I Would Rather 7–11 Privatize Healthcare than the Government Nationalize

Occasionally circumstances force me to eat lunch in the swamp. This time I was in Fairfax County, VA, formerly a reliably conservative county that has lately been invaded by swamp employees, swamp contractors, swamp lobbyists and other refugees from Washington, DC.

The county is now reliably Democrat and gave Hillary a 68 to 32 percent victory last November. Call it a pilot project for the entire country after illegals get amnesty.

During lunch I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between a man and a woman I assumed were business associates. Most of it was background noise, “Grumble, grumble, TRUMP, mumble, mumble, TRUMP, Hitler, Hitler, TRUMP” and so on.

Then a comment concerning Obamacare “repeal” almost caused me to choke on my curry, “Health care is one–sixth of the entire economy and they are crafting a bill in total secrecy!” one complained.

There is precedent. Democrats wrote the entire Obamacare takeover without any input from Republicans and then forced it through the Senate by a single vote before Scott Brown — elected specifically to defeat the bill — could take his seat and vote against it.

What struck me though was not the fact two sides could play the secrecy game. It was the realization those two diners knew healthcare encompassed a sixth of the economy and yet neither was asking the obvious question: What makes Congress think it can run that huge portion of the economy better than the market?

Both implicitly accepted that an organization filled with people like John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters and other swamp lifers is qualified to manage healthcare. There’s not so much as an EMT certificate or economics degree among the lot of them. You’d have a better chance of success asking an Uber driver to pilot an Airbus.

   You may not be aware of this, but the federal government has been running a fully federalized pilot health care program for the past 205 years and the results are in! Find out how the test went by clicking the link below for the thrilling conclusion to my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/single-payer-democrats-obamacare-healthcare/2017/06/27/id/798472/

 

 

 

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2016 “Spendy” Award Winner Announced!

It’s time to announce the 2016 “Spendy” award, bestowed upon the federal agency with the most extensive record of incompetence and contempt for the taxpayer. Bonus points are awarded to agencies performing a function completely absent from the Constitution and better left to the private sector.

100-bill-toilet-paperSpendy winners are characterized by cabinet secretaries who condescend to attend congressional hearings, where hours are spent detailing the mismanagement, waste, theft, and general uselessness found in their kingdom. After which the secretary looks the committee chairman straight in the eye and blames all his troubles on Russian hackers.

Who was in the running this year? Well, we had last year’s winner the US Dept. of Agriculture and the runner–up Veterans Administration, along with perennial contender, the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Then there was the Pentagon, which is always in a class of its own.

So how did I pick a winner among these unworthies and who was it? You know the drill. Click on the link below and be whisked to my Newsmax Insider column where all will be revealed.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/congress-pentagon-usda-va/2016/12/29/id/766070/

 

VA Reform: An Oxymoron Supported by Morons

Both David Gewirtz and Tom Young had a problem with a faceless, unresponsive, inertia–bound bureaucracy that views people with problems as nuisances. Yet neither one was in a Star Trek movie.

Captain AmericaGewirtz, a reporter for ZDNet.com, was attempting to open an Instagram account. When he tried to log in he saw an account–blocked message: “Your account has been disabled for violating our terms.”

Gewirtz concluded his account had been “hacked,” a strange assumption for a tech journalist.

“Hacked” is the excuse du jour when private–part selfies appear in a politician’s Twitter account or an old gasmask bong video resurfaces. Since Gewirtz’ account hadn’t existed previously, it couldn’t have been hacked. Instead his email address and identity had been kidnapped, hijacked or stolen. Take your pick.

Still, the definition didn’t matter, the problem did. And it was potentially without a solution since Instagram is another web organization without a telephone number on the site. Anyone who’s ever called the IRS knows speaking to a human is no guarantee of satisfaction, but it’s better than casting your email upon the waters.

So what happened to Gewirtz and Young? You know what’s coming: Click on the hyperlink below and journey to Newsmax.com where you’ll find the rest of the story.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Hacked-Twitter/2016/05/06/id/727577/

 

The VA Declares War on Veterans

Combat veterans are learning the hard way they may cheat death on the battlefield only to find the Grim Reaper saving a seat for them in the Veterans Administration health care queue.

AP found an internal VA report “indicating that nearly one–third of veterans with pending applications for VA health care likely have already died.” It’s difficult to get an exact count for two reasons. Many times the dead so closely resemble living VA employees it’s hard to distinguish between the merely somnolent federal timeserver and the veteran that’s answered his last reveille.

And VA bureaucrats complain it’s hard to know if the vets were really “seeking VA health care or had merely indicated interest in signing up.” Sort of like those affluent mothers who put Chauncey on the waiting list for the best private schools and begin the nanny import paperwork while he’s still just a zygote in the surrogate mother’s womb.

Of course with the VA, it’s probably a good idea to get on the waiting list the day you graduate from boot camp.

