In Morning Jolt, NRO’s Jim Geraghty reports on a 2005 Veteran Affairs study that rated Chicago the worst regional office in the country. In 2013, five veterans died while waiting for care at Hines. VA secretary Eric Shinseki has now appointed the man in charge at Edward Hines VA Hospital in Cook County, Illinois—Dr. Jeffery Murawsky—to oversight responsibility of the entire VA system. How comforting must it have been to veterans to receive Mr. Shinseki’s 22 May “Message to Veterans” that the VA would investigate itself?
Dr. Hal Scherz, a pediatric urological surgeon in Atlanta, writes in the opinion page of the WSJ of his experience at VA hospitals in San Antonio and San Diego. Clinics were understaffed and overscheduled, appointments for X-rays and other tests had to be scheduled months in advance, and even longer for surgery. Worse, administrators not only limited operating time, but also made sure that work stopped by 3 p.m.
According to Dr. Scherz, the luckiest thing that could happen to a patient in the VA system was that the services the patient needed were not available. When not available, the VA outsourced care to doctors in the community, where problems were quickly addressed. It is no surprise that a majority of doctors have opposed a mammoth federal regulatory apparatus to control health care (Obamacare) in America. Dr. Scherz warns, “The systemic problems with the VA are a harbinger of things to come.”
As Peggy Noonan recently noted, “(Obamacare) exists because the people who pushed for it fell in love with an abstract notion and gave not a thought to what the law would actually do and how it would work.” For Dr. Scherz’s entire article on his and other doctors’ war stories from VA hospitals, click here.