FIRST ON CNN: Congressman: Obama should let some vets get private care
May 21st, 2014
01:18 PM ET
4 months ago

FIRST ON CNN: Congressman: Obama should let some vets get private care

(CNN) – The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is calling on the Obama administration to permit veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals to seek treatment outside that system, if they want.

Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican, called on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order that would allow those veterans to act on their own and charge the government for outside care.

"He can solve the problem today if he would order his people to allow veterans to seek care - if they can't get it in a timely fashion in the VA – to seek care in the private system," Miller told CNN on Wednesday.

"It appears he's trying to preserve the system as it is. The system is broken," Miller said.

Miller said the change could allow vets to use private providers, a Defense Department facility or a health facility run by an academic institution that has a federal contract.

He also said VA officials complained to him about losing funding because they have allowed this to occur in some cases.

Miller called the President's comments earlier in the day on the scandal that has engulfed the veterans' health care system "too little, too late."

Responding to allegations the VA has delayed care at a number of facilities for sick veterans and covered it up, Obama said he would not tolerate such conduct and would hold people accountable, if what has been alleged is true.

The VA inspector general's office is investigating.

Miller said the administration's ability to get a handle on the situation is getting "bleaker and bleaker every day."

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Fed up

    sonny chapman

    Repubs never miss an opportunity to try to PRIVATIZE anything. It's in their DNA.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    That's because it is proven again and again that the private sector runs circles around government when it comes to efficiency, technology and a strong wok ethic. Most private sector companies can take any government agency and operate it better at a 3rd of the cost.

    May 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. HenryMiller

    Obama will never agree to this—it would make government-run medicine look bad, which it is.

    BTW, CNN, “He wants to waive the fact that he has a pen and a telephone?" The word you wanted was "wave."

    May 21, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. HenryMiller

    @Turdgyl: "ACA is law."

    -------

    Just wait a little while. It won't be.

    May 21, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. truth hurts but reality bites

    Obama hates the military. Helping them and veterans is the last thing on his to do list. His faux outrage is exactly that. If he really wanted to do something, he knew about the problem 5-6 years ago and yet here we are, with a full blown scandal because he did nothing in all that time. And neither did this useless load Shinseki but Obama can't fire him for not doing the job he was supposed to do because Obama does care about the problem.

    May 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I find the headline appalling....

    House Vets Committee chairman calls on Obama to sign Executive order NOW. The GOP are bound and determined to show President Obama that they are the masters.

    They hate that he's the Commander-in-Chief. They hate it.

    May 21, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. sonny chapman

    Fed Up- The SOLE purpose of Private Enterprise is to make a PROFIT. They don't care HOW. Cut workforce, slash benefits, pollute. The STATED pupose of Govt. is to SERVE Human Beings in need.

    May 21, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    2_indy1600

    Since he CAMPAIGNED on fixing the VA mess, anything to modify, change, give hope to millions of vets, is not only appreciated, but expected; the might of the executive pen is an option: stagnant rot is not.
    -------------------------–
    Wrong, he campaigned on fixing the backlog at that V.A., He was talking about upgrading their administrative procedures from paper to electronic. He did not campaign fixing the fudging of the numbers. If the problem was known at that time, then it was Pres. Bush's responsibility to get it done, not someone campaigning to be the next POTUS.

    May 21, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. smith

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I find the headline appalling....

    House Vets Committee chairman calls on Obama to sign Executive order NOW. The GOP are bound and determined to show President Obama that they are the masters.

    They hate that he's the Commander-in-Chief. They hate it.

    Just like the Dems hated it when GWB was potus. Welcome to politics in the USA. Did you follow politics before 2009?

    May 21, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "He KNOWS this was a policy being handed down to the various VA hospitals from higher authority. "

    Yeah! The strawberry patch is simply overflowing with hiding elephants!!!! We hates them...tricksy elephants!!!!!!

    May 21, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Just wait a little while. It won't be."

    Hahaha! Oh really? Game that out for us please. I do love a good fairy tale.

    May 21, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Tony D

    sonny chapman
    The STATED pupose of Govt. is to SERVE Human Beings in need.
    --

    But the ACTUAL OUTCOME in this case was to KILL HUMAN BEINGS. Government ALWAYS talks a good game, promises the heavens and the earth, then delivers disappointment and disaster.

    So you have a problem with saving a veterans life, even if somebody makes a few dollars doing it. Wonderful. Becuase you hate capitalism, he has to die. Welcome to the compassionate left.

    May 21, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Fed up

    Sonny – The STATED pupose of Govt. is to SERVE Human Beings in need.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sounds great but unfortunately rarely happens the way it was intended. My line of work has me contracting with Municipal, State and Federal agencies. I have to tell you I am utterly appalled by the waste, apathy, inefficiency, incompetence, fraud and corruption that I deal with on a day to day basis. I truly wish this was not the case but it is the sad truth. Our tax dollars are being thrown away by this total lack of inefficiency and lack of incentive/consequence to their workforce. I have noticed a slight uptick in some government agencies hiring private sector folks to get them more in line with more private sector ideas which is somewhat promising albeit not much.

    May 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Get a Grip

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    I find the headline appalling....
    House Vets Committee chairman calls on Obama to sign Executive order NOW. The GOP are bound and determined to show President Obama that they are the masters.
    They hate that he's the Commander-in-Chief. They hate it.
    --

    Wow... might want to loosen up that tin foil hat! The word now was used to emphasize the urgency of this matter, as in people have already been waiting and are in fact dying as we speak. But of course, the Obama koolaide drinkers read things into every word. SO is the use of the word now, carry a racist connotation?

    May 21, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. sonny chapman

    If Human Beings, that actually do the Services of Govt., weren't susceptible to corruption, we could operate everything on an Honor System. Unfortunately. the Free Market System encourages Greed instead of Service to Mankind.

    May 21, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ smith

    I think that perhaps Bessy was simply suggesting that the Afghan and Iraq wars added an influx of recent VA vets needing medical care to an already burdened system. I don't think she was suggesting that these new vets are receiving preferential treatment.

    It is my opinion that as CIC, by default alone this becomes President Obama's responsibility to deal with the situation as it has been brought forward. Not all VA hospitals are at fault.

    Blame itself belongs to all previous administrations (and sub-committees) as well. As with all things political, the can gets bigger and bigger with each kick down the proverbial road.

    Lack of foresight. Lack of insight. Lack of funding. Yeah. Each has it's own scene being played out against our veteran's best welfare.

    May 21, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. smith

    @Rudy-I've talked with vets in their 60's and 70's at the VFW that have told me this backlog problem is decades old. Obama can't fix the backlog problem we just have a whole ton of vets out there. I carry a seperate plan other than the VA for that reason.

    May 21, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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