While there are 22 million Veterans in America, only about 6 million receive any VA healthcare. Six million is roughly the population of the San Francisco – San Jose area. The requested VA budget for 2014 exceeds 150 billion. Just to put this in perspective, the budget asks for $25,000 on average for each of those 6 million vets. Of course, the VA does some other things like set on service connected disability claims for years and years and cook the books so all the bureaucrats can fatten up their already fat salaries. Nevertheless, with the logistics of trying to reach veterans with healthcare and the inefficiencies of the government bureaucratic unionized system, American Taxpayers are simply not getting their money’s worth. I think we have all clearly seen that our veterans are dying while waiting for the most basic medical treatment and disability claims take years and years.
You hear talk about Corporate Welfare but few are talking about Bureaucrat Welfare. It’s not enough that bureaucrats are paid for 40 hours a week plus bonuses and per diem when traveling to exotic places to conferences where they can learn how to cook the books, they get so much more. VA employees get paid for 10 holidays, 13 days sick leave and 13 days paid leave beginning on their first day of employment. After a few years the paid vacation doubles to 26 days a year. If the bureaucrat is in the reserves or National Guard, they receive 15 days military leave each year. In other words, while the reservist is getting paid by the government for annual training, he or she is also receiving their full civil service pay and accruing sick leave and paid leave. If you pretend to be productive by cooking the books, you can also receive huge bonuses. Then there is subsidized healthcare, life insurance, training and great travel. That per diem I mentioned can exceed $300 a day.
As a result of probably 20 million illegal aliens roaming through our country along with the Obamacare boot on their necks, many hospitals are struggling and even going out of business. This includes very good hospitals efficiently run and staffed with fairly paid competent non-unionized employees. Sure, the Federal Government tries to make it as difficult as possible for any hospital and any business to survive by over-regulating them but many find a way to continue to serve the public in spite of our government.
Now we come to the solution. The only reason this won’t happen is because the unionized employees of the VA are forced to pay union dues and those dues almost entirely go to Democrats. It makes no difference what the bureaucrats want, the union bosses and Democratic leaders are joined at the hip. But if my solution were to go into effect, the fat cat book cookers would be looking for a job like millions of other Americans. My solution is to phase out the great VA experiment and replace it with Veterancare, an insurance program for qualified Veterans. Unlike Medicare, Veterancare would be designed so that Doctors and Hospitals would welcome patients. Veterancare would restore veterans to first class citizens again and be good for local communities and their hospitals. As for disability claims, those could be contracted to India or Bangladesh where claims and appeals could easily and cheaply be processed within hours rather than years. My program would free up about $100 billion a year that can go to pay off our $100 trillion national debt and unfunded requirements.
I should also mention that the Veteran Preference for Federal Employment is not working. Unemployment like homelessness, is higher among veterans. This is intolerable and a national disgrace. I would make it mandatory that qualified veterans be hired over nonveterans in every case. Exceptions would have to be approved at the Department level. Decisions to hire nonveterans over veterans would be subject to reviews by a Veteran Employment Panel prior to the hiring. The panel would be appointed by the National Leader of these organizations:
American Ex-Prisoners of War
American Gold Star Mothers
Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the United States of America
Disabled American Veterans
Gold Star Wives of America
Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of the United States
Korea Veterans of America
Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A
Military Order of the World Wars
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Legion of Valor of the USA
The American Legion
Decisions of the panel would be final.
Okay, that fixes the VA, next we can use the same logic on the IRS, EPA, BLM, HHS, TSA, DOL, NSA, well, I think you get the picture. Do you truly trust those fat cat bureaucrats to tell us how to live our lives, tell us what to feed our kids, regulating our fish ponds, even telling us what kind of light bulbs we can buy? Do you think we can continue to pay government employees twice what employees are paid in the private sector while performing less than half the work. Do you think it will EVER be possible to get a day’s work for two day’s pay out of any bureaucrat? Is there any hope for America?