New VHPI Report: Contrary to Congressional Claims, VA Outsourcing Will Harm Rural Veterans

Please read VHPI rural health report

New VHPI Report: Contrary to Congressional Claims, VA Outsourcing Will Harm Rural Veterans


Today, the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute (VHPI) published a new report sounding the alarm over a number of misguided Congressional proposals that promise to increase healthcare access for veterans in rural areas.

Entitled “The Problem of Rural Veterans Healthcare and How to Solve it,” the VHPI report warns that further privatization of the healthcare system run by the Department of Veterans of Affairs (VA) will weaken healthcare access for the 2.7 VA patients who live in rural areas.  By diverting funds out of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to private sector providers and codifying one-size-fits-all access standards to private care, these legislative initiatives will also jeopardize the care of millions of veterans who live in urban areas.

The report argues that many current legislative proposals are based on the false promise that adequate private sector care exists in rural areas. In fact, as the report notes, most of rural America is a healthcare desert. Between 2005 and 2020, 170 rural hospitals closed.  Another 600 – which constitute roughly 30 percent of all remaining facilities — are in danger of closing.  Nearly every rural county in the country has a severe shortage of primary care and mental healthcare providers.

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