Thursday, May 1, 2014

ISTOOK: Bureaucracy doesn’t just hurt — it kills

Government death panels weren’t invented by Obamacare.
By hiding a list of 1,600 veterans waiting to see doctors in Phoenix, the Department of Veterans Affairs is accused of 40 deaths of those who died for lack of care. Keeping them off the official list concealed the backlog and made VA bureaucrats look better and qualify for bonuses.

So far, no firings, no disciplinary actions, no screaming on the evening news has resulted, although the inspector general for VA is looking into it at the insistence of Arizona lawmakers.

If VA’s 300,000 federal employees can’t make health care work for our veterans, how can any number make Obamacare work for everyone else? One report says federal workers are more likely to die on the job of natural causes than to be fired, with a dismissal rate of about 0.5 percent — only one-sixth of the private sector rate. Protective red tape makes it almost impossible to fire even the grossly inept, incompetent or misbehaving. Almost.

In the VA, protecting the bureaucracy can be fatal to veterans. Elsewhere, it may only be sickening.

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