August 2, 2016
By Lorra B.
In a speech on Monday, President Obama addressed the many issues facing the veterans health care system. In fact, Obama insisted that long wait times to see doctors had dramatically declined since he took office and that veteran homelessness had been cut nearly in half since 2010.
Out of the nearly 40,000 veterans that are homeless, 13,000 are living on the streets. According to this figure that was released on Monday, there are 56% fewer homeless vets living on the streets, according to HUD and the VA.
Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller, said the cost of the homeless program is increasing dramatically and the program is showing limited results.
The cost of this program is 1.5 billion annually, reports USA Today.
Obama had promised to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, stated, “The effort has been an unqualified success over the last few years.” But has it really?
Even Obama calls the delays that continue to plague the VA system “inexcusable” and that veterans “remain frustrated by the health care bureaucracy,” according to The New YorkTimes.
“We’ve hired thousands more doctors, nurses, staff,” Mr. Obama said at a conference of the Disabled American Veterans. “When we really put our sweat and tears and put our shoulder to the wheel, we can make things better.”
These are some of the statements by the Obama Administration that completely frustrate Veteran and Fox News affiliate, Pete Hegseth.
“This is exactly why people are frustrated with Washington DC because our ruling class in Washington tell them time and time again that things are getting better, their lives are better,” stated Hegseth. “And then they look at their own lives, and in this case for veterans, their own waits [wait times], [the] care that they are getting and then they say, ‘It’s not better, in fact it’s even worse.’ And the stats they are quoting to people are stats that grow government. More spending, more staffing, more clinicians. If you’re adding so much more on top, why is my life not getting better. Why has my wait time actually increased? Why do I still not have a choice? Why has no one still been fired?”
“This is why Donald Trump resonates, because elites are lying to us about the reality. And this speech at the VA from…Barack Obama is a perfect example of that.”
Donald Trump supports more privatization of the Department of Veteran Affairs, though Obama adamantly rejects that idea.
The current secretary, Robert McDonald, has been a critic of the Obama administration. In 2014 problems and corruption within the VA surfaced including manipulated waiting lists to see doctors and the compulsory resignation of Eric Shinseki.
According to McDonald, more people need to be held accountable, though he does remain optimistic about putting an end to veteran homelessness.
“I don’t know when we’ll get to zero,” McDonald said. “Zero continues to be the goal.”
The cost to create and maintain the VA programs have skyrocketed and, according to many, the payoff has been tremendous and the programs a huge success. Others believe the programs to be a failure and that the continued wait-times, homelessness and deaths remain unacceptable.
There is one thing all parties can agree on and that is that the VA system needs vast improvement. No veteran should die waiting to see a doctor or remain homeless. No president, past, present or future, should be content with the status quo but do all in their power to protect the very Heroes that have risked it all for this great Nation.
By Lorra B.