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Bloody Bill Kristol Conflates Healthcare For Vets With College While Pushing To Voucherize VA

Bloody Bill Kristol doesn't get an ounce of push back when he makes the claim that voucherizing the VA would not be failing our veterans.

PBS' Tavis Smiley actually made some good points when pushing back against Peggy Noonan and Bloody Bill Kristol's nonsense on the VA and the fact that we're more than happy to start wars which create more veterans, but not so happy to take care of them once they get home.

That said, he gave Kristol a huge pass for conflating paying for college with paying for healthcare and when he made the claim that replacing the Veterans Administration with a voucher system would not be failing our veterans on this Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos::

SMILEY: But I think, David, though, that we're talking about the symptom and not the problem. And I'm concerned that if we don't get the diagnosis right, we won't get the prognosis right.

The bottom line, Peggy, is that this problem has become acutely worse, in part, because we have engaged in more wars. When you engage in more wars, you're going to have more veterans. And the more veterans come home and they are reliant upon a system that is dysfunctional, that doesn't have the capacity to support them, to give them what they need, you can change the secretary of Veterans Affairs every six months, but the more wars, the more veterans. And if the system isn't equipped to deal with their needs, this problem is going to continue and get worse still.



KRISTOL: -- more veterans have come back and they've gone to college.

And how have they gone to college?

They got the GI Bill.

And you know what?

There's no crisis of veterans getting into college. The VA is flawed because it's a failed big government bureaucracy. You can't fire anyone. It's gotten more money each year under President Obama. Its rate of increase of funding is in -- has gone up faster than the number of people who...


KRISTOL: -- than the number of people they're serving.


KRISTOL: And the VA needs to be fundamentally reformed. And one way it could be reformed is to, in fact, let people take a voucher and go to a hospital -- the same hospitals we all go to -- instead of having to go to the VA to get special...


SMILEY: I'm not saying...


SMILEY: -- I'm not saying it shouldn't be...


KRISTOL: -- fundamentally reform the VA and reduce it.


KRISTOL: -- privatize -- yes, just like we did in the GI Bill.

Do you think there needs to be a veterans' university?

And furthermore, I would keep some centers for excellence for research on special things that affect veterans, some centers of treatment. That's fine.

There is no need for a huge...

SMILEY: I'm not suggesting...

KRISTOL: -- sprawling...

SMILEY: -- I'm not...


SMILEY: -- I'm suggesting...

KRISTOL: -- Veterans Affairs...

SMILEY: -- I'm not suggesting...

KRISTOL: -- hospital...

SMILEY: -- I'm not suggesting there ought not to be reform. But privatization, Bill, is not the answer to everything.

And the fact of the matter is there are veterans coming home who are falling into poverty more and more every day. It is shameful the way we treat our veterans.

Here's the real problem. The problem is we -- this issue becomes significant for us when veterans don't get the health care they need and we want to play politics with this. But there are millions of Americans...

KRISTOL: I couldn't agree more...

SMILEY: -- every day...

KRISTOL: They need to get...

SMILEY: -- who are being failed by a health care system and Republicans want to repeal every bit of progress we are making to serve everyday people, whether they're veterans or not.

KRISTOL: If they got a generous voucher to use to purchase the health insurance they need or the health care they need, how would that be failing veterans?

REMNICK: Well...

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to have to take a break right there in that silence.

Stand by, though.

Smiley's always got plenty to say when it comes to criticizing President Obama, but he let Kristol leave him speechless on this one. The Republicans' solution to everything is to privatize, and voucherize and under-fund every one of our social safety nets in order to destroy them. I guess it's asking too much for him to have pointed that out to Kristol.

Updates: Think Progress posted a list of some items that would actually help with the current crisis which includes extending some care outside of the VA, but not gutting the program as Kristol and his ilk would like to do.

Jon Perr writes: Privatizing VA health care would be the greatest tragedy of all.

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