The rest of this VA carnival of indifference can be found in my Newsmax column by clicking this link:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/VA-Scandal/2015/07/30/id/659647/

It’s Time Veterans Had Freedom of Choice

It’s ironic that veterans are always characterized as having fought for our freedom, but when it comes to their health care, they have no choice. Their only options are the totalitarian VA hospital system or buying a copy of the ‘Operation’ board game at Target for DIY treatment.

EBT benefit cards are good at any store that sells groceries. Those recipients aren’t forced to buy at Uncle Sam’s Slim Pickin’s Food Store. My solution is to give vets the freedom to choose their medical care.

Details in my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Congressional-Hearings-VA/2015/04/17/id/639271/

Veterans Are the Healthcare Canary in a Coal Mine

JeffDarcy VA scandalBetween today and June 6th’s 70th anniversary of the D–Day landing I want you to find a veteran and talk to him. This doesn’t mean cornering some unsuspecting vet and ambushing him with the latest insipid leftist cliché: ‘Thank you for your service,’ which manages to be both pretentious and condescending.

(However, it is an improvement over the left’s former greeting for vets: ‘How many babies did you kill today?’ But it’s still rote trivialization.)

Ideally your vet should be a veteran of either the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War. Not because the fighting was far enough in the past be non–controversial, but because this vet has had plenty of time to experience the tender mercies of the Veterans Administration health care system.

And that system should be the main topic of conversation, because if the left has its way, everyone will experience this type of health care under the coming Obamacare regime. Don’t make the mistake — encouraged by the cheerleading mainstream media — of believing the VA is a problem unto itself and has no relation to civilian health care and certainly no relevance to the future of Obamacare.

That is spin and it is completely untrue. The VA hospital system is essentially the pilot program for Obamacare. It’s been a single–payer system from the beginning and single–payer is the ultimate goal for Obamacare. The VA system was designed to accommodate a smaller subset of the population and it was immune to competition from the private sector. Think of it as the United States Postal Service with syringes.

The theory is after the bugs have been worked out of the pilot program, then a benevolent government can expand it to accommodate the entire country. Unfortunately with leftist big government, when a pilot program fails the verdict is always the failure was due to a lack of resources. The cure is to take the same program, bulk it up with taxpayer dollar injections and make it mandatory for the entire country.

So the VA is very relevant to Obamacare

Our veterans have been used as guinea pigs since 1930 when the VA was founded. One would think 84 years is long enough to get the kinks worked out of the program, but one would be wrong. VA hospital horror stories have been a staple of government scandal coverage for years.

If you fall for the ‘it’s just the VA and won’t affect civilians’ cover story then you are believing what the Obama administration wants you to believe. The goal of the White House is to keep the VA scandal bottled up in a silo off to one side. Obama wants you to think it’s just a rogue VA hospital in Arizona that cooked the books.

But it’s not just Arizona. It’s Florida, it’s West Virginia, it’s Missouri, it’s all over the country. And the problem can’t be solved because there is no real penalty for failure and no competitive pressure to excel. And the same government that runs the VA will soon be running Obamacare if the left can expand it into a single–payer system.

My family has it’s own story of an encounter with the Oklahoma – Texas VA administration. One of my uncles — a WWII veteran — fell ill and went to the VA for treatment in the 50’s. The good doctors said he had suffered a nervous breakdown and they hospitalized him in the mental wing.

Today suffering a nervous breakdown means you are forever immune to negative job performance reviews and the Angel of Downsizing will probably pass over you, too.  But in the 50’s a mental problem was the kiss of death.

My uncle lost his career, his wife and his future. He was in and out of VA hospitals for two decades trying to find a cure so he could reassemble the shards of what had been a normal life. And then one fine day he got a new VA doctor. This doctor announced that my uncle had never had any mental problems and that all his difficulties had been caused by an undiagnosed and untreated brain tumor that had been growing in his skull since the first time he saw the inside of a VA hospital.

So my uncle went home to the bedroom he’d inhabited in my grandmother’s house since he lost everything he held dear. And he thought about his life. And he thought about what he had lost. And he carefully took a blanket off his bed, went over to the gas space heater, sat down on the floor, covered his head with the blanket and turned on the gas.

So my family knows all about VA medical care and we want no part of it.

These poor vets were promised first–class health care in return for going to war. Instead they received secret waiting lists, bureaucrat cover-ups, buck passing and incompetent care.

On the other hand the rest of us, that haven’t gone to war, have been promised we could keep our doctor and our insurance.

So find a veteran and ask him how the government keeps its promises.

The continual problems of the VA health care system are what the rest of the country will face if Obamacare isn’t stopped in its tracks. Government can’t run a smaller health care network and it certainly can’t run universal health care.

Our veterans have been the canary in the health care coalmine for decades, but Uncle Sam just keeps replacing the dead canaries with new ones.