All veterans, who are a part of VA Health Care, should say NO to privatization of their health care. 

Back in 2014 Congress passed the Choice Act. The act ended up not helping veterans at all. It only helped members of Congress win elections. “Look what I am doing for veterans.” The Choice Act failed veterans. 

In an attempt to recover from the ill-fated Choice Act, Congress passed in 2018 the Mission Act; supposedly giving veterans more “choice” to access health care in the private sector. The Mission Act only guaranteed veterans would get care NOT veteran focused. 

Not one dime was committed to support either act. The VA was to pay out of their budget … sometimes 50% more than if done in a VA Health facility.

Because the VA is a public facility, if a rare situation develops in care, it is immediately known. In the private sector it is hidden. One quarter million veteran patients a day are treated at VA facilities around the world. 

As a veteran who uses the VA system I don’t want my health care records floating around the private sector for all to see. Veterans have health issues such as PTSD, military sexual trauma, combat- related mental illness/suicidal behavior (20 veterans commit suicide every day), Agent Orange-related diabetes/prostate cancer and many other service connected physical problems better treated by the VA. Nobody understands veteran hospice better that the VA. The private sector has limited experience in treating veterans with these ailments.

Since the Choice Act and subsequent looting of the VA, the Minneapolis VA has 306 open positions … most in direct health care. Throughout the VA system there are 43,000 open positions.

Our country made a commitment to veterans. “You take care of us and we will take care of you”. Let’s keep the promise.

If you are interested in saving the VA for the veterans who have saved our freedom, contact SOVAMINN@GMAIL.COM or Veteranspolicy.org.

Bruce Yernberg 

Red Wing