On May 11, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals took a stand for veterans that has been shameful years in coming. It ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs has been violating the due process rights of veterans in denying them meaningful access to critically needed mental health care.
Stop right there. Ninth Circuit? That’s San Francisco – ruling against a government agency in a health care case. Denying access to health care. This must be pretty bad for them to make this type of ruling.
This past Tuesday, the Obama administration filed a motion to appeal that decision. Administration lawyers said the court had “wrested control of the V.A. from the politically accountable branches of government that are best-positioned to identify the needs of veterans and allocate scarce resources.”
Pretty lame stance.
OK pay attention here.
At the core of the Ninth Circuit’s opinion was the outrageous number of suicides among veterans. “On an average day, 18 veterans of our nation’s armed forces take their own lives. Of those, roughly one quarter are enrolled with the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. Among all veterans enrolled in the V.A. system, an additional 1000 attempt suicide each month. Although the V.A. is obligated to provide veterans mental health services, many veterans with depression or post traumatic stress disorder are forced to wait weeks for mental health referrals and are given no opportunity to request or demonstrate their need for expedited care.” The court stated,”The V.A.’s unchecked incompetence has gone on long enough. No more veterans should be compelled to agonize or perish while the government fails to perform its obligations.”
There are countless stories of being denied disability after a 20-minute interview, being given pills rather than meaningful treatment, having to wait months to be assigned a therapist, having disability benefits arbitrarily terminated.
Seriously people. Government can’t even take care of this small group of people. If this is what they are doing now – what do you think will happen if they take over all of health care? Are they going to all of a sudden become proficient health care administrators? Heck no.
Just know in advance – this is what you can expect with government health care – or maybe worse.