Does The Government Treat Illegal Aliens Better Than Military Vets?

On the eve of Memorial Day, and against the backdrop of the rapidly growing Veterans Affairs hospital scandal, do illegal aliens get better treatment than US military veterans?

Sarah Palin seems to think so.

On Wednesday, President Obama broke his silence on the Veterans Affairs scandal, vowing to hold the military hospitals that falsified records accountable but also claiming that VA problems are anomalies. The president’s remarks come as revelations have emerged in the media about long wait times for veterans seeking medical treatment, and vets who have died while waiting for doctor’s appointments at the military facilities. Originally the focus was on a Phoenix hospital, but some 26 VA facilities apparently have come under scrutiny for cooking the books with secret waiting times for vets who needed medical care.

Given the number of vets returning home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in particular, systemic problems with the VA date back before the Obama administration, of course. But contrary to recent assertions, it reportedly turns out that the president’s inner circle knew there were issues at the VA even before he took office. “The Obama administration received clear notice more than five years ago that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care” — problems that have turned into a growing scandal. Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting.

According to one naval officer, Al Qaeda detainees at the Guantanamo Bay jail even receive better medical treatment than vets.

Many other observers have pointed out that the VA is a precursor to what it would be like under government-run healthcare for the civilian population of the country at large.

But are illegals also getting better benefits than returning soldiers? Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, posted this contention on her Facebook page:

Compliance with these un-American acts in this Obama Era deserves the scorn of citizens; we will do all we can to oust those who follow the Obama/Pelosi/Reid lead on disgusting treatment of our military and red carpet treatment of their law-breaking chosen ones.”

Palin linked her posting to a column by Michelle Malkin highlighting a litany of benefits costing millions of taxpayer dollars being afforded to illegal immigrants. Summarized Malkin: “A government that fails to secure its borders is guilty of dereliction of duty. A government that fails to care for our men and women on the frontlines is guilty of malpractice. A government that puts the needs of illegal aliens above U.S. veterans for political gain should be prosecuted for criminal neglect bordering on treason… America: medical and welfare welcome mat to the rest of the world, while leavings its best and bravest veterans to languish in hospital lounges, die waiting for appointments, and compete for jobs and educational opportunities against illegal border-crossers, document fakers, visa violators and deportation evaders. Shame on us.”

In a prior posting, Palin wrote that “‘Government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost.’ Friends, that’s rationed care. That’s the VA today. That’s what’s got to change. That’s why Congress has got to change because until we elect leaders who’ll buck the march to socialized medicine known as Obamacare, America’s health care system will go the way of the VA. That’s why Obama’s Democrat party must be defeated in the ballot box in November. America is still the strongest nation on earth; outside forces won’t ruin us — we will only destroy ourselves if the status quo doesn’t go.”

Palin took a lot of flak several years ago for suggesting that government-imposed healthcare rationing by what she famously deemed death panels would be one likely outcome of Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act. And while Palin and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean couldn’t be more opposite on the political spectrum, he apparently agrees with her now. Dean, a very liberal Democrat who is also a physician, ran for president in 2004. Without mentioning Palin specifically, Dean wrote in The Wall Street Journal last year that “… One major problem [with Obamacare] is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body… getting rid of the IPAB is something Democrats and Republicans ought to agree on.”

While the federal government has thousands of employees, apparently information has a difficult time reaching the Oval Office at the White House. Whether it is the VA scandal, the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal, or other such controversies, the president instead seems to find out about them by reading or watching the news:

Given the VA scandal, do you agree or disagree that the government offers a better safety net to illegal aliens than military vets?

[image credit: coolcaesar]