Covered CA = VA

Covered CA = VA

VA web pageSome thoughts for Memorial Day, which approaches on Monday.

If there’s one government program I favor, it’s helping America’s severely wounded veterans. When they signed up to defend our freedoms, they were promised that, should they be hurt in combat, the military would take care of them. Plain old common decency also says wounded veterans should be cared for.

But recent scandals have ripped off the cover of the Veterans Administration system, showing how incompetent it is, and how much our veterans have suffered. Here’s just one story this week about this burgeoning scandal, from the L.A. Times:

Headline: Growing evidence points to systemic troubles in VA healthcare system

Picture caption: Navy veteran Edward Laird waited two years trying to get an appointment at the VA hospital in Phoenix after a biopsy was ordered for two blemishes on his nose. They turned out to be cancerous, and half his nose had to be cut away.


Three years ago Edward Laird, a 76-year-old Navy veteran, noticed two small blemishes on his nose. His doctor at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix ordered a biopsy, but month after month, as the blemishes grew larger, Laird couldn’t get an appointment.

Laird filed a formal complaint and, nearly two years after the biopsy was ordered, got to see a specialist — who determined that no biopsy was needed. Incredulous, Laird successfully appealed to the head of the VA in Phoenix. But by then, it was too late. The blemishes were cancerous. Half his nose had to be cut away.

“Now I have no nose and I have to put an ice cream stick up my nose at night … so I can breathe,” Laird said. “I look back at how they treated me over the years, but what can I do? I’m too old to punch them in the face.”

The Phoenix VA Health Care System is under a federal Justice Department investigation for reports that it maintained a secret waiting list to conceal the extent of its patient delays, in part because of complaints such as Laird’s. But there are now clear signs that veterans’ health centers across the U.S. are juggling appointments and sometimes manipulating wait lists to disguise long delays for primary and follow-up appointments, according to federal reports, congressional investigators and interviews with VA employees and patients.

The growing evidence suggests a VA system with overworked physicians, high turnover and schedulers who are often hiding the extent to which patients are forced to wait for medical care.

What a system of horrors.

Yet it’s just such a government-run system that is being imposed on Americans through Obamacare; and through its state offshoot, Covered California, on people in our state.

Government medical systems always are disasters. And the “solution” now being touted is “single-payer,” meaning the government runs the whole shebang.

How about Canada’s system? Actually, as was noted recently by Sally Pipes, the president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute,’s parent think tank:

“Single-payer’s cheerleaders cite Canada as proof of the system’s superiority. Our northern neighbor’s health-care system is plagued by rationing, long waits, poor-quality care, scarcities of vital medical technologies and unsustainable costs.”

Canada has the equivalent of our VA or Obamacare or Covered California system for their whole country.

How best to care for our brave veterans? Just close the VA hospitals and instead give veterans health vouchers — like college scholarships — they could use for the best private care. Our vets deserve the best, not the worst.

And completely repeal the whole Obamacare-Covered California atrocity before the entire U.S. medical system, once the best in the best in the world, becomes like the VA system.



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