Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
The VA Healthcare System scandal has been in the headlines for a few weeks. The scandal has brought out the fact, once more, that President Obama lied to the American people.
His excuses are very thin. He knew about the VA problems in 2005. He pledged to fix the problems before he was elected President in 2008. In 2011 he repeated his pledge.
Now he has the gall to tell the American public in 2014 that he didn’t know anything about the problems until he read about them in the press.
President Obama addressed the Veterans Affairs scandal on Wednesday, saying he's waiting for an Inspector General "audit" of what went wrong.
How stupid does he think we are?
President Obama probably wishes he had control over You-Tube and the Internet. He could then eliminate his past statements and promises.
It looks like he is trying his best by attempting to defeat Net Neutrality.
Liberals have long hailed the VA Healthcare System as the model of government health care. Liberals believe everything the government runs is the best thing for America.
Can you think of anything that the US government runs works really, really well?
If so, please share that information with the rest of us.
How can it run a healthcare system?
The government has systems problems in everything it tries to run. It can publish mountains of regulations. It cannot execute much because of the way the systems have been set up or not changed over time. There are multiple examples of such failures of execution.
None of these agencies seem to work including the Post Office, Amtrak, FEMA (Katrina rescue), Obamacare (website or the health insurance exchanges), and even the government itself.
I believe it is because government has imbedded in it a deadening bureaucracy.
The bureaucracy suppresses innovation and the ability to repair defects quickly as they occur. This leads to cover ups that are eventually leaked.
The fact that no one is ever held responsible for errors of execution just adds to the awkwardness of the cover up.
The recent scandals, Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious and the reporting on Obamacare, are a few examples of this.
The press never shows us facts about the supposed “investigations” and who was responsible for the missteps. It only leads to more mistrust and suspicion.
The forced resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki will not serve as a distraction from the real problems in the VA. Eric Shinseki’s firing is not going to fix the VA’s Healthcare System’s problems.
Liberals are blinded by their ideology. They have long hailed the VA as the model of government health care. They ignore the facts. The VA Healthcare System’s problems have been around for a long time.
There is little evidence that President Obama has tried to do anything about the VA Healthcare System since he became President.
All the public heard is how great the VA system of healthcare delivery is and how his administration is going to make it better.
Paul Krugman is the chief purveyor of the Obama administration’s progressive ideology. Mr. Krugman’s problem is he ignores facts as he formulates his “socialistic” beliefs.
It is almost as if he is saying, “don’t confuse me with facts.” Just believe that I know what I am talking about because I am a Nobel Prize winner.
The crazy thing is many very smart people believe him, just as they believe President Obama.
Paul Krugman praised the VA as a triumph of "socialized medicine." He even listed what's behind this success.
“Crucially, the V.H.A. is an integrated system, which provides health care as well as paying for it.”
“So it's free from the perverse incentives created when doctors and hospitals profit from expensive tests and procedures, whether or not those procedures actually make medical sense."
The progressives ignore the government system’s own “perverse incentives.” The most important is as VA bureaucrats they must cover their own backside for non- performance.
It leads to long treatment delays and deaths that are preventable. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The rationing of care has been devastating for those veterans awaiting appointments.
The bureaucracy is forced to cover up the errors. The problem the bureaucrats have is free speech in America. The morality of some is drives them to tell the rest of us about the problems.
“VA centers fudge their data.” The VA has consistently boasted in its performance reviews that more than 90% of patients receive appointments within 14 days of their "desired date."
The hidden waiting lines and treatment delays are not the only problems.
Infection rates and poor treatment outcomes have also been hidden from other bureaucrats in the system as well as the public. These problems are as important or more important than hiding appointment lists.
"The rate of potentially lethal bloodstream infections from central-intravenous lines was more than 11 times as high among patients at the Phoenix facility than it was at top VA hospitals, data from the year ended March 31, 2014, show," notes the Journal.
"Those infections, called sepsis, can quickly cause multiple organ failure and kill an otherwise relatively healthy patient within days or even hours. The data don't show what percentage of patients died as a result."
The Journal also reports, "Among patients admitted to the hospital for acute care, the Phoenix VA Health Care System had a 32% higher 30-day death rate than did the top-performing VA hospitals, a finding flagged as statistically significant by the agency's medical analysts."
William E. Duncan, supervised publication of VA Healthcare Systems medical outcomes until his 2012 departure.
“He said in an interview that he urged that more data be posted regardless of the impact," adds the Journal. But he tells the paper that he was forced out of the VA amid a dispute over the issue.”
President Obama has said all we need to do is throw more money at the problem.
President Obama needs to fix the defects in the VA Healthcare System’s business model.
Inherent in the present VA Healthcare System business model is a system of misallocation of resources and inefficiency. Resources are allocated by political force rather than individual consumer choices.
This is true in most socialistic systems.
It is all about who you know. It is not about who are the most innovative, creative or truthful people trying to execute a system for the consumers’ benefit.
Obamacare's ultimate destination is the same as the VA Healthcare System.
It is going to happen by President Obama’s design. The government will completely control America’s healthcare system. The transformation is happening slowing by design to avoid protest. President Obama doesn’t care about the cost or creating a more efficient system.
He is doing it the same way you cook a live frog. He is raising the temperature one degree at a time. The frog will never notice the heat until he is cooked.
It is time for America to wake up!
We cannot take it any more.
America must demand that we change the business model NOW!
Repeal Obamacare now.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
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