Tags: Healthcare Reform | VA Scandal

Time to Privatize Veterans Healthcare

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Friday, 13 Nov 2015 05:08 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Now is the time to privatize veterans healthcare in light of the scandal and evidence of incompetence, and negligence, in the caring for our veterans at VA facilities nationwide.

Scandal, mismanagement, and corruption in the care of our veterans are nothing new.

In 1921 Congress created the Veterans Bureau to care for World War I vets. Within nine years it was disbanded due to corruption and scandal.

In 1930 the Veterans Administration is established to care for veterans. Thereafter, scandal and controversy has plagued the administration in 1932, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1955, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, and most recently in 2013.


The former Director of the VA facilities in Ohio was indicted on charges of bribery and taking kickbacks from companies doing business with the VA in his area.

He plead guilty and went to prison.

In January 2014, CNN broke the news that at least 19 veterans died at VA hospitals in 2010 and 2011 because of delays in diagnosis and treatment. Enough is enough!

It is unconscionable that as a nation we have tolerated to date the dysfunction, malfunction, and corruption in the delivery of medical care to our veterans.

We have an obligation to care for our veterans in the same manner and extent that is offered to our seniors and to those covered by the best private health care insurance plans offered in the marketplace.

Now is the time to throw the bums out and seek care for our Veteran’s health that mirrors Medicare.

It was reported on benefitspro.com that a survey conducted by “Morning Consult” in March of 2015 found that 85 percent of seniors surveyed said they are highly satisfied with their traditional Medicare and 88 percent feel the same way about their Medicare Advantage plan.

Here is how it would work. An eligible veteran should be issued a government “Veterans-care” card.

That card would allow the government to pay 100 percent of his care as follows: The card would allow a veteran to have qualifying private care overseen by a primary physician in his home town, and would allow him to visit any qualifying doctor/specialist recommended by his primary doctor, and would cover hospital care at the nearest qualifying private hospital to his home or as directed by his treating physician.

The coverage would also cover vision, dental, hearing, and prescription drugs.

Today, should a vet have a heart attack (wherever they are) they are taken to the nearest hospital. If a vet gets in an automobile accident she is taken to the nearest hospital.

The government does not require they be treated at a VA facility. They pay the private provider for the services provided.

Existing VA facilities can be sold off, leased, or managed by private entities and would step in the shoes of the VA and thereafter join the marketplace for delivery of services to all. Such facilities would be obligated to treat Medicare and Veterans as part of any agreement.

It makes perfect sense that the delivery of healthcare should be convenient to the patient in location and selection of doctors and services. We demand it in the civilian world and it should be demanded for our veterans as well.

There is no way an insurance company could survive in the marketplace if they delivered services in the same shoddy manner the VA has and does today.

Now is the time to scrap what doesn’t work and try something tried and true. Our Veterans deserve nothing less.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.





 

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BradleyBlakeman
There is no way an insurance company could survive in the marketplace if they delivered services in the same shoddy manner the VA has and does today. Now is the time to scrap what doesn’t work and try something tried and true. Our Veterans deserve nothing less.
Healthcare Reform, VA Scandal
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2015-08-13
Friday, 13 Nov 2015 05:08 PM
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