Vet­er­ans de­serve ded­i­cated health care

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Congress passed the Choice Act in 2014. It pro­vided that vet­er­ans who lived more than 40 miles away or couldn’t get an ap­point­ment within 30 days could get care at a pri­vate provider ap­proved by Vet­er­ans Af­fairs. Ap­proval is nec­es­sary be­cause VA needs to know what treat­ment was pro­vided for the next time the vet­eran gets treat­ment at a VA fa­cil­ity.

It turns out that few vet­er­ans have sought pri­vate treat­ment be­cause they are so sat­is­fied with the treat­ment they get at VA.

Of course, there are dis­sat­is­fied vet­er­ans, just as I am not happy wait­ing for hours to see my pri­vate doc­tor when I had an ap­point­ment. Any­way, many pri­vate providers of health care would like to treat vet­er­ans as long as VA pays for it, like the cur­rent choice pro­gram al­lows. But, vet­er­ans over whelm­ingly pre­fer VA care, the care they earned by their ser vice, the care that is given of­ten by other vet­er­ans in the com­pany of fel­low vet­er­ans and by peo­ple who un­der­stand the now all-too-com­pli­cated mul­ti­ple prob­lems vet­er­ans have due to their dif­fi­cult ser vice.

If you are a vet­eran and like the care you have got­ten, I hope you will con­tact the of­fices of U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (DMd., 5th) ( and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) (­ and tell them how pleased you are to have a ded­i­cated health care sys­tem. Wil­liam Wet­more, Wal­dorf

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