Members of Congress Treated Like Royalty at Walter Reed

Walter Reed Army Medical Center recently came under fire for substandard billeting for our wounded soldiers. Many of the reports and press releases cite substandard care but there have been no allegations about poor care. The medical personnel at Walter Reed so outstanding work and take great care of the troops. The problems encountered deal with the quality of billeting, the amount of paperwork required for follow-up, and the length of time it takes to get anything done. All administrative problems that are problematic but not indicative of “poor care.” Walter Reed was slated to be shut down and as such probably had little if any routine maintenance or repair. Two generals and the Secretary of the Army lost their jobs as a result of this and members of Congress have been going out of their way to point fingers. Along with Walter Reed, the Veteran’s Administration has come under fire. The VA is a huge administrative boondoggle that has been underfunded by these very same members of Congress for decades. The VA and veterans in general only receive attention when politicians can gain an advantage out of exploiting them. The VA has its own problems. There is never enough staff, the quality of care is generally adequate at best, the paperwork is a nightmare and there are too many layers of administration that soak up dollars that should be going to the care of veterans. All of these facilities are government run and the same members of Congress who are making waves about the poor circumstances in these facilities are the same ones who want the government to run all health care. America, when Congress starts talking about government run, universal health care, just remember Walter Reed and the VA and you will know, without a doubt, what health care for everyone will look like if the government takes control of it.

Interestingly, the same members of Congress who claim our soldiers are not getting the best available and that they deserve much better are the same ones who have a special unit reserved just for them. Ward 72, on the top floor of Walter Reed, is reserved for very special people, not some poor schmuck who lost his arms in combat. No, Ward 72 is reserved for the elitists in Congress as well as many others who believe they are entitled to such amenities based upon their status in the kingdom. According to USA Today from 16 March 2007:

The large, comfortable suites on the hospital’s top floor are reserved for the president, the vice president, federal judges, members of Congress and the Cabinet, high-ranking military officials and even foreign dignitaries and their spouses. The only enlisted members of the military who are eligible to stay there are recipients of the Medal of Honor.

~snip~

The Eisenhower Executive Nursing Suite, also known as Ward 72, features heightened security, including bullet-proof windows and secure telephone lines. Among the other touches are flat-panel televisions and curio cabinets filled with gifts from foreign leaders. The ward is named for former president Dwight Eisenhower, who died at Walter Reed in 1969.

I understand the President and the Vice President but I want someone to explain to me what allows members of Congress, federal judges, members of the cabinet, and foreign dignitaries to use this facility. Walter Reed is an Army hospital and as such one of the requirements to receive treatment there is service in the military. With the exception of active military personnel, Only retirees or those who received a medical discharge (and some special categories of people who served) should receive treatment there. What law allows members of Congress and these others to be treated there and why can’t any federal employee go there? If these other groups can go there then why can’t all federal employees? Why is it that foreign dignitaries are allowed to be treated there? Once again, it appears that our elected officials have afforded themselves a benefit that no one else would be entitled to and they did it as a matter of class. They are the elite and the rest of us are but mere peons.

To top it off, this ward has all kinds of special things that the regular wards do not. Bullet proof glass, secure telephones, carpeting (which is nothing more than a germ collector) special curtains, flat panel TVs. All this must be nice, especially while the people who are actually entitled to receive treatment there are living in rooms infested with mold and mice. The USA Today article reports that the Ward, which only has six suites, costs $950,000 a year to operate. They see 72 inpatients and 2600 outpatients a year. The cost per suite to operate is $158,333. Why is it that these members of Congress who are taking Walter Reed to task are getting such plush arrangements? I don’t think they belong there in the first place but if they are going to be seen, why are they not seen in the same kinds of rooms that our war heroes are seen in? Seems rather disingenuous to me for them to be blowing so much smoke about how our troops are cared for when these members have known for years about the care the average guy receives. Perhaps they were happy to keep quiet because they were guaranteed their plush room away from the riff-raff. Whatever the reason, I want some answers. I want all these loud mouthed members of Congress to answer this:

  1. Why do they receive treatment at a military facility and what law allows it?
  2. If they are allowed care there, why aren’t other civil servants?
  3. Why do they have such plush suites when our soldiers’ billeting is no where near as nice?
  4. How much repair could $950,000 do to the buildings that have mold and mice?
  5. Isn’t it hypocritical to go on TV and conduct hearings about how terrible things are at Walter Reed without mentioning how nice they are there if you happen to be a member of a group of elitist snobs that need care?
  6. Why don’t you mandate that everyone in the US is entitled to the same health care access that you bozos are?
  7. Why are you people so freaking worthless?

OK, I know the last one is off topic but somebody had to say it. In any event, the members of Congress live in style while our troops are living in facilities that are not quite as nice. Perhaps those suites should be used for members who are critical and not expected to make it and their families. How nice would that be? I know it makes more sense than using the room so Senator blow hard can get his hemorrhoids removed.

I will agree that they, those members of Congress and the others who are listed (with the exception of the military folks who are actually authorized care) are allowed to use Walter Reed but only if they are as considerate as Eisenhower and use the place for the same reason.

Big Dog



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4 Responses to “Members of Congress Treated Like Royalty at Walter Reed”

  1. Jo says:

    I asked hubby if he knew about this and he just growled. He’s fixing to retire and going throught ACAP and what little he’s getting after 23+ years and then reading this – I’m pissed.

  2. Jo's Cafe says:

    Weekend Specials 3/24-25…

    ……

  3. […] Dog: For his post titled “Members of Congress Treated Like Royalty at Walter Reed“ (A subject that PISSES ME OFF!!) Interestingly, the same members of Congress who claim our […]

  4. […] Dog: For his post titled “Members of Congress Treated Like Royalty at Walter Reed“ (A subject that PISSES ME OFF!!) Interestingly, the same members of Congress who claim our […]