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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Vet care

As a veteran nearing the age when getting medical care will likely be a regular activity, I'm very interested in the back and forth between 3rd District congressional candidates Bob Thomas and Mark Souder over VA hospitals. As Thomas tells it, Souder didn't care all that much about the local hospital until a veterans' group put pressure on him. The way Souder sees it, Thomas wants to close all the hospitals and callously put veterans in a "Medicaid-like system."

I think I'm more with Thomas on this, insofar as I can discern his actual position.

" The veterans should be able to go to the hospital of their choice, to the doctor of their choice, to the pharmacy of their choice."

Thomas says along with those expanded care options, veterans should still be able to count on the Veterans Administration providing the same level of coverage at the same cost to the patients.

I don't see any particular benefit in going to a veterans hospital just to have the status of being in a veterans hospital. If we owe medical care to our veterans (and we can have a debate about that if you want to), the goal should be to get the best care for the lowest price. It seems to me that's more likely with some kind of voucher system (which veterans can use at existing hospitals and care facilities) rather than trying to keep an underfunded and understaffed VA hospital going.


tim zank
Fri, 04/23/2010 - 10:44am

Leo: "It seems to me that

Kevin Knuth
Fri, 04/23/2010 - 11:08am

Crap...once again, I HATE it when I agree with Leo and Tim.

Leo Morris
Fri, 04/23/2010 - 11:22am

That's twice. Three times, and it's "Welcome to the dark side, Kevin."

tim zank
Fri, 04/23/2010 - 12:01pm

Kevin, Ha! Just to be fair so folks don't think worlds will collide, it's safe to assume we agree on Souder going back to Grabill, but surely not on who should replace him, right? Unless you're with me on supporting Bob Thomas too?

Fri, 04/23/2010 - 2:00pm

Bobs big bucks can't buy the truth! The VA supports Mark
Souder. Bobs full of wind; like a balloon. Maybe he'll blow
back to where he came from; where ever that is!

Sun, 04/25/2010 - 12:31pm

No! We must oppose VA health care. It's government-run, socialized medicine.
Anyone who says it isn't should be barred from using the term "socialized medicine" on grounds that they clearly don't know what it means.
And keep your government hands off my Medicare! (Actual Tea Party sign.)

Sun, 04/25/2010 - 1:43pm


At last you have a small insight as to what Tea Party's are about ... individual taxpayers opposing more big government. I suspect that the sign-maker was a senior citizen whose medical care options had already been limited by the Democrat's "Great Society".

According to MSM investigations, you are correct that we need to oppose VA health care.

tim zank
Sun, 04/25/2010 - 1:50pm

Littlejohn, any chance you'd re-activate your Mcaffee?

tim zank
Mon, 04/26/2010 - 8:56am

Harold, I admire your devotion to Mark Souder but don't let it confuse you. All Bob Thomas is saying is that Vets shouldn't have their own run down inefficient designated hospital "facility" as their only choice. Instead of the VA propping up old understaffed hospitals, allow the vets to get care at any hospital.

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 2:12pm

Tim, any chance you could learn to spell "McAfee"? No, there is no chance.
If you don't like my being here, your argument is with Leo. He runs an invitation across the top of his editorial page.
Is it your point that VA hospitals are not socialized medicine? If so, give your evidence.

William Larsen
Mon, 04/26/2010 - 2:18pm

As a service connected veteran of 31 years, I can attest that the VA tries to do a good job, but in reality it is not as good as the private sector.

The VA system has gotten better, but it still fails in providing basic testing and diagnostics. It has a great system for keeping medical records, but let's face it who wants to go through my 500 page file or more to find out what is wrong with me.

To get an appointment, you need to call. When my shoulder was giving me real pain, it took five weeks to get in to see the therapist. It then lasted only a couple of weeks. They do not provide chiropractor care.

To get immediate care, a vet has to go to the ER. When I tried to change an appointment from July 2007 to earlier like ASAP, they moved it to mid April still a couple of months away.

The VA is great at letting you know when you have appointments and do a good job filling Rx's and sending them to you, but trying to figure out what is wrong is a real problem.

If I had a choice, I would prefer non VA care and be given a fee based card to go to private providers.