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Group wants to privatize the VA

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Book given to U.S. veterans in 1919 to help them readjust to civilian life after World War I.

Nearly two years after a scandal  erupted about poor care at some Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, a panel is considering a proposal to privatize veterans’ care.   But some healthcare experts have asserted that the VA system is actually better than many private-sector hospitals but is being unfairly denounced by right-wing ideologues and those who want to make lots of money off a for-profit veterans health system.

Seven members of the 15-person VA Commission on Care floated a 34-page preliminary “strawman document” recommending granting all VA beneficiaries immediate access to private-sector medical services while gradually closing all VA facilities, beginning with those that are obsolete or little-used,  reported the Military Times. The department  would eventually become  solely a Medicare-like payer entity.

Numerous veterans’ groups, however, have denounced the proposal as lacking   transparency, being rife with conflicts of interest and showing an “utter lack of consideration that veterans would want to improve and expand the VA healthcare system.”

In any event, the  department continues to struggle to  discipline employees  found to have made serious mistakes and still employs people accused of serious misconduct, including even crimes.




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