Democratic Rep. Max Rose of New York claimed most veterans want to be treated at VA hospitals instead of receiving private care.
“It is imperative that the VA dramatically, dramatically increase their mental health services. But I do also want to say something about the VA as a larger entity,” he said Monday on “Morning Joe.”
“Under no circumstances can this organization be privatized. Now, it has room for improvement. Every health care institution in America does. But what we cannot do is point to them as a sign of government failure and as a consequence something that needs to be privatized and pushed to other entities. It would be a significant way in which we would fail our veterans. Most veterans, the vast majority of them want to go to the VA and they want to see it continue to be resourced.”
A 2017 poll conducted by Concerned Veterans for America found 98 percent of those surveyed want more health care choices outside of the traditional VA system.
Rose also called for more analysis of veteran suicide rates and proposed a bill that would alert members of Congress each time a service member takes their own life. (RELATED: VA Hired A Newly Released Felon Who Attacked Judge’s Daughter In The Shower, Cut Her Breaks)
“We have got to conduct far more data analysis around the issue of veterans’ suicide,” he said earlier in the interview. “And so one piece of legislation that I am proposing as a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee is that every time a veteran takes his or her life Congress be notified, and Congress be given a suitable report on that incident, so that we can start to see what the overarching trend is.”
“You know one of the problems with veterans suicide is that the VA doesn’t have sufficient inter-operability systems with other health care organizations. We’re just starting the electronic medical record right now. If I wanted to go to the — to the VA I would have to lug all of my files from my active duty service to the VA. Now thankfully the VA is starting to change that and it will I believe be successful. But this is a matter of urgency; 20 veterans a day we’re losing and we have to treat it with that level of urgency.”
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