Our friends on capital hill have found a new issue to throw around; and already the political gymnastics have begun, as members of both parties try to use this issue to gain political ground (or at least not lose any).
The truth is, armed services health care has been substandard for years, in fact, it was always substandard; and it certainly hasn’t gotten better under the Bush administration (nor would it, in all probability, under any other).
What is being utterly ignored is the real relevance of this case; the utter failure of government agencies to properly run anything. This issues impact on the health care debate has not, to my knowledge, been brought up in the mainstream media.
One of the major problems of the armed services hospital is simple; when detached from a competitive environment, almost anything will decline in quality. Patient satisfaction didn’t matter to this hospital, they will exist regardless; when private hospitals have to compete, quality naturally increases, a hospital like the one in-this-issue would likely not survive in the real world. It sounds like the apathy had a lot more to do with the conditions in the armed services hospital then funding did.
Saying that; I do believe that government should provide care to the armed services and veterans. Giving people incentives to join the military is a major component to national defense.
I hope or politicians manage to solve this problem in the new future. Maybe they can pay more medical bills from private hospitals; or maybe try to attract better doctors and managers with better salaries and benefits; or perhaps have armed services hospitals compete for better funding and privileges; or simply hold these hospitals more responsible.
Whatever the solution, I hope it is found, and this just doesn’t become anther “hot-issue” that ultimately goes nowhere.