By Glenn Mollette
My wife’s grandpa survived the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. He was away from home forty-two months as a prisoner of war. When he came home the Veteran’s hospital killed him. He died at the age of 65. When Lyle started having symptoms of lung cancer he did as Veterans do, he went to the Veteran’s hospital near his home in Lexington, Kentucky. They performed surgery, but they denied him any of the usual post-operative cancer treatments. The cancer spread. Following two additional surgeries and still no follow up treatments, he died unnecessarily prematurely in their care. The constant delays and denial of treatments assured his death.
He survived World War II. He could not survive our government’s medical treatment we dish out to retired soldiers.
CNN broke the story earlier this week about the Bryan Dorn Veterans Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Veterans have to wait months for simple procedures such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy. Many of these Veterans have been dying because their cancers aren’t caught in time. The VA has confirmed six deaths but other sources closer to the facility say it could be more than 20. The veterans had to wait too long for diagnosis and treatment at this facility. The most recent records indicated there are over 4500 Veterans on waiting lists for various treatments at the Columbia, South Carolina facility according to CNN.
Where is the medical care in delaying a treatment that could save someone’s life? I fear this is the kind of health care that all of America may be in store for.
The answer is to close down most of the VA hospitals. We need to keep the skilled care facilities that treat our war wounded and train people to walk and function again. The government budget for funding Veteran’s Affairs in 2014 is 152.7 billion dollars. Let’s eliminate half of the budget by shutting down two thirds of these soldier-killing hospitals. Next, give Veterans a medical card that allows them to go anywhere in the United States for medical care. These men and women have served our country and should not be treated to a lesser medical care than fellow Americans.