Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Veteran's Administration...Should Be Shut Down...Now.

I just wrote about the colossal screw up that is Amtrak. Here in Colorado, there is another colossal screw up and monument to government waste being foisted upon us. To make matters worse, this screw up is coming at the expense of our nation's veterans. Of what do I speak, you might ask. I speak of the Veteran's Administration Hospital being built(I use the word built in jest) in Aurora, Colorado.

What the VA hospital was supposed to be.
What it is now.

The original cost estimation was a fairly reasonable $330 million. Shortly before the ground breaking, that estimate went to $600 million. The VA didn't provide proper plans to the original contractor, Kiewit-Turner, and since the management of the build has been turned over to the Army Corps(or Corpse for those of you that speak Obama) of Engineers. The most up-to-date estimate is, drum roll please....$1.8 billion, yes billion, dollars. That is nearly 8 times the original estimate and fully 3 times the estimate of the first revision. The hospital is supposed to have around 180 beds. That means that this hospital is projected to cost $10 million per room. That is a rather simplistic way of putting it but things like this need to be boiled down to see them for what they are. The government is great at wasting money and the this is an example to held up for others to see.
Workers don't know if they'll have a job from week to week due to mismanagement.

This VA hospital debacle is succinctly summed up with the military acronym of SNAFU. Look it up. Even with the gross mismanagement of funds and resources, the truly sad part is the treatment that this same VA gives to our veterans. Secret waiting lists, overpaid execs and generally poor facilities all spell the need to entertain drastic ideas. I don't support most domestic government spending but we need to stand behind the folks that are willing to give their lives for us. I've come to the conclusion that the VA needs to be scrapped. Totally thrown in the trash. This under construction behemoth should be razed before another nickle is spent on it. Sadly, many subcontractors would lose their current jobs but the cash spigot needs to be shut off. Congress should put no more money into this giant pit. At the time of this post's writing, it looks like Congress is in the process of caving on the request for more funds and will allow more money to be spent on this giant clusterf#$%.

Sadly, this is just another in the many examples of out-of-control spending that can be found at every single turn in Washington DC. The swamp needs to be drained. Look at almost every government program as a mosquito that needs to be killed by any means necessary.

One solution that would be much cheaper would be to take the operating funds from the VA and just pay for a good insurance plan and provide deductible assistance to veterans. Less government bureaucracy and more access to medical facilities. It would be a win-win for the vets themselves and also for non-government run medical facilities. The VA is so bloated and top heavy that it will soon collapse under its own weight as it is currently constituted. This more market centered solution would be a .22 to the back of the head of the VA rather than letting it flail and have to dig its own grave before expiring in a more inglorious fashion. For those of you leftists, think of it as a late, make that very late term abortion of a malformed VA.

Elected officials need to stop caring about the bureaucrats and start caring about the people that pay their salaries. I know that slowing government spending is against almost everything that Washington, DC stands for but the time is nigh.

Call your Congressional Representative and Senators and let them know that it is time to start culling the weak and feeble federal programs. The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.

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