Fighting For Veterans Healthcare is a group of veterans, health care providers, health care experts and citizens who believe the VHA needs to be strengthened and reformed, not dismantled and privatized. Our mission is to (a) provide a platform for voices of veterans who want to preserve and improve VHA care, (b) disseminate objective research and information about VHA care, and (c) inform veterans and the public about imminent threats to veterans healthcare, including what would be lost if the VHA vanished.
The VHA far outperforms the private sector on preventive and outpatient care, and performs equally well on other measures (according to independent RAND Corp evaluations). In contrast to the fragmented care that characterizes the broader healthcare system, the VHA offers comprehensive integrated care. More importantly, for over 70 years, the American taxpayer’s investment in the VHA has created a system whose providers have amassed great expertise in the specific problems of those who served in the military. Even a partially privatized veterans healthcare system would not able to replicate this kind of expertise. It would also cost more, which would likely lead to fewer veterans being eligible for care in order to balance the VA budget.
The primary VHA mission is to care for the eight million eligible men and women who served their country. However, the VHA does far more than meet the special needs of veterans. It supports research that has pioneered new treatments and improved patient safety for all Americans, and trains the majority of US doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.
Due to shortages of staff and surges in veteran enrollment, there will be instances when the VA should utilize private sector partners to ensure veterans get timely care. But this needs to be done by using supplemental resources, not at the expense of existing services, and must be carefully coordinated with VHA providers. Opinion polls consistently show that most veterans — and their advocacy organizations — want the VHA to be improved, not replaced.