VA / Privatization = Loss for Vets

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Don't give up on these guys!

New folks in the House of Representatives say they are looking to “cut spending” and reduce the size of government. There is a movement to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

There is mention to of privatizing some government health care services. What’s all this mean for Vets?

If you love what Halliburton did for the trrops, yuo’ll love what privatization will do for veterans.

October 15, 2010 (rushlimbaugh.com) then candidate Sharron Angle was critical of Senator Reid. Senator Reid reportedly said: “She (Ms. Angle) wants to privatize the Veterans Administration.” Mr. Linbaugh continues: “What’s wrong with privatizing the VA…? Somebody tell me where its working. Somebody tell me where anything the federal government is running is working… Privatize the Veterans Administration.!”

Including the military:
1. 10th mountain Division – great outfit
2. 1 Bn 119th FA MIARNG – excellent – well trained cannoneers
3. United States Marine Corp (especially 3/9 and 1/3)*
4. United States Air Force
5. United States Army
6. United States Coast Guard
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
8. Departments of Motor Vehicles in 50 states and all the territories
9. Local, state and federal judicial systems – that due process item we kinda like and wanna keep
10. Open meeting acts around the country

Privatization come with a heavy price tag. Many traditional military mainenance and support roles have been privatized. Many line grunts report few hot meals “… at the front …” (O.K. no hot food up front is as old as warfare). Military units are challgenged to repair and maintain vehicles, equipment, aircraft and weapons systems. (In one case – an Army 88M’s Dad – sent his son a needed tool kit so he and his truck partner could repair the trucks they were assigned to. Also as old as the history of warfare. Key point is the troops could not get the support they needed in theater.)

FACT SHEET
GAO Issues Report on Hlliburton Troops Support Contract In Iraq (Minority Staff Committe On Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives Juy 21, 2004)

This GAO report documented serious shortfalls with the government contract with Halliburton. Problems included:
* Planning for troops delayed until “Afther the Fall of Baghadad.”
* Planning for Support Services “Ineffective”
* Halliburton’s uncontrolled costs (Halliburton costs grew from $5.8 billion to $8.6 billion between September 2003 and January 2004.)

The report “higlights a pattern of contractor management problems. Including:
* Inadequate cost control
* Difficulties meeting schedules – Halliburton did not provide some services required, including “water production”
* Inadequate control over purchases
* Inadequate control over subcontractors

The report notes too inadequate control and oversight of Halliburton as follows: “… essentially military officials do not understand their role … regarding their roles and responsibilities.”

Dana Hedgpath, Washington Post (3011098) wrote: “KBR Faulted on Water Provided to Soldiers”. The article includes: “U.S. Soldiers at a military base in Iraq … provided with … untested water for … two years by KBR … and may have suffered health problems … KBR inappropriately distributed chlorinated wastewater to 5,000 U.S. troops at Camp Q-West … north of Baghdad… KBR disagreed with the report.”

Many Vets depend on the VA. Privatizing it will turn Vets worlds upside down. One thing our government can not do well is track massive contracts with private industry and contractors. There many examples of troops running into wall after wall after wall trying to get day to day military tasks completed – and being frustrated with civilians who do not respond to the military. The so called reduction of the military dating from the 1990’s is a myth. The funds and tasks have been redirected into private industry – at a loss to the military and increased danger to our troops. Privatization of the VA would be another disaster.

Regards

Dale R. Suiter

* Corp as in Marine Corp – the Corp is pronounced – core – folks. Often mispronounced by those who have not had the honor of Marine Corp service.

Note: Author does not support or approve of the Affordable Care Act. It is (my opinion) of something the government can not do well. Read the act and determine for yourself the many implications for the VA.

DRS

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