“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, March 12, 2007

No Commission necessary on VA Medical Care

Here is the solution. Give each wounded veteran a life-time card like this.

Pay for it with a permanent consumption tax on gasoline. Then we will see who supports the troops.

We discussed this a few days ago. If you agree that this is a sensible fair solution to what will be a life long problem for many wounded young men and woman, please circulate the idea to blogs, politicians and opinion makers.




  1. It just proves the point, doug.
    Ladies love country boys.

    As to the Health card, that's not the trend. As in airport security only the Federals, acting directly can provide adequate service. No privatization needed.

    Funny thing, as relates to Federals and privatitaztion, the Military has privatized over 100,000 military jobs in Iraq. These civilians doing what, in the old days, were military functions. These civilians in military jobs have had over 800 KIA. Making it clear that those jobs are carrying a combat risk, one historicaly associated with military service.

    Who handles their long term medical care?
    Those civilians are just as deserving our assistance. Especially if the US hiring logistical support and security mercenaries, to maintain troop strength levels required, is the new "Way of War" for US.

    Saw General Aberzaid on Ted Koppels "Long War" program on the Discovery Channel. He says the Ethiopian model is the new "New Way Forward". Small numbers of US troopers training and advising foreign troops.
    Should not the US take the moral responsibility for those foreigners medical care, as well? Seems a small price to pay, compared to paying those combat costs with US blood.

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  3. I thought about allen and his focus on all those Shia pilgrims that were not killed, last week.

    I suppose a similar arguement could be made in regards Israel and the Intafada.

    So many Israelis were not killed, that the Government there decided to wall off the Palistinians.

    The idea that having "just" a few hundred civilians killed, in a week, is a sign of success would never fly in Tel Aviv, nor will it in Baghdad or here in the US.

  4. When Staff Sgt. Jarod Behee was asked to select a paint color for the customized wheelchair that was going to be his future, his young wife seethed. The government, Marissa Behee believed, was giving up on her husband just five months after he took a sniper’s bullet to the head during his second tour of duty in Iraq.
    Because Ms. Behee had successfully resisted the Army’s efforts to retire her husband into the V.A. health care system, his military insurance policy, it turned out, covered private care. So she moved him to a community rehabilitation center, Casa Colina, near her parents’ home in Southern California in late 2005.

    Three months later, Sergeant Behee was walking unassisted and abandoned his government-provided wheelchair. Now 28, he works as a volunteer in the center’s outpatient gym, wiping down equipment and handing out towels. It is not the police job that he aspired to; his cognitive impairments are serious. But it is not a nursing home, either. ..."

    But this story is from the NYTimes, so it is, most likely, some type of antiBush Syndrome falsehood that can just be ignored, no?

    If not, sure seems the US Government and the public have "cut and run" on our wounded vets, do not the Iraqi people deserve US support even less?

    Good thing Staff Sgt Behee had his own support system, the Federals sure let him down.

  5. Heck, why not carry the concept through to its logical conclusion: put a consumption tax on oil and provide every American with health insurance?

  6. DR,

    You are confused as to cause and effect. The wall went up and then the suicide bombings ceased, in large measure. Of course, nothing is perfect; and there must be those who, therefore, point to the wall as a failure.

    Thousands NOT being killed in Karbala, the point of my post, is not the same thing as saying that others were not killed elsewhere. Again, nothing is perfect, but Karbala came close enought last week to permit me to make a positive passing mention.

  7. It would be useful to have the average daily number of Iraqis murdered, executed, and/or purged during the Hussein regime. That number could throw light on whether the US involvement is making the lives of Iraqis more secure, by comparison.

    If surging is the accepted remediation for dysfunctional Muslim societies, Israel might use the technique in strengthening the governance of Mr. Abbas.

  8. Hundreds were killed enroute to and from Karbala. That amounts to a defacto failure of security.

    In six years of Intafada, from 29 Sep 00 to 15 Jan '06 only 761 Israeli civilians were killed, less, averaged annually, than were killed in last week's Iraqi violence.

