John Boehner Wants To Harm Veterans Even More By Privatizing The VA

John Boehner

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.

34 Replies to “John Boehner Wants To Harm Veterans Even More By Privatizing The VA”

  1. Bonehead just wants to keep his owners happy. Privatizing the VA will mean in infusion of billions a year for the private clinic companies that are basically owned by the big Wall Street Banks.

  2. The Republicans want to eliminate all government services and replace them with privatization schemes which will only cause more pain for everybody.

    Want a privatization scheme that has completely run amok? Look no further than our private prisons. They are owned and build by Wall Street, prison sentences are being handed down with the sole purpose of keeping the prisons full and THIS is exactly why there are more prisoners per capita in the US than any other country.

    There are judges being bribed to keep the prisons full. Prisoners’ labour is being exploited by private industry. It’s a way to incarcerate black people. It’s not for nothing it’s being called the new Jim Crow.

    Look at these facts before you accept any more privatization schemes.

    Remember Nazi Germany also went through privatization mania.

  3. I do not believe in privatization of the Veterans Hospital with Private Civilian Hospitals, however a solution could be to combine the active military hospitals with the the VA and make it all one. To me, that’s a solution.

  4. Hey, Mr. Speaker what a great idea! Let’s turn VA over to private corporations and cut their taxes so they can make even MORE money for even SHITTIER service.

  5. The end game for what Koch brothers are directing the GOP to do to this country is feudalism. What we’re seeing take place in our is not politics as usual–it’s a concerted effort to destroy the middle class, the New Deal, the Great Society programs, and every other social safety net program designed to help the middle class and poor. This is more dangerous than most people realize.

  6. Rep. Boehner may be on to something here. Let’s give vets an opinion of entering the same gold-plated health insurance plan Speaker Boehner enjoys, fully paid for by the government, for life.

  7. Poor Speaker Orange. Things just aren’t going his way lately. First, he tries to stuff Issa under the bus. Darrell didn’t like being curbed, so he bitch slapped the NEW Inquisitor…a Draco Malfoy clone.

    Now this, with revelations that Congress has held more than 90 hearings concerning VA issues over the last six years. NINETY. And the best Speaker Orange can do is throw up his hands and confess “We Got Nothing!”

  8. It is extremely dangerous. I wonder how many people really understand what is happening with the 1% buying our politicians, taking away our rights, basically breaking down the whole country for their greedy, evangelical evil.

    We are headed to be a 3rd world country, no doubt about it.

    This is for the greater good of the 1%, the rest of us will be scrambling for crumbs to eat.

  9. This privatization Boehner can act on. However, the UE insurance needed so desperately is dumped in the reject pile.

    We need to start protesting and uprising. There are more of us than them.

  10. Have any of these rethugs considered talking to the Veterans affairs oversight committees in congress and asking them what the oversight was doing?

  11. One of the more troubling things about our situation is the lack of concern or understanding about what’s happening to us. I heard Thom Hartmann say on his radio show that according to a recent survey over 90% of the respondents didn’t know who the Koch brothers are, nor did they know which party controls which chamber of Congress. This is frightening. This year’s midterms, as well as every other future election in this country, will be crucial.

    Three decades of right wing brainwash propaganda has wreaked havoc on the common sense and sense of self-preservation of millions of middle class and poor voters who vote for the GOP election after election. Multimillionaires like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have brainwashed millions of them to vote for the GOP to cut the throats of all of us. I guess they think that the Koch brothers will protect the Social Security and Medicare of GOP voters, and just take it away from the rest of us.

  12. Exactly, people do not know who Koch brothers are. I say the best way for Dems to campaign is to break it all down, campaign against Koch. Show people directly what the consequences have been where Koch influence as prevailed. As it stands now, not to call anyone ignorant, but any negative issues arising, you have the group of people thinking its the President creating the losses…voter suppression, women’s rights, loss of unions. Koch’s faces need to be on TV with their ugly ideologies shown to the world.

  13. This week the VA made exactly that proposal. For veterans who live far away from VA hospitals, this is perfect – and it’s USING private resources, not privatizing what is overall an excellent system. My WW II veteran father had Parkinsons for most of his adult life, and his care was exclusively through the VA that treated him in outstanding ways. That Bush let the system decline is beyond disgusting, and repairing it with no help from the GOP is the problem. I work with a lot of homeless vets who in my area get excellent care. The main trouble spots are in – surprise – red states. When we live up to our promises as a nation, we will have great service, and making it available more easily is a GOOD thing. But privatizing? Not at all. The VA has and can and will be restored to its excellence when the GOP are removed from control.

  14. Despite being underfunded and despite the large influx of new veterans the VA has done great things in the last decade in the areas of primary care and preventative medicine that NO private care system can match. Two examples are helping vets quit smoking and helping diabetic vets to control their blood sugar. Just those two have MASSIVE benefits now and down the road and that is JUST TWO of the MANY things VA is doing. There are vets who need complicated care and vets who need life-long care and you want to give them a coupon and tell them “good luck buddy?” FU buddy! There are problems with the VA and fixing them will take time and effort and money but “coupon care” is not it. Firing Shinseki will not solve the problems and a new VA head will take even longer to fix problems. Rethuglicans using this to try to score cheap political points makes me sick. This is effing Memorial Day weekend for keereist’s sake!
    Thank a vet.
    S/He deserves more than a coupon.

