Jeb Bush Veterans Affairs Reforms Lack Substance

Jeb Bush Veterans Platform

Benjamin KrauseYesterday, presidential candidate Jeb Bush released his new plan Department of Veterans Affairs reforms that in all honestly are little more than what is already going on now – they lack substance and creativity needed to fix the enormously dysfunctional agency.

Overall, the plan expands health care options for veterans outside VA and calls for greater whistleblower protections with more technology solutions. But if you pay attention to what is already going on, these reforms are little more than a regurgitation of what is already evolving right now that was enacted in a longterm plan from 1993 forward.

So under Jeb Bush, we would have the same ole Veterans Affairs. Should we expect anything more?

RELATED: Jeb Bush VA Reforms

Time Magazine ran a brief piece on the Jeb Bush proposal that highlighted the potential impact of the plan. The magazine pointed out the importance of courting veterans since the group is a unifying bloc across party lines. Around 9% of Americans are veterans (25 million). I hope the other candidates come up with something more aggressive.

Ever wonder why the myth still perpetuates that veterans only comprise 1% of the American population? The mistake here is that people in the military make up 1% but the veterans populations is substantially larger.

Here is the gist of the Jeb Bush VA reform plan – I added the enumeration to help readers pick out what he is basically proposing:

ONE – Let veterans have access to more community care with certain limitations.

TWO – Increase health care resources for female veterans.

THREE – VA would fill prescriptions from non-VA doctors.

FOUR – Fix tech glitches that allow employee manipulation.

FIVE – Create app for appointment set-up, medical advice, prescription refill.

SIX – Fire bad employees more quickly.

SEVEN – Outsource management of VA construction projects to better agency.

EIGHT – More support for veteran education and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Jeb Bush concluded his op-ed explaining his reforms stating:

With these reforms — and others that I am proposing today as part of a broader veterans plan — we can dramatically upgrade how our government treats those who have sacrificed so much to protect us and expand opportunity so that our nation’s heroes enjoy the bounties of liberty they so richly deserve.

I concluded reading it with a yawn – his “reforms” are little more than a plagiarism of past reforms. America is engaged in the longest war in our nation’s history, and the impact of that war has yet to be managed in an effective manner. Why avoid new ideas?

What reforms is Bush actually talking about that are changes from the existing plan within VA that is evolving right now?

Much of these reforms were in the works within agency forecasting plans under George W. Bush that originated under Bill Clinton in 1993. They continued largely unchanged under President Obama. And Jeb Bush’s reforms are little more than the same old plan – they lack substance and creativity – and are little more than an unaccredited rip off of past presidential platforms.

What plans have you seen from other Republican candidates that you like more?


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  1. jeb bush sucks real bad. He’s going to be out of the race soon enough. He is drab and has no punch to anything he says. Everybody notices that. Even Texans hate him, and Texans usually love fellow Texans. So I think he’s out. I remember 2 years ago everyone expected him to run against Hillary (she is a piece of work too). How things change. Jeb Bush has absolutely nothing creative to offer, and he comes across as if he doesn’t really want to be the Pres anyway. Get rid of him. He bores the shit out of me.

  2. While I’m not a supporter of the lame Jeb Bush Dynastic candidacy, I did read somewhere
    some years back that when he was Governor of Florida he had a strong pro-veterans stance when it came to vet’s preference in hiring. Anybody got any real statistics on this ?
    Some advise to any in country veterans’s out there: STAY OUT OF THE BUSHES ! LOL

  3. It should be worth noting that Jeb Bush is so unpopular right now that this post only garnered a 1.4k reach on Facebook, which is 3x less than most other posts on this site… I could write about a squirrel eating Donald Trump’s garbage and it would get more views and more comments.

    1. I am just waiting for more artwork/cartoons. Ihope you could get in contact with the writers of SouthPark so they could do a special episode of the VA Scandal since the Denver Project is there. The theme would be McD was caught embezzling funds to support an addiction to opiate laced cheesy poofs!

      Wishful thinking huh? LOL

  4. If it comes down to HIlary or Jeb, I bet Hilary wins, just because people would rather be pissed off at a liberal socialist than be bored to death with Bush 3.0 who has the personality of a piece of wood.

    1. in some ways i don’t see any diff between Jeb or Hillary…same standard BS and owned by the same people.

      glad @Ben exposed that Jeb’s plan is just regurgitated old ideas that don’t fix or address the real issues of VA for veterans that use/depend on VA. or any of the corrupt claims issues! why doesn’t any politician bring up Title 38?!

      let’s keep getting the msg out there how this is BS that just perpetuates the corruptness of VA, DC, big Pharm, etc… surely few in America didn’t really expect a Bush, much less Jeb, to truly upset the corrupt VA did they? with all the investigative reporting, the Internet, youtube, evidence, etc., come on America you’re smarter than that.

      i don’t dislike Mr Bush, but his political agenda and political circles, i do indeed dislike.

      Jeb & Hillary — different clothes, same tailor. another good expose from @Ben & blog.

