Carson: VA Scandal a ‘Gift From God’

Ben Carson has learned well how to appeal to the right wing base — mention God a lot. And lie a lot. His response to the scandal over secret waiting lists is to claim that it’s a “gift from God” because it shows the problems with Obamacare, which is nothing like the VA.

Using the problems at the VA, involving backlogged waiting lists full of veterans seeking medical care, Carson attempted to link the scandal to the Affordable Care Act which he opposes.

“I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider,” Carson explained. “And if we can’t get it right, with the relatively small number of veterans, how in the world are you going to do it with the entire population?”

Do we really need to explain the difference between the VA, which is a government single-payer system, and the Affordable Care Act at this point? Of course not. Carson knows the difference. He’s too smart not to know that he’s lying. But on top of that, think about what he’s saying about God. He’s saying that God made this happen, made veterans suffer, to provide him the opportunity to tell that lie.

And by the way, wouldn’t that resolve Obama and every other government official of any responsibility for the scandal? If God did it, they could not do anything to thwart it. Thinking through the implications of one’s beliefs is kind of important.

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  • Trebuchet

    “I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider”

    We’ve already got that. They’re called insurance companies. And Obamacare, unfortunately, does nothing to change the situation.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    And by the way, wouldn’t that [ab]solve Obama and every other government official of any responsibility for the scandal? If God did it, they could not do anything to thwart it. Thinking through the implications of one’s beliefs is kind of important.

    Not at all. See Obama and his ilk knew they were going against God (because what an ineffable being’s plans and desires are are totally knowable). If they had only done God’s will He wouldn’t have needed to make the soldiers suffer like that making them completely culpable.

    Unless it was a bet between God and Satan. That happens from time to time, you know.

  • colnago80

    The thing about the VA scandal that the lamestream media is not covering is how much of it is due to budget cuts by the Congress and the sequestration. The fingerprints of the Rethuglicans in Congress are all over this atrocity as is Shinsaki and the Obama Administration.

  • http://counterapologist.blogspot.com/ Counter Apologist

    I hate to say it, but isn’t the VA problem an indictment on the viability of a Single Payer System, at least in the US?

    If we can’t out the people who would otherwise gut the funding of such a system, then we’re stuck with something worse than what we’ve got. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t put it past Republicans to do exactly that when it comes to such a system. They do it with the regulatory agencies already, cut funding so they can’t do their job, then complain about expensive regulators inhibiting bushiness growth while not protecting us anyway…

  • eric

    “I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider,”

    As several of us pointed out on the other thread, “what happens” is that overall deaths go down. I don’t intend to downplay the VA’s problems or excuse their actions, but even with their bad acts included, the per capita number of people expected to die due to poor medical response is lower in the VA system than in the pre-ACA non-public one (if you can even call it a system).

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Hey God – next time, could you just shower some manna down on the inner cities, since your agents in DC only want to feed those hungry kids in particular white rural areas?

    KTHX!

  • eric

    I hate to say it, but isn’t the VA problem an indictment on the viability of a Single Payer System, at least in the US?

    It would be, if the system were statistically worse. But see here or here. You have to remember the concept of opportunity cost. Yes, people die from poor system inefficiencies under the VA system. But you can’t compare that number to zero, because zero is not what we achieve without single payer. You have to compare it to the number of expected deaths from poor system inefficiences of the pre-ACA arrangement. And I think by most estimates, those numbers are higher, which means single payer would lower expected deaths and thus be an improvement.

  • busterggi

    If Jesus got off his ass and healed all these people we wouldn’t need a health care system.

    But that will happen after Superman catches a falling airplane in the real world.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I hope that fucking scumbag decides to visit Syracuse and have a photo-op on a day when I’ve got an appointment. If I get close enough to spit on him, I will happily do so and go to jail for assault if necessary.

