The Transylvania Times -

Privatization Would Hurt The VA


April 2, 2018

As a veteran and someone who uses a very good Asheville VA, I would like to make a few comments.

The VA system is large and complicated. I submit to the readers that a good physician without a business background, without a full knowledge of politics and the economics of government is not equipped to head the VA system. Note many hospital administrators are not doctors and those that are often have an MBA.

Next, the privatization of the VA would be a disaster. Go to the VA and see the very old in wheel chairs or walkers. Count those on oxygen and the many who must be accompanied by a caregiver. These patients are very medically complicated and I am sure our private system would be overburdened with their care. PSTD is a complicated problem for the VA. Imagine our private system with a dearth of mental health workers, psychiatrists and psychologists, attempting to take on this chronic problem.

Our private system is not geared to taking care of the very old, their ongoing problems, and this possibility does not address reimbursement and the time required to administer to each patient. Read “Being Mortal” to get some insight into our system and how it approaches (fails) the very old. We essentially have no gerontologists in the private sphere. This is true of the VA also, but I submit the salaried providers there have more time per patient.

The last food for thought: If we had fewer wars, had not encouraged tobacco and alcohol in the past — the military did indeed do that — we might not have an overburdened VA system.

Gerald T. Kilpatrick



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