You question is spoton ..Do we need VA Hospitals??
The simple answer is NO.
The tax dollars that go to support the VA Hospitals could easily be used to pay for care at Private hositals that are, in my opinion, better staffed to give medical care. The VA hospitals are mainly staffed by people that otherwise could NOT find a job anywhere but a Gov facility. As a result the patient care is going to reflect the support staff, and Doctors. Patients at the VA have NO illegal recourse against patient care.
Much like I suspect will be the direction of National Health Care. Doctors will determine if a patient care is worth the expense. Our local VA is NOT replacing Doctors that retire while the patient load continues to increase.
The budget to support our Veterans is just not there.. I mentioned that well over a million Veteran claims are under appeal. Why? Mainly because they know the Veteran will die, some Veterans are just more stubborn than others and it takes a little longer. As example I have a claim filed in 2004, and the last update was that it should be up for review in about three years. That does not mean a resolve only that the next phase will start.
Here is a story that gives a better example.... A Veteran was fighting a claim for about nine years.. then he died. His spouse was required to start a "new" claim because if a claim is awarded the payments are retroactive back to the date of filing. A new claim puts a new date. After about 10 years, and the help from an attorney that took her case pro-bono she was awarded the claim and a check of $239,000 was wired to her account. The bank wired the money back.. she had died the day before.
The Veterans, like the gentleman you spoke about, love this Country far much more than the Country care about them.
Andy we are far off topic of the forum we should carry on this dialog via eMail. The link below is a song sang by Derek Sholl, a fine man... he sang at my Daughter's engagement party... his song hits home.
Have a Good Day