An amputee with a name badge sits waiting with other men and women in seats lined up in front of a television. Another patient is talking about his ailments to a person sitting next to him who doesn’t want to be bothered and has heath problems of his own.
Pensive, no emotion showing, his turn is coming up. Then the name badged amputee disappears behind closed doors, to re emerge a few minutes later after his blood is drawn. The fingerprinted chrome on his industrial style wheelchair shows age and the large handle bar above has dents in it, quite possibly from bags, oxygen or whatever else he wants to hang from it as he wheels himself down the hall to another line formation. This time it is for his medications dolled out in a paper bag with a digital name board checking the people off as they pick them up. He then heads out of the front lobby to the bus waiting to pick him up, along with others in wheel chairs.
Once home, his medications lay in front of him. They are outdated old medications in orange bottles that need a wrench to unscrew them. Rat poison or cumadin to thin his blood, then there is an antiquated blood pressure medicine not used since the 60’s, medicine for his diabetes also being cheap for the government to supply the masses. His finger hurts from all the sticking he has to do and the monitor is large and heavy from the 1980’s.
His chances along with thousands of others are slim. His health is not great, and time is not on his side. Never mind his A fib and never mind his bi polar medications which are akin to barbaric treatments. The last time he got upset was over how old his medications were when there were new ones out on the market. They were housed in some commercial warehouse, removed from a shelf, dust blown off the tops of the cardboard boxes, and labeled sufficient for him and others and conveniently handed to him in a white paper cup. When he refused to take them and wanted newer drugs to see if they would work, the men in white uniforms came in. He was headed to level three, to the psychiatric ward. Upset, the thumps in his chest became stronger. His heart rate was all over the place. Stress, anxiety, not knowing, fear of being locked up once again because he didn’t want to take those medicines.Why? He was not trying to commit suicide, he just wanted medicine that would work. They would not give him his meds for his heart on the 3rd floor. Two women stood in the way, one was a Brazilian doctor who cared only about treating his bipolar and not his heart and the other was his girlfriend who stood in the way of the doctor hauling him away to the third floor. He signed over his power of attorney to his sister who showed up and she kept him out of the dungeon yet again. What awaited him in the psychiatric ward was not pleasant. Was it going to be shock treatments? More drugs introduced to him intravenously or the constant barage of take your meds, take your meds drilled into his head. He wasn’t sure.
Where are the new medications? Why must he take the pills when there are new therapies out that might work better? Why are all of these third world doctors employed? It took him 3 months to get this appointment he had today to get his blood checked and it will take another six months to be able to see his primary care doctor. Are there not enough doctors in the house?
He gave everything he had, to include his mental state, and his left leg, while some give more, some gave their lives. They say the system is not broken. Some say their dying to get seen. Some even say it is a scandal to kill them off so the government wont have to doll out millions of dollars of medical treatments.
The officials have better health insurance and can go to a private doctor where they can have better medical care and newer medicines.
The government officials wear fancy suits, drive nice cars and speak to congressional hearings. They don’t live in trailer parks or subsidized housing or lower income housing neighborhoods. They don’t have to take community buses to their medical appointments or have them pick them up.
How do you fix this broken ferris wheel? Stop hiring government officials to run the VA, instead, have a veteran run it.
They knew how to fight the enemy. Today the enemy is the government official who thinks they know best.