Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Looking for More Details on Government Management of Health Care?

The Truth blog has some excellent coverage, including video clips, of VA horror stories and the terribly inadequate level of care on Indian reservations.


Yojimbo said...

Terribly inadequate level of care on Indian Reservations understates the problem by half again. Ground zero does not rise to the level of "terribly inadequate". That phrase is morally repugnant.

Paco said...

Well, dude, substitute your own phrase.

richard mcenroe said...

There's a saying on the reservations in the Southwest: "Don't get sick after July, because there's no money for it."

Paco said...

Maybe this will satisfy Yojimbo: federal health care on the reservations is just one step away from giving the Indians smallpox-infected blankets.

Yojimbo said...

Well, dude, I will. Genocidal in many instances. In many other instances the healthcare capability makes a rural Cuban clinic look like the Mayo Clinic.

Paco said...

I knew it was bad, but didn't know it was that bad (although it looked bad enough just from what I was able to pick up on the video).

Yojimbo said...

Reservations in the southwest and the plains are very rural in nature. There are very few hospitals to service the populations and even these are short of doctors and medical technology. Many of the areas lack running water, electricity and indoor plumbing. Many of the small communities lack paved roads so basic mobility is a problem.

You will find that doctors are almost nonexistant in these areas. What medical capability there is is provided by a few public health nurses. As you can see what we take for granted as basic medical services- a doctor for diagnostics, testing, mmmograms, etc. just doesn't exist in these areas. This leads to very high mortality rates for no reason other than lack of caring.

Each year the great poobahs in Washington dole out untold millions for politcally correct studies and grants to support the political class but don't stoop to deliver basic medical services to rural communites leading to unnecessary deaths. The vast majority of Indian funds stays in Washington so yuppie white law school graduates can generate plenty of lines in the Federal Register and then get hired by Beltway law firms but can't seem to find the money for basic diagnostic services.

That is why I used the genocide term because it looks a great deal like Darfur where the world stands aside because it is more convenient to service their politcal class than actually save lives. The moral vacuum is the same.

Sorry for the long post.

RebeccaH said...

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here, not because I disagree with the basic premise, but because I see the lack of care from a different perspecitve.

The BIA is a political, bullshit organizational holdover from the era of Political Correctness and 19th Century Patronage. It should be drastically overhauled (and before you condemn white racism, you should look at those Indians (pardon me, Native Americans) who hold substantially powerful offices in the BIA, garnering advantages not only for their specific tribes, but for themselves. It's easy to stick white racism, but that's not the whole (or even the major) story. American Indians' worst enemies in the 20th century were American Indians.

Not to excuse venal Washintonian power plays over western American rich land and resources, of course.

The VA has taken a lot of hits (well-deserved in some cases). Mr H's five-year battle to get his disability recognized is one. But when he finally did manage to get in to a hospital (Dayton Ohio Veterans, one of the few well-run hospitals in the US, although even it has its faults - email me and I'll tell you). It took a United States congressman, R-Ohio, Mike Turner, to listen to his complaints and get movement on his claim. His medical condition prompted surgery to replace both knees which had almost crippled him, and was performed without delay.

Even so, none of that has to do with the disability claim that he has had outstanding since 2001, after which they claimed his "degenerative knees were getting better". I think replacing the joints fairly well sinks that argument.

This is not the fault of the Veterans Administration. It's the fault of the bonus-oriented bureaucrats whose mandate is to deny coverage. If you think it's bad for Vietnam-era vets, think what it's going to be like for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans down the line. This is a government that does not love the military, who put their lives, not to mention their wellbeing, on the line for all of us. If we don't support their rightful claim on our gratitude, respect, and support, then this country deserves to go down in ignominous kitchen-midden Ozymandiacal obscurity.

Sorry for the long post, but there's plenty of shit to spread around, and isn't that the point of the present Tea Party movement? Aren't we, the American people, truly fed up with this crap?

JeffS said...

My father was a WWII veteran, with full VA benefits. He avoided applying for them as long as he could because he was too proud to ask for assistance.

And he had an excellent reverse role model, an in-law who squeezed a 100% disability out of the VA based on a non-existent injury. Dad LOATHED Uncle Jesse! So did I, but for somewhat different reasons.

Anywho, Dad eventually died of emphysema, brought on by 40 years of smoking, and aggravated by a heart attack. For his last few years, he was on oxygen.

The VA provided it. Aside from an annual check up, that was about all Dad got (AFAIK, I should say). The oxygen was delivered twice a week to their rural home a hundred miles or so from the VA hospital.

Then, one day, the VA sent them a letter advising Dad his oxygen deliveries would be stopped. If he wanted oxygen, he would have to stop by the VA hospital to pick it up.


Did I mention that Dad was 67, and in poor health? My step-mother wasn't in much better shape.

After some serious letter writing and phone calling (including at least one US Senator), the decision was reversed. I never found out if this was a clerical error (wrong address), or just indifference. In the end, it never mattered.

At that point, I promised myself that I would have as little to do with the VA as possible. Not just out of pride (there is that), but also for simple survival. And I am eligible for quite a bit with the VA.

This was in 1987. I've seen nothing in the government to change my mind since then.

ObamaCare? No thank you.

Yojimbo said...

Mrs H is right of course about the BIA. Title 25 of the U.S.C. is about power and control. I didn't mean to leave out Native Americans who are just as complicit in many instances as the infamous limousine liberal class.

In many ways it's very analogous to the problems in public education. The three great threats to innercity kids are white liberals, the Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus. All three see vouchers as a threat to their own power structure never mind the overwhelming evidence that private schools do a good job of educating and graduating these at risk youths. That is simply peripheral noise and should never enter the calculus.

My point was that if any of these power points in the Beltway really cared about things they would do a far better job of rationalizing their spending. Navigating your way in and around the Washington power structure is much more important than thinking about ways to deliver services to an underserved population.

Sorry about the long post.