Senate Democrats Declare War on Vets

In the past weeks, the current administration has found itself in the middle of a new scandal.

No need to be taken aback by that, because this administration has been a complicit player in a number of scandals.  But this one is particularly damning, because if there’s one thing Americans of most stripes treasure, it is our soldiers in the Armed Forces who have always been, and continue to be, the guarantors of our way of life.

Honestly, even the staunchest anti-war activists’ condemnations will generally stop short of condemning American soldiers en masse.  So sensitive is the subject in the public eye that even if they truly hate our soldiers’ actions overseas, they will not outwardly espouse those feelings (with a few exceptions like Abu Ghraib) for fear of touching that deep nerve which derives from America’s central foundation as a nation of citizen soldiers.

Yet in the years of this administration’s tenure, as we now have evidence, the government has “falsified data to hide how long veterans were waiting to see doctors at VA (Veterans Administration) hospitals.” 

Which is to say, evidence of an inefficient government-run healthcare program for our veterans was hidden from John Q. Public at a time in which such evidence would have been crippling to the advocates of government-run healthcare.  Barack Obama, in 2008, even held up the VA as model for his proposed reformation, which required government oversight of the American healthcare system. So there’s no surprise in the government’s attempting to bury the failings of the system.  While Obamacare clung for dear life due to its own inefficiency, many veterans died as a result of a lack of the proper care they deserved, having been bogged down by a messy and inefficient government system administered by public bureaucrats.

Rush Limbaugh absorbed flak for calling this a foreshadowing of the “death panels” to come with Obamacare.  Can’t imagine why.  Rush simply stated the obvious.  This is nothing less than a government panel of administrators deciding, based upon State-approved guidelines, who shall receive care and who shall be denied.  The writing on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast was far more subtle than the evidence we have witnessed of the coming nightmare.

So this bears repeating endlessly.  Our heroic veterans have died on the ends of our government bureaucrats’ stamps.  Are we to believe that our fates portend something different under the supposedly grand government-administrated healthcare vision that is Obamacare?

House Republicans decided to take the VA administration officials to task, in the same way a business owner might, if one of his workers had been implicated in such a scandal that required the firing of incompetent leadership.  Representatives in the House, including numerous Democrats, resoundingly approved the prudent order.

And yet, Democrats in the Senate have crushed the bill which would hold those at fault accountable.  Marco Rubio remarked that we “have an opportunity right now to take up the bill that the House just passed with an overwhelming majority, enact it into law by unanimous consent, and send it to the president so he can sign it.”

Vermont’s Bernie Sanders (who is technically an independent, but whose voting record aligns with Senate Democrats) rebutted, after having voted against accountability for these deaths perpetrated by the VA administration, saying that “[s]ome of us are old fashioned enough to know that maybe folks in the Senate might want to know what’s in the bill before we’ve voted on it.”

This comment should go down in history among the greatest hypocrisies ever uttered.  Bernie Sanders voted for Obamacare in 2010, and he, like the Democrats who also voted for it, did not know what was in the unreadable bill, because he did not, nor could he have, read that monstrosity before it was visited upon us in the form of law.  “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it,” as another Democrat champion of Obamacare famously trumpeted.  And yet Bernie Sanders voted for it anyway. But when it comes to something as simple as removing the obviously incompetent administrators of the VA?  Suddenly, knowledge of the bill’s content is important.

For the record, H.R. 4031 is three pages, and it can be read it in less than two minutes.  I would expect Senate Democrats could have done that, if they had the interest.

Conservatives have been accused of politicizing this scandal to paint the Obama administration in a negative light.  But in reality, the issue is political by nature, if only because government officials have chosen to provide healthcare for some and not for others.  What we have witnessed is nothing more than a selective process to delineate who deserves healthcare at the cost of taxpayers, and who does not.

Given that those deemed unworthy of care by these government officials died, a “death panel” analogy is hardly out of line.

But there is a larger question raised by Senate Democrats’ refusal to demand accountability in this instance.  Just who do they care about? 

They can’t muster the gumption to hold VA officials accountable for the blood that is clearly on their hands?  Is that not a moral imperative on par with ensuring that a mother on welfare, whose lifestyle Americans already subsidize, has assured access to healthcare and even abortions should she require them?  Why would Senate Democrats champion this woman to the extent that they would vote for a bill that they haven’t read, but have no such zeal when seeking justice for the deaths of our military veterans who died as a result of a lack of care? 

Did Senate Democrats simply not have the interest or ability to read the bill?  Not likely.  No, Bernie Sanders, after having voted down H.R. 4031, callously remarked “People die every day.”  The VA, he posits, “works reasonably well for veterans.” And if it works “reasonably well,” why sternly address it? 

Of course, those families whose loved ones died as a result of the VA’s inefficiency would probably beg to differ.  In fact, they’re angry.  And we Americans are angry with them.

What we can take away from this is that the targets of the government benevolence, at least in Senate Democrats’ eyes, are becoming more defined.  Unlike the voting bloc of millions of government dependents that Democrats champion with fierce rhetoric, our brave veterans are actually entitled to healthcare benefits that they have earned, and they and their families deserve justice for being wrongfully denied those benefits. 

Clearly, our veterans are not among those the Senate Democrats seek to protect.  And what’s more, they are an obvious impediment to the betterment of our veterans’ lives.

William Sullivan blogs at and can be followed on Twitter.

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