Why President Elect Trump Can't Fix the VA
Posted on January 10 2017
Many of us veterans agree that the Department of Veteran Affairs could be ran better. Yes, everything can be improved upon. Yes, it has it's faults and yes it has done us wrong in the past. But all in all, it is a system that relies on not only the participation of the organization but also the participation of those who seek to use it's services.
The VA lacks many things in its arsenal when it comes to providing the best treatment one can have but we shouldn't demonize it. Many of the problems the VA faces is not really in its control.
The firing of federal employees is extremely difficult. This protects the worker from unfair treatment and allows them the chance to change their performance. But this may cause problems for those employees who just don't get it. We have all ran into the rude employee that irks us to no end or ones that treat us like cattle. Yeah I get it, I use to be a medic but what I don't get is how these people still continue to work in an environment that makes them rude and angry towards their whole reason for having a job. These are the individuals that need to be let go. We need employees who wish to serve the veteran population. I am pretty sure respectful and kind treatment would decrease the negative image of the VA substantially.
Another problem that the VA doesn't really have much control over is the ability to hire for their positions. The physicians and doctors needed to staff clinics to reduce patient wait time and also reduce the number of facilities that are over their quota for veterans they can successfully serve. Budget constraints and the private sector keep the VA from being able to adequately staff their clinics and hospitals. A portion is also to blame on those who wish to not sacrifice pay for public service. The higher pay is more valuable than the benefit to the veteran community.
While the above reason play a role, I feel the biggest role for the failure of the VA is the veteran himself. Yes, I am calling out the veteran community. Those who shy away from the department altogether and buy private insurance. Those who go to the doctor and never return because they didnt like what the doctor said. Those who never go to their appointments or follow ups but complain about their issues. Those who never follow the treatment plan and then blame the VA for their failure to get better. Those veterans who feel this country owes them something. This country owes you nothing. Citizens owe you nothing. We should be grateful that our public bestows upon us the benefits we enjoy today. That should make us humble. I'm not saying we can't fight for things that would benefit us but we should do it in a manner that is humbling. Your service to this country gives you the ability to say you served and that is all the recognition one should ask for. Anything more replaces sacrifice with a quid pro quo type relationship. The ability to call oneself a veteran of this great nation is the most valuable thing this country could give you.
If the VA meets us halfway, we as veterans need meet them there and nothing less. Its a symbiotic relationship. Don't expect the president to make change in a system that serves not him... but you.
Drive on my friends.