A strong reform for Veteran’s Healthcare is on the horizon. A recent proposal from a national veteran’s task force motioned for United State’s veterans to take their healthcare into their own hands. The options are to receive a subsidized private care and conversion of the Veteran’s Health Administration into a nonprofit corporation instead of a government agency.
There are several pros and cons to this motion, however. How sustainable is a nonprofit medical facility for veterans going to be? On the other side of the coin, how ready are Americans to put the time and effort in to taking care of the men and women who responded to the cry of a nation in a time of war? In recent years, delayed care for veterans, false records, and poor management has done its part to demand the attention and motivation for countless Americans to issue an era of change. In time, this could prove to be helpful or harmful, but as a country the intent and the obligation seems to be present.
According to Dan Caldwell, a campaign manager for Concerned Veteran of America, a legislature battle is imminent. As of now, no members of Congress have signed up to sponsor the bill at this point.
Critics claim that the program would reduce benefits for some veterans, significantly increase costs, and privatize a system that the government should run, as well as overwhelm elder veteran and those who suffer brain disorders or extreme cases of post traumatic stress disorder.
From the structural standpoint of the organization, the task force proposed that the U.S. Government pays a percentage of the costs via insurance programs. The coverage of the program would depend on the eligibility status of the veteran. The veterans not included in the VA healthcare program, along with future veterans would be required to a new VA insurance program with varying levels of coverage. The costs of this system could very well be staggering, as well. From 2006-2014 alone, the budget skyrocketed an unbelievable $91 billion for veteran’s healthcare.
To contain this substantial increase in price, the U.S. government passed the Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. This set aside $16.3 billion to hire more caregivers and allow certain patients to obtain private care. Healthcare, in general, has been a recurring debate in America. With a growing market for medicine, as well as the rising costs of the technology, research, manpower, and resources, the issue seems to be at an all time high.
In the early 1900s, an era of American history sparked and transformed how the nation sees themselves today. The Progressive Era ensued dramatic changes from the way Americans worked to the way their ailments were treated. Theodore Roosevelt mentioned the need for a universal care system when running in 1912 under the Progressive Party, or Bull Moose Party. Though he did not win the election or a very much-desired third term as President of the United States of America, he did, however, begin a campaign that would continue for at least a hundred years.
Unfortunately, World War I sparked an Anti-German fever and the Progressive boom began to die during the term of President Woodrow Wilson. People began rejecting ‘German socialist insurance.’ Other efforts, specifically in California recommended health insurance under the California Social Insurance Commission. Legislature was proposed in 1917, but the midst of the red scare after the World War I had seen a definitive end to the attempts until the Social Security Bill in 1935. With the Great Depression in full swing, one might infer that the conditions would be precise to administer universal healthcare. Others feared that the proposal in the bill would conflict with other interests and hinder its passage through congress. This was a decisive win for universal healthcare advocates, but the proposition was back on the table. What does this have to do with the veteran’s healthcare choice program? It is another step that the United States is trying to take to ensure that we have a system in motion that takes care of its citizens, veterans, and future generations.
Opinion By Shane Graham