A USA Today investigation, published on Wednesday, Mar. 11, indicates that the Army’s substance-abuse program might be in trouble --- or, shambles, depending on whether or not you’re a glass half empty, or half full kind of person. According to the report, as many as half of the 7,000 soldiers turned away last year after being screened for drug or alcohol problems should have been treated, and half of the Army’s 54 substance-abuse clinics fall below professional standards.
There are also claims that the service hired incompetent or under qualified caregivers --- like the unlicensed “counselor who gave a ‘good’ rating to a soldier who hanged himself two hours later, according to an internal Army report provided to USA today.”
President Donald Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)
The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.
But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.
The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.