Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

May 29, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Real tragedy of VA scandal yet to be seen

Rudyard Kipling captured the essence of our uneasy relationship with the military more than 100 years ago: “Oh, it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, wait outside.’ But it’s ‘Special train for Atkins’ when the trooper’s on the tide.” We’re more than happy to send our soldiers to the front lines when war threatens our lives or our interests. But when peace breaks out, we’d prefer them to be invisible and quiet.

And it never seems to change.

Soldiers coming home from Vietnam complained about their less-than-gracious treatment. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns at least seemed to be welcomed home with enthusiasm. But then we discover that our former warriors are being stuck in a Veterans Affairs health care system that makes them wait for treatment until they die. “The trooper’s on the tide” again, and the front lines are in our own neighborhoods.

The real scandal isn’t that the VA system is riddled with incompetence and malfeasance – that tends to be the nature of sclerotic bureaucracies. And it isn’t even that the atrocities have been covered up or that they have not been addressed by administration after administration.

No, the true tragedy is that there is a simple remedy that would never even be considered by the government. While yet another investigation stumbles to the logical conclusion that there is indeed a problem, not a single other veteran need die from lack of treatment. Give everyone on a waiting list a voucher to use in the private health-care sector. Veterans would be treated much more quickly and effectively, and the cost to taxpayers would be much less. What’s not to like?

But that would be unthinkable for the geniuses in Washington: Why, that would be almost like privatization. That would be an admission that we don’t know better than everyone else about everything.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Are businesses missing out on interns? Are businesses missingout on interns?Admittedly we’re a little biased, but the Indiana INTERNnet and Indiana Chamber teams believe your company is not operating at full capacity if you aren’t hosting an internship program. Missing out on increased pr

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Indiana's right-to-work law unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 29, 2014

  • COATS: What to do next with Putin, Ukraine The tragic death of 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine marks a moment when words of disapproval and expressions of grief are not enough. This is a moment when action must follow the outrage and rhetor

    July 28, 2014

  • LYONS: The most powerful men in the world? Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to

    July 28, 2014

  • CEPEDA: What are students to eat now Remember last year’s hysteria over school lunches? Administrators, cafeteria workers, students and parents across the country freaked out when — gasp! — school lunches were made healthier.News reports throughout the 2012-13 school year — when lunch s

    July 27, 2014

  • HOWEY: Rising up to meet Putin’s thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 27, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Congress scolded for its failures Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 27, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Sunday, July 27, 2014 Residents want to see development pactI’ve been attending the Utility Service Board monthly meetings for the past several months to better understand the ongoing plans for first Pyrolyzer and now a purchase agreement with Total Concept Solutions.Thre

    July 27, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.