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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

President Barack Obama adamantly opposes privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the level of health care veterans receive.

"The notion of dismantling the VA system would be a mistake," Obama told The Gazette on Thursday after he shook the hands of 812 new Air Force officers - all of whom will someday be veterans. He said his administration has made steady progress in modernizing the VA and providing veterans with more timely health care. Reinventing the system would derail that progress.

"If you look at, for example, VA health care, there have been challenges getting people into the system. Once they are in, they are extremely satisfied and the quality of care is very high," Obama said during an interview he granted only to The Gazette in a locker room at Falcon Stadium after the Air Force Academy graduation. read more


Sunday, May 22, 2016

One of the things I was trying to get at in this week's feature about Trump's amazing takeover of the Republican Party is that we've all gotten this wrong, for decades.

The tone of American political coverage for some time hasn't matched the reality of what voters have been going through. Even as America lost its manufacturing base and tens of millions of people were put out of good jobs, the campaign story for years remained the same weirdly celebratory soap opera.

Instead, we traveled all that way to focus on the same candidates who'd been with us on the plane from day one. They were the players in this rolling, immensely popular sports story, and to make the game accessible, we dumbed things down as much as possible.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Two years ago, vets were waiting a long time for care at Veterans Affairs clinics across the country. At one facility in Phoenix, for example, veterans waited an average of 115 days for an appointment. Adding insult to injury, some VA schedulers were told to falsify data to make it look like the waits weren't that bad.

Congress and the VA came up with a fix: Veterans Choice, a $10 billion program that was supposed to give veterans a card that would let them see a non-VA doctor if they were more than 40 miles away from a VA facility or they were going to have to wait longer than 30 days for a VA provider to see them.

There was a problem, though. Congress gave the VA only 90 days to set up the system. Facing that extremely tight time frame, the VA turned to two private companies to administer the program and help veterans get an appointment with a doctor and then work with the VA to pay that doctor.

Although the idea sounds simple enough, the fix hasn't worked out as planned. read more


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Donald Trump's ascension to the Republican presidential nomination was predictable, paved by years of right-wing fear-mongering and dissemination of anti-knowledge, says former GOP congressional staffer Mike Lofgren.

For 28 years, I worked on Capitol Hill as a Republican staffer. The 2008 selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as vice presidential candidate was embarrassing enough to me, but once the congressional GOP appeared eager to drive the country into a debt default in 2011, I decided to leave and become a political independent.

By that point it seemed plausible to me that Trump – or someone similar – was likely if not inevitable. Although conservative ideologues denounce him for being doctrinally impure, he is the logical culmination of deeper psychological trends both in the party and the broader American culture that I have observed over the years. read more


Friday, May 13, 2016

As they meet again in Washington, D.C., this week, the congressionally mandated Commission on Care, tasked with determining a 20-year strategic plan for the Veterans Health Administration, would do well to heed the voices of veterans and veterans service organizations that it has too often sidelined from its deliberations.

In its April meeting, the commission heard from leaders of the largest veterans service organizations (VSOs) -- Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, Vietnam Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Got Your Six, and Military Officers Association of America. All of them adamantly rejected the dismantling of the VHA, which had been recommended by seven of the commission members in their so-called Strawman Document.


Comments

I posted the article knuckledragger. Its not private healthcare, its doctors taking advantage of GOVERNMENT healthcare.
Has something of this magnitude like this ever happened with a private insurance company?

Arguing over the definition of 'private' and 'government' is where you're falling short, lady. By virtue that these doctors committing fraud were not being paid a government salary, but were out practicing medicine on the economy who also happened to accept Medicare is what this is all about. They're private doctors.

I was told over and over again, Medicare has super low overhead. This is why, how much more do you think is going on?

I don't know who told you those things, but fraud is just a small part as to why healthcare costs are so bloated. The majority of the healthcare cost problem revolves around doctors prescribing unnecessary tests. Add the temptation of greed, and you get fraud like what's at the top of this thread.

US Healthcare Costs - Where the money is going
resources.iom.edu

According to the IOM link, healthcare fraud happens to the tune of $75 billion every year, and it stems from not only fraudulent medicare & medicaid claims, but insufficient investment to detection from public and private payers.

I bet even in the VA these kickbacks are happening.

oops ... and there it is...
Pharmaceutical exec, VA doctors conspired in fraud

www.seattlepi.com

#9 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

Per your link...

A former pharmaceutical company executive bribed Veterans Affairs Department doctors in Washington state and elsewhere, paying VA employees thousands of dollars to promote his employer's products, federal prosecutors say.

Do VA employees commit fraud? Yes. But compare you lame link about knuckleheads working for the VA stupidly taking "thousands of dollars" and compare that to the total sum of fraud per the IOM link -- $75 billion a year times ten years = $750 billion. Who pays for that $750 billion? You do! ... as in we all do.

Get back to me when these things I'm saying sink in.

....we should have believed the people who said we'd save 2500, could keep our plans, our drs and that the potus could NOT write his own immigration law.....

#113 | POSTED BY AFKABL2

Your doctor gets their clinical decision correct only 55% of the time. In fact, they only base their clinical decisions on science 20% of the time.

Here's is why healthcare costs keep rising...

www.youtube.com
[16:05 - 21:35]

• Population growth and aging
• Uncontrolled proliferation of technology
• Increasing chronic care demands
• Direct to consumer marketing of healthcare products and services
• Restriction of managed care practices
• Legislative healthcare mandates
• Consolidation of healthcare providers
• Rising liability insurance costs
• Excessive demand ("Consumptive Society")
• Care variation from best evidence (i.e. poor quality)

So when Obama says you can keep your doctor, but then you can't, that has everything do with putting accountability into healthcare system. And those doctors and health insures that don't meet these new standards set by the ACA, they get penalized in the form of employers (who wanted the ACA) changing doctors networks that they offer to their employees.

I don't expect you to remember this verbatim, but it'd be nice if you challenged yourself to learn this stuff.

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