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Dusty Celebrates Increased Government Spending and Continues Inefficiency

Republican Congressman Dusty Johnson went to Rapid City last Thursday to celebrate big government spending:

The long-debated, evolving plans for veterans’ health care in the Black Hills took a step forward Thursday with the grand opening of a new outpatient clinic.

The 49,000-square-foot Rapid City facility is triple the size of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ previous clinic in the city.

…The VA is leasing the new space, which is near the corner of U.S. Highway 16 and Catron Boulevard. It’s owned by a company affiliated with Rapid City developer Hani Shafai, whose Dream Design International and other local partners built the facility over the past couple of years. Shafai, who told South Dakota Searchlight the project cost more than $25 million, said he’s proud to play a part in helping veterans.

…U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, attended Thursday’s grand opening. He said the future of the Hot Springs and Sturgis campuses is secure, and he doesn’t think the blocked reorganization recommendations “will ever be taken up for action.”

“Hot Springs and Fort Meade are going to continue to do a great job serving veterans,” Johnson said, “not only for the rest of my career, but for the rest of my life” [Seth Tupper, “With Reorganization Plans Squashed for Now, VA Celebrates New Rapid City Clinic,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.08.17].

Remember: expanded VA services in Rapid City were supposed to replace the Hot Springs and Fort Meade facilities, increase patient access, and lower costs. But Dusty’s Republican colleagues Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds put a stop to that government downsizing.


  1. leslie 2023-08-22 15:08

    Our elder vet friends Korea onward are in much need for continued Hot Springs services.

    Dusty may have gotten one thing right this month, saying:

    “…at the Naturalization Ceremony in Sioux Falls. I’m thankful for the decision by each new citizen to choose America as their home. They will make our community and our country better. “ 8/11 twitter

  2. Arlo Blundt 2023-08-22 15:29

    The VA Hospital in Strugis now has a role as a facility for older Vets, particularly combat vets, suffering from conditions which might be described as “chronic mental illness” It could be replaced by a network of group homes, apartments and other supervised living arrangements located throughout the state. Fact is, South Dakota does not have the medical infrastructure, social work personnel, and supportive services and Doctors, to staff a comprehensive services program required to operate these vital programs in our localities.
    As long as we, as a nation, put our young people into highly stressful combat (and that’s an understatement), where they are “in the face of the enemy,” in combat, where they experience close combat conditions, and experience seeing their friends blown apart by explosives or having their bodies riddled with automatic weapons fire, we are going to have Vets experiencing a lifetime of trauma. As long as we involve our nation’s young people in military misadventures, such as sending them to fight Asians in mainland Asia, we will continue to need these services as those Vets age.

  3. Jake Kammerer 2023-08-23 18:39

    you’ve said it all, Arlo.

  4. Algebra 2023-08-24 06:43

    Arlo, the Veterans Care in the Community, AKA Veterans’ Choice program, which has the VA operating like an insurance company or HMO, is much more efficient than a bloated bureaucracy of providers who work for the government. And easier on veterans and their families.

    I won’t waste time discussing the merits of the fact that in the USA, it is the women who make health care decisions for their families, and most veterans are men, which results in a lack of connection between the the two. Whether you are the wife or daughter of an aging veteran, you know how to navigate the health care system everybody else in the family has been using and then you have to try to figure out the VA. That disorientation can even begin before arriving at the facility, not being familiar with its geographical location, where to park, what door to enter, where to check in, whom to ask for, where the lab is, where the radiology department is. The woman of the family knows her way around the medical facility she and the rest of the family use, but not the VA. If she is the wife, she’s getting on in years herself, if she is the daughter, she’s got her hands full with her own job and children. “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” as Sweet Brown would say.

  5. cibvet 2023-08-24 08:24

    The veteran care at the VA is outstanding and if a person can read signs, it is not difficult to navigate to parking lots or medical departments
    at the VA. Undoubtedly, the people who use private facilities have to do the same. Typical conservative male condescension to infer the wives and daughters cannot handle such a task.

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