If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. — Jesus, John 15:18-20


VA Death Panels: Policy, Not Incompetence

June 3, 2014   ·   By   ·   0 Comments

Veterans_DayPresident Obama just fired/accepted the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki in the hopes of quelling the budding political problem he faces over the VA health scandal, but the truth is that the real scandal is that denial of health services is actually government policy, not administrative incompetence.

Need proof?

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spoke very carefully when he indicated that Obama knew about the denial of veterans’ health services scandal that is engulfing his Administration.

Clarifying the question before he answered, Carney said: “If you mean the specific allegations that I think were reported first by your network out of Phoenix, I believe we learned about them through the reports. … [T]hat’s when, as I understand, Secretary Shinseki learned about them.”

That initial narrowing of the scope of the question to just the Phoenix VA center is both disingenuous, and instructive.

It is disingenuous because it would have the public believe that CNN was working on a story involving veterans being denied service, resulting in deaths, and incredibly, the cable news giant never contacted the VA public affairs office in Washington for a comment. Since this presumption is not believable on any level, the public must then assume that a highly explosive allegation from a major news network that has been supportive of the president never percolated to either the secretary’s office or the White House.

For an administration which has developed a reputation for riding herd on reporters trying to spin and suppress any story that might put them in a bad light, campaign-style crisis management is the one thing Team Obama is really good at. Yet, somehow Carney is selling that the CNN story on the localized Phoenix scandal somehow never made it to anyone’s attention until the president and his now former BFF, Shinseki, learned about it from watching TV. Anyone who buys this line has simply not been paying attention.

However, the bigger indictment of Obama’s veterans’ health policy is found when comparing Carney’s deliberate narrowing of the scandal to Phoenix, in light of revelations that there have been at least 26 health centers denying services for thousands of veterans.

When one location engages in conduct, it is isolated. When that same conduct permeates the system across regions, it is policy.

Given that the incoming Obama administration was briefed on the VA waiting-time issues before they ever assumed office, it is reasonable to ask, why they did not take action to fix it?

It is equally reasonable to ask if the answer can be found in Obama’s signature health care reform legislation, for which its proponents, like Paul Krugman, used the VA Health System as the example to debunk concerns about government-run health care.

The harsh truth is that Obama could not politically afford to admit that the VA has been doing to veterans exactly what opponents of ObamaCare, like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), charged would happen to the rest of us under his new healthcare law.

If it is proven that Obama administration officials made politically based decisions that led to system-wide death lists for veterans, the question is: What should Congress do about it?

This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

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Rick Manningis the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor. Americans for Limited Governmentis dedicated to putting the principles of limited government into action. They work with local groups across the nation to promote freedom, limited government, and the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Their goal is to harness the power of American citizens and grassroots groups in order to put the people back in charge in states across the country.
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