19
   

VA Scandal

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 12:07 pm
@Frank Apisa,
It's specious too. It has the appearance of being correct but it's wrong.

Governing is not as hard as you want to make it. It's not a walk in the park, but it's not sisyphean either. Some leaders can do it effectively, and others far less so.

Some people do fail to acknowledge that solutions by government are not quite as easy as they believe they are or should be and this applies to those who are both "Anti-Government" and "Pro-Government."

It's a good reason why as many problems as possible should be taken out of the hands of government. Private enterprise, as a whole, has plenty of weaknesses and is hardly a worker of miracles, but it is a lot more efficient than government, and efficiency is very often the key to effectiveness.

Criticizing government may be easy, but it's not useless or invalid and that was pretty much the gist of your former argument: "Get elected and fix the problem or shut up about it."
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 12:28 pm
@Real Music,
Your experience with VA care is not unique, both in the good and aspects of it.

As revelette and Baldimo have suggested, whatever surplus exists in the VA budget can and should be spent on hiring new doctors. If the care you receive and describe as excellent, and this is the rule and not the exception, than it would appear that whatever salaries the VA pays is sufficient to attract not only competent doctors but very good ones.

Doctors are a finite resource. If their isn't a whole lot of them who are out of work and looking for a job, giving the VA the go ahead to hire more isn't going to solve the problem. The question that would have to be answered is: What makes a doctor who is currently in practice or who has just got out of med school rather work somewhere other than the VA?

It's not necessarily a matter of salary, and should not be assumed that is without some research being done. It would not be difficult for the VA to find out why a doctor would rather work for the county hospital than the VA. There must have been a lot of doctors who interviewed with the VA but chose to work elsewhere. A simply survey process could collect enough data to determine the reason(s) for their decision and if there are trends. Similarly med students can be surveyed about the level of their interest in working for the VA and if it is low, what knowledge or perceptions is it based upon.

Reducing the fees doctors can charge is not having the effect of swelling their ranks...just the opposite. We can argue whether these people are greedy or should be more intent upon the good they can do rather than their monetary rewards, but that's pointless. Short of a seismic shift in culture, people entering the medical profession are going to expect to be paid at a higher rate than other jobs or professions, and to the degree that their skills are specialized and in relatively short supply they will get want they want. The government attempting to alter the marketplace in this regard is not gong to work. If being a doctor isn't lucrative, a lot of talented young men and women are not going to become doctors, and established doctors are going to retire early or practice outside the government's controlled marketplace.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 12:30 pm
@Real Music,
Real Music wrote:

I also support a single payer health care system. But, the definition of a single payer system is not the same as the VA. The VA is government run healthcare. I am all for a government run healthcare in regard to the VA. I am also in favor of a single payer system which is different. A single payer system is basically providing medicare to every man, woman, and child regardless of age. We all pay into medicare insurance in the form of a tax all of lives, but can't receive the benefits until age 65. Single payer means you start receiving benefits the moment you're born so you don't have to wait until you become 65. The ACA Affordable Care Act is neither private or government run insurance. The ACA is more like a hybrid of combining both government run insurance with private run insurance.


True, just as it is true that liberals have for a long time held the VA up as a virtuous example of government run healthcare.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 01:12 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
There has been a lot of talk about providing veterans with vouchers so they can access healthcare providers outside of the system, if the system is letting them down. This makes a lot of sense to me.


No for three reasons

1) the entire US medical system is stressed because of over use/lack of capacity

2) rationing care is a requirement to keep costs reasonable. If you are going to give people as much care as they want you will be soon bankrupt. \

3) It takes to pressure off of fixing the VA

Quote:
The nation is capable of and willing to spend more on our vets.
The government already cant cover its costs to the tune of over 30% of its obligations, we need to be cutting costs, not increasing them.
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 01:12 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Regarding your statement about the private sector being more efficient than government, I partially disagree with that assessment. There are many instances where government is more efficient than private sector. There are also instances where the private sector is more efficient than government. There is one big difference between private and government. Government is REQUIRED to serve the public. When the government is REQUIRED to serve the public that is a good thing. Some instances the government does a good job serving the public and some instances it doesn't. The fact that they are REQUIRED to serve the public is the most important quality of government. We can debate when and where government is needed. But, government is definitely needed. On the other hand, the private sector is NOT REQUIRED to serve the public. They serve the bottom line. Money and profit. I AM NOT SAYING THAT IT'S A BAD THING. I AM NOT SAYING THAT IT'S WRONG. I am merely stating a fact. There is a need for both a STRONG private sector and a STRONG government.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 01:25 pm
@hawkeye10,
Whether it actually reduces the stress on the US medical system, delaying access to medical care to vets is not a solution to any problem.

