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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

MURDOCK: Biden Turns Vets into P.O.W.s Under Kafkaesque VA System

'Every time we think this administration has reached a grotesque low, they dig deeper...'

(Deroy Murdock, Headline USA) Democrats constantly crow about their faith in “the right to choose.” But this applies to little beyond abortion.

Any woman who chooses to buy a gun or send her child to a charter school should expect “pro-choice” Democrats to stand in her way.

Democrats crave control and uniformity, even when it comes to medical care for America’s veterans. Democrats want vets in the Department of Veterans Affairs, not getting cured in the private sector.

Obama–Biden’s VA waitlist scandal found veterans dying before they could see their doctors. Donald J. Trump promised to fix this lethal mess. And he did.

President Trump signed the Mission Act on June 6, 2018. It holds that if the VA cannot book a primary medical appointment “within 20 days of the date of the request” by a veteran, or 28 days for specialty care, then that vet may seek therapy outside the VA, and the VA will foot the bill.

Trump opened an Office of Community Care to oversee the program, promoted it via a dedicated website (the now defunct MissionAct.VA.gov), and focused on reducing the pile of old cases that awaited adjudication.

This was just too much freedom and choice for President Joe Biden and his comrades. Soon after taking power, they started to lasso vets and haul them back into the VA Corral.

In October 2021, Team Biden padlocked the Office of Community Care and replaced it with a “new integrated access and care coordination model.” How appetizing!

The pro-Mission Act website dropped off the VA’s front page. Those who could track down the link found it connected to a “Choose VA” page that sang the praises of government-sector veterans’ care.

While these two steps backward were inconvenient, Biden’s reversal of Trump’s progress on improving the case backlog truly hurt veterans. The pertinent statistics are jarring.

The VA’s relevant database is a bubbling, jet-filled hot tub for public-policy geeks. Its Monday Morning Workload Reports indicate the level of paperwork facing VA benefits bureaucrats as they sit down at their desks and begin each week.

According to these figures, the day after Trump began his presidency, the Jan. 21, 2017 report found the VA with a backlog of 91,742 claims nationwide that had languished without conclusion for more than 125 days.

By Jan. 18, 2020, two days before Trump’s third anniversary as president, the equivalent figure was 68,911—down 24.9%.

Three days after Joe Biden took office, the Jan. 23, 2021, MMWR backlog was 211,443, reflecting the devastating effects of COVID-19, for which Trump and Biden are blameless. (China’s Xi Jinping is as culpable as anyone.) The Jan. 20, 2024, data, exactly three years into Biden’s presidency, reflect a backlog of 406,864 claims—up 92.4%.

In short, Trump spent three years cutting the VA’s case backlog by one quarter. Biden spent as much time nearly doubling it.

Evidently, this is how Joe “Nice Guy” Biden proves to be the adult in the room who returned everything to normal.

The VA also is ignoring the 20-day primary/28-day specialty care wait time before vets can seek community care. Rather than start the clock when the veteran makes the request, as the Mission Act requires, VA schedulers may begin each countdown whenever they want. This traps vets on the VA plantation and limits their access to private-sector options.

Now, to abuse America’s beloved veterans even further, the VA spent $63.6 million in Fiscal Year 2022 to process illegal-alien health claims, even as the medical paperwork of U.S. citizens gathered dust.

​“To see millions of taxpayer dollars taken from our veterans to instead incentivize and care for an invasion of illegal aliens is a giant slap in the face to America and to the military community,” retired U.S. Marine Chad Robichaux told the New York Post’s Ryan King.

The founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a veteran-aid group, added: “Every time we think this administration has reached a grotesque low, they dig deeper.”

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.

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