  5. I am a 40% service connected disabled Vet. I have been dealing with the VA for over 20 years in several different states. It seems to me that there is a logical progression happening concerning Vet healthcare. With the advent of and the Veterans Choice program the technology seems to be converging. Why not combine them and turn the Veterans Choice program into full coverage healthcare? Allow Vets to choose between private and local care or the VA’s system where it takes months to see a doctor. I bet if there were a national debate the Vets would choose full coverage local and private care.

    1. VA is shunning Choice care, they don’t want anything that will take away their power,or money,or jobs.
      I am in VA system, and employees and system is non-repairable. The human factor is the REAL problem.
      The buildings and computers aren’t causing the problems….
      I want VA healthcare dissolved as it exists today, and just send any and all vets to private care. My private TriWest situation is fabulous, VA is a 90% fail.
      100% TriWest would be awesome….imho

      1. Ron

        You have TriWest do they promote Patient-Centered Community Care over the Veterans Choice program?

        Most of the posters here are in the regions covered by Health Net instead of TriWest. Because Health Net seems to only be trying to promote Veterans Choice program as the only option and they don’t have the provider base most of us are just screwed.

        How have others in your area found TriWest and Patient-Centered Community Care to be?

  6. Many talk about “term limits”! We really don’t need that. We already have a form of that. It’s called –“VOTING”-
    That’s how “We the People” get rid of the worthless “political power that is corrupting our country”!
    Trouble is there’s some people out there that either believe the crap politicians spew, or they have some kind of personal monetary gain from the politicians. Which ever it is, we need to vote out everyone and start fresh…,

    1. You are right! Why wait for AL , VFW you can either do a recall election or impeachment by starting a petition. This includes the Secretary, he is not an elected official. A “no confidence” vote can be asserted here. It is unbelievable that nothing has been done when he so-called mistated his service to connect with a vet who more than likely was not in special forces. It is like me saying just because I supported SEAL operators during missions aboard an MSB, it doesn’t make me a Seal operator.Unbelievable!

  7. Whenever a politician goes to talking about reforming the VA, what he’s actually talking about is screwing over veterans. These lying politicians have been screwing over veterans for decades. What else can we expect out of the lying b*stards?! Bush is no different than any of the rest of them. He even stated that people should work longer hours. Try telling that to someone who is working 70 or more hours a week making minimum wage with no overtime and trying to make ends meet on that. Bush doesn’t give a damn about anyone except the rich. How the hell am I supposed to expect he’ll give a damn me or any disabled veteran?

  8. Bush was incompetent as Governor. He will be incompetent as President.
    For ex; He stated he made 3.1 million jobs during his tenure. True! Only will he state that 900,000 were lost because of businesses going out of business, or because of the ridiculous amounts of taxbreaks he gave companies caused layoffs and firings? Bet he won’t discuss that.
    I read somewhere yesterday that 12 MOH recipients were endorsing him. I believe it was in South Carolina.
    He spoke about many issues, yet none are his own ideas. I believe it’s going to be just more of the same his brother and dad did!
    Trump, on the other hand, is a business man. It was reported yesterday, or maybe within the past few days, his approach to better healthcare. I believe he will fire those who are incompetent and force VA leadership to do right. Or suffer those two words–“Your Fired”!
    I like his ideas over ‘immigration’! The U.S. doesn’t need NEW LAWS on this issue. There are already laws on the books. If one comes here illegally one gets deported, period!
    His statements concerning “business dealings with other countries” is outstanding in my opinion. We need individuals who will broker deals that will enhance our economy.
    I believe he, and many of his staff, already know how to do those things…
    There’s been too much emphasis on his past. We, as Americans, change with the times. Something I may have not agreed with in the past. I agree with now. Probably because more information has either come to light, or has been tweeked enough so it makes more sense. As we get older, our change in politics changes. I’ve never really been a staunch Republican or Democrat. I try to use the best of both. Of course, for the past few decades, neither side cares about the people. They only care about what’s in it for them!
    Another thing Trump stated that I like. Was when he was asked about “lobbyists” and the “money” our elected officials received from them. He responded by saying, he may not be able to stop it forever. But he could stop it for three or four years. I’m paraphrasing his statement…
    My wife expressed it this way, quote, “Not only are they [lobbyists] “buying votes”, they [lobbyists] are making our “elected officials” modern day ‘slaves’!”
    When Trump stated he would stop lobbyists from buying votes. I gained more respect for him. Mainly because of an old saying from my father’s generation, “Politicians are the best money can buy!”
    Of course that saying may be quite older than my father’s generation.
    When I was in Nam in 1968. My sister wrote me, and asked if I would “chip in” to help buy my Mom and Dad a new TV? As I read the letter, sis explained that “dad had shot the tv!” She didn’t explain why. When I returned, I just had to ask “WHY”?
    Seems dad was angered because Nixon had been elected President. So one day, when we were in the garage, I had to ask, “WHY”? He explained it this way, Son you were too young to remember that Nixon, in the late forties or early fifties was caught taking a bribe on the Senate Floor. He was caught, tried and convicted of that crime. Therefore he shouldn’t be allowed to hold any elected position ever again. But, here he is now, President of the United States!
    As far as the VA goes, unless there is a comlpete audit to find out where taxpayers monies are really being spent. No one (veterans) will receive the quality healthcare we are entitled to!!!! So McDonald, if one of your “stooges” is reading this, let an outside CPA company come in to do an audit. Until that day, a majority of veterans and taxpayers will never respect or trust you!!!

