We already have the world’s greatest and most powerful military, so let’s bring the Veterans Administration up to snuff. Right now, our veterans face a confusing labyrinth of bureaucracy when they try to get simple medical treatment or on-going help with wounds suffered while serving America.
This problem doesn’t rest on the shoulders of the dedicated doctors, nurses and other professionals serving the veterans, but the bureaucracy in which they work. I’ve worked one-on-one for years with veterans to get them the help they deserved, spending hours on hold and filling out a myriad of redundant forms.
Many times, though they are eligible and accepted into the system, the local VA center is too far away for veterans to get proper treatment. Other headaches include overcrowding, long lines, and distant treatment centers. We should create a special Veterans Category under the current Medicare system that would allow honorably discharged veterans to use local doctors, treatment centers and hospitals of their choice to get vitally needed treatment.
A simple system created to allow Medicare to bill the VA is all it would take, similar to the system set up for Medicare Advantage plans that allows Medicare recipients to choose a private health insurance company to handle their Medicare benefits. Instead of paying the private insurance company, as with the Advantage plans, Medicare would submit an invoice to the VA, drawing on appropriated funds for the care of our veterans.
The Veteran Medicare program would provide vital medical treatment to veterans who live far from the nearest VA clinic, doctor or hospital and give them the flexibility to choose their doctors. Additionally, this new funding stream would be a financial boon for cash-strapped rural medical clinics and hospitals, most of which are set up to accept Medicare.
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