Declining VA Healthcare and How to Stop It

Declining VA healthcare spending has been drastically cut in the last couple of years. While we may feel obligated to sponsor the many health benefits that veterans receive after years of service to their country, the reality is that federal spending related to veteran affairs healthcare has drastically decreased constantly for the last past years. Just last year president Barack Obama announced a cut of 1% on the total pension that veterans receive. While this may not seem like a huge issue, veterans need every dollar they can get to fight the ailments that come with old age and the effects of combat in the body and mind.

Unfortunately, the veteran’s health care system has shown a significant decrease in the amount and quality of the services it offers. It would seem that such impact was created because the system was asked to do too much and the fact that the incentives that were created to improve the system ultimately proved ineffective. These systems were put in place with the objective of reducing wait times and improving cost-benefit, the incentive program ultimately proved ineffective and changes had to be made to the VA’s plan in order to accommodate for those large losses.

The VHA is undertaking the huge ordeal of dealing with the health of eligible veterans. The criteria, is very generous and one of the problems in previous administrations was that those who were eligible for healthcare, did not use the program as it was deemed mediocre. With the advent of the affordable healthcare act and the “Restoring Veterans’ Trust Act of 2014” bill drafted by Bernie Sanders have created a huge incentive for veterans to start using the system.

The affordable healthcare act will proved access to private health care providers that will cater to the veteran market. While the system is far from perfect, the current budget constraints will allow veterans who can afford better healthcare the option to choose a private provider if they wish to do so. Although the final objective of both the affordable healthcare act and Sen. Sander’s bill is to create a sustainable system that will provide veterans the best healthcare possible in modern facilities with trained personal that specializes in treating veterans. If you are interested in improving the future of veterans in this country, one of the easiest things you can do is to encourage your congress members to pass Sen. Sanders’ bill.

2 Comments on "Declining VA Healthcare and How to Stop It"

  1. Karen Wolfe | April 7, 2015 at 11:36 pm |

    My husband has been receiving ‘care’ from VA for over two years regarding his eyes. He has glaucoma. The options open to VA practitioners are very very limited. I know this is budget related. Their doctors only are there a limited amount of days per week. Much of the people who we see are ‘newbys’ still working their way through med school. I know residency is a valuable tool, but they are quick to offer advice which many times is refuted by a senior doctor. We have seen about 7 doctors on the staff. Each has a different opinion of what should happen. VA care is poorly run, has a limited staff, doesn’t have enough money to offer the whole list of options to care for glaucoma. If you are allergic to the medications, as my husband is. You get a surgery which has limited results. The glasses made for him, 3 pairs to date, have been sketchy in results. The reading glasses are a joke. Usually communication is poor. We were promised that we would see the head of the department when treatment failed to much but without any explanation, when we arrived, we were passed off to a doctor who ‘comes in once a week. That doctor gave myhusband his card, and when my husband called his number (on the card) for further information, somebody on his staff treated the call as a great distraction and said she would give him a message. He has yet to return the call, over 2 weeks ago. We were sent a survey regarding our experience with the care provided. The questions in the survey didn’t address any of the issues we feel are the problems! They wanted to know if we waited on the phone very long for somebody to answer us when we called, etc. We don’t call much…….. And did we have to wait long after checking in to see a doctor? They asked if we had to wait more than 15 minutes. We have waited sometimes a lot longer than that, and if you use the mechanical check in (what did they pay for that machine?) sometimes if doesn’t even record that you are there. You need to make your self known to the ‘clerk. We NOW sit where we can be seen. So lack of money for various treatments, lack of staff, lack of experience could be factors and misuse of funds they do have. One doctor dumped a new pair of glasses (weren’t right) in the trash can.

  2. Karen Wolfe | April 7, 2015 at 11:41 pm |

    I would like to add that there are many ways to help vets that are not offered. Many people need their toe nails trimmed, they need chiropractic treatment, they need nutritional counseling as to what things are detrimental to health, but like most medical offices, drugs, surgery and more of the same is the only game in town. Our emergency surgery is wonderful but why let a vet deteriorate until he is in the state of emergency before doing something for him/her.

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