Lawmakers Attempt to Thwart Dismantling of the VA

There's some hope for veterans who want to stay at the VA and not be thrown to the corporate wolves in the for-profit healthcare industry. A recently-introduced House resolution would ensure that the VA would get the support it needs and keep veterans care in-house where it belongs.

The resolution supports policies that provide necessary resources to serve veterans by maintaining a robust Veterans Health Administration, and opposes policies that would jeopardize care for veterans by moving essential resources away from the Veterans Health Administration and into the private sector.

"The VA offers veterans the best healthcare available in the country, and it's in danger of being ripped away from them by those looking to dismantle the VA and auction it off to the lowest bidder," said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. "We fully support the principle that no one should profit off of our veterans' war wounds, and we need to keep our promise to those that have served our country."

The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and the Union Veterans Council have signed on in support of the resolution.

Here's Why It's Important

In early July, the Congressionally-chartered Commission on Care released its final report, which called for the closure of VA medical centers over the next two decades through a BRAC-like process. The closures would be overseen by a corporate-style board, and would push millions of veterans into unprepared private hospitals.
Make no mistake: The proposals would dismantle the nation's largest and best healthcare system, hurting veterans and exploding costs.

"The VA is a leader in medicine in this country," Cox said. "Numerous studies have shown how it outperforms the private sector in both primary and mental care; and veterans have overwhelmingly said they don't want to lose it. Fact is, 80 percent of veterans don't want a voucher system, and 64 percent don't want to lose the VA.

 "It's sickening that despite the clear rejection by veterans, proposals like the Commission's are gaining traction."

AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr.

Cox continued: "It's sickening that despite the clear rejection by veterans, proposals like the Commission's are gaining traction. Even more disturbing is how veterans are in danger of being forced into a private healthcare system where only 13 percent of mental health providers are even capable of treating them."

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