Okay then, CNN, here is my comment

During the week I watched a report on CNN about a young Marine who was badly wounded and his face disfigured from a suicide bomb in Iraq. In the process, he also received brain damage, had his left arm blown off as well as some fingers on his right hand.

This report was centered on how the Department of Veterans Affairs had been ridiculous in their responding to his request for disability. That’s kind of a sterile explanation but when I think about how often and how seriously that the VA screws over former soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard that it kind of makes me somewhat mad.

Despite the title of this rant, I bear no ill will toward CNN and the fact that they had such a large response that they had to stop receiving comments on the story. No, I actually praise CNN for their work on exposing the kind of crap that befalls the nation’s veterans who have the misfortune of having for financial or other reasons to resort to care by the VA.

As I have said in this space before one’s care within the VA system depends on where one goes. But some of their problems at a specific facility or regional office or hospital points to the larger problem that the VA needs to be torn down and rebuilt.

Were I to rank my medical care overall in the VA over the past 16 or so years I have mostly used it as my primary health providers, I would have to give them a weak “C” for their medical abilities. This is only my point of view. The VA did save my brother’s life by providing a routine check-up which found through X-ray that he had lung cancer. Part of one of his lungs were removed several years ago and his follow-ups have thankfully been free of malignancy.

But as we know, a medical system is not merely doctors and what they do or cannot do. It also includes the administrative aspect which can sometimes be more painful than some of the dealings with the health care itself. My contention includes the long waits for specialists, when one sees a specialist it will likely be an intern or physician’s assistant and the most maddening of all to me, their incompetent financial administration.

Recent investigative reports by both CNN and CBS are not really news to those who have felt the overwhelming frustration of those veterans who have had to deal with a VA medical system that often makes one feel they are in a house of insanity. But I nonetheless am glad to see some of the media exposing just how bad the VA is. Perhaps it might someday lead to improvements. Of course, being an original founder of the Pessimist Club (motto: We would meet but we are afraid no one would show up) I don’t see any hope in immediate sight. But one can hope, wish, write letters to their elected officials and organize big protests outside our nation’s VA hospitals DEMANDING that better care be given the nation’s veterans. I know, needless to say although I will, that the VA will spin any answers they have to give to those who attempt to make them accountable. But I think most of the public can see through their snake oil sales. That is, except this one guy I know. I mean, he would buy beans from you if he thought it might grow a vine shooting into the sky and leading to …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *