Saturday, August 22, 2009

Coming distractions

The VA was handing out piles of bonuses to technical employees in 2007 and 2008. A grandstanding Republican Congressman (yes, all sorts of redundancies in those three words) wants, nay, demands an investigation:

"I am extremely troubled by the Inspector General's findings," said Richard Burr, R-NC, the ranking Republican on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "I believe Congress should use its oversight authority to further investigate these matters," he said in an e-mail to CNN.
The point that will likely be forgotten about this: It happened during the reign of the Bushists, when Burr and the rest of the Republicans opposed anything resembling oversight of the executive branch.

The next step in the laundering of bullshit into conventional wisdom will be some wingnut blogger blaming this on President Obama.

Note: The VA, which is socialized medicine, delivers better care more cheaply than the dominant semi-private part of American health care, even with these bonuses.


flounder said...

Clearly you have never been "cared for" by the VA. It is an abortion of a system, Maybe you should go there for a while and see just how bad it really is.
I am a vet with a service connected disability and let me tell you about the VA.. I had the flu, I called and they set me an appointment to see my Primary care Doctor 6 weeks later. I decided to go to the VA ER where I sat for 4 hours before I was told to report to urgent care (where I sat for another hour). Urgent care looked at me and said that I needed to see my primary. They set me up for an appointment for 6 weeks later. I told them I needed help soon and they suggested I wait until my primary has a few minutes to "fit me in". I waited for 4 more hours and was finally given an Rx for antibiotics.
The next day I went to the VA pharmacy and waited 6 hours for my meds. That means that I was in contact with the 25 people on the shuttle bus from the parking lot, the hundreds of folks that came and went from the VA and the 25 more people on the way back to the parking lot (2 days in a row) before recieving meds.

Imagine if it were swine or avian flu!

You can move to Canada if you really want "Free Healthcare", I still want the chance to get back into the private insurance industry!

lovable liberal said...

Why did they give you antibiotics for flu?

globeisatrocious said...

"Why did they give you antibiotics for flu?"

When you are vaporized, might I suggest moving on to the next indefensible position?

flounder said...

The doctor never actually looked at me. They give out Antibiotics and muscle rub for virtually everything. It's the quick and easy to get through the overwhelming crowd in the waiting rooms (Which still only accounts for 2% of the nation. Imagine what will happen when everyone is in that line) you have to go back a few times to be taken seriously.

I eventually went to a private Doc (and was in and out quickly) to get real help. Thank God for Private practice.

lovable liberal said...

Flu's a virus, gia. No impact from antibiotics, which are anti-bacterial. What century do you live in?

Hey, no one is suggesting socialized health care for the country at large, though I know you guys are unable to make the distinctions. Nonetheless, America's one instance of socialized medicine, the VA, has good outcomes overall, though it has bad hospitals like any system.

The one person I still talk to about VA care is happy with his care. They also took very good care of my grandfather over the 50 years he lived after his wounds in WWII.

Silence DoGood said...

LL "The one person I still talk to about VA care is happy with his care."

And one datum is all YOU need to spin off into neverland. Blinders on and earplugs in.

VA care is a standing joke and investigations and horror stories abound. Of course you have to read beyond media hype to see this.

Keep Obama honest! He will do a better job.

lovable liberal said...

I gave anecdote for anecdote. You didn't get that?

So we're back to the data, patient satisfaction at the VA is relatively good, compared to private sector performance.

Silence Dogood said...

I am always about data.

I would be happy with VA level health care as a public option safety net.

Close enough - tell 'em to pass the bill. Get with the rest of the world.

globeisatrocious said...

Here are a couple of data points in the news today:

"Up to 11000 US veterans may have been mistakenly infected with HIV"

"1200 Gulf War Veterans Wrongly Told They Have ALS"

"There are six more cases of prostate cancer patients who were given incorrect doses of radiation at a Philadelphia-area Veterans Affairs hospital"

And let's not forget that end of life guide. But since you too have apparently given up on the govt option, ("no one is suggesting socialized health care for the country at large") can we call the whole thing off?

(And I am laughing my ass off that you needed to tell me that antibiotics are useless against viruses)

lovable liberal said...

The public option is not socialized medicine, which is what you have when the government employs the medical staff and runs the clinics. But of course you'd want to blur that distinction. Even single-payer is not socialized medicine.

If you want to talk about malpractice, fine, just know that it happens in private care, too. Remember those studies a year ago showing all the lives cost by errors in medication? Sorry, that's not convenient for you, so you've probably forgotten it. Happened mostly in private care.

Last (how fitting!), it amazes me still - despite long exposure to the intellectual dishonesty of the right - that conservatives can pretend their loved ones have never opted for merciful hospice care, for living wills, for DNR orders...

flounder said...

First, end of life... The difference is that in the system that the true right (which is not Republican) is proposing, it allows us to work harder and earn more in order to choose how end of life care is given. The single payer plan DOES NOT ALLOW THAT OPTION.

Secondly, the right wing (traditional American) system is based solely on consumer choice. In other words, if a provider develops a pattern of poor care, high prices or frequent malpractice then the consumers can simply fire them by finding a better provider. Single payer DOES NOT ALLOW THAT OPTION.

Third, single payer is, by definition, socialized medicine. The phrase "single payer" means that the government will be responsible for paying for the entire thing. This is how all employees will be paid whether by direct employment or through contract.

Obama, Barney Frank and most other leftist Democrats have admitted that the "option" is a means to an end and that end is single payer, universal coverage. This is indisputable fact, so please don't try to tell me that "we can keep our coverage if we want".

Remember, less than 2% of the nation is under VA care but is it funded by more than 70% of Americans. The VA is barely covering its expenses now, they bill private insurers whenever they can in order to cut costs. It takes advantage of many private facilities that work as a service to our vets and put a great part of that expense on the non vet patients. The single payer plan DOES NOT ALLOW private practices to do such pricing manipulation as all pricing will be determined by the government.

Plus, imagine what it will be like when 100% of Americans are on that system and there are no private providers to bill. What percentage of taxpayers will have to support it, where will all of this money come from?

You must be willing to admit that you support socialism before we can continue any substantive debate. I do not have any problems with you personally for your opinion but I want you to recognize what it is that you want. If you think that I am wrong then please explain how.

I am not a republican, I am a conservative. I have studied the works of Thomas Jefferson and the rest of our founding fathers and have modeled my Ideology after them. You will score no points with me by attacking Bush as I found him to be far from conservative. He seemed as if his presidency was a distraction from his business plan rather than a moral obligation.

You may find that, as people, you and I have much more in common than you'd care to admit. I'm not looking for a fight but a debate, if nothing else... an understanding of each other whether we choose to agree or not.

flounder said...

By the way, you can check out my blog at but I warn you that I've been a bit abrasive lately because I've been trying to inspire a debate. It is not really meant to be offensive but it was meant to come off that way.

lovable liberal said...

Ah, more cluelessness posing as a logical argument.

flounder said...

Ok, if your argument is that those who oppose you are simply clueless then any debate would only drag me down to your level.

I hope that you one day take your political blinders off and enter the arena of ideas with those of us who are actually patriotic rather than antagonistic. If you choose to begin defending your position with facts and logic then you know where to find me. After all, I do not hide my identity from my readers, I am proud to be everything that I am.

lovable liberal said...

You must be willing to admit that you support socialism before we can continue any substantive debate.

Anyone who says something this tendentious isn't serious about wanting substantive debate.