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Have Veterans Damaged Their Future Health by Voting for Trump? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Saturday, 07 January 2017 14:00

veteranAcross the country, 61% of veterans who voted chose Trump over Clinton. But how will a Trump - Republican administration affect the VA healthcare system which 7 million vets depend on for all or part of their medical care?

TUCSON, AZ - Vets helped Trump clinch the White House.  Across America, veterans cast 4 million more votes for Trump than Clinton.

Eighty percent (80%) of America’s 22 million veterans voted Nov. 8th. Exit polls reveal 61% of the vets said they voted for Trump and Republican House candidates while only 34% voted for Clinton and 38% voted for House Democratic candidates.

Some Republicans are working hard to PRIVATIZE the VA healthcare system which 7 million vets depend on for all or part of their medical care.

These Republicans who want to send vets to private for-profit and non-profit hospitals/clinics for healthcare at 30% higher cost, which computes to billions of tax dollars wasted, are doing an egregious disservice to our Nation’s veterans.

The effort to privatize VA care has never been stronger.  Wealthy citizens, such as the billionaire Koch brothers, have been spending millions funding groups calling for VA privatization -- a move that would create for them even more wealth.

Such privatization schemes will increase the profits of insurance companies, hospitals and clinics by enrolling America’s veterans.  Wall Streeters will then encourage insurance and hospital systems to merge making ever higher profits at the expense of veterans.

The 2014 Choice program is the strongest privatization law ever passed.  It enables any vet who lives 40 miles or more from a VA clinic or gets a VA appointment 30 days or more from the present to receive care in the private sector.

“Choice” has not been a blazing success -- because of all the veterans who use the VA, 72% of them oppose privatization!

Veterans, veterans’ organizations, unions, good government groups and activists have two years to stall the privatization efforts in Congress and to help veterans understand that voting for Republican privatizers in the Nov. 2018 Congressional races WILL NOT BE IN THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS.

America spent 20 years in Vietnam and 16 years in Afghanistan/Iraq in illegal wars of aggression, trillions spent, millions killed – we veterans called to serve, or drafted, are asking:  “What do we have to show for it?

Three wars lost, countries and peoples ruined and hundreds of thousands of our own families destroyed.  The military/industrial/political complex is richer than ever, oil corporations continue their quest to grab the world’s oil while trying to use the US military as an enforcement hammer.  Our Nation is actively arming friends, gangs and terrorists worldwide while sending men and women to fight across the Middle East and Africa in countries most people can’t even find on the map.

The aftermath of these wars is millions of vets need healthcare for physical, mental and emotional wounds/illnesses.

Yet, decade after decade, disregarding opposition by a multitude of our Nation’s citizens, presidents and Congress argue “Sorry, we just don’t have money to fully fund and staff the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals across America.  In fact we don’t have money to fund America’s public schools or infrastructure either.  We only have money for more weapons and wars.  We do this only to protect you!”

We Americans have duped ourselves and been duped by our leaders falsely warning there are Commies and terrorists behind every tree.  They knew/know they were lying but they fear looking weak - so they pump up the propaganda, packaged up the kids and sent them off to wreak havoc across the world.

Today we have 22 million veterans still alive.

While millions of WWII and Korean War vets may not feel ‘’used”, many Vietnam Era and War on Terror soldiers/veterans DO feel used and abused.  More than 7 million of us receive all or part of their healthcare from the VA.  We, in general, are sicker than the average hospital/clinic population with many of us needing the specialized care for wounds, injuries and illness for which only the VA provides high quality care.

But in the 2014 and 2016 elections as vets we may have figuratively “shot ourselves in the foot.”

Those Republicans advocating privatization seem determined to destroy the VA healthcare system.

We veterans have less than two years to educate ourselves for the 2018 House and Senate elections and vote for candidates who OPPOSE privatization.  Will we be able to do it?

Or, will those human vultures driven by greed, who want to make a fast buck on war and misery,  destroy the VA.  Pushing all veterans into the already overloaded private care system will bankrupt the care for America’s veterans.


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Written by Buzz Davis & Ian Smith, veterans

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 retired 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, WI, 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 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

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 January 2017 15:00
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