Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Keep the Veteran's Administration Public. Service not Profits

AFGE Demo demanding more VA funding in Washington Fem 2018


This Saturday from 4-5p,  I will be on America’s Heroes Group Radio Talk Show (WVON1690AM) for the purpose of introducing and discussing the Right To Heal Campaign.  If you are free, would you please listen or share with anyone who may be interested?

We must get the word out about the dismantling of the VA! Please help and spread the word.
In Unity,
Anne Lindgren
American Federation of Government Employees
Local 0789 – Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
820 S Damen Ave
Chicago , IL 60612

From a VA Nurse, Chicago.
One thing the Veterans Administration and the United States Postal Service have in common is that the private sector would like to get its grubby little hands on them. Both these public institutions, despite their weaknesses and faults, are among the most best organized efficient organizations in the country. Every major study has made it clear that despite its problems, the VA provides good quality health care and when I talk to 60 year and 80 year old veterans they all agree with this and they receive health care no private institution could match despite the problems.

A major problem is the VA upper management who won’t listen; won’t listen to the Veterans, or the doctors and medical staff and won’t listen to the unions. Out of a workforce of 360,000 there are presently 49,000 open positions. What person who works in the public sector does not recognize this trick? Don’t fill positions, public services suffer, demonize publicly run services as inefficient and a failure and promote the market and privatization as the answer.

In response to the scandals and complaints about VA services and the wait times in particular, Barack Obama and John McCain pushed for and a law was passed to inject $11billion in to the VA through what was called the Choice Act. It was the first step in pushing the treatment of veterans out of the public sphere and in to arms of private doctors. This made matters worse as private doctors were unprepared for the deluge and VA doctors were overwhelmed with paperwork from them about their new patients.

Things got even worse when Trump fired Veterans Affairs secretary David J Shulkin (fired him by tweet of course). By law, when the number one guy is fired, the number two automatically takes over but Trump put in his man, Ronny L. Jackson. Like many of Trumps friends and associates, Jackson was a bit of a shady character and failed the nomination process which was then followed by an avalanche of resignations as often happens when the US Predator in Chief makes an appearance.

The damage the private sector and Trump have inflicted on a public agency whose job it is to care for physically and mentally damaged veterans is confirmation of the real worth of working class men and women to the ruling class in US society. The flag waving, the jets flying over sports venues, the hands over the hearts and the singing of the national anthem is all propaganda. They don’t care about veterans in the last analysis.

The intent is to destroy the VA in real terms and in the mind of the public. In this way it will be easier to hand it over to the private sector and profiteers.

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