Former Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin was recently fired from his post. Supposedly Shulkin was fired due to scandals as well as his opposition to the privatization of the VA.
Mr. Shulkin wrote an op-ed in the NY times recently where he said,
I believe strongly in the mission of the Department of Veternas Affairs, and nothing about my political experience in Washington could ever change that. I also believe that maintaining a strong VA is an essential piece of the puzzle that is the United States’ national security system: We can only expect our sons and daughters to risk their lives and fight for our freedom if we can keep our promise to care for them when they return home broken, injured or traumatized. There is no excuse for not holding up our end of the bargain.
What a load of bunk!
This is an embarrassment that a man of that high office could have such limited knowledge. Later in the piece Shulkin states “As many of you know, I am a physician, not a politician.” No kidding! Mr. Shulkin has immense more knowledge than me in medicine but clearly knows nothing of economics, politics or even national defense. Good riddance, David.
Shulkin states a VA is an essential piece of the national security of the US. Perhaps if we stop sending young and full of life men and women to foreign countries, where they can’t tell the difference between civilian and enemy, where they end up taking innocent lives for some unknown end goal, we may have slightly less need for medical services back home.
Shulkin states that we can only expect our sons and daughters to risk lives when we promise to care for them when they return. Tell this to those who were conscripted into fighting in Vietnam. They were forced to fight regardless of the care situation back home.
Shulkin implies that by privatizing the VA we would fail to provide care for veterans when they return home. Does Shulkin have the slightest idea how either markets or charity works?
When Mr. Shulkin provided care in his physician practice, did he only do so because the government forced him to? Or did he maybe provide care because he made a living from providing value to his patients and he felt fulfilled in aiding his patients to recovery?
In his opposition to the privatization of the VA, Mr. Shulkin embodies some of the worst and most disheartening ignorance in politics.
Does Mr. Shulkin realize that veterans would love to choose regular hospitals for access to care because the VA is slow, ineffective and is constantly on the defensive from latest scandals.
Privatizing the VA is:
- The most moral thing to do
- Irrelevant for national security (though we could be more secure by not starting wars all over the world)
- An easy way to save the government money
- The best way to ensure veterans actually get high quality healthcare back home when in need.
Mr. Shulkin ought to be ashamed of himself.
I don’t have much hope for Trump actually privatizing the VA but he deserves credit for floating the idea and should be urged at every moment to follow through. I will be doing my best to convince him!