Friday, December 30, 2016

Trump Leans to Privatize the VA: That Must Never Ever Happen

Hey Mr. and Mrs. GOP: Hands off
Quote that Laid the Foundation for the VA
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed a plan floated by President-elect Donald Trump to create a “public-private option” for veterans to seek health care.
Story published from the Hill.
Sanders said in part:Privatizing the VA would be an insult to the more than 22 million veterans who risked their lives to defend our country and it would significantly lower the quality of health care they receive. Our goal, shared by The American Legion and other major veterans’ organizations, must be to improve the VA, not destroy it.”
On Wednesday (December 28), an unnamed senior Trump transition official told reporters that the incoming administration was considering a “public-private option for the VA that would allow veterans to visit private-sector doctors rather than VA doctors.”
That same official also said:We think we have to have kind of a ... public-private option, because some vets love the VA ... and some Vets want to go to the VA. So the idea is to come up with a solution that solves the problem. And it's not the easiest thing in the world because you've got all these little kingdoms out there, which is hard.”

However, I Note: Veterans who already face a long wait time or live a far distance to a VA facility (the 40-miles rule) already can seek and get private care through the Choice Card Program that was approved by Congress in 2014 and signed into law (Public Law No: 113-146)

Some want to expand that Choice Card Program to all Veterans, including candidates Trump is now considering to be the next VA Secretary, e.g., Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove and Pete Hegseth (Iraq-Afghanistan Vet), a FOX News commentator and former head of the Koch brothers-linked Concerned Veterans for America (CVA).

On the other hand, critics, including many leading Veteran organizations, say expanding the Choice Option to all Veterans would in effect be privatization, since it would undermine the VA by shifting resources away from their main and prime goals and duty towards all Vets. 
I conclude: Keeping the choice care program in place and well-funded as well as the VA reinforces the nation’s goal and obligation long ago established by President Lincoln in that famous quote above that was the foundation for the present day VA.
We must never waiver in the obligation. Veterans served and suffered for our country and make huge sacrifices and they never let the country down – and now the country must not let them down, either and especially for some narrow-minded political view, or budget consideration, or some stuck-in-the-mud view about privatizing the VA.
Stand with the Vets who always have stood for the country. Oppose any movement to privatize any part of the VA now and forever.
Thanks for stopping by and tell your Congressional Rep. and Senators to keep their privatization grubby mitts off the VA — either DEM or GOPer.
Stay tuned.

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