Topics: Veterans Affairs

Most important casualty of Veterans Affairs scandal could be Obamacare

By |
Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Obamacare,Veterans Affairs,Health Care,Veterans,Ben Carson

There may be something on the horizon more damaging to Obamacare's future than the Veterans Affairs scandal, but it's impossible to see at the moment.

Unpredictable consequences always come about with big scandals in government, however, so the VA uproar is proving true to form. But maybe that will change in the days ahead.

In any case, Memorial Day media coverage is usually dominated by somber reminders of fallen heroes and stirring descriptions of uncommon bravery and self-sacrifice under fire.

Not this year

But it was all but impossible in 2014 to talk about Memorial Day without also talking about the VA scandal. There is simply no reconciling the contrast between the nation's love and respect for its veterans and the bureaucratic incompetence and abuse being inflicted on them by their government-run health care system.

Dr. Ben Carson, the world-famous neurosurgeon and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, may have best captured the dilemma posed by the VA scandal for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Bureaucrats for doctors

During an interview on Fox News over the weekend, Carson laid it out on these terms:

"I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God, to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider.

"And if we can’t get it right, with the relatively small number of veterans, how in the world are you going to do it with the entire population? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out."

Or a political scientist

The stark political reality is that every new revelation of veterans suffering and dying due to delays in treatment or bureaucratic coverups of inefficiency bolsters Republican claims that government-run health care can't work.

No surprise then that, as the Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio reports today, momentum is growing in some quarters of Congress to "privatize" VA.

That could mean no more than forcing VA to cover private care the government system is unable to provide or as much as giving every discharged veteran a health care card that can be used for treatment wherever it is available as long as it is needed.

But no matter how Congress ultimately fixes VA, one thing seems all but certain — the biggest casualty of the VA scandal will be Obamacare.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Tuesday's Editorial: Vulnerable Senate Dems fear impact of EPA power-plant rule.

Monday's Editorial: Government-run health care could be the ultimate SNAFU.

Sunday's Editorial: Jim Crow alive and well in Eric Holder's Justice Department.

Columnist/Hugh Hewitt: For the Republican debates in 2016, every detail counts.

Columnist/James Jay Carafano: Vets helping vets on the homefront.

Columnist/Cal Thomas: The Rich List and the culture of envy.

Columnist/Michael Barone: Scenario for a 2016 GOP nightmare.

Columnist/Byron York: Questions mount about Obama's competence.

Beltway Confidential/Chuck Hoskinson: This is how a Twitter hashtag dies.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Push to privatize Veterans Affairs gains traction.

PennAve/David M. Drucker: Five reasons why Dems' immigration reform threats won't work.

In other news

The Washington Post: Separatists claim heavy losses in Ukraine battles.

The New York Times: U.S. trains African commandos to fight terrorism.

CBS News: States still woefully short on pension-funding goals.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: Kristol on waiting for the wave.

National Review Online: Do as Al Gore says, not as he does.

The American Conservative: The Benghazi battle and why the GOP foreign policy debate isn't over.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Who killed federalism?

Lefty Playbook

The Nation: Europe's right-wing insurrection.

The New Republic: Obama's new coal rules are a B.F.D. and the ensuing political fight may be even bigger.

The American Prospect: How the "Pick-Up Artist" philosophy shaped the mind of Elliott Rodger.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Why do tank cars filled with oil keep exploding?

Blog Right

Yid With Lid: Where the Pope prayed wrong in the Holy Land.

Jammie Wearing Fools: John Kerry says Obama will go down in history for transparency.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: The toughest questions GOP now faces on Obamacare.

Talk Left: Subcomandante Marcos steps down as Zapatistas' leader.

Fire Dog Lake: While you emerged.

View article comments Leave a comment

More from washingtonexaminer.com