung, which had calcified over the years and was pushing his heart toward the center of his chest.

His care at that time was excellent. But things did change over the years. After returning from a fishing trip, Dad collapsed and was taken by Emergency Medical Team transport to the local hospital and then transferred to VA for emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder. That incident happened in the early 1980's. I accompanied him on several visits for follow up care and noticed that things were getting sloppy. Missing physician's prescriptions for patient medications, and then a home delivery of medications via US Postal Service or United Parcel Service. But the waiting times are what I noticed had changed. Maybe it was due to an increase in the number of veterans requiring medical care, a decade or so after Vietnam.

Things got really bad by the 90's when my father was waiting for weeks to see a doctor. Several times the VA 'lost' his appointment request. Dad's passing took my focus off of VA since I was no longer dealing with them. But I do have friends today who have had similar experiences and say that it is getting worse not better.

According to a report issued by the Inspector General there were violations regarding human subjects used in research programs in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Executive Summary found the following:

"We substantiated the allegations of human subjects protection violations in the areas of informed consent and adverse event reporting. We found that researchers obtained Human Immunodeficiency Virus tests on subjects without their consent; could not provide informed consent documents for all subjects enrolled in the protocols; and did not appropriately obtain witness signatures for demented patients enrolled in research protocols. We further found that researchers did not report deaths occurring during the course of the protocol, although these deaths were most likely not related to the research."

Then we have reports from Albuquerque, New Mexico about more 'secret waiting lists' in an article at the Daily Beast:
"Add Albuquerque, New Mexico to the growing list of VA hospitals accused of keeping secret waiting lists to hide delays for veterans seeking medical care. And it may already be too late to get to the truth and find out what harm, if any, was done to veterans there—VA officials are already destroying records to cover their tracks, a whistle-blower inside the hospital tells The Daily Beast.

Last month, word broke that the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix kept a secret waiting list that allegedly led to dozens of preventable deaths. The VA’s inspector general was brought in to investigate the charges and hasn't yet found any deaths in Phoenix linked to wait times, but his investigation is ongoing. Since then five other facilities have come under fire, leading to calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down. And now there’s Albuquerque’s. The evidence for this new secret list may be hard to track down, however.

“The ‘secret wait list’ for patient appointments is being either moved or was destroyed after what happened in Phoenix,” according to a doctor who works at the Albuquerque VA hospital and spoke exclusively with The Daily Beast. “Right now,” the doctor said, “there is an eight-month waiting list for patients to get ultrasounds of their hearts. Some patients have died before they got their studies. It is unknown why they died, some for cardiac reasons, some for other reasons.”"

Then we have another report out of Florida:

"Three mental health administrators at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville have been placed on administrative leave after U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials found a “secret” waiting list of more than 200 patients, a local union president said Thursday. …

News recently surfaced of alleged secret waiting lists and falsified records at VA hospitals around the country, including reports of allegations that some veterans on such a list at the Veterans Affairs Health Care system in Phoenix had died while waiting for appointments. Reports have said the secret waiting lists were meant to hide delays and could have been used so management executives could get bonuses related to shorter wait times.

Muriel Newman, union president for the local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, told The Sun that the VA administration had placed chief psychiatrist Dr. Rajiv Tandon, administrative officer Karen Chin and Peter Durand, the chief of the mental health service call line, on administrative leave after the discovery of the list at the Gainesville VA hospital.

Wisnieski confirmed those three employees have been placed on paid administrative leave while a review is conducted into the list and the circumstances surrounding it."

Based on all definitions, the Veterans Health Benefits Administration is a single-payer system. That is relevant when you consider that Obamacare is going to head in that direction after the next presidential election. The reasons are many but the bottom line is that no private insurance carriers will be capable of paying claims on the amounts of premiums that they can charge. 

According to the Weekly Standard:

"Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.”  How can this be?  Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them.  The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.

For some reason, President Obama hasn't talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation.  Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies.  It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes).  It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses."

However, it should be remembered that insurers subsidies terminate in 2016, placing the entire burden on the American Taxpayer.

The bureaucracy of the (not so) Affordable Care Act will eat up so much of the budget, there will be little to do except ration care and borrow more Federal Reserve Promissory Notes. Although the White House and both Houses of Congress will not suffer along with the rest of the nation, as they are the board members of the UNITED STATES INC. and their salaries and benefits are immune to the problems they caused  for all the other American People.

It has to be that way in a closed loop system with no fresh revenue coming in without higher premiums or subsidies. Subsidies in the form of Congress passing spending bills that will be financed by borrowing, which of course will have to be paid back. And where will those funds come from?

While the foregoing is terrible, the true purpose of the secret waiting lists was to remove patients from the active waiting list in order to reduce the number of patients waiting, in order to qualify for incentive bonuses, which increases the total amount paid by the American Taxpayer

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