According to this, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is considering closing 1100 VA facilities nationwide. Apparently, they are prepping to allow Veterans more use of the private sector.
For years now, we have heard stories of long wait times and Veterans dying while waiting to be seen. I personally had a fight with the VA (on behalf of my father) that required the assistance of a state Senator. Had my father been going to the private sector, he would have been treated faster, with less complaint, and more uniformly, which he actually needed because he was undergoing cancer treatment for stage 4 glioblastoma.
According to the article at Military Times:
In an internal agency document obtained by The Associated Press, the VA pointed to aging buildings it was reviewing for possible closure that would cost millions of dollars to replace. It noted that about 57 percent of all VA facilities were more than 50 years old. Of the 431 VA buildings it said were vacant, most were built 90 or more years ago, according to agency data. The VA document did not specify the locations.
I see no issue with this! Aging buildings in disrepair? Close them! I think we should allow our Veterans to see non-VA doctors with the use of a VA insurance that affords them the same benefits of using the VA. The remaining VA hospitals should be used for the most serious cases, such as our men and women coming home from overseas with injuries and rehab for those injuries. Everyone else, like my father, should be treated in the private sector.
We should also be expanding their nursing facility for long term care of aging and terminally ill Veterans. My father required the services of a 24 hour location as he got severely ill, and he very much wanted to be among his fellow Veterans in his final days. He was denied. There was no room. I personally believe that, if he had been granted a room, he would have lived longer. All my father would have needed to give himself a few more months would have been for some Vietnam era Marine to walk into his room and tell him to suck it up (my dad was Army, but he so admired the Marines that he preferred them and lamented the fact that he wasn’t one).
So let’s do this. Save the tax payers some money. And for the love of all things holy, let’s save our Veterans from long wait times, fights they shouldn’t need to focus on more than their illness or injury, and premature death.