  15. Privatization is another revenue source for those with the means. In Texas a guy named Dannie Goeb, running as Dan Patrick has taken public school funding and provided privatized Charter schools. Those connected to the powers an leaders in Austin get first choice when the pickings are let for bidding.
    This is the same tactic on the national level by Boehner. TEA-Republicans want to privatize VA hospitals turning those revenue sources into their control front and back. Congress is definitely broken! Vote Out The Encumberance!(V.O.T.E.)
    TEA-Republican obstructionist must be removed!
    Get the vote out!
    Vote Out The Encumberance!(V.O.T.E.)
    The 2014 Mid-term election is a-coming!
    “Sweep the Senate CLEAN….in 2014″
    “Sweep the HOUSE CLEAN….in 2014″
    “Sweep your state CLEAN….in 2014″

  16. Sorry to disagree with you. The congress critters PAY for their health insurance. Agent Orange and the rest of them have health insurance that is comparable to what normal folks have, including co-pays.

    It is a myth that they have gold-plated insurance that they get for free. However, their salaries for doing NOTHING are outrageous.

    I had to work for a living and I had to perform or get fired. If you or I acted like Congress…well, we ought to fire every damned Teapublican we can.

  17. I got out of the Marine Corp in 1978 and the system had long wait times then, and crappy doctors. Now if I wanted to use the VA I would have to go 45 miles one way to El Paso to see a doctor. Not really practical.

    I think for veterans that live within a reasonable distance use the VA. For the rest give them medicare and medicaid.

  18. Having more CBOCs would help that problem (community based outpatient clinics). The Dems tried to fund more CBOCs but the repugs filibustered it so you know who to blame.

  19. As a proud progressive veteran I could write a book to show my pure disgust on this frigging topic. I will just explain as follows. On Sunday night MPBN(public broadcasting)had a wonderful special in front of the capital building for our wounded heroes. Celebrities and veterans alike read passages live about our veterans experiences during foreign wars. When the camera would swing over to show a house GOP member showing “real heartfelt emotion and adoration for our heroes” I had all I could do to not puke up my guts or throw my beer at my TV. When one vet in-particular was reading a wonderful emotional letter aloud the camera swung over to show a smiling Eric Cantor and well I had to turn off the tube before my head exploded.

  20. One tiny step toward privatization, one giant leap to lining the pockets of corporate healthcare. The logical consequence of the underfunding legislation blocking dance now being performed by the House Republicans and their partners in the Senate.
    Quoting myself, “I’ve relied on the VA as a primary care provider for forty two years. The services delivered have been very good to excellent depending on location and veteran number fluctuations. Wait times do indeed get longer when there’s an influx of returning veterans after major military engagements. In those forty two years there seems to be a correlation between calls for vouchers and privatization schemes in response to discovery of this or that problem within the system. If memory serves, during the “good years” when major issues are not discovered and brought to light it seems the same privatization and voucher folks are the ones who also vote no on budget appropriations for the VA.”

  21. I assume that for political purposes they’ve long known but waited for the wave of criticism to hit. Benghazi’s going nowhere. The ACA has finally found a base upon which to build (it’s a work in progress, people. WAY too soon for critics to say “it’s not working, it won’t work”.)

    The timing is perfect NOW for the Republicans. This has nothing to do to help the veterans in need, just taking shots that they know will hit the Democrats and hit them hard.

  22. I dare anyone to find any private medical facility that has an 85% satisfaction rating among it’s patients. It makes no sense to privatize unless you hate OBAMA.

  23. Excellent point Joan. Repugs don’t care about the VA or veterans except for today and if they can use them as a political weapon against Dems.

  24. After all these many years of Wars, I am beginning to think like president Wilson,
    “Isolation” America first.

    USA Army retired

  25. What I don’t truly get, is if the veteran is disabled and has to use a private party for his medical needs, whatever they may be……who is truly going to pay for it?

    If the veteran is disabled and unable to work and to afford the high premiums associated with the rightwing, how will this help those veterans.

    That is why the VA is set up the way it is. Granted…..some of the physicians working for the VA, should be fired or sent back for complete evaluation of their skills and knowledge….but privatization of the VA isn’t the answer.

    So….when is it going to end with these stinking rightwingers? It seems, that they are pushing for civil unrest on a large scale….but that dog in the hunt, could very well turn around and do more than bite them.

  26. The thing about vouchers is the government can drop the amount that those vouchers cover. And would in a heartbeat

  27. As Americans we are lead to believe that the rest of the world has morality issues. We need to wake up and look at our own government and representatives. They appear to have morality issues. It will take us years to clean up the mess here at home that we have caused ourselves.

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