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Nancy Pelosi: VA Is A Scandal, Just Maybe Not A Scandal-Scandal

May 28, 2014

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told’s Ezra Klein that she wasn’t sure the Veterans Health Administration (VA) scandal was an actual, you know scandal.

Asked by Klein for her thoughts on the VA scandal, Pelosi said (audible pauses left in),

“Well, it, I .. think any time that our, our men and women in uniform are not served in the manner at which they deserve, you could perhaps call it a scandal, because it’s scandalous that they’re not. Whether it is a scandal with intention and the rest of that, uh, the evidence remains to be seen. But the fact is uh, that uh, that eh, they haven’t been served worth of their sacrifice or their, uh, role in our country.”

First, it’s not clear that the former Speaker of the House knows that the VA serves exclusively veterans, and not people in uniform.

Second, we veterans thank Leader Pelosi for recognizing that something is wrong at the VA, and for her Yea vote on HR 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act. That bill would allow the VA Secretary more easily to dismiss members of his senior staff, which is currently very difficult. Even if that bill became law, however, it would still literally require an act of Congress to fire a VA official.

Third, Pelosi and some Democrats may want to deny and minimize the VA scandal because they want to preserve the myth that government can run a large-scale health care business. They also may want to defend President Obama, reflexively, because he is their guy.

Doing either one of those things shows exactly what’s wrong with government health care. It creates political winners and losers, so that your health care depends on your political clout.

In other words, by defending the VA against criticism, Pelosi and her party show what would happen if the entire US were under a government-run “single payer” system.

Under government-run health care, every decision, every hiring and firing, every treatment option, and all matters large and small, from the number of doctors to be trained and where they will practice to the hours the hospital gift shop is open — all of that becomes a political battle.

Socialists like to complain about the rich having privilege under capitalism, but under their system everything is determined by your value to the state. The very young, the very old, and any member of a too-small minority class will find themselves cut off, as the majority enforces its will.

When the majority rules, pray that you’re always in the majority.