New Blog Post about VA at BMJ

This was just posted on the BMJ blog.  

Hope people will read and pass it on.

The BMJ

Suzanne Gordon: The future of the Veteran’s Health Administration

29 Apr, 16 | by BMJ

suzanne_gordonBy the end of this year, the US will have a new president as well some new members of Congress. The results of the 2016 election will not only effect the further implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but the future of the country’s largest healthcare system—the Veteran’s Health Administration. That’s because most of the Conservative Republicans running for President—as well as many of those running for or already serving in Congress—are not only determined to repeal Obamacare. They are also committed to dismantling the largest and only publicly funded, fully integrated healthcare system in the US—the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Even many Democrats are not fully supportive of the VHA. While Hilary Clinton says she does not support privatization of the VHA, only Bernie Sanders (D. VT) has demonstrated a deep understanding of what … Continue reading

Great New Article on the VHA by Paul Glastris

Please read and share this great new article that appeared on the Boston Globe blog by Paul Glastris.

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Special interest groups want to privatize the VA and nobody is paying attention

 

By Paul Glastris   April 18, 2016

Should America’s veterans receive health care at hospitals and clinics run by the federal government, as they have for more than a century? Or should they be treated by private doctors and hospitals, with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) picking up the tab?

This enormously important question will be discussed, and perhaps decided, at meetings on Monday and Tuesday of the Commission on Care. That’s a federally chartered group that is writing binding recommendations on the future of the VA.

If you’ve never heard of the Commission on Care, you’re not alone. Virtually none of the mainstream news outlets have covered its public hearings, which have been going on since the fall. This despite the fact that the VA health care system, with 300,000 employees and a $65 billion budget serving more than 9 million patients, is the federal government’s … Continue reading

Goldman Sachs and Hillary

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Read this and weep.  New York Times story about Goldman Sachs’s so called settlement for their actions that helped to ruin the lives of millions of ordinary people across the country and the globe.

Hillary Clinton made more than $600,000 in talks to Goldman Sachs.  I don’t think she was telling them to pony up to atone for their greed.  Plus, they have contributed more than $800,000 to her campaign.  I know a lot of women — particularly older women — who are for Hillary, not because they love her or her politics but because they want to see a woman in the White House before they leave this earth.  I would also love to see a woman in the White House.  The question is, which woman?  Margaret Thatcher — the woman who famously proclaimed that “There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families,”– was a woman.  Indira Gandhi was a woman.  Were they good for the UK or India?  I would rather have a man in office who did great things for all the people than a woman … Continue reading

Veterans Service Organizations Against Privatization and Strawmen

indexThis letter was just sent to the Commission on Care by eight of the nation’s largest Veterans Service Organizations.

March 31, 2016

Ms. Nancy Schlichting, Chairperson Commission on Care
1575 I Street, NW, Suite 240 Washington, DC 20005

Dear Chairperson Schlichting:

On behalf of our combined 5 million members, the vast majority of whom use the VA health care system, we write to express our grave concerns with the “proposed strawman document” that was discussed and disseminated during your March meetings in Washington, DC. We appreciate opportunities we have had to discuss our concerns with the Commission and its staff, and hope to have similar ones in the future, but given the limited time remaining before your final report is due, we feel it necessary to present our objections to any proposal that would limit the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ability to provide timely access to high-quality, comprehensive, and veteran-centric health care by reducing the role of the VA health care system from a provider of direct care to merely a payer of health care for veterans.

We are greatly alarmed by the content of the “proposed strawman document” that … Continue reading

The Plot Thickens

As you can see in this new post from Beyond Chron, we all need to care about what’s happening in DC about the Veterans Health Administration

Beltway Plot to Dismantle VA Healthcare

by Suzanne Gordon on March 31, 2016

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The San Francisco VA Healthcare System (SFVAHCS) now produces world-class research, and its hospital and clinics provide high quality care to thousands of veterans. The VA Palo Alto Health Care System has specialized services for veterans who have had brain or spinal cord injuries. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities in Sacramento, Los Angeles and throughout California provide high quality care to thousands of veterans.

Unfortunately, inside the Beltway, a group of conservative ideologues and hospital executives want to dismantle the California – indeed the entire — VHA healthcare system and turn veterans’ healthcare over to the private sector.  Don’t think for a moment that this is just a crazy scheme concocted by a … Continue reading