The VA fails veterans — shut it down
Your Spotlight story about the inability of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center to provide even adequate health care is just the latest in a long series of failures at VA facilities (“A diagnosis of failure,” Page A1, July 16). We continually talk about how much we honor and appreciate the service and sacrifices of our veterans, so why do we allow their ongoing victimization by the VA? It’s time to shut down the VA medical system and allow all veterans access to Medicare. This would give our veterans access to the quality medical services they deserve.
Choice program drains funding from system
Not until the last section of the article “A diagnosis of failure” does the salient point of this Spotlight investigation finally emerge. Stories of health care inadequacy, this last section points out, result from the 2014 Veterans Choice program. Under this program, funding is diverted from Veterans Health Administration staff, facilities, and equipment. These funds are given over to private, more expensive health care practices. THIS IS, BY DESIGN, AN UNDERMINING OF THE INTEGRATED VA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
If our country is to fulfill its obligation to our veterans, we need to pay attention to fully funding the system that has provided quality integrated care, and keep it updated and fully equipped and staffed. To do less, under the guise of “choice,” is an abrogation of our responsibility as citizens. Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin and elected officials need to step up and demand that New Hampshire veterans deserve no less.
In Massachusetts, we are proud and appreciative of the care we receive. Our elected officials have been responsible for making sure that VA hospitals provide excellent care. We hope the same for our fellow veterans in New Hampshire.
The writer is a member of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade, Chapter 9, of Veterans for Peace.
This shows why single payer wouldn’t work
Your article describes beautifully the dangers inherent in a single-payer health care system.
Instances such as those at the VA hospital in New Hampshire will increase exponentially under a US single-payer system, and we will all be treated as treacherously as those abused heroes are being treated in Manchester.
Manchester VA has provided him with excellent care
I don’t know about the inner workings of Manchester’s VA, but here are two things I do know:
I’ve been a patient since 2004 and have always received excellent care.
Several years ago, a routine physical by physician’s assistant Daniel O’Brien led to an eye exam. which, in turn, led to a possibly life-saving operation at the White River Junction VA.
If not for the VA, I might not be writing this letter today.
Let us not forget that there are always two sides to a story.