New blog post from The American Prospect
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill mulling legislation to extend a program that lets veterans seek health care in the private sector have revived their longstanding complaints about long wait times for care at the Veterans Health Administration facilities. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Dr. Baligh Yehia, the agency’s assistant under secretary, appeared before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to testify on HR 369, a bill that would allow the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act to continue past its sunset date of August 2017.
In 2014, after revelations of wait-time problems at some Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities, Congress created the three-year Choice program allowing eligible veterans to seek care in the private sector if they live 40 miles from a VHA facility or have to wait for more than 30 days for an appointment. The bill would let the VHA spend what remains of the initial $10 billion (about $1 billion) allocated to Choice on care in the private sector. READ MORE
This amazing story was posted on the new website Fighting for Veterans’ Health Care. It’s written by a veteran who was dismissed by private sector health care and really cared for at the VHA. Samuel Jay Keyser is also writing a book about his experiences in both the private sector and the VHA.
Samuel Jay Keyser
July 7, 2014 was my 79th birthday. I spent the morning in an ambulance. As ominous as that might sound, it was a blessing. I was being transferred from a not-for-profit private rehabilitation hospital to the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in West Roxbury, Massachusetts where, over the course of the next year and a half, as an inpatient and outpatient, I would receive the best possible care a spinal cord injured person could hope for. READ MORE
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has just put out another great video on solutions that could strengthen VHA health care. Please click, like, and share this wonderful video that helps us understand the pitfalls of Choice as it is currently constructed by conservatives who only want to dismantle the VHA. Please click here to see the video. And watch all the others if you can. It’s very important to add to the clicks on this and also the likes on this amazing series.
Given the coming assault on health care in general — Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid — and the Veterans Health Administration in particular, please view the following videos done by the Disabled American Veterans. Please click, and then share. We need to make stuff like this go viral. It’s brilliant!! They include the misguided proposals and then suggest workable proposals that would strengthen, improve, and reform the VHA not dismantle it.
Setting the Record Straight on VA Health Care Reform: Privatizing the VA
Setting the Record Straight on VA Health Care Reform, Centers of Excellence
Setting the Record Straight on VA Health Care Reform, Treating only Service Related Injuries
Setting the Record Straight on VA Health Care Reform, Let the Money Follow the Veteran
Setting the Record Straight on VA Health Care Reform: Turning VA into an Insurance Provider
Here is another important post from Beyond Chron.
When thousands of health care professionals at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) greet their patients every day at more than 1200 facilities around the country, the first thing they say is: “thank you for your service.” Their own dedicated service to 9 million veterans is equally worthy of gratitude–and most of those benefiting from it freely express theirs as well.
Unfortunately, President-elect Trump, who never served in the military, doesn’t feel the same way about the care provided by the VHA’s 300,000 employees or show similar respect to their patients. In his recent campaign, Trump said mentally ill veterans for weren’t strong and “can’t handle it”(not to mention calling former Navy pilot John McCain a “loser” for being shot down in combat, badly injured, captured and then abused as a prisoner of war).
Trump also favors privatization of VHA services across-the-board. Congressional Republicans will now have an Oval office champion for their efforts not only to repeal “Obamacare,” but to begin the process of dismantling the VHA. READ MORE