John Boehner’s plan to fix the VA is throw veterans under the bus with a privatization scheme that won’t work.
Here is Boehner’s big idea according to The Columbus Dispatch:
More than two decades ago, House Speaker John Boehner said, he floated an idea that was controversial: Why not privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs?
The idea was soundly rejected by veterans’ organizations.
Now, in the midst of a sweeping scandal over allegations that government officials falsified reports on how long veterans were waiting for medical treatment, Boehner said yesterday that the idea still has merit.
“I still like the idea, and especially now,” he said.
However, the West Chester Republican cautioned that “until we understand what’s happening and until we understand whether it can be fixed or how it can be fixed, all veterans seeking care shouldn’t have to wait.”
Republicans like Boehner helped to make the problems at the VA exponentially worse by not allowing votes on, or blocking bills that would improve care at the VA. Boehner also championed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Bush administration’s policy of leaving the VA underfunded and completely unprepared for the influx of veterans.
Republicans break government, then use the broken government as a reason for privatization. All veterans organizations oppose privatizing the VA for a reason. If Republicans privatize the VA, the next step in their plan is to provide a voucher to vets for care. This would mean that our veterans would have less coverage, and would have to pay more out of pocket for healthcare.
In short, privatization is a way for Republicans to break our promise to veterans. It is an idea that is based on ideology, not facts. One of these years, Congress is going to get serious and pass a real reform bill for the VA. Veterans should not have to suffer because Republicans lack the guts to do what is right.
Speaker Boehner’s call for privatization was predictable. Republicans have no ideas, and don’t have any real solutions to offer. A voucher scheme isn’t going provide vets with the specialized care that they require. These people fought and bled for this country. Throwing them under the bus because of an ideological devotion to privatization is a shameful thing to suggest.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association