    1. namnibor, do you remember the news article I posted on here a few days ago concerning those two “black kids” that carjacked a disabled veteran? Well, this morning on Channel 35, Fox (local central Florida news channel), the local law enforcement agency, (I believe it was the Sanford PD), caught one of them. He’s 17 yrs old. He’s in a lot of trouble.

    2. Here’s something else that might interest voter’s against Jeb Bush. 1.) He’s married to a “Hispanic or Latino” woman! I don’t hold that against him. Yet, While he was governor, his daughter was arrested for possession of and use of narcotics. I believe it was cocaine or crack. What happens to most people is they are arrested, convicted and sentenced to a jail term. What happened to his daughter was, she was allowed to self admit herself into “drug rehab”. Then after a few more reports, not one more word from any news stations….

      Also, on that disabled veteran who was carjacked, here in Sanford, Fl. The cops are still looking for three more criminals associated with it.

  9. Jeb Bush more than likely did not even make-up that list. More than likely, someone on his election committee or some hired PR firm determined Jeb needed to APPEAR as IF he gave a damn about Veterans since Donald Trump is talking about the Veteran Affairs and Veterans, nothing more and nothing less.
    BIG yawn! Glad you pointed out rightly that President Clinton instituted those very changes that these politicians count on people having a very short memory and try to take full or even partial credit for.
    The Republicans all too easily forget that THEY were the ones to rape our balanced budget under President Clinton and they did it over and over, then by the time of immediately post-9/11, they even completely ceased keeping track of how much they were stealing, not even budgeting for the damn wars we are still in….yes, these wars are virtually…not…really…paid…for. I qualify that by where we find ourselves at today. They did not take into consideration the cost and expense of manpower to CARE FOR VETS RETURNING. Duh! That “duh-ness” is what I now think about with anyone from the Bush Family these days.
    Now they are trying to portray Jeb Bush as sort of the “Light Bush” (think…less calories), because they know people really have had enough of the establishment republican party.
    Nope. Jeb has no plan, no clue, and only talking about this for election reasons, otherwise, WHY does Jeb Bush have quite a lot of FLORIDA VETERAN’s BLOOD on his hands for all the crap that took place under his State Watch and continuing to come out today.
    This is how I feel about ANY politician from ANY State now. This includes politicians that are Veterans like Mike Coffman in Colorado where under his own State Watch, he should have been more adversarial and investigative about that grossly over budget Denver VAMC…Veteran or not, you could have and still could do MUCH more.

    Same for likes of Senator McCain. The Phoenix VAMC might as well be a forest fire that is still very much burning…still under State Watch and under his nose in Arizona…blood is on their hands, or at least blood money. Whether running for President or re-election for current positions, we should be totally weighing-in their record on actually HELPING Veterans, rather than using us for election PR talking points.
    We Vets have done or continue to do our duty for USA but our Country blatantly allows an incredibly dysfunctional Veteran Administration to exist…not acceptable.

    Jeb Bush- “[…With these reforms — and others that I am proposing today as part of a broader veterans plan — we can dramatically upgrade how our government treats those who have sacrificed so much to protect us and expand opportunity so that our nation’s heroes enjoy the bounties of liberty they so richly deserve…]”

    What exactly does “dramatically UPGRADE how our government treats those who have sacrificed…” mean?
    The VA would in a New York Heartbeat interpret THAT to mean, “we must dramatically step-up our adversarial Psy Ops against Veterans…”! Right?

    Trump has at least simplified it to state that Veterans SHOULD BE PROUD OF THEIR VETERAN ADMINISTRATION AND HOSPITALS….not ashamed or fear them. Trump also mentions how much CONTRACTOR WASTE and ABUSE of TRUST and $$$$…the rather ugly side of the VA and DoD that I highly doubt or would be surprised if ANY other candidate ever talks about THOSE things.

    Lastly, anyone heard how Sec. McDonald and Friends have found a new way or NEW **crisis** in order to get that extra $600 MILLION they want for Denver VAMC? I hope people realize that this last $$$ stolen from Choice Program had several 100 Million also for the Denver VAMC, making this WAY MORE over budget than they are stating if you keep track.
    Maybe my math is off but it seems at this point the Denver VAMC is on track to be at least 500% over budget. If Jeb Bush were to address that and expose THAT for what it is as well as all the other poor financial decisions of VA and talked about REAL ACCOUNTABILITY…then perhaps I will take notice…as it stands, “Nothing to see here. These are NOT the droids you are looking for!” LOL!

    1. Absolutely correct!!
      And I will NEVER vote for bush.

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