President Obama and the Veterans Administration bureaucracy are already
sabotaging the VA reform law passed in August. The ink is barely dry on
the 8.6 million "Choice Cards" that supposedly allow vets to see a
doctor outside the delay-plagued system.
Obama’s budget tries to snatch the $10 billion allocated for the Choice
program and allow it to be spent however VA top administrators want.
It’s a sickening betrayal.
Even worse, VA secretary Robert McDonald is telling federal lawmakers
that this underhanded move will better serve "VA system priorities."
That’s the problem. He’s more interested in protecting "the system"
than vets. It’s all about bureaucratic turf and union jobs.
With a straight face, McDonald says it has " nothing to do with us
trying to gut the Choice Card or anything like that; it was about
flexibility." Flexibility for VA bureaucrats, not for ailing vets who
need it. Removing the funding definitely will gut the program because
the law says the Choice program expires whenever funding runs out.
At a Feb. 2 press briefing, VA administrators facetiously claimed that
sick vets don't want to see outside physicians, and that use of the
Choice Cards was "much lower" than they had expected. That’s a
whopper. When asked, they couldn’t provide any specifics.