Future historians of the Obama Administration will have a cornucopia of scandals to cover including those dealing with failed green energy funding, the Benghazi consulate, the politicization of the IRS, Obamacare, Operation Fast and Furious, and many others. The latest scandal to emerge is abysmal health care and medical policymaking at Dept. of Veterans Affairs facilities in 19 states. Reports that health care was rationed and veterans were put on waiting lists have resulted in the deaths of a number of veterans. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs in its motto, taken from Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address, eloquently proclaims that it will care for veterans, their widows, and children. This emerging scandal demonstrates the emptiness of this noble proclamation during Barack Obama’s presidency.
We’ve now learned that this problem was made known to the Obama Administration during the presidential transition in 2008-2009. Obama appointed former Army general Eric Shinseki to head the VA and you would think that someone with an extensive military background would be driven to ensure our veterans received the best and most responsive health care possible. The fact that Shinseki came to office at a time many veterans were returning from protracted tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq should have motivated him to ensure the VA had the capacity to effectively deal with the multifaceted physical and mental health needs of our veterans. Sadly, that has not been the case. Shinseki has been on the job for over five years and the problem has worsened. While there may be problems of institutional culture which have driven such shoddy performance by the VA, Shinseki must take responsibility for this by resigning instead of blaming the Bush Administration or insufficient funding.
This problem has been exacerbated by the cavernous silence of President Barack Obama. Besides a second hand White House report that Obama “is mad as hell” about this, he has been strangely silent. Today, he and Michelle Obama found time in their schedules to let a bunch of school children entertain them but not enough time to publicly comment on this betrayal of our veterans. This failure to comment speaks volumes about the lack of leadership and character of the President. Properly caring for American veterans who have fought, bled, and died in the struggle against Islamist terror, does not fit into Obama’s desire to transform America.
We can hope and pray Congress and the American people will be so outraged by this, that the administration is compelled to drastically reform the VA such as making it easier to fire underperforming VA employees. In addition, we must also remember that this scandal symbolizes the future of American health care under the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While many VA employees are conscientious and dedicated, we must not forget that they are government employees and, consequently, have no incentive to improve service performance and quality on their own initiative which is an essential prerequisite of working in the private sector. If Obamacare becomes more deeply entrenched into our national medical fabric, we will increasingly hear horror stories of lengthy waiting lists, fatally flawed diagnoses, health care rationing, which will produce protracted injuries and care and end in premature death.
Being President means being fully engaged in the operations of ALL federal agencies and departments without regard for personal political consequence. Barack Obama is a self-absorbed narcissist who is more concerned with promoting his preening ego and desire to transform American to a secularist socialist dystopia then properly caring for America’s veterans.