The nation's veterans are getting a look this week at the contrasting plans for their healthcare, as well as for reform at the Department of Veterans Affairs, when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speak at the annual VFW convention.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was set to speak at the convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, while the GOP nominee is slated for Tuesday — and websites for both indicate what they'll likely push at the Veterans of Foreign Wars gathering, Military.com reports.
Trump, both on his website
and at the party's convention last week in Cleveland, is pressing for a plan to give "veterans the freedom to choose and forces the VA to compete for their dollars."
Clinton's campaign website
says she'll "make the Veterans Health Administration [VHA] a seamless partner in health care. She does not believe that privatization will solve the problems that the VHA is facing."
But in a letter earlier this month, the VFW and 25 other veterans service organizations, including the Disabled Veterans of America, the Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, opposed plans to privatize veterans' health care, Military.com reports.
Despite continuing major problems, the VA was improving, the vets groups said, and "over the past two years VA has made significant progress to expand access and begun major reforms that could transform the entire system."
John Biedrzycki Jr., national commander of the 1.7 million-member VFW tells the website the group is looking for assurances from the candidate on national security, foreign affairs and veterans' policies.
"What we hope to hear from both candidates is how they will fight our enemies while keeping America safe through strong national defense and homeland security programs," Biedrzycki Jr. tells Military.com.
"We also want to know how they will create, enhance and protect veteran and military health care programs and quality of life initiatives, such as educational benefits, job training and employment programs, as well as hear a renewed commitment to return our fallen from their battlefields."
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