The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute (VHPI) is an excellent source for information on the current state of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and efforts to privatize the VA. You can sign up for the site and subscribe to its newsletter to keep abreast of developments. To visit the website click here.
Below are links to articles and documents that give you more information about issues important to veterans and to being able to strengthen the VHA.
VHA Healthcare – what it does and who it serves:
The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute (VHPI) puts out a Congressional Guide for Veteran's Health Care that explains the VA, what it does and the issues important to veterans and activists. To download a PDF copy of the guide, click this link: The Congressional Guide to Veterans' Health Care — Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute
COVID-19 and VHA Health Care:
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the VHA, but it has met these challenges and provided care to veteran while assisting the general public; and once again pioneered programs being replicated by the private sector. To read about VHA's response to COVID-19, click this link: An Inside Look into the VA's COVID-19 Response — Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute
Who is eligible for VHA Care?
Military Discharges: Many veterans are not eligible for VHA care. Often this relates to the type of discharge a veteran receives and VA regulations around discharge types and benefits. To learn more about this issue and how it impacts all VHA care, click here: How 'bad papers' punish veterans — Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute
Service-Connected Benefits: The VBA (Veterans' Benefit Administration) determines the eligibility of veterans to receive benefits for injuries that occurred while in service. Secretary Wilke turned all evaluations to determine eligibility for benefits over to private contractors. To read about this and its impact on veterans, click here:
Policy Analysis: Preserve In-House Compensation + Pension Exams — Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute
Mental Health Care in the VHA
VHPI issued a report on mental health care in the VHA, which includes some of the world's most innovative approaches to treatment of PTSD. The report looks to the future of mental health care in the VHA and what it can offer the rest of American. To see the report, click here: VHPI_MHReport.pdf
Closing VA Facilities
In the last Congress, Sen. Joe Manchin (D, W. VA) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R. SD) introduced a bill to eliminate the A.I.R. The A.I.R. Commission was created under the MISSION Act and would review and select VA facilities in the nation for closure, at the very time we need more VA facilities, especially in rural areas. If you want to read more about this issue, click this link to see a VHPI analysis of the issue: What happens if a VA facility closes? — Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute
Myths about VA care
The wait times scandal in Phoenix is only one of myths about VA healthcare that are frequently used to disparage the VHA and promote moving to the private sector. Phillip Longman who served on the Commission on Care, established by Congress to study the future of VA, and is the author of a book on VA, "Best Care Anywhere" talks about these myths in this article: Five myths about VA health care - The Washington Post.