NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Veterans getting the short end of the stick, again

The recent press coverage of how war veterans receive substandard treatment in VA hospitals might lead you to believe that such deplorable treatment is a new development, probably triggered by VA hospitals being overwhelmed by the number of injured vets returning from Iraq. In reality, veterans have been getting the short end of the stick for years, even in times of peace and prosperity. I wrote about this in my first book, Fascinating Health Secrets:

America's raison d'être is freedom. Millions of Americans have fought to maintain our freedom. These veterans deserve our respect and gratitude. And how do we thank these veterans? By giving them health care in the most backward system in the United States, the Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. The conditions there are atrocious, and unimaginable for most of us. I will never forget coming in one morning and seeing a man lying dead in the hallway, with people passing by him as if he were a cigarette butt.

During my stint in medical school, I became acquainted with the VA concept of medical care. For example, I remember calling to check on a lab result for one of my patients. I was curtly informed that the test would not be performed. Curious, I asked why. I was told that the budget for the month had been exceeded, and therefore the test was automatically cancelled. I asked if I could reorder the test. I was told that it would not change anything; the test was cancelled, and that was that. How disgusting.

By applying that same standard to the veteran when he was in World War II, he should have been able to tell his sergeant, "Sorry, sergeant, I've done my quota of work today. It's quitting time. Tough luck." A serviceman with that attitude would be shot. We don't give military personnel the option of excusing themselves from work because they feel as if they have already done enough. So why should we tolerate an abnegation of our promise to provide medical care for our veterans? They are the ones that deserve the best possible medical care in the United States — not the crack-head scumbags who litter the ERs, saying, "I be havin' chest pain." No shit. If I did $600 worth of crack in a day, I'd have chest pain, too.

Medical resources are now, and will always be, limited. Why, then, should we give the best possible medical care to some pimp or dirtbag drug dealer who gets shot by one of his rivals, yet tell a man who fought for the survival of this country that he doesn't deserve to receive any more health care? Where is the logic in that? There is none! And what about the multitudes of steatopygic welfare recipients? It takes a lot of food to result in such physiques, and the money that bought that food was paid for with tax dollars. I say, take the money from them and give it to a group that truly deserves it, the veterans.

Notes:

  1. Exit strategy: Is it time to rethink the VA healthcare system?
The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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