Dear Readers, Republicans have long suffered from an ideology that when ever possible, privatization is the preferred option over any service delivery organization run by the U.S. government.
My argument against the above option, based on partisan ideology, is that when the over-all well being of the population is at stake, then having only privately run systems which are profit driven is a recipe for long term failure, as in the privatization of U.S. jail systems.
There is that middle ground of oversight, creating standards and methods to insure that government programs are cost effective and competently managed as well as being held accountable for being efficiently run with a superior track record for delivery and results.
For right now, I do not want to give any credence to anyone trying to sell to fellow Americans, the benefits of privatization of social security, Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration’s health care delivery system. This is the exact opposite of what the president-elect promised his followers during his 2016 presidential campaign.
As per the 11/21/16 CNN Money News report, “Trump’s Social Security point man called for privatization,” by Andrew Kaczynski points out that a major red flag is the appointment of Tom Leppert to be part of the team overseeing the management of entitlement programs, because he has been a strong proponent of privatizing both social security and Medicare. Here are excerpts:
“But Leppert’s past plans advocating privatizing both Social Security and Medicare make him a peculiar choice to run point on the Social Security Administration. Trump has unabashedly opposed any effort to change entitlements throughout the campaign, saying economic growth would keep entitlements from needing cuts.”
“Trump talked about entitlements earlier this year with a local Wisconsin radio station, saying, “Now, I want to get rid of waste, fraud, and abuse. I want to do a lot of things to it that are going to make it much better, actually. But I’m not going to cut it, and I’m not going to raise ages, and I’m not going to do all of the things that they want to do. But they want to really cut it, and they want to cut it very substantially, the Republicans, and I’m not going to do that.”
“We’re gonna save your Social Security without making any cuts. Mark my words,” Trump said in February.”
“But archived versions of Leppert’s plans from his 2012 Senate run show how diametrically different his views are from Trump’s on the issue.”
“I will never shy away from any issue, even the so-called ‘third rail’ of entitlement reform,” Lippert writes in his 2012 plan. “Talk to any young person today, and they will tell you Social Security and Medicare won’t be there for their generation. To preserve these vital programs, we first and foremost must not change anything for those ages 55 and older. These folks rely on their benefits and we’ve made a promise to them. But for younger workers, we need to provide Medicare subsidies for the purchase of certified private plans, raise the retirement age, encourage greater retirement savings, and launch an initiative of Personal Retirement Accounts to allow every American, not just the wealthy, to save and invest toward their retirement. Make no mistake—if we don’t act now, these programs will go bankrupt. The simple fact in this debate is that people who oppose reform are the ones who want to destroy our entitlement system.”
“This would be gradually phased-in over time and would not affect anyone currently over the age of 55,” he wrote. “For younger individuals, when they reach retirement, they will receive a subsidy from the federal government that will allow them to purchase certified coverage plans. Those with the lowest incomes would receive more funds from vouchers and would be eligible for additional Medicaid coverage.”
In a previous VA blog, I detailed how political shenanigans by the U.S. congressional republicans are holding up the passage of the VA omnibus bill, (Veterans First Act) after it was voted out of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in an unanimous, bipartisan manner in May, 2016.
It seems that Jeff Miller (FL-R), the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and campaign advisor for Donald Trump’s presidency and his 10 point VA reform, is pushing for privatization.
In addition, some congressional republicans established the “Commission on Care” board with members who were mostly medical industry executives with the bias towards the VA becoming more of a privatized entity which is directly counter to every established veterans’ organizations’ wishes.
Congressman Miller along with other conservatives like Senator John McCain are convinced that the VHA system is permanently broken and not worth waiting for the VA Secretary Bob McDonald and MYVA Chairman General Joe Robles, both of whom are ex-military, with outstanding business executive skills to have the time to successfully accomplish the transformation of the VA system to be an exceptional well managed health care delivery system.
The 6/9/16 American Prospect report, “McCain Pulls A Bait-and-Switch on Vets,” by Suzanne Gordon reports the following: “And what’s wrong with “The Care They Deserve Act? Just about everything, which is why many service organizations like the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Vietnam Veterans of America oppose the plan.”