    There is no "upside" or "success" for US or the Islamic Republic of Iraq in that. That level of violence would not be acceptable to the Israeli, not at all.

    Just think of all the Israeli that went to Synagogue unmolested, during that time. The Wall in Israel unneeded based on your Iraqi standard of success, allen.

    The successful partioning of Palistine, from Israel, was thought required by the Israeli to secure their population from a much lower level of insurgency than found in Iraq. There being little chance of reconciliation 'tween the Israel and the Palis, same as 'tween the factions in Iraq.

    Current US policy in Iraq flys in the face of Israeli success in stemming Mohammedan violence.
    Seperating the targets from the Mohammedans.
    The poor trendlines continue apace in Iraq. Reconciliation still not in sight, despite negotiations with Iran.

  9. Army Surgeon General, Lt. General Kiley has been "forced" to retire.

  10. Again, allen, the US administration of Iraq is not comparable to Saddam.
    If the numbers killed were more or less, on average, than now, is of little import. Saddam is dead and will remain so.

    Saddam judged a criminal based upon his actions and averages. Those killed judged enemies of the State, not random civilians in the markets.
    Shall we compare apples to apples or to oranges.

    You begin to make the case for those that believe that US involvement is criminal, as well, with the very comparison.
    Deaths on Saddam's watch vs deaths on our watch. Who was worse, for Iraq?
    A great debating point, I think not.

    Let US compare Iranian influence in Iraq and the Region, pre and post US invasion.
    Let US compare aQ influence, in Iraq, since the invasion.

    In both cases our enemies have been enhanced, while our position has been diminished. We went from solid US Public support for the endevour, to one of majority dissapproval.

    America loves a winner and cannot stand a loser. We're still "not winning" while on a course of slow failure.

  11. DR,

    The data is clear on one point, Americans do not approve of "how" Mr. Bush has and is fighting the war. To suggest that this means disapproval with the mission, per se, is simply incorrect.

  12. Ash,
    I do not see the logic to extending my suggestion to cover all health care costs. My idea is simple and based on several assumptions:

    1. There already exists an extensive and excellent health care instititution throughout the US. Not one building or person has to be added to accomodate wounded veterans.

    2. A company such as BCBS is already established to provide administration.

    3. Wounded veterans will need health care for the rest of their lives.

    4. Someone has to pay for their care. It is said that the country is gratefeul for their service. This plan pays for the gratitude rather than an empty platitude. (Excuse me if I sound like Jessie Jackson.)

    5. A gasoline consunption tax is perfect as US security interests inclued guaranteeing the unimpeded supply of imported oil. A cynic could observe that if we were never dependent on ME oil, the wouned vet may never have been created in the first place.

    6. A gasoline tax will reduce the demand for imported oil, or encourage alternative fuel use.

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  14. 2164th, yes the linking of wounded US vets to Oil was noted and I found it interesting that you would suggest it. I puzzled why you feel vets wounded (fighting for Oil?) deserve free health care when a kid born, say, in Alabama, to poor parents doesn't.

  15. I hate to say it, but Ash makes a valid point. Your idea would be the foot-in-the-door that socialists like Hillary would use to try and establish their "universal healthcare".

  16. You have to distinguish military service, the risk and the consequences from those that do not serve. It is not a benefit that anyone would want to earn. They have to get hurt and damaged to get it.

    Everyone in the military has socialized medicine. I reject the moral equivalency argument. Military service is different from the Peace Corps or someone born to disadvantaged parents.

  17. why Native Americans specifically?

  18. It certainly would be much more efficient than rebuilding 1000 VA hospitals. It will be so larded with pork, and not one pol will have the nerve or guts to question the spending.

  19. The beauty of the BCBS idea is their service can be administered by existing facilities and administration. The Vet can go to where he gets the best care.

    Head injuries can require very specialized and experienced rehab and the costs are huge. Allocate the money to the care not the facilities.

  20. "Saddam is dead and will remain so."

    Sieg Heil!

  21. (batteries went out on my keyboard, meant to say:
    "Ye of little Faith
    Sieg Heil!")

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