Friday, July 4, 2014

Veterans Administration

Open Email to Congressman Michael T McCall:

Dear Congressman McCall,
        I have read your recent newsletter on the Veterans Administration.
You said, "In response to the scandal, I have requested both VA Inspector General and FBI criminal investigations, both of which are now underway. The House also passed commonsense legislation that I sponsored, the VA Accountability Act, which allows VA to fire or demote senior executive employees at the VA for no other reason poor performance or neglect. Across our country in small and big business alike, people know, Do your job, or you’ll lose it. Unfortunately the bureaucracy in Washington functions differently."
You also said, "Here in Texas Governor Rick Perry has enlisted the help of local health care providers willing to see veteran patients outside of the backlogged VA medical network. I commend him for being proactive on behalf of Texas’ 1.7 million veterans. Similar legislation that would allow veterans to seek care outside of the VA system if they cannot schedule an appointment with a VA doctor in a timely manner, or if they live far away from the nearest VA health facility, is working its way through Congress. Allowing Veterans to seek care outside of the VA network would help eliminate the backlog and offer a more convenient alternative care option for our veterans."
I agree with all of the above, but I would go further. I would sell off the VA hospitals to private industry, so that the VA owns no physical assets. I would supply all veterans with "free" health care cards that they could use at any healthcare facility in the US and possibly abroad. In effect, the VA would become more of an accounting firm with respect to healthcare.
We should also not forget that the VA has the responsibility to supply other benefits to veterans, such as subsistence during periods of education. The Congressional oversight committee should be looking at that, as well as the health aspect.