Viewpoints: VA scandal another example of broken government
When I returned from my second tour of Vietnam in 1971, we were processed through at Fort Lewis, Wash. One part of the process included being seen by a “medical person” for about five minutes. We were anxious to get on our last leg home and did not think too much about the questions we were being asked about our health. We were unaware of the effects of PTSD and, of course, Agent Orange or one of the other dozen or so defoliants they dropped on everyone in Vietnam. We did not want anything to hold up our trips home. Years later, we would suffer the problems Vietnam veterans are now aware of.
The VA is once again in the spotlight these days. I believe those of us who live in Wisconsin and are treated by the VA facilities here are better off than much of the country. But we have all tried to wade through the incredible maze of bureaucracy that the VA is. With an organization as huge and complicated as it is, some will slip through the cracks, some will not get the treatment they should be getting. This is not meant to say the VA should be excused or given a pass on that, but only to say we hold them to their promise to treat us respectfully and with the best care they can. We put our lives on hold and on the line for our country and that is not too much to ask.
For the first time, I listened to an entire speech from Obama, concerning the “breaking news” of the VA scandal. Normally, I turn the channel as soon as he comes on having heard all the promises to “get to the bottom of this” and “waiting for the full report before taking action” baloney with the other scandals in his administration. To give Obama only a slight pass on this one, problems in the VA have been going on for decades, and should have been dealt with accordingly but were not. If these problems are truly a priority, why have they constantly been punched aside? All politics of course.
Now we learn that Congress has to pass a “bill” to be able to try to clean up the VA mess. That is amazing in itself but even more amazing is that the Senate Democrats now want to hold up that bill, which is less than three pages for “further review.” When you have reports of misconduct and secret “waiting lists” at VA facilities in 26 states so far, what could possibly be the reason to hold up such a bill and not proceed investigations? Politics as always. Clearly, there are problems that need to be addressed.
What do the people of this country have to do to get some positive results from Congress on any issue? Why are we re-electing these people when know it will be the same time and time again? It’s like someone recently said, “this administration seems to be ‘floating above all the problems in the country’ unable or unwilling to see what is going on below them.” We are a nation in deep trouble.
Robert Orgeman, Rhinelander