Should Veterans Be Segregated in the VA System?
It’s indeed strange that the public are asked to see recent problems at VA hospitals as an anomaly. Truth be told, all government bureaucracies are the same, aren’t they? To what extent are they peopled primarily by self-serving careerists who don’t “knock themselves out” while waiting for a cushy retirement? Is it the union “work ethic” writ large? Most professionals, however, have allegiances to higher standards and principles, but it’s harder within a bureaucracy where being a team player is the norm.
So why segregate veterans in a government system when the rest of the population has the freedom to choose the “best and brightest” medical options from the private sector? VA hospitals made sense after a catastrophic war, such as World War II, when combat injuries tended to overwhelm what was available. Family housing and other necessities were the same.
Progressives seem to love government largesse as the panacea of choice. Spending other people’s money is fun. They also get morally excited about mainstreaming underdogs and breaking barriers of one kind or another. But only up to a point, supporting segregation in other areas. Veterans are forced into out-of-the-way VA facilities which tend to be more custodial. The same “stay with your own kind” attitude fits the Indian Health Service.
No question that veterans wounded in combat should be given the best medical attention available. Military hospitals are geared up to respond. But most veterans were in support roles, not in combat. So why the lifelong entitlement to free medical care in later years? Wouldn’t Abraham Lincoln have understood?
Yesterday, a veteran in the local newspaper seemed fed up with the way the media capitalizes on the politically correct shield surrounding certain protected classes, negating all criticism and discussion: “Let’s stop with the veteran worship already. I served in combat too, but realize that no war since World War II has had any effect on us keeping our freedoms in our country. Thank us for doing the job, give us some help for actual service related injuries but don’t kowtow to every vet’s whims.”