The unacceptable practices of the VA cannot be considered rationing.

The continued suffering of vets is not acceptable leverage in forcing reform

We do need to cut costs, but we can increase funding in certain areas while we do. The trick is to cut a lot more funding than we increase. I'm not convinced that fixing the VA requires more funding, but if I were convinced, I would approve of an increase, while still calling for an overall decrease.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 01:48 pm
@Real Music,
There may be isolated instances where the government is more efficient than the private sector (although I would have to see it to even consider believing it) and not every company in America is a model of efficiency. The difference between the private and public sector is that in the former, their is a limit to tolerance of inefficiency. Eventually a highly inefficient company will cease to operate. Not so with the government where inefficiency is actually a goal, and expected and tolerated beyond any level people would accept from a private company. I don't know how anyone can question the truth of the statement that overall the private sector is much more efficient than the public sector.

You may not value efficiency in government or believe that it leads to outcomes you consider bad: like the firing of thousands of redundant employees, but efficiency is very often a key element of efficacy, and to suggest that the government is as efficient or more efficient than the private sector is just not supportable.

How is the government required to serve the public? It may be in theory (in this country) but you might as well rest the welfare of all children on the belief that mothers and fathers are required to care for their offspring. What they are "required" to do is only of significance if there is a system in place that will ensure that they perform as required.

It isn't a perfect system , but the free market does a good job in ensuring that businesses serve their customers. It may not be required that they do, and they be doing it to ultimately serve the bottom line, but if they don't do it, someone will come along who will, and they will have no bottom line to serve. As long as fair competition is preserved, the public sector comes out ahead of the government in customer satisfaction.

I'm not saying government isn't necessary or necessarily a bad thing. I'm not advocating the elimination of government, simply a lot more restraint and keeping it out of things that are better done by the private sector. A smaller less intrusive government is not perforce a WEAK government.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 01:49 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Whether it actually reduces the stress on the US medical system, delaying access to medical care to vets is not a solution to any problem.


throwing vets on to the rest of the medical system will further stress the rest of the system. We have to do a combination of providing care cheaper, and provide less care....America can not afford its medical system. Congress is going to make the problem worse.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 02:34 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

It's specious too. It has the appearance of being correct but it's wrong.

Governing is not as hard as you want to make it. It's not a walk in the park, but it's not sisyphean either. Some leaders can do it effectively, and others far less so.

Some people do fail to acknowledge that solutions by government are not quite as easy as they believe they are or should be and this applies to those who are both "Anti-Government" and "Pro-Government."

It's a good reason why as many problems as possible should be taken out of the hands of government. Private enterprise, as a whole, has plenty of weaknesses and is hardly a worker of miracles, but it is a lot more efficient than government, and efficiency is very often the key to effectiveness.

Criticizing government may be easy, but it's not useless or invalid and that was pretty much the gist of your former argument: "Get elected and fix the problem or shut up about it."


That was not the gist of my earlier argument, Finn. There was no "shut-up" there or implied.

I am merely pointing out that pissing and moaning are easy...and governing, especially in a society that is getting more and more ungovernable...IS HARD...VERY HARD.

Allow me to do so again, because it is something all good citizens had better keep in mind, or we are going down the drain:

Pissing and moaning and grousing and complaining are easy...and governing, especially in a society that is getting more and more ungovernable...IS HARD...VERY HARD.

0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 03:21 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
The FDA are required to enforce food and drug safety. Food and pharmaceutical companies ensures safety standards because the FDA is regulating them. EPA are required to enforce air, water, and ground safety standards. Oil, gas, and toxic waste companies will dump poison in our water, our land, and our air without the EPA being a watchdog over them. They would save a lot of money dumping that poison anytime and anywhere they want. Public schools are required to educate ALL children K thru 12 with no tuition cost. Private schools are not required to educate nobody's child unless they choose to. Private schools can refuse enrollment of any child for any reason. Private schools can charge parents any amount of money they choose to educate their child. Consumer Protection Agency is required to regulate and be a watchdog over Financial and Banking Industry. They are required to ensure that predatory lending and unlawful banking practices don't occur. Particularly instances where their actions hurt consumers. Police officers are required to serve and protect the public from crime. A private police force would not be required to protect anyone. Their police protection would be for hire. The US Postal Service is required to provide mail service to every home everywhere everyday, except for sunday. Even if your home is in the middle of nowhere for the same cost. These are just a few examples of the importance of having government required to serving the public. Because private companies are profit driven, private sector will often cost more. Since the government by law cannot seek profit, government will often cost less.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 04:24 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
So the only place you agree with the conservatives is keeping the poor poor and the rich rich?
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 04:32 pm
@hawkeye10,
GREAT!!!! Than you would be willing to quit va and medicare in order to cut costs?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 09:26 pm
@Real Music,
You are making the erroneous assumption that everything these agencies do serves the public. Simpy because agencies like the FDA and EPA say they are protecting us, doesn't mean they do so with every action they take, and every program they implement.

