There are about 22 million veterans in the United States, and odds are that you know at least one. More than 40% of veterans are enrolled in the Veteran Affairs Health Care System, or the VA, making it the largest healthcare system in the country. The VA provides life-saving treatments for our country’s former servicemen and servicewomen, but has long been criticized for its inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Is this negative perception warranted?
We talk with Suzanne Gordon, author of The Battle for Veterans’ Healthcare: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Policy Making and Patient Care, who believes we that the VA system offers more positives than negatives. She points out that salaried VA doctors are incentivized to provide comprehensive care to their patients, and that compared to private providers, VA doctors rarely refer a patient to outside specialists. Gordon argues against the push to privatize health care and believes that the shortcomings of the VA come from it being severely underfunded. Gordon says that although many Americans are willing to fund the military, few consider the importance of providing veterans with healthcare and other aid after they have served their country.
- Suzanne Gordon, author, The Battle for Veterans’ Healthcare: Dispatches From the Frontlines of Policy Making and Patient Care