GOP Leaders, Whistle-Blower Join In Calls To Privatize Veterans’ Care

May 27, 2014 by  

GOP Leaders, Whistle-Blower Join In Calls To Privatize Veterans’ Care, Calls to move veterans’ health care into the hands of private hospitals, amid allegations of widespread problems in Veterans Affairs facilities, gained momentum this weekend with House Speaker John Boehner and a Department of Veterans Affairs whistle-blower backing such a plan.

“It’s absolutely a good idea,” Dr. Margaret Moxness, who exposed long waits at a VA facility in West Virginia, told “Fox News Sunday.” “This should have happened years ago.”

Derek Bennett, of the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, also said on the show that he supports the idea.

Boehner said Saturday that he supported the idea of “privatizing” the department two decades ago, and that he has a renewed interest amid allegations that government employees kept secret records to conceal veterans’ long waits for medical treatment and that as many as 40 died while waiting.

“I still like the idea, and especially now,” he told The Columbia Dispatch newspaper, while making clear that getting veterans prompt care comes before making such a sweeping change.

The Obama administration announced Saturday that more veterans will be allowed to be treated in private hospitals in situations where the federal government cannot expand care in VA facilities.

Boehner and President Obama each said last week that more facts are needed about the allegations and the overall quality of care before more changes can be made. Both for now are backing VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

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