    Do the idiots in the GOP realize how many MILLIONS of veterans get reasonably decent care through the VA for no other reason than that they signed a contract to serve and now have no funds with which to pay for healthcare.

    I got a letter from the VA telling me that I can’t sign up for the ACA because I’m already a patient of theirs. I saw that letter as a very positive thing.

    I believe that I said, here and elsewhere, about twenty times in the last few years that the minute we pulled the last troops out of combat roles in the middle east and SW Asia that the repukes would look to gut the VA. It’s apparent that they’re not going to wait that long.

  • karmacat
  • dugglebogey

    Every scandal is a gift from god then.

    Monica Lewinski? Straight from heaven. Weapons of Mass Destruction? Thank you baby Jesus!

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    I hate to say it, but isn’t the VA problem an indictment on the viability of a Single Payer System, at least in the US?

    Nope. It’s a failure that could happen in just about any system. People die due to lack of care outside of the single payer all the time.

    I suspect that the issues with the VA are multiple. First, someone chose the wrong metric to evaluate the system. While the size of the waiting list is a useful measure, it’s too easily gamed as we’ve found. You just don’t put people on the official list and voila the system is working fine. There are lots of other measures that can (and should be used) along with this one. Those measures can act to validate each other. Short wait list but a long wait time is what made someone recognize that there was something wrong. That issue lies with the VA and ultimately with Shinseki and the President.

    While I’m sure that there are areas where the VA could be more efficient, as that link by karmacat above shows, they do an excellent job compared to the private sector.

    The second big issue is that of limited resources. If wait lists or wait times are long, it’s because the system doesn’t have enough resources (or isn’t using them efficiently enough) to handle the demand. That issue lies far more with Congress than with the VA.

    Wars cost money. While Congress is willing to spend the money to fund weapons, they’re unwilling to fund the care of veterans. Sadly, the short-sightedness of funding the flashy bits and ignoring the rest isn’t just limited to the government and military. I see it in business all the time — funding sales and de-funding product development as one example. It’s very human. Sadly, in the case of veterans, it’s tragic.

    Apropos the original post, Ben Carson is a liar, an opportunist, a demagogue and an all-around horrible creature.

  • sinned34

    So if the VA scandal is a gift from God, does that technically make it a false-flag operation?

  • lofgren

    I think ed is thinking too hard about this one. The VA ran into trouble because it:

    Tried to treat everybody who needed it.

    Tried to provide quality medical care to even the most sick.

    Given that the Republican alternative to the ACA is to deny health coverage to millions of Americans and to allow the sickest among us to die destitute and untreated, I can see how they would draw a parellel.

  • JasonTD

    I think that there is some vagueness in using the term ‘single-payer’ with regards to the VA. I always think of single-payer as referring to a ‘Medicare-for-all’ system, where government funds all health care, but health care providers are still independent. The VA system is government run from top to bottom.

    ArtK @12,

    The second big issue is that of limited resources. If wait lists or wait times are long, it’s because the system doesn’t have enough resources (or isn’t using them efficiently enough) to handle the demand. That issue lies far more with Congress than with the VA.

    Limited resources is the vexing problem for any priority for all levels of government. Simply blaming Congress is an easy out but isn’t the full picture. Remember that Congress’s approval ratings are only a little higher than syphyllis, but individual Congresspeople get good marks from their constituents, for the most part.

    The real problem with government fiscal policy, as always, is that voters want more government spending than they are willing to pay for, so there is always something worthy of more funding that is getting squeezed by the budget knife.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “so there is always something worthy of more funding that is getting squeezed by the budget knife.”

    Boy that’s better than being lopped off by the purse string tourniquet of the GOP! {;>)

    The VA situation in Phoneix underscores the fact that they have ZERO discretion in whom they will serve among those who are qualified for medical care due to military service. ACA is similar. HCA? not so much.

    I wonder what the call detail looks like between Johnny Boner’s and Milt Johnson’s* office?

    * Current CEO of HCA.