Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is defending America’s veterans from a Trump scheme to privatize the VA that the Senator from Vermont called an insult to vets.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders said:
Privatizing the VA would be an insult to the more than 22 million veterans who risked their lives to defend our country and it would significantly lower the quality of health care they receive. Our goal, shared by The American Legion and other major veterans’ organizations, must be to improve the VA, not destroy it. When men and women put their lives on the line to defend us, the president must listen to them, not to the Koch brothers and their extreme right-wing, anti-government ideology. We will vigorously oppose any and all efforts to privatize the VA.
The president-elect should listen to American Legion Executive Director Verna Jones, who recently said the nation’s largest veterans’ organization ‘would like the Trump administration to know that we value our Department of Veterans Affairs’ because ‘dollar-for-dollar, there is no better care or value available anywhere in the United States – period.’
The president-elect should listen to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. ‘Politicians, pundits and politically-motivated organizations are using the national crisis in access to care at the Department of Veterans Affairs as justification to dismantle and privatize the VA health care system, with some even proposing that veterans be charged for their service-connected care. The VFW says no! Veterans must not stand idle as politicians who never served or use the VA health care system dictate when and where veterans can receive care.’
The president-elect should listen to Paul Rieckhoff of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America who said, ‘The worst case scenario within the vets community is a total dismantling of everything they worked generations to create. There is a growing fear it is all going to get burned down.’
The veterans’ organizations are right. We must protect the VA, not destroy it.
Sen. Sanders was spot on. Major veterans groups do not want the VA privatized. Conservative ideologues like the Koch brothers and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) champion privatization based on ideology, not concrete proof that a privatized VA would perform better. What is looming in the future for veterans group is a privatized VA where vets will get their healthcare through capped vouchers in the private market.
Republicans are planning on breaking the nation’s sacred promise to veterans by putting a limit on the amount of care that they receive.
The men and women who fight and sacrifice for the United States of America deserve better than to see their fundamental right to healthcare steamrolled in the name of partisan ideology.
Republicans are coming for all healthcare, which is why every single American must stand together and resist the Trump led attacks on the VA, Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA. Veterans fought for us. Now it is time for the rest of America to stand with them and fight for their right to healthcare.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association