Leave it to Jon Stewart to properly cover the incompetence surrounding VA hospitals better than anyone. And while there’s absolutely nothing funny about these horror stories that have surfaced about secret waiting lists and veterans dying waiting for care, Stewart managed to bring everything together as he mocked the hypocrisy shown by so many who claim they “support our troops,” yet seemingly abandon them once they return home.
He started out by shredding the claim that this scandal is an “isolated” incident, pointing to a report that eight states have reported similar failures to provide timely and adequate care to our veterans.
Following that he continued to shred the “isolated” claim, pointing to a 2010 report warning of VA hospitals using “inappropriate scheduling tactics,” and a CBS News report on another memo they obtained from the VA where discussions were had concerning tricks on how to not “get in trouble” with VA officials over scheduling delays. Essentially, they weren’t putting appointments into the system until they had an opening within two weeks, because anything over two weeks meant that they got “on the bad boys list.”
Stewart then went back to 2007 to show how this incompetence within the VA goes back years. That’s when the Walter Reed scandal broke concerning all kinds of allegations including wait times, mistreatment of veterans and just overall horrible conditions within the hospital. But I can assure you as someone who has an uncle who’s relied heavily on VA for his health care, problems with the quality of care go back much further than that.
But then Stewart really went off, saying, “Somehow, we as a country, were able to ship off 300,000 troops half way across the world in just a few months to fight a war that cost $2 trillion. An amount that didn’t count towards our deficit because we paid for it somehow under the table. Yet for some reason, it takes longer than that to get someone hurt in that war needed medical care or reimbursement. All while we profess undying love for their service.”
He then showed various clips from different officials over the years professing their love for our troops. Then he suggested perhaps the best way to get treatment for our vets is to declare war on them. It was a clear shot at our government which seems to always find the funding to start wars, just seems to lack the funding to take care of those who we sent to fight the wars.
It’s a sentiment I’ve recently written about as well. We talk a lot about the issues with VA hospitals, but the biggest issue by far is inadequate funding for proper VA services.
Stewart concluded the segment by perfectly saying, “If you want Americans to feel shock and awe, you’ll fix this f*cking thing.”
Another great segment by Stewart who hit the nail on the head, as usual.
But the question remains, will anything finally get done to properly fund these VA hospitals so that they’re equipped to provide the kind of care our veterans deserve?