A portent of things to come


With all the revelations and investigations in the news recently concerning our Veterans Affairs department and its alleged chronic fraud, falsification of records, mismanagement, corruption and likely responsibility for probably 40 or more deaths of our veterans attributable to delay of critical care, it might make sense to put this in perspective relative to our ongoing roll-out and implementation of (what is aptly named) Obamacare.

According to the United States General Accounting Office, the Veterans Affairs budget ran at $51.4 billion in 2011. At the time the agency was managing 6.2 million patients in 150 hospitals and 130 nursing homes.

Contrast that level of activity with today’s national health care situation where costs for about 260 million insured individuals runs $2.6 trillion in over 10,000 hospitals and 16,600 nursing homes.

So, if the administration has proven it can’t manage the relatively modest Veterans Affairs activities what would make anyone, regardless of political affiliation, even remotely come to the conclusion that it can efficiently manage our national health care system? One can only imagine the potential scope of lost dollars, efficiency and quality of care.

More tragically, even if the same level “competence” displayed by the Veterans Affairs office was achieved in a national plan (and that is highly unlikely in such a more complex and extensive system) those 40 deaths would translate up to almost 1,700 souls lost.

I don’t want to be one of those 1,700. Do you?

Bryan Fuller