A Legacy of Service, Hope for the Future

DAV is the most long-lasting veterans advocacy and assistance group in this country. We’ve watched this country change and grow, and we’ve grown along with it. However, DAV has never wavered in its core mission to fulfill our country’s promises to the men and women who served. We invite everyone, veterans and civilian, men and women, young and old, to join us as we stand up for those veterans who risked it all when they stood up for us, our country, and our ideals.

J. Marc Burgess, National Adjutant

Privatizing Veterans Health Care Is Not the Answer

As the conversation continues over the crisis at VA and the corresponding access issues, inevitably you will hear the question asked: Shouldn’t we just privatize health care for veterans?

It’s a knee-jerk reaction to a serious problem, usually asked by those too far outside the system to know how beneficial a veteran-centered health care system truly is. Most veterans’ organizations—whose members are the users of the current VA health care system—oppose privatization, and for good reasons.

Last May, when news of the crisis was in full swing, the president himself said the VA provides the best quality care for our veterans. This is verified through a number of independent reviews that gauge patient care based on safety, prevention and satisfaction.

VA care consistently rates favorably in studies, surveys and reviews, many of which are conducted from the patients’ point of view. The 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that veterans ranked VA hospitals among the best in the nation, with equal or better ratings than private hospitals.

The veteran-centered health care system has also yielded significant medical findings on diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, organ transplants, lung disease and many other problems that affect all Americans. This is in addition to the biomedical advances in care for spinal cord injuries, amputations, polytrauma, traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder and rehabilitation for blindness.

The physicians and researchers within the VA health care system have also gained a deep and unparalleled understanding of the unique, lifelong
physical and emotional needs of veterans.

At the heart of the VA crisis is the issue of access to health care, not the quality of the care the system provides. So the answer is not to privatize veterans health care. It is to honor our heroes by giving them the health care system they’ve earned—one that has both the capacity and resources to meet the growing needs of America’s veteran population.

If you want to find out more about the National Adjutant, you can find his biography here.