I don't have a problem, in principle, with regulatory agencies. I think they are necessary. I never said that everything the government does should be in the hands of the private sector. I do believe though that competition would improve the efficiency and efficacy of any and all agencies, but I recognize that inserting that force into the process of regulation would probably not be wise.

A private police force would, just like a public police force, protect all of the people who pay for their salaries and equipment. Private police force models are not limited to an arrangement where only certain citizens pay for their own protection. A town or city could employ a private police force and require it to protect all citizens. Police and the military are not functions of the government that I believe, for several reasons, should not be privatized, but quality and distribution of service is not one of them.

The US Postal Service is a dinosaur on the verge of extinction, and their level of service has deteriorated considerably. While the Post Office sole source of funding is the fees it charges for its services, it obviously doesn't charge enough because it is $15 billion in debt.

Government may not seek profits but that doesn't mean they operate at lower costs than private companies. There is little to no competition with government services and so no incentive to cut costs. All of the agencies are driven to seek increased funding every year. It's their nature of the system. No agency wants to spend less than their budget lest their budget be cut, and all seek more money.

Again, there are very good reasons for government, but very, very few people are arguing that it be done away with altogether.

Don't mistake the intended purpose of government agencies with the actual ways they operate.

0 Replies
 
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 06:14 am
Lawmakers push to approve unified veterans' bill

Quote:
After two overwhelming votes in two days, members of Congress say they are confident they can agree on a bill to improve veterans' health care and send it to the president's desk by the end of the month.


The Senate easily approved a bill Wednesday to help shorten wait times for thousands of military veterans seeking medical care, a day after the House unanimously adopted a similar measure.

The Senate bill would authorize about $35 billion over three years to pay for outside care for veterans, as well as hire hundreds of doctors and nurses and lease 26 new health facilities in 17 states and Puerto Rico. The House would spend about $620 million over the same period.

Just three lawmakers — all Republican senators — voted against the veterans measures, compared with 519 lawmakers who voted in favor.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 09:21 am
@revelette2,
I'm surprised that any Senator voted against this bill, not because it is necessarily the best bill, but because of the politics. It would be interesting to learn there reasons for their "Nay" votes.

Of one thing we can be sure, they will be castigated (for political gain) for heartless disregard for our vets.
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 09:38 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
One of them, already said why he voted against it. From the same link as before.

Quote:
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the Senate bill created "an unlimited entitlement program" for veterans and voted against it.


If the bill passes quickly, then I imagine not much will said. If it lingers and manages to in the end, do nothing because of partisan politics, then I imagine a lot more will be said by both sides. I hope it passes quickly and other problems solved as well such as the wait list and bonuses.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 11:49 am
@revelette2,
A stupid comment by Sessions. Not that he is necessarily wrong about his concern or that it is not well founded, but using the term "entitlement program" in connection with this issue is just politically stupid.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2014 04:54 pm
"VA is thumbing their nose at us"

http://blogs.delawareonline.com/delawaredefense/2014/01/24/want-to-know-why-wilmingtons-va-compensation-case-backlog-keeps-growing-so-would-we/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B998mHeShhY

But Phoenix VA handed out $10 million in bonuses over last 3 years

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/17/As-Veterans-Waited-and-Died-VA-Gave-Out-10-Million-in-Bonuses
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2014 04:58 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
But Phoenix VA handed out $10 million in bonuses over last 3 years
you are aware I hope that VA bonuses are exactly like CEO bonuses, a routine and expected part of the compensation package. Lets see how bad retention gets now that everyone knows that all they will get for years is their salary.
0 Replies
 
rockyracer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2014 05:23 pm
@edgarblythe,
I went to the VA hospital in the 70s for problems with back pain. There were a lot of people there. After 5 or 6 hours I was told I would be transported with others to another facility. They took us downtown and kicked us out. I stopped going to the VA after that.
0 Replies
 
 

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