By: E&P Staff
In today’s letters, more readers weigh in on the military hospitals scandal, a reader thinks Gallup is wrong about John Edwards’ chances to become president, and a reader applauds the work of Stephen Colbert.
The Military Hospitals Scandal
As a physician who trained at a major university hospital with an affiliated veterans hospital unit, I have been aware of the stepchild attitude that pervades veterans care for many years. Generally, attempts were made to keep facilities functioning and services available, but the va patients invariably were the ones treated by residents and junior faculty, and subjected to, at times, novel and innovative procedures before the privately insured patients. to be sure some veterans did benefit, but it was a two-edged sword.
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine summarized the outpatient experiences of two young Iraq veterans, and, to be sure, their outpatient follow-up was even more appalling that those experiences outlined by the Washington Post.
The fact of the matter is, medical care in this country is haphazard and sporadic at all levels, and the systems do not work well on any level because there has been no coordinated attempt to define and provide consistent care to any populations other than those who can afford care. Veterans, the middle class, and the poor suffer the most, but the drag on the economy and social structure injures us all.
Until there is a defined, integrated, and accountable health care system, the horrors at Walter Reed will continue to persist and be duplicated at hospitals and clinical facilities throughout the country.
It seems to me that the multiple trillions of dollars spent on this jingoistic fiasco in Iraq could have been much better spent at home on domestic programs such as health care and social security. If it requires a reexamination of capitalist motives and presence, so be it.
The problem with the VA hospitals cannot possibly be a surprise to anyone who has ever had any reason to visit one.
In 1970 while waiting for my fiance to return from Vietnam, I decided to volunteer at the local VA hospital. Unfortunately, after only a couple of months, I had to stop. The reason was that I was so disgusted by the filth and total lack of organization that I was only getting frustrated by being there.
In 2005, 2006 and 2007, I occasionally go to the VA Hospital to play the piano for the Vets entertainment. The building heat is set so high, that I was forced to stop after only a few songs. What’s up with that? Not only is it incredibly unhealthy, but the price to heat these building must be astounding.
It’s just so sad. The patients there did their job … why can’t those who are supposed to take care of them do theirs?
Emma Jean Pretto
St. Louis, Mo.
I have experienced the same kind of treatment at the Houston and Dallas VA as the hearings are uncovering at Walter Reed.
I am 100% DAV-USAF. I will be 75 next week .I have been around and with the Military and VA since I was 17.
I have experienced first-hand the unfair treatment of the VA hospital nad the rude staff members, expecailly at the VA Houston. …
Milford L. Curnutt
As a Vietnam era veteran I salute [Joe Galloway], please keep up the great job. The troops deserve our full support for doing the job we sent them to do. … Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Kudos for Colbert
I applaud Stephen Colbert for saying what should be said over and over again:? this president is incompetent, his administration had deliberately misled our country into war, has bankrupted our economy and is ignoring the global warming crisis which is contributing to greater natural disasters.
Colbert cleverly disguised his comments by thinly pretending to be supportive of Bush.? Who cares if Bush was displeased?? Sixty-eight percent of Americans wish he’d leave office and take Cheney with him!
Journos and the Courts
If the journalists involved and their organizations feel so strongly that this is prior restraint and an unconstitutional order, why not simply publish and let the chips fall where they may?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see any organization bankrupted by sanctions from a court, but if the actions taken in defiance of the order were radical enough, maybe the people in this country would wake the F? up and start paying attention.
I’m getting tired of feeling like the only one who’s keeping track of what’s going on around here; I could use a little help.
Edwards Witout a Chance?
I believe the Gallup poll is wrong on Edwards and Gore. I know what the raw numbers show but they are not consistent with what I see and hear every day. Edwards has about as much chance as Biden and Dodd, which equals … zero! Gore is a rock-star amongst the left and they are clamoring for him to get into the race. I agree with the poll on Hillary and Obama. They are the top contenders and will remain so until and if Gore enters the race. All other Dem candidates are “no contest” and, to be perfectly honest, should drop out now and save whatever dignity and campaign funds they have left. Go to Disneyworld and forget about becoming President.
Did you know that Bill Maher wished, while on TV, that Vice President Cheney had been killed in the bombing incident in Iraq?
Did you know that Senator Clinton talked with her biggest fake Southern accent ever while in Selma, Ala.?
Did You know that Senator Obama also spoke with a fake accent in a similar setting in Selma?
Did you know that you claim to be “America’s oldest journal covering the newspaper industry,” when, in fact, you are nothing more than an apologist for the left-wing media of the United States?
I doubt that many fall for your bologna, except for yourselves and those you defend; all, of course, being on the left.
St. Louis, Mo.