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The teacher's online companion to
the middle school social studies
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©Steve Sack/The Minneapolis Star Tribune/Politicalcartoons.com
Caring for Veterans
  1. Almost a year after a scandal erupted over inadequate care at Veterans Affairs hospitals, the Associated Press has just released a report showing that wait times across the U.S. haven’t gone down. The report indicates that from August 2014 to February 2015, nearly 894,000 veterans who had made doctors’ appointments weren’t seen within 30 days. Who does the man in the cartoon represent?
  2. Why is the waiting room filled with tickets, and what’s happening to the man?
  3. What’s ironic about the cartoon’s title, “POW (Prisoner of Waitlist)”?
  4. What point is the cartoonist trying to make? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  5. In 2014, Congress approved $16.3 billion for VA medical centers to hire more doctors and nurses and gave the VA secretary more authority to fire incompetent managers. Why do you think veterans are still waiting so long to receive care?
  6. What obligation, if any, do you think the U.S. government has to care for those who fight the nation’s wars? Explain.