Let’s start with some useful information:
At least 40 vets died while waiting for care from a VA hospital in Phoenix. Other VA facilities were found to be violating veteran’s healthcare needs as well. Some vets had to wait months before they received the care that they needed. This scandal was exposed in 2104.
In 2014, President Obama signed into law rules that were designed to shorten delays for those seeking care from the VA. It also addressed the use of fake waiting lists that some VA facilities were using to cover up their negligence. Programs were also set up that allowed certain vets to seek private care if they had waited for more than 30 days for an appointment or live more than 40 miles from a VA healthcare center.
The VA has around 370,000 employees; it is the largest civilian agency in our government and has a yearly budget of about $167 billion. There are over 21 million vets in the US. Of that number, about 9 million are enrolled in some form of VA healthcare. More than 4 million vets are receiving disability compensation. An estimated 900,000 vets have post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the 2012 election, about 56 percent of the American population who were eligible to vote did so. Compare that to the almost 70 percent of veterans who voted in that same election. The vet vote matters!
So, how do Trump and Clinton stand up on veteran healthcare issues? This article cannot look into each very deeply due to space limitations, but here are a few things for vets to consider:
Clinton has said that she will ensure eligible vets get access to care in a timely manner. She has pledged that this care would be “high-quality”, and she has also said that she will block attempts to privatize the Veterans Health Administration (this is where the VA healthcare programs reside). She has also said that she wants to increase VA benefits that would include housing aid and education benefits that are under the GI bill.
She would also add sexual trauma (to military personnel) as a disability category under the VA rules. Clinton has also said that the VA must retain “the ultimate responsibility” for the healthcare of veterans. She pledged to set up an oversight board that would monitor the quality of care vets get from the VA.
On the other hand…
Trump supports expanding various programs in order to allow vets to choose their own doctors. These doctors would not have to be affiliated with the VA, but would be paid via the government. He has said that his plan is not the same are privatizing VA healthcare. He has also said that he will hold accountable VA employees who have broken the rules by firing or, at least, disciplining those found to be in violation.
This would be a big change as many of those who have been found to be violating veteran’s rights have not been punished at all, with some higher up’s having been promoted, given bonuses, or conveniently moved to another facility. He would also increase the number of mental health professionals working in the VA.
Regardless of who wins the election, VA healthcare is, and has been, a mess for years now and something must be done to improve it…now!
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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