Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DAV News Release - DAV Says No to Privatizing VA Health Care

WASHINGTON – Veterans health care has become a popular target for politicians and pundits alike who say veterans could receive better service in the private sector if hospitals operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (www.VA.gov) were closed.

“The realities are that the private sector would not want to enroll the typical VA patient, who is often elderly, has multiple disabilities or is chronically ill,” said Wallace Tyson, the National Commander of the 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans (www.DAV.org).

“Unquestionably, the VA does much better at providing those kinds of veteran-specific services than anyone in the private sector,” Commander Tyson said. “Instead of clamoring to dismantle the VA medical system and expel this nation’s defenders, the wiser policy would be to strengthen this invaluable national resource.

Veterans’ injuries and illnesses are the direct result of their service in this nation’s armed forces. Many simply cannot afford to pay for medical care. For them, the VA is their only health care safety net. Health care in the private, for-profit sector would cost the tax payers substantially more for VA health care, the DAV estimates.

“Moreover, VA health care is clearly the best anywhere and has been so deemed by numerous private entities,” said Commander Tyson, a service-connected disabled veteran.

The VA provides a wide range of specialized care tailored to meet the unique needs of veterans. Spinal cord injury medicine, blind rehabilitation, amputee programs, advanced rehabilitation, prosthetics, post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, mental health services and long-term care are at the very heart of the VA health care system.

  “Let us protect and improve the veterans health care system,” Commander Tyson said. “This country could not afford to lose the hospitals and scores of clinics, nursing homes and other facilities that care for America’s proud veterans. In purely material terms, we can ill afford the lose the more than 200,000 dedicated health care professionals and support staff providing high-quality care and contributing to the economic stability of communities across the country.”

The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation’s disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation’s disabled veterans and their families. For more information, visit the organization online at dav.org or facebook.com/TheDAV.

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