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Disney World Indeed!
Medical Treatment for Our Veterans

As we remember this Memorial Day those who gave their lives for us on the battlefield!

May 30, 2016

Last week the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald  likened the wait times for veterans seeking medical treatment from VA facilities to the lines at Disney World; suggesting that how long a veteran needs to wait for a medical appointment is not a reasonable measure of service.  His contention was that satisfaction with the service should be the ultimate measure by which the Veterans Administration should be judged.   Is this just more double-speak from high level government officials in Washington?

First, at Disney World the visitors want to be there, it’s fun.  For the veteran seeking medical attention, he or she would prefer to be at Disney World enjoying themselves, not waiting for months just to see a doctor!  Additionally, at least Disney World has “Fast Passes” that move visitors to the head of the line. 

Second, wait times are part of customer satisfaction.  If a Vet has to wait for months, he or she is not likely to be satisfied with the service!

Third,  just read the headlines:

  • Fox News, February 17, 2016: Calls to VA Suicide Hot Line go to voice mail

  • The Daily Caller, November 30, 2015: Emails reveal New Mexico VA doctors suspicious that appointments are being rescheduled to reappear as new appointments

  • Washington Post: September 24, 2015: VA reschedules appointment for Vet after he dies from long wait for an appointment

  • Arizona Central: July 3, 2014: Report confirms hundreds of thousands Vets fall through the cracks while waiting for medical appointments

  • USA Today: June 5, 2014: Eighteen Vets on appointment list in Phoenix died

Many veterans have seen combat and come back battered and maimed. Others are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress.  They put their lives on the line to protect and to serve us and they should not be relegated to second class service, treatment, or worse.

But look deeper.  The VA is a single-payer government healthcare system.  The single-payer model is what the progressives in Washington (Obama, Pelosi and Reid) want for all Americans and not just our veterans.  Is that where we want to go?  We would suggest we want just the opposite!  Competition reduces costs and provides better service.

For veteran's healthcare we propose the following legislative initiative:  If a Vet asks for an appointment with his/her local VA hospital and is unable to see a primary care physician within the industry standard of two weeks; the Veteran would be free to seek service from a non-VA facility, doing so at the government’s expense.  

A lack of competition often leads to long response times, low standards of service and, in the case of the Veteran’s Administration, cover ups for mismanagement, failure to hold people accountable, and scandals.  Providing an alternative that gives veterans additional choices and forces the VA to be competitive with private healthcare providers is a positive solution that helps our Veterans and keeps our promises to them!

Bill, Mark, and John

Disclosure:  Bill and John are both veterans (the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard respectively).  Neither has needed to use VA medical facilities.



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