Veterans Group Seeks Radical VA Health Care Reform

Veterans Group Seeks Radical VA Health Care Reform

February 27, 2015

Veterans Group Seeks Radical VA Health Care Reform

A non-profit veterans group is proposing changes to the Veterans Health Administration and the health care military veterans receive. The study titled "Fixing Veterans Health Care" was sponsored by Concerned Veterans for America.

Two of biggest changes to VA health care the veterans group proposes include making the Veterans Health Administration a non-profit organization instead of government agency and to offer veterans subsidized private health care options.

VA Changes Proposed by Veterans Group

Some of the major recommendations were summarized nicely in an article on USA Today.

"• Health care should be reprioritized to focus on veterans with service-connected disabilities and specialized needs. Patients already in the VA medical system would retain their access and eligibility while gaining new options.

• All enrolled veterans would be able to continue using VA health facilities or shift to subsidized care through private providers. The government would pay a percentage of medical costs via insurance programs, with coverage levels determined by each veteran's eligibility status. (The VA already provides benefits based on tiered eligibility calculations.)

• Future veterans and those not already enrolled in VA health care would be required to enter a new VA insurance system with varying levels of coverage. Not all would qualify for subsidies.

Nearly one-fifth of future veterans — those in the lowest VA benefit levels, Priorities 7 and 8 — would not be eligible under the new system. About 1.6 million patients now are rated in those categories, but their benefits would be grandfathered in.

• The Veterans Health Administration, with 275,000 employees, would be divided.

Half of it would morph into a non-profit government corporation that provides medical care in competition with private providers. The other half would oversee payments, or insurance coverage, for medical care on behalf of veterans using non-VA services."

With all of the VA health care issues we've seen recently, its nice to see radical changes being proposed. And it's also nice to see some lawmakers in Washington, D.C. taking these proposals seriously.

As Pete Hegseth, the Concerned Veterans for America chief executive said, "Veterans should come first. They should be at the center of their health care — not the VA and not the VA bureaucracy."

You can read the entire VA reform proposal here and learn more about a VA health care summit where the proposal was discussed in the USA Today article.

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