Problems with VA health care are exaggerated

In answer to Jim Rideout’s April 19 letter suggesting that we get rid of the VA because of “lousy” care:

My wife goes to a private clinic. Her waiting room time before seeing her doctor ranges from 30 minutes to an hour. My wait times at the VA are no longer than 10 minutes. VA employees go out of their way to fit my appointments into my schedule. No health care facility is perfect, but my 50-year experience with VA hospitals has been very good to excellent.

I can only imagine what would happen if private clinics were suddenly besieged by thousands of veterans. And who would run the VA privately? Would that mean better care? No. Care would be downgraded because of cost.

Note that many veterans do not have a co-pay and receive free treatment, free medications and free dental care. If one hospital cannot provide a service, the VA will send the veteran to a hospital that can, even if that facility is not in the VA system.

Mr. Rideout wrote that he “hears it on the news” that the VA offers substandard care. Maybe his opinion would change if he had first-hand experiences at a VA hospital.

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