Candidate Obama speech to the VFW, August 21, 2007:
No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care, or wait months - even years - to get an appointment at the VA.Oh well. That was then. This is now.
When we fail to keep faith with our veterans, the bond between our nation and our nation's heroes becomes frayed. When a veteran is denied care, we are all dishonored. It's not enough to lay a wreath on Memorial Day, or to pay tribute to our veterans in speeches. A proud and grateful nation owes more than ceremonial gestures and kind words.
Caring for those who serve - and for their families - is a fundamental responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief. It is not a separate cost. It is a cost of war. It is something I've fought for as a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. And it is something I will fight for as President of the United States.
It's time for comprehensive reform. When I am President, building a 21st century VA to serve our veterans will be an equal priority to building a 21st century military to fight our wars. My Secretary of Veteran's Affairs will be just as important as my Secretary of Defense. No more shortfalls - it's time to fully fund the VA medical center. No more delays - it's time to pass on-time VA budgets each and every year. No more means testing - it's time to allow all veterans back into the VA. I will immediately reverse a policy that led the VA to turn away nearly 1 million middle and low-income veterans since 2003.
The VA will also be at the cutting edge of my plan for universal health care,
By now we know the drill. A scandal erupts and Obama is shocked, SHOCKED that such a thing could be going on. He didn't know. And once he found out he's mad as hell and going to get to the bottom of it. Here's a short list of that favorite tactic:
USA Today: NSA Denies Obama Knew Of Spying On German Leader
CNN: HHS Chief: President Didn’t Know Of Obamacare Website WoesBeforehand
Politico: Senior W.H. Staff Knew Of IRS Investigation, Did Not Tell Obama
Weekly Standard: Obama Claims He Didn’t Know About the Petraeus Investigation
Business Insider: The White House Says It Had No Idea The DOJ Seized The AP’s Phone Records
Real Clear Politics: Carney: Obama Didn’t Know About Fast & Furious Until He Saw It In Media
If you want to see a video montage of these examples and more, click here.
Now, Obama's added a new "I didn't know" and "mad as hell" to the list. That old game will be tougher to play this time around. In 2007 Obama campaigned with a pledge to improve the wait times that are at the heart of the current scandal. Also, he was warned of the problem during the transition period to his presidency in 2008 and we have Obama's own speech in 2009 where he promised to "cut those backlogs, slash those wait times, deliver your benefits sooner."
So now Obama is "mad as hell" about this new scandal and he only learned about it from reading the newspaper. Why didn't he know about such an important issue that he has personally raised in public on several occasions? Will the White House next try to call this a "phony scandal" as they have with Benghazi and the IRS? The Congress will hold hearings on the subject. Will the Obama Administration refuse to answer requests for documents and when they do respond send only blacked out redacted sheets of paper?
VA Care Coming to All With ObamaCare?
For years, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been saying that Veterans Administration health care is a model for care for all citizens (1,2). Krugman is a cheerleader for Obama's policies. If he's ever had a critical word to say about Obama I haven't heard it. Here's a small sample of what he said about VA healthcare:
Exhibit A for the advantages of government provision [of healthcare] is the veterans administration, which runs its own hospitals and clinics, and provides some of the best-quality healthcare in America at far lower cost than the private sector.Expect to read any day now a new Krugman column claiming he was misunderstood or that Republicans are really to blame!
The bottom line here is that big government does not work. Even the most competent and incorruptible government would have trouble making such a system work and the Obama Administration is both incompetent and corrupt. The problem is that there is no profit motive that would keep large bureaucracies like the VA accountable to those they serve. Who cares what the wait time is if those served have few, if any, other options. ObamaCare won't work for the exact same reason and we better face up to that now while there is still time to avoid the worst that is surely to come if we do not act!
P.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki is also "mad as hell" about the scandal. Sound like someone is programming the talking points again? Talk about insincere!