Military Health Care Still in Crisis Mode

This editorial comments upon a hearing held Tuesday before a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee that examined the Army Medical Action Plan.

That’s the plan to prevent the kind of systematic neglect and mistreatment exposed by The Washington Post last year at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Despite promises of reform and statements of concern about wounded soldiers, this is what's happening: [more ...]

At Fort Hood, Tex., last month, staff members found 1,362 patients in a unit authorized for 649 — and more than 350 on a waiting list. Of the total, 311 were identified as being at high risk of drug overdose, suicide or other dangerous behavior. There were 38 nurse case managers when there should have been 74. Some soldiers have had to languish two months to a year before the Army decided what to do with them, far longer than the goal the Army set last year.

Why hasn't the Army gotten its act together?

Among other things, the Army failed to anticipate a flood of wounded soldiers.

Remarkable. Didn't the Army notice that it's fighting two wars?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Here you go: (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by rottenart on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:57:29 AM EST
    Mccain's "Support" for Veterans.

    Don't expect this problem to be fixed in a Mccain Administration.

    It makes me sick, speaking as the son of a 100% DAV.

    And in contrast: (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by rottenart on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:59:47 AM EST
    this situation has an intersting parallel, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:22:23 AM EST
    the republican/rightwing total lack of concern for the born, vs its zeal for the unborn.

    once you've served their political purposes, they discard you like yesterday's rubbish.

    Sorry to throw a towel in here. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Turbulent Confusion on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:57:07 PM EST
    But as a Veteran under the original Bush then Clinton White House, Vet's Benefits were first culled under Bush 1, then Clinton REALLY laid it to us.  I expect not to see any great upswing on this.  American has always pissed it's veterans.  They are a population that noone wants to deal with, especially when you factor in the unknown illnesses provided by the unregulated shots, and exposure to agents otherwise classified as not for human contact.  Anyone ever figure out what happened after 91?  all of the strange illnesses that we brought back due in no small part to the Anthrax shots, and the other ones that were never told us what they did?  The ones that were never put in our shot records?  what ever happened to those 12000 soldiers that were turned away from the VA, and told it isn't our problem cause Bill says it isn't...

    With (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:03:39 PM EST

    With a track record like this only an idiot would want the federal government running universal health care.  

    Well, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by rottenart on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:17:03 PM EST
    I would clarify that by saying that only an idiot would want the federal government as governed by Conservatives to be in charge of health care.

    Cons make quite a stink about how badly government works, use that rhetoric to get elected so they can be perceived as Freedom Fighters and Rebels Outside the System, then proceed to show exactly how government should NOT be run.

    Government can work for We the People quite efficiently and safely, it's just that Cons and their buddies don't make billions off of an efficient government.


    Wow (none / 0) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:13:52 PM EST
    The Congress is controlled by Dems that sets policy, and funding levels.  BTW, I left active duty during the Carter administration, and can tell you from first hand experience that military and VA health care have had these kinds of problems regardless of which party controlled the white house and/or congress.

    Government can work for We the People quite efficiently and safely

    Well, lets prove that untested assertion as it relates to health care on the military and VA first before going universal.  A success where there has often been tragically poor performance for decades under both parties should help sell universal much better than mere assertion.


    I would argue (none / 0) (#7)
    by rottenart on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:52:13 PM EST
    that the closest we've ever come to having an efficient government working for the people was The New Deal. Conservatives have been slowly dismantling those progressive gains for the past three decades. Think where we'd be if we had expanded on those programs (SS, CCC, WPA) rather than forsaken them as soon as we got a taste of post-war prosperity.

    I won't argue with your experience during the Carter years, as that's when my father's battle with the VA started. Yet I believe that if we were to only put some competence back in charge for once, then we could make it work pretty smoothly. My father seemed to benefit quite a bit in terms of VA coverage and care during the Clinton years. Of course, we weren't fighting two bungled wars at the time either, so...


    I would also add (none / 0) (#8)
    by rottenart on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:55:26 PM EST
    that we haven't seen a truly Democratically controlled government since then either. Hard to clean up messes when you're fighting a Republican President intent on making bigger ones. Or vice versa.

    Burning food while people went hungry (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:34:29 PM EST
    the closest we've ever come to having an efficient government working for the people was The New Deal

    Burning food while people went hungry and a 25% unemployement rate.  You make a great case for inefficient government.


    C'mon (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by rottenart on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:45:52 PM EST
    that's about as disingenuous as it gets. You're talking about the rate at the HEIGHT of the depression, in 1933, before the New Deal programs started having an effect. Why don't we look at the rate by year from 1934 on...

    1933 - 24.9%
    1939 - 17.2%

    And, once war footing took hold, the economy REALLY exploded. I'll give you that that was not because of the New Deal, but the fact is that the jump from 3.2% Unemp in 1929 to 24.9% in 1932 was all under Republican watch (and the ever so popular Conservative mantra, The Unfettered Free Market).

    And yes, the burning of food did occur, but only as a way to drive up prices to benefit farmers. They weren't snatching the food from people's hands to toss it into a bonfire...

    Are you going to argue that the New Deal DIDN'T benefit the country and constitute the biggest expansion of progressive policies in America?


    Major General Horoho, the nurse (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdus2233 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:48:25 PM EST
    who was credited for "leading" Walter Reed out of the recent crisis and makes two bizarre claims of heroism, 1) leading the crisis response during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, 2) leading the ER during another crisis (aircrash) at Pope AFB in the '90's was promoted to her current rank and then assigned as Madigan Army Medical center Commander and Western Regional Medical Commander of Army Medicine yesterday.  Apparently, while the crisis continues and care suffers General Horoho's star continues to rise, along with her evident incompetence and measurable lack of achievement.  Social promotion just like grade school