The Koch brothers are pushing “the for-profit exploitation of our brave warriors,” warns Omar Rivero in his recap of a Rachel Maddow story. Rivero, a candidate for the Florida State House, summarized the April 14th segment where she concluded “I’m telling you, privatizing the VA is a sleeper issue for the 2016 campaign.”
According to Maddow, support for the VA has never been a partisan viewpoint but the issue has gained a partisan stink since republican candidates have advocated plans to, as Maddow put it, “scrap the VA” and leave the veterans to “try their luck” in the private sector.
The Koch brothers have been suggesting this solution behind the scenes. Through their monetary influence they have legitimized a formerly “fringe idea” that republican candidates backed down from in the face of angry military voters. Their Concerned Veterans for American group hosted a summit on fixing veterans’ health care. John McCain, Marco Rubio and Newt Gingrich all attended.
Maddow mused that this push to privatize is helped by the assumption that it is “politically difficult” to defend the importance of a VA dealing with unflattering press about long wait times and dishonesty. Pete Hegseth, C.E.O. of Concerned Veterans for America explained the tactics of this new crusade, to “…intentionally broaden the debate to include Big Government dysfunction…” conflating these problems within the VA with the “threat” of socialized medicine, and backing it up with the fallacy that good care is so easy to come by in the private sector.