The allegorical VA.


Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 7/25/14


Starting with the revelation that as many as 40 military veterans died while waiting for care at the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix, stories coming from the Department of Veterans Affairs have coalesced into one giant allegory on government-run health care.

The latest installment comes from Tennessee.

According to a story at, Ken Moore, a Vietnam veteran, was denied disability benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Moore is unable to walk or speak. He suffers severe pulmonary problems as a result of exposure to Agent Orange during his service in Vietnam.

He has cancer.

According to Breitbart, in the official assessment that was filed in connection with his disability application, Mr. Moore’s doctor said, “I do not think that there is a reasonable likelihood that he will improve to the point that he can return to work.”

Assuming that the facts are as reported, it seems clear that Ken Moore is the very embodiment of the type of military veteran for which the VA was created. One cannot imagine that his application for disability would do anything other than sail through the process.

That is unless one first imagines a giant, bloated, pustulated federal government that becomes less effective at carrying out its basic functions with the passing of every single day.

Mr. Moore can’t walk. He can’t talk. He has trouble breathing. He’s battling cancer.

Yet in response to Moore’s application, the VA sent a letter saying that his condition did not preclude him from getting a job and that the disability application was therefore denied.

You have to wonder, what was the VA bureaucrat who generated that letter looking at when he or she denied Ken Moore his benefits?

Did anyone actually read what was submitted? Or was some check box on some form not completed or some key word omitted that in the process-over-substance world of government somehow resulted in some computer somewhere generating a boilerplate rejection letter?

We, of course, will never know – even though we pay the $152 billion in taxes that the VA says it needs for its 2014 fiscal year budget.

Mr. Moore’s story doesn’t end badly. A local television station took up the story and Mr. Moore finally got the benefits to which he is so clearly entitled. But that it took the intervention of a TV reporter tells you a lot about the intransigence of the VA bureaucracy.

My point in this story is not that the VA needs fixing, which clearly it does. My point is that the VA is a microcosm of a national health care system and Obamacare is nothing but a precursor to national health care.

National health care might just work in a country like Finland – with roughly the land area of New Mexico and roughly the population of Dallas-Ft. Worth.

But in a country of 315 million spanning an entire continent, national health care will make tens of thousands suffer needlessly before finally killing them.

That’s why stories about the VA are about so much more than the VA.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. Exactly. The VA is a window into what Obamacare will be. God help those who imagine they will get quality care in a timely way at a reasonable price. Obama from the beginning was selling nothing but snake oil. All that aside, it’s great that Mr. Moore finally did get the disability for which he so clearly qualifies.

  2. Linda E. Montrose says:

    This is something I am very familar with as my husband has been denied benefits as well! I could tell you a lot of things but it would take up way too much time. The VA ia just like the SS office in that they will deny deny deny until you either give up or bring a lawyer in, which will eat up most of what you are entitled to in the first place. The government has no place in healthcare! I know the government runs the military but something should be in place where benefits and healthcare to our military veterans is not in the hands of bureaucrats but people who actually know about healthcare! This is a blot on this country to treat those who have sacrificed life and limb for our freedoms! Truly a shame!

  3. pk says:

    If you add up all the things Obama is responsible for ; then place them in a column side by side with those things he has hedged( like this).
    You will count to see what things he has done for the “good of USA & how he has fulfilled his Presidential vow; you will find Obama has zero intentions to do either.
    I hope we have learned our lesson to VET our Presidential candidates( Obama is the only one NOT vetted) nor checked out his former associates & papers.(Like Bill Ayers & “Rules for Radicals”)

    He could be in the column of anomaly or “a sport” ; but he is is not anything like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, is his care of this nation.
    Thank heaven for term limits Obama had such a great chance to be great…but this way all he will ever be is “the 1st Black”.

  4. R. Eagleman says:

    PK makes a great point regarding the lack of interest in this “1st Black president’s” associations and qualifications; our country was just too anxious to prove that we are not a racist society. The rationale for electing this “1st Black president”, regardless of his shady associations and highly dubious qualifications, would be to finally stop the continuous whining of the race merchants’ claims that if only we had left their ancestors in Africa, everything would be wonderful. Well, so much for pipe dreams; these professional America-haters are even more convinced than ever that we are racist. We now know that the requirement to produce evidence of one’s identity to vote is somehow racist by voter suppression. Let us not forget that Bill Ayers, as well as many of our president’s circle of advisors were protestors of the war, not purely for philosophical objections, but also for reasons of cowardice. When one is afraid of suffering an injury from combat, it is very convenient and cowardly to blame the cause as unjust. These cowards who fled to Canada or protested the efforts of our military are many of those who are now in positions of power in our government, educational institutions, and the media. Is it any wonder that there is not a strong motivation to do something to correct the horrors of the V.A.? Until we can make the V.A. truly responsible by eliminating the civil service and union protections, nothing will change. If you feel comforted by the stories coming out of the V.A., you are going to love Obamacare!

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