Commentary Magazine


Re: Even Dumber

No, the administration is not giving up quite yet on its asinine idea to charge veterans’ private insurance for service-related injuries. The Washington Post, which you may recall ran an award-winning series on mistreatment and neglect at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, tells us:

An Obama administration proposal to bill veterans’ private insurance companies for treatment of combat-related injuries has prompted veterans groups to condemn the plan as unethical and powerful lawmakers on Capitol Hill to promise their opposition.

[ .   .   .]

Veterans groups said the plan was a puzzling political misstep by the new administration in its relations with the 25 million Americans who have served in the military. Obama heard firsthand about such objections Monday when he met with leaders of the groups at the White House.

“To ask veterans to save $500 million in a [VA] budget of over $100 billion is not only bad policy, it is bad politics,” said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who attended the meeting.

“It could be a rookie mistake,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s only going to hurt the president.”

Another problem, critics said, is that the proposal could hurt wounded veterans’ employment opportunities, particularly with small businesses.

No, I don’t know what’s wrong with the brilliant Ivy League scholars who populate the Obama administration. Remember when we were told how smart they all were, how magnificent a team had been assembled? Well, apparently common sense and political survival instincts were not requirements for working in the Obama White House. Once again, we learn that “credentialed” doesn’t mean wise — or even effective.