05.29.2014 0

Choice comes to Healthcare…VA Waiting Lists or Obamacare Death Panels

Let them eat Health CareBy Dave Cribbin

A callous disregard for human life, coupled with a big dose of incompetence and a generous helping of greed, seems to be the main ingredients in mixing up a batch of government-run healthcare. How else do you explain the appalling actions of Veterans Administration employees, who hid patient records, causing delays in treatment for many and death for some in order to protect their efficiency bonuses?  To treat veterans who have sacrificed so much to protect you and me, and are in need of medical care as a result of that service so poorly is criminally negligent behavior.  It makes one wonder how government-run healthcare might handle us ordinary citizens?

You can’t blame the problems at the Veterans Administration. which will be 84 years old this July, on start-up issues. It also wouldn’t be fair to blame budget cuts for their short comings either.  The VA’s 2012 budget in inflation-adjusted dollars is14 times as large as it was in 1940. The VA is just another  example of a government program growing larger and larger, while failing to execute its primary mission particularly well. The fact is that large enterprises can’t be run well without periodic feedback from the customers it serves that is acted upon and leads to change in the way the business is run. If you don’t feel you’ve been treated well at the VA is there really anyone you can go to who cares and can actually fix the problem? These recent allegations say no!

The scandalous delays in treatment for our veterans by a government-run healthcare system does not instill confidence in many that the ACA, a scaled-up model to cover 300+Million Americans, will fair any better. The VA’s failures are a prelude to what lies in store for the rest of us as we transition from a healthcare system, stripped of most of its free-market attributes, to full-blown government run, one size fits no one, healthcare .The administration recently signaled a total lack of confidence in its ability to administer government-run healthcare by postponing implementation of those parts of the law, a law that was passed in 2010,  that will affect the majority of the population until after the 2014 elections!

You can tell when a government program is failing in a big way.  Those in charge pretend that nothing is wrong, while doing everything they can to make sure that no one finds out just how bad things really are, hoping that after enough time has passed no one will care.  Any CEO worth his salt; for that matter any department head, needs to know what the key metrics of their business are and how well they are performing in order to be able to manage their unit to meet those goals. When Thomas Edison invented the stock ticker in the 1880’s, he gave traders on Wall Street the ability to know their important metrics within fifteen to twenty minutes. It is ludicrous to think that 134 years later. our government wants us to believe that they don’t know the key metrics of the Trillion-dollar Healthcare Program, can’t  tell us how many people have enrolled on state and federal exchanges, and whether they have even paid for that coverage months after the fact.

Are those employees who hid the patient’s medical files and delayed their treatment not acting as the de-facto death panels that Governor  Palin had warned of?  You might be tempted to write off the ever increasing number of Medicaid and Medicare patients no longer able to see their doctors ,because of reduced payment for services, as an example of unintended medical rationing. The same cannot be said of the narrowly designed hospital networks that will serve patients in the ACA system.  This is medical rationing by law.

Private sector companies do not run effectively because they have exempted management from accountability to the shareholders it serves. Quite the opposite is true.  A business runs well because  its leaders are held accountable. In the private sector, when dereliction of duty as egregious as that which has occurred at the VA, or the  roll-out of a new program is bungled as badly as the roll-out of the  Federal Healthcare Exchanges, those in charge are dismissed, we think the voters have some decisions to make!

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