SKRMETTA: Carte Blanche For Our Veterans

Carte blanche is a term historically used in two ways. One as the authority of an individual to sign on the behalf of country and the other being regarded as a blank check.

It’s the blank-check concept that we need to think about when providing for the healthcare of veterans in our nation. We need to find a way to get our veterans the greatest access to the best quality healthcare the nation can provide. What we don’t need is to fund a bloated national hospital system that is habitually inadequate and substandard and is seemingly a sponge for taxpayer dollars that really don’t end up helping our veterans in the most efficient way possible.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides about $60 billion this coming fiscal year, a 7.4% increase above the 2015 level, to provide health care services to veterans and other eligible beneficiaries. The department has also indicated that the 2017 budget will be approximately $63.3 billion. This is a 5.5% increase over the 2016 estimate.

The problem is that this money does not translate to the needs of our veterans in their healthcare. This money goes largely to support the bloated VA bureaucracy that is not providing what is necessary to veterans. The federal government, under the Obama administration, took greater effort to have the VA support its social programs rather than increase the quality and services at VA hospitals. An example of wasteful budgeting is seen in the millions of dollars spent by the VA to install solar panels at these facilities. In many cases, requiring solar panels over the need for standard supplies to provide for the patients in these hospitals. Things like bed sheets, pajamas, and other supplies.

A prime example is the VA hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas which had $8 million of solar panels installed and never turned on – and now the hospital is tearing down some of the panels. My question is, why do the VA administrators promote items on the president’s social agenda and not spend their hospital money on taking care of veterans?

As a nation we must insist that the priority of our taxpayer revenue shall be directed to care for veterans and their dependents. What that means is we need to consider closing all VA hospitals, selling those properties and do what we should have been done years ago, simply provide private medical insurance to each veteran. The private medical sector is designed to provide services in a timely fashion. We can reduce the amount in the budget to the VA regarding healthcare since the bulk of it is there to support the VA administration and not provide services to veterans and that would ensure that the taxpayer gets the best value for their money and makes certain that veterans will receive the best quality health care available, on demand, anywhere in this nation. No more waiting, no more delays, no more government failure.

As we all know when the VA makes mistakes and our veterans suffer from a lack of services, no one at the VA gets in trouble. The government first takes care of its own administrative employees and then reminds us all that it is itself immune to punishment. But put this service in the hands of the private sector and those who administer it will be subject to the civil and criminal laws of this nation. This will provide our veterans with the knowledge that what is owed to them will be delivered to them timely and if not, those who fail them will face appropriate action.

So let us consider closing the VA hospital system, selling the assets and giving our veterans carte blanche private insurance, thus saving taxpayers money and moving the care of our nation’s heroes into responsible hands who will provide the best healthcare that is so desperately needed by our veterans.

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