Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remember, the DoD and VA are success stories

by Smitty (hat tip Paco)

Paco graciously links my missive to my Congressman.

He further links Director Blue enumerating a few government successes on the back side of the success/fail coin.

Ross at DB says:
So with a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that "services" you shove down our throats are failing faster and faster, you want Americans to believe you can be trusted with a government-run health care system?

What you'll hear from, say, Jim Moran is that the DoD and VA count as government successes.

As a Constitution fetishist, I'll point out that unlike much of the Progressive oeuvre, the DoD has clear Constitutional roots. You can jump off the literalist cliff and say that the Air Force is un-Constitutional. Ho-hum.

A more interesting question is whether you think that DoD health care is any good. My experience is, yes. As a squid on a ship, I started having trouble sleeping, winding up fetal on my left side. As you might expect, next we pulled into port, I was admitted to Balboa and gave birth to my only offspring thus far, a diseased appendix. I will not say how many liberals voted for it when I ran it for Congress in California, not wishing to embarrass our left coast readership.

Would you like to know some major reasons while DoD (not VA) health care is successful? Here are a few factors:
  • Rigorous screening prior to joining. You can argue that the DoD health care doesn't deny service based upon pre-existing conditions, and that is absolutely true. If you didn't pass the physical, you never joined in the first place.
  • They can order you to maintain fitness standards. The bar isn't too high, and it's certainly a Good Idea to stay in shape, but it will force you to do something, unless you are one of those Stacy McCain built-like-a-toothpick types. (Grr)
  • They can order you to exercise. Not as big a threat for squids, but if you're on shore, and the CO has a feeling that everyone is falling in for a team building evolution at 0600, then guess where you'll be at 0600?
  • Being a service member is a privilege, and they can punt you for any number of reasons. If you're medically discharged or retire, then you move on to the VA. I can tell you that my father has to drive many hours to make use of his benefits, and he's something of a grumpy old man about it. But that's anecdotal.

Summary: the DoD/VA combination are not bad, but an overtly authoritarian system like the military is going to seem...odd to many civilians. Then again, we seem to see much oddness these days.


  1. As a veteran on Tricare, I have noticed a marked deterioration of service over the last few years. I recently broke a small bone in my hand, not really an emergency, but it hurt and needed an x-ray and a cast. I couldn't get an appointment and was told to go the emergency room at Balboa. Six hours later I emerged, casted and ready to go home. Cost cutting at my primary care location had eliminated the x-ray machine and its tech, hence my treatment. The military system is probably being overloaded by retirees like myself, who pay a pittance in annual premiums compared to the private world. But the results are informative, deteriorating service and burgeoning costs. This will be the fate of the entire nation under the Democratic plans. See my post.

  2. I don't know how the military medicine is now, I know how it was in 1967. Nobody gave a damn. I had a very badly broken leg caused by some fast moving pieces of metal.

    Fist I couldn't get out of bed, for days and days. The squid medics would not bother empying a urinal. They were happy to raise hell if it got too full.

    The docs and nurses were all commissioned officers which meant that we had to lay at attention, sit at attention or stand at attention. And they were far more interested in military courtesy that our well being. Well, that and staying as far back from the line of fire as possible.

    Nineteen year old men developed bedsores because nobody cared. That was military medicine in 1967-1968. Judging from the hoorah over Walter Reed a couple years back, not much has changed.