Why We Should Fight for the Veterans Health Administration

Another new article on the VA from Jacobin

Why We Should Fight for the Veterans Health Administration

Think of America’s forever wars as a funnel between the largest and second-largest federal government departments.

Entering at the top of the funnel, via the Department of Defense (DoD), are millions of predominantly poor or working-class men and women who join the global war machine.

Hundreds of thousands end up in a world of hurt themselves. Their later need for disability benefits or health care — what in the civilian world would be called “workers’ compensation” — is met, at the other end of the funnel, by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Yet despite the global disasters conjured up within its walls, the DoD has a far bigger fan club on Capitol Hill than the VA, whose caregiving Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is a continual target of bipartisan political attacks, privatization schemes, and underfunding.

When the DoD (or the White House acting on its behalf) asks for a bigger budget, the House and Senate — with few dissenters — vie for which body can allocate more money faster.


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