( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
Ken Buck is clueless about Veterans issues.
In a state where we have 460,000 veterans, with 4 major military installations heavily involved in two major wars (including the Colorado National Guard) the GOP nominee has yet to put out a single substantive statement on where he stands on National Security and Veterans issues.
Buck STILL does not have any comprehensive National Security or Veterans issues posted on his website, or as a press release. It’s not surprising, since he JUST formed a Veterans advisory committee (consisting of ONE Veteran) and is still casting about for support from the veterans community. His first “Meet and Greet” with Veterans was Monday. No announcement of policy was made at that event.
Well, let me clarify that – he did suck up to the Tea Party by stating that he would privatize the VA:
Buck: “Would a Veterans Administration hospital that is run by the private sector be better run then by the public sector? In my view, Yes.”
Now, not surprising. Buck will say anything to appease the Tea Party, regardless if he knows anything about that subject or not.
Now, let’s fast forward to the United Veterans Committee (UVC) candidate forum a few weeks ago. As background, the UVC is the an organization that has 50+ Veterans groups as members, from the biggest (AmLegion, VFW, DAV, Paralyzed Vets of America) to the smallest (Jewish War Veterans.) They coordinate their concerns and activism as a unified committee, and present their findings and legislative priorities to the Governor and the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs.
The UVC is unique in that it is the only one in the United States to work this way – no other state in the US has that kind of veterans organization.
So, the bi-yearly candidate forum is a big deal. The UVC presents it’s legislative agenda that has been set for the year, and asks them to state if they support it, and what are their specific positions on Veteran Issues.
With this as background, every Federal candidate in Colorado attended the UVC Candidate forum this September. (Yes, I know I said I’d do a diary. Maybe today.) They were all presented, in advance, with this Legislative agenda:
( I call your attention to points #2 and #3)
Buck arrived late, but still had the entire committee present to address. His response was this:
“I support all your issues. I don’t have anything prepared to say, so what are your questions.”
Now, if Buck was sincere in his statement that he wanted to privatize the VA, wouldn’t this be the opportunity to relate that position?
But he didn’t – he said “I support your positions.”
So, that means one of three things:
1) Ken decided to lie to the UVC on his stance regarding the VA.
2) Ken forgot what he said to the Tea Party, and decided to say whatever he thought the veterans wanted to hear.
3) He lied to the Tea Party and told the truth to the UVC.
I don’t see which possibility is better than any of the others.
Now I know the hooting on the Right will begin about how bad government run health care is. And that’s a debate I’m MORE than happy to have with those posters on this site, esp those who have never set foot in a VA healthcare facility.
So, rather than put up a bunch of links that will be dismissed by the paid shills on the site, let’s just go with the opinion of Veterans who use the site. Since 2000, when the VA started doing a survey regarding the quality of health care that veterans received, it has outranked the private sector EVERY YEAR.
But here’s a link anyway:
And if you want to read the report, it’s a .pdf so be warned when it takes a while to load:
(I especially like how the VA pharmacy system is rated the equal of Kaiser Permanente, the preferred provider of several Consevative Polsters.)
The point of all this posting is this – Ken Buck is clueless on this issue. It’s clear he made NO attempt to research this issue before he started sucking up to the Tea Party, and it’s even clearer he’ll say whatever he has to if he thinks it’ll help his chances at getting elected.
I don’t appreciate being played for a rube. I know my fellow vets don’t appreciate it either.
And we vote.
The Best Care Anywhere
Ten years ago, veterans hospitals were dangerous, dirty, and scandal-ridden. Today, they’re producing the highest quality care in the country. Their turnaround points the way toward solving America’s health-care crisis.
Effect of the Transformation of the Veterans Affairs Health Care System on the Quality of Care
A head-to-head comparison in 2003 between Medicare patients who were free to choose their own private doctors and veterans who were covered by the Veterans Health Administration, the New England Journal of Medicine found the latter “significantly better” on all 11 measures of quality.
VA Care Is Rated Superior to That in Private Hospitals
The telephone survey, conducted in October, found inpatient care received a rating of 83 on a 100-point scale; outpatient care got a rating of 80. In comparison, a similar survey of patients receiving private care found they rated their satisfaction at 73 for inpatient care and 75 for outpatient care. The survey involved more than 200 veterans who received care at one of the VA’s 154 hospitals or 875 clinics.