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Mon Mar 11, 2019, 04:22 PM

The VA Is Privatizing Veterans' Health Care While Launching a Campaign to Deny It


The VA Is Privatizing Veterans’ Health Care While Launching a Campaign to Deny It
Suzanne Gordon
March 11, 2019

Acutely aware that its privatization plan has little support among veterans, the VA has launched a PR blitz to obscure what it's doing.



The Trump administration’s multipronged effort to privatize the VHA and push millions of veterans out of the VA system remains deeply unpopular among American veterans. But rather than adjust its proposals to meet the needs and wishes of veterans, the administration has a better idea: deny that the changes—which include funding private care at taxpayer expense—amount to privatization at all.

Over the past several weeks, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and his advisors from the Koch brothers-funded Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) have launched a PR offensive refuting critics who contend that the agency’s plan to funnel money to private care will lead to VHA privatization. In multiple press releases, Wilkie adamantly denied that channeling millions of veterans—and billions of taxpayer dollars—to private-sector health care providers amounts to VA privatization. Wilkie even convinced four former VA secretaries, including one who served under President Obama, to publish an op-ed at FoxNews.com echoing the VA party line. The VA’s Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs followed up with a press release reasserting that, “The former secretaries also pushed back strongly against predictable and false claims that the new standards amount to privatization of the VA.”

VA leadership has also sent out a number of directives instructing VHA public affairs officers and staff to refute veterans’ concerns about VA privatization. A document entitled “Veteran Community Care (VA MISSION Act)—Eligibility and Access Standards,” obtained by the Prospect from several sources who preferred to remain anonymous, has a long section advising how to counter any questions from veterans uneasy about privatization. Staff are directed to respond with, “There is no effort underway by anyone or at any level to privatize the VA.”

In yet another set of talking points delivered to VA staff and public affairs officers, VA leaders claim that outsourcing more and more VHA care doesn’t constitute privatization because privatization only occurs with “the transfer of ownership, property or business from the government to the private sector.” It goes on to say, “There has never been a proposal to do this, not from the Administration, Commission on Care or from any Veterans organization, including Concerned Veterans for America.”

more...

https://prospect.org/article/va-privatizing-veterans-health-care-while-launching-campaign-deny-it

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Reply The VA Is Privatizing Veterans' Health Care While Launching a Campaign to Deny It (Original post)
babylonsister Mar 2019 OP
CurtEastPoint Mar 2019 #1
TreasonousBastard Mar 2019 #2
Corgigal Mar 2019 #3
Kaleva Mar 2019 #6
Corgigal Mar 2019 #9
TreasonousBastard Mar 2019 #7
Kaleva Mar 2019 #5
TreasonousBastard Mar 2019 #8
JHB Mar 2019 #4

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 04:54 PM

1. Someone explain to me what joy people like the Koch bros get out of funding this shit.

Is it just malice? Hate? What? Do they REALLY think they're helping..in this case...veterans?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 05:08 PM

2. I use one of the better VA facilities at Northport and for quite a while they have...

been outsourcing some tests and care. Not all of it, but rather than buying a million bucks worth of specialized equipment, they send us to outside specialists who are usually better than anyone the VA could hire.

Since I live about 50 miles from Northport, but a half mile from an excellent hospital, I would be perfectly happy to have all, or most, of my care outsourced locally. I already use a local ophthalmologist and gastroenterologist, and would use the local hospital for emergency care. Why not just cut the cord entirely?

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 05:20 PM

3. You are aware,

on how easy this is for you but the cost will go up yearly. More things won't be covered on a yearly and every year it wil, get worst.

This is not to help you or me. It's to destroy the program. It won't be there in ten years.

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Response to Corgigal (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 05:30 PM

6. I pay nothing for VA coverage and care.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say costs will go up yearly.

Edit: I do pay a co-pay on prescribed medications.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 07:56 PM

9. Neither do I.

That will change. They are killing from within.

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Response to Corgigal (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 05:47 PM

7. I am well aware of that, but I am also aware that as Korean and Viet Nam vets die off...

there will be very little support for a huge VA that largely duplicates other available services.

We, as a country, must at some point agree that health care is a basic human right, and veterans are but one of several special groups that may have additional needs.

I do, however, suspect that I will die off before that happens.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 05:29 PM

5. It's over a two hour drive to the nearest VA hospital for me.

I personally wish VA care was like Medicare which would allow me to use the local hospital just 12 miles away.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 06:01 PM

8. One thing we have here are local VA clinics set up all over the island. Primary care consults...

podiatry, mental health, bloodwork, phys therapy and a few other things are done in them, but radiology and most other specialties are in Northport.

I did have a special MRI done locally when Northport didn't have the equipment, and they are playing around with more local service.

My biggest complaint is that VA doctors are the only ones who can prescribe for the VA pharmacy and are not allowed to prescribe for a CVS pickup. I get all the diabetic test strips I need for a small copay, but I can't get them at WalMart or CVS without a local prescription. I just had to pay a hundred bucks for that icky prep stuff for a colonoscopy because I don't have Medicare D and the local guy didn't have the blessing of the VA.

(WalMart does sell it's own brand of meters, though, and test strips for them are only $15, not $95)

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2019, 05:26 PM

4. It's not just a Trump plan, it's the Republicans' plan

He wouldn't be able to do this without their backing.

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