The Washington Post has a shocking report about the condition of Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, particularly Building 18:
The Post series documented tattered conditions at Building 18, including mold, rot, mice and cockroaches, but also a larger bureaucratic indifference that has impeded some soldiers' recovery.
At Building 18 yesterday, platoon sergeants with clipboards went from room to room inspecting for mold, leaks and other problems. A broken elevator was repaired, and snow and ice were cleared from the sidewalks.
Of course, Democrats are jumping on this situation as if they have absolutely nothing to do with it, although they are part of the bureaucracy that created it:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked the House Armed Services Committee to investigate outpatient care at Walter Reed. "The treatment reported in The Post of our troops and our veterans is disgraceful," Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said.
Several senators, including presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former presidential candidate John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), announced they are co-sponsoring legislation to simplify the paperwork process for recovering soldiers and increase case managers and psychological counselors. The bill would also require the Army to report more regularly to Congress and the inspector general about the living conditions of injured soldiers.
Michelle Malkin addressed this issue and nails it:
The mess at the VA and in the military health care system is systemic and complicated. Political grandstanding on both sides of the political aisle has impeded reforms for years. The push to modernize and consolidate facilities, including Walter Reed, has been met with fierce resistance--exacerbated by bureaucratic edifice complex. That these failures to prioritize continue in war time unabated is damnable. Any light shone on the soldiers' toll, whatever the motivations and prejudices of the WaPo reporters might be, is welcome, IMO.
Of course, Michelle is right. Our entire VA hospital system is sick and must be fixed because our military men and women deserve so much better. It's disgraceful that it's deteriorated to this condition. But, unfortunately, it's not surprising considering it's the US government that runs the entire system.
Which brings us to the bigger picture. John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and many other liberals sing the praises of universal health care. They insist that it is the best way to make sure everyone has the best care possible. However, if the US government is so bogged down financially and politically that it's incapable of providing the best health care possible for our veterans and injured military men and women returning from war who have sacrificed so much to protect us, then how the hell is that same US government going to provide the best health care for the rest of the 300 million people in this country? Universal health care will be a gargantuan version of the VA and military health care systems.