In September 2013, Thomas Breen, a 71-year-old two-decade Navy veteran, realized he had a problem. Blood had started to appear in his urine, a major medical red flag. His son and daughter-in-law took him to the local Veterans Affairs emergency room in Phoenix, AZ, where physicians agreed the situation was urgent.
Rather than testing him, VA officials sent Breen home. His increasingly distraught family members called for a follow-up appointment with a doctor, only to be told, rudely, the waiting list was seven months.
Sally Breen called the VA every day for three months, trying, desperately, to set up an appointment for her father-in-law. Then it was too late; Breen died of bladder cancer November 30, without having ever been able to see a doctor. Breen bravely sacrificed for his country and was promised health care. He deserved better.
Our Government lied to him and his family. Our politicians literally killed him with their inaction. His blood is on their hands. The problems at the VA are not new. Everyone knows about it, yet no one fixes it. Breen was one of at least 40 patients who died waiting fruitlessly for the VA, and that’s just at the Phoenix facility.
If you think that is bad, it only gets worse. Low level bureaucrats are lying to our Washington liars to get more money from the never ending spigot of cash found in DC. Where did the money go? It definitely didn’t go to help Thomas Breen. He pissed blood for seven months, patiently waiting for help that would never come. Enduring like a good soldier. Seven months slowing dying. KIA by our Government.
VA waiting times nationwide are completely out of control, but you couldn’t know that by examining the reports that Phoenix had been sending to Washington. The facility’s leadership, in order to get year-end bonuses, had invented an elaborate scheme to keep the waiting times a secret. Like something out of a mob flick, they had two sets of books: the real one and a fictitious one to preserve the illusion that everything was fine.
I wish we could make these guys sleep with the fishes, because something has to change…and now!
When whistle blowers like Dr. Sam Foote sent evidence of this massive fraud up the food chain, their superiors sat on it. Foote actually decided to retire early just so he could take his story to the media without facing repercussions.
The VA in its absolute failure is the government-run healthcare dream of socialist presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Of course, he doesn’t tell the part about dying of bladder cancer without any treatment to the moronic millennials fawning over his stale and deadly propaganda.
Tuesday, Sanders backed a California ballot initiative that proposes having the Golden State buy prescription drugs the same way the VA does, because the VA is a good model for healthcare. Give me a break.
“We know the VA pays considerably less than retail prices for prescription drugs,” Sanders said in a statement. “The people of California and all Americans should get the same price.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “you get what you pay for,” Sen. Sanders? Or how about the fact that the VA doesn’t bother to get those drugs to the men and women who need them.
The VA is a model for healthcare like a drug dealer is a pharmacist! How could anyone with a marginal brain even remotely think the VA is an example for anything other than what not to do in the delivery of medicine. End of discussion.
Our most honorable Americans, our veterans, are the patients trapped in our worst government system, the VA. What choice do they have? They can’t enroll in a competing plan. So when Thomas Breen can’t get a doctor’s appointment for seven months, there’s nowhere for him to turn. For soldiers stuck in VA hell, it’s a huge s**t sandwich and they all have to take a bite.
For our veterans it’s sort of like gambling…if you live long enough to see a doctor, he probably can’t help you. You’ll soon discover that at the VA: the drugs you need aren’t available through its formulary.
According to the Congressional Research Service, less than one-third of the drugs available to Medicare beneficiaries are available to VA patients.
The government decides what drugs you need, not a learned doctor. The government decides which drugs are cheap enough for use. This “negotiation” process is what Sanders is hoping to export to California and all of America.
It won’t surprise me to find out that some mid-level government stooges bonus is determined by how much he “saves” the VA by denying drugs to our veterans.
Hey…saving money is fine, but there are about a thousand places to cut the size of government. Taking care of our veterans is not the place to be cutting. These are the men and women who risked their lives to protect our country – are they receiving good medical care? Sadly, a resounding NO is the answer.
That’s why it’s so dangerous to put your medical care into the hands of a massive bureaucracy that isn’t accountable to you at all.
Our government’s shameless, malicious incompetence killed Thomas Breen. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it, our government is killing our veterans who make it home. Slowly, like a cancer, it is spreading.
Veterans who were waiting desperately for medical care deserve it, if nothing else is true, it’s that.
Shame on you, Sen. Sanders, for holding up that system up as a model for anything but death.
Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fibonacciblue/4430839938/; Fibonacci Blue; CC By 2.0