The wife of an Iraq veteran, blinded by a suicide bomber has a story to tell (RTWT) from the veteran’s spouse’s perspective, and she has asked the central question. Her question is this:
[T]here has to be a better way for our federal government to make it easier for the spouses, parents, and siblings who have to quit their jobs and forfeit their livelihoods to care for an injured veteran.
Her husband’s—and her—problems with this failed agency include things like this [emphasis added]:
My first encounter with the military bureaucracy came days after I arrived at Walter Reed to see Scotty, a West Point graduate, after he’d been flown in from Iraq. … I was supposed to be on “orders” and receiving a stipend for food, but somewhere along the way someone filled out the form incorrectly. The man I spoke to said that it would be a huge hassle to try to fix it….
But being blinded is no big deal.
In a world where technology is making almost all aspects of life easier, why isn’t there a website, a liaison, or an advocate to fill out government paperwork and get deserving veterans the benefits they were promised and deserved? When I asked for help, someone suggested we hire a lawyer.
Sure. It’s entirely appropriate to sue a government agency to force it to perform, but it’s wholly unreasonable to expect that agency to perform on its own initiative.
And this performance regarding a potentially lethal situation:
Most recently, Scotty had an infection that needed emergency care. Upon arriving at the VA emergency room, which was packed, I noticed that there were at least four people behind the counter for paperwork. They informed us it would be a four to five hour wait to see a doctor.
On the other hand, it is really a hassle for a government hospital to treat emergencies. Especially with all that bothersome paperwork that has to be done first.
This wife proposes making the VA run more like a business, and giving the customer what the customer needs.
Indeed. Run the thing like a business: it’s failed and has been a failure for years; close it down. Disband the VA altogether, and use its current budget (adjusted in subsequent years for inflation and for the number of veterans, whose care also will ebb and flow with age and with the number of wars from which they’re returning) as vouchers paid directly to the veterans so they can get their own doctors, see their own clinics and hospitals, and get proper care from providers of their choice. Let the customers—our veterans and their families—get what they need.
Veteranos Administratio delende est.