Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day and VA health care

The best to all veterans today. 

Even though I was in Army National Guard and Army ROTC, I never considered myself a veteran, because I neither served long-term nor overseas. But I was active for five months and wore green uniforms for 3 1/2 years, including on the U of Washington campus during the Vietnam war. Doesn't that count? 

President Obama today says that at VA medical facilities the waiting lists are much shorter. Where did he get his data? The whole VA scandal was about VA officials building false waiting lists and throuwing those who waited long off the list to make the data look better. Who is Obama believing?

In Phoenix, where deaths of those waiting broke open the mess, veterans are protesting today. They say that Skye McDougall, who was appointed in October to serve as the new director of the Southwest Health Care Network, lied to Congress on wait times in So. California. Putting her in charge won't help any.

USA Today tells more about the unacceptable situation.

Killing NAFTA would hurt US companies and consumers

Donald Trump would kill NAFTA, North American Free-Trade Agreement in order to save US jobs. But doing so would make things worse, not better.

Our exports are up since NAFTA. Our economies are integrated - Manufacturers allocate different tasks to firms in the US, Canada and/or Mexico, using the comparative strengths of each. Cars being manufactured cross between the US and Canada, sometimes more than once!

Putting up Donald Trump's wall would break those relationships that have been developed and refined over decades. That would raise costs to the producers - and to us consumers.

See Mary Anastasia O'Grady at Wall Street Journal. (Might require subscription.)

Aat Wharton School of Business at U of Pennsylvania they go into all the pluses and minues. Their mesure of loss/benefit is closer, but still positive for the US. The authors are more worried about Mexico damaging its economic ties with US and Canada. Wharton