While President Obama was in Alaska last week taking selfies and renaming mountains, the Department of Veteran Affairs Office of Inspector General released a devastating report that more than 300,000 military veterans may have died while waiting for health care at the VA.
They died — not on the battlefield by enemy fire — but in a “death by bureaucrat,” at the hands of the grossly mismanaged Veterans Administration.
The way veterans are treated in this country is a colossal failure of big government and it’s got voters across America and members of our military steamed.
“It’s put up or shut up time for Washington. When will they wake up and realize that the VA’s government-run health care system is failing veterans?” said Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America. “More money and more staff has not worked and is not the answer. The answer is real accountability throughout the system, and real choice for veterans.
“Until a veteran has the choice to seek care either at the VA or outside the system, the VA will continue taking them for granted and treating them like a number,” the two-time Bronze Star recipient and Army veteran told the Herald.
Our veterans have sacrificed life and limb to protect our freedom and our way of life. Yet when they get home wounded, sick and in need of medical treatment, they fight an even greater battle — dealing with bloodless bureaucrats and a broken government-run health care system.
Nurse Ratched looks like Florence Nightingale next to some of the VA administrators who are putting our heroes on long waiting lists and not processing their claims properly.
If denying an American soldier adequate and timely medical care isn’t a human rights violation, then what is?
But the reality is too many politicians on both sides of the aisle pay lip service to the serious problems and say, “We must fix the VA.” Then it stays broken and more and more veterans suffer — and possibly die — getting substandard health care year after year.
Enough is enough.
All Americans must hold our elected officials accountable. Including our current commander in chief, who prefers to spend his time participating in a reality TV series than visiting a VA hospital, rolling up his sleeves and actually getting to work fixing the toxic system.
If you want Obamacare, voters should take a good look at the Veterans Administration and see how that’s going. Then ask yourself: If big government can’t administer timely and quality health care to our veterans, how are they going to handle the entire country?
Adriana Cohen is co-host of “Herald Drive” on Boston Herald Radio weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.