The Veterans Administration Revisited

To repeat: the VA needs to be disbanded, its employees returned to the private sector, and its budget distributed to our veterans as vouchers with which they can get the care they need from the doctors and facilities they choose.

The latest example of the VA’s fatal dysfunctionality is a hospital in Aurora, CO—rather, a hospital shell, since the VA has been mismanaging this project to the tune of claiming to “need” $1 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) to finish—finish, mind you—building this building.

Those billion dollars are three times the original construction cost estimate in 2005, just nine short years ago. Accounting for inflation, that original estimate of $328 million would be a bit over $400 million today. Assuming it really would have needed all nine years to build the thing. Apparently, though, including VA incompetence, 18 years will be needed; the “hospital” is only half done. And just to saucer and blow it: the VA “is in arrears” with the payments it owes its current contractor.

Hoover Dam was built in five years (yes, yes, the dam wasn’t hindered by other government claptrap that also is in the VA’s way, but still…).

VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson has conceded VA fault, and he’s actually apologized (to his credit, it wasn’t one of those 21st century pap statements being masqueraded as an apology).

I apologize to veterans here in Colorado. I apologize to the taxpayers. We have let you down[.]

Sorry, though. It’s a fine apology (I’ll assume sincerity), but words don’t get the hospital built. Words don’t recover those hundreds of millions of lost dollars. Coming as they do in the midst of ongoing VA failure, words of apology are entirely worthless.

Get rid of the VA.

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