Former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey brings up an aspect of the crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs that has been overlooked (or ignored) by the media and politicians as they call for endless investigations into why veterans are dying waiting for care. The unions representing VA employees don’t want veterans to receive civilian medical care under Medicare, which many veterans are eligible for.
Encouraging vets on Medicare to use civilian care instead of the VA could cut the patient backlog at the VA by as much as half, solving a national crisis.
Almost half of vets are 65 or over, and nearly all vets using the VA have Medicare coverage.
Often, they’d be better off getting their bypass surgery and cancer operations at civilian hospitals that do higher volumes of these age-related procedures and have better survival rates, instead of sticking with the VA.
But the VA fails to tell them. The culprit is the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union that dominates the VA. For AFGE, the VA is a jobs program.
The union wants more patients, bigger VA budgets and more staff, never mind what ailing vets need.
Nine months ago, the VA rolled out a $9.3 billion program to refer vets needing specialists to civilian medical centers if the wait at their VA was too long or they lived too far away.
AFGE is fighting the program, even accusing VA executives of deliberately causing the backlog.
Read the whole thing, as there is much more. This is just one more reason why public employees should never have been allowed to unionize.