Letter to the Editor
The VAMC here in Albuquerque has saved my life a few times over the 20 years I have been using their services. Over the years I have talked to the staff about the problem of appointment delays and they have said many times it is due to the lack of medical doctors and sometimes staff cutbacks in the clinics. There is not enough help to cover the needs.
I suppose some administrators have been trying to cover for the cuts by Congress in the funds to cover the increasing demands by juggling the books on appointments.
We should not scapegoat the administrators for this but direct our focus to the lack of Congressional funding to do the job. Congress is willing to fund wars and weapons systems more and more but not the necessary money to cover the costs of veterans health care. I suspect this is a manufactured crisis, a rerun of the way Congress, both Republicans and Democrats worked together to destroy our public education over the past 30 years in order to build the argument for privatization (neoliberalism).
Now they want to destroy our veterans health care system by saying, “See it is failing apart, government can do no good so let’s privatize it.” Congress is the government that has underfunded the VA, not the veterans.
This is what they have done to our pensions, prisons and educational systems and look what a mess the market has made of them. The solution is simple, make less war and weapons and Congress has to fully fund its commitment to present veterans.
Bob Anderson, Vietnam 6768, decorated combat veteran