The stories about conditions at Walter Reed hospital are appalling, as are stories about problems at VA hospitals and other care for veterans and returning soldiers. It is unacceptable that anyone at all should suffer so greatly under such horrific conditions.

And I do mean anyone. I imagine a survey of urban hospitals would show that those which remain open in low-income neighborhoods probably have some of the same hygiene problems described at Walter Reed. And many communities in urban areas and in rural America have hospitals without modern equipment, and without doctors trained in the latest techniques, or with time to provide the level of care that citizens of the wealthiest nation on Earth should expect.

I hope that the Congressional inquiry into conditions at military and VA facilities expands to explore conditions that all Americans face when they get sick.

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