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    HomeWorldVeterans Care in the Community Is Pushing the VA to the Brink

    Veterans Care in the Community Is Pushing the VA to the Brink

    Veterans Care in the Community Is Pushing the VA to the Brink

    The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of .com. If you would like to submit your own commentary, please send your article to opinions@military.com for consideration.

    In recent weeks, members of the House and Senate Committees of Veterans' Affairs have been in intense negotiations hammering out a compromise between three bills that could endanger the nation's veteran-centric health care system — the Veterans Health Administration, or VHA. The competing bills were introduced by Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa.

    If the language in those bills isn't radically changed in the eventual compromise, harms produced by a decade of outsourcing of veterans' health care will only be exacerbated.

    Since 2015, $150 billion has been channeled to private-sector providers. Should more patients and taxpayer dollars be diverted into the private sector, the VHA will cease to be able to effectively serve its 9 million enrolled veterans. It could also jeopardize the role the VHA plays as one of the nation's leading research powerhouses, in teaching the majority of the nation's health care professional workforce, and responding to national emergencies.

    As one clinical leader at a VHA medical center, who was granted anonymity in order to avoid retaliation for speaking without permission, predicted, “If sending patients to the…

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