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How Vets Vote Will Determine Whether VA Healthcare is Privatized PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Monday, 31 October 2016 10:43

veteransIt Depends on Whether Republicans Maintain Control of Both House & Senate! Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the VA, veterans are NOT.


STOUGHTON, WI - Within days over 22 million veterans will have the opportunity to vote in America. How veterans vote for Congressional candidates will be a key factor as to whether the House or Senate flips from Republican control to Democratic control.

Why? Because in 2014 over 54%, or nearly 12 million, vets voted. This is a far higher percentage than the number of non-vets who voted (41%). It is likely that the 12 million vets and their 12 million or more voting family members comprised over 26% of all the votes cast in 2014! Vets and their family members count big in American politics.

In 2014 6 out of 10 vets voted Republican. With the help of veterans, Republicans expanded their majority in the House and gained control of the Senate with the result bringing near political grid lock for the last two years.

What is stunning is that most of those Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the health care vets receive from VA hospitals across America.

Yet veterans themselves DO NOT WANT THEIR VA HEALTHCARE PRIVATIZED.

We hope veterans & their family members get the facts BEFORE they vote for House or Senate candidates on Nov. 8th

1. The VA Choice program enacted by Congress in 2014 is a major step toward privatizing VA healthcare --pushing millions of vets out of the VA hospitals and into private sector healthcare. The Choice program gave every vet who lives more than 40 miles from a VA facility or who is given a VA appointment that is 30 or more days into the future, the right to go to the private sector for healthcare. Studies show private sector healthcare will cost approximately 30% more than VA care.

2. A 2015 opinion poll conducted jointly by Democratic and Republican polling companies, reported:

64% of all 22 million veterans oppose privatization of VA healthcare while 29% support privatization and 7% don’t know.

3. Vets who actually use VA healthcare know more about the issue than vets who do not use the VA for healthcare. When only vets who actually have used the VA were asked the same privatization question, the results were:

72% of vets who actually use VA healthcare oppose its privatization, 21% supported it and 7% don’t know.

The Need for Action

Nov. 8th. We urge veterans and their family members to vote for candidates for the U.S. House and Senate who support what veterans want and need: a fully funded and staffed VA with the modern healthcare facilities veterans deserve.

Regretfully, America has reached a divide – that, in general, to support veterans, it means a person must vote Democratic in House and Senate races. Sadly, the Republicans support pushing vets into private sector healthcare:

· Which is less able to provide the substantial care many vets require,

· Which will cost taxpayers approximately 30% more and

· Which will eventually require veterans to pay more for the physical and mental wounds they suffered during their service to America.

All citizens can take action today by asking their House member to co-sponsor Rep. Mark Takano’s House Resolution 918 which calls for “robustly” funding VA healthcare -- not privatizing it. Read the resolution here ** and contact your House member here.***

And most importantly all citizens can vote Nov. 8th to help veterans get the healthcare they need by voting for Democratic House and Senate candidates.

****

This commentary written by Buzz Davis & Ian Smith.

Buzz Davis, of Tucson, AZ, a long time progressive activist, is a disabled veteran, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer and state government planner. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ian Smith, an Army Veteran, a native of Madison, retired from a successful career with the VA spanning 40+ years, and is a long time, staunch Unionist having served two terms as President of a 1,400 member VA Hospital Local 1732 and remains a delegate to SCFL and WI AFL-CIO. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

* http://www.vetvoicefoundation.org/press/VVF-Polling-Memo-151109-Veteransv2.pdf

** https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/918/text?resultIndex=94

*** http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 November 2016 11:28
 
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