Read About Issues

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: Tools and Resources | VHPI (

A bill introduced in July would automatically enroll all veterans in VA health care giving them the option to opt out if they didn’t want it. Read about the impact of this bill at Dems Fight to Make VA Health Care Enrollment Easier for New Veterans - The American Prospect

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: Issues 3 | VHPI (

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: Military Discharge Fact Sheet - Google Docs

To understand the impact of OTH (other than honorable) discharges, click here: The fallout of a 'bad paper' discharge (

Recently the VA requested comments on changing the regulations governing eligibility for VA benefits for veterans with “bad paper,” i.e., other than honorable discharges (OTH). On behalf of SOVA, Bruce Carruthers gave testimony at a listening session on the proposed changes. Click here to read his testimony: Eligibility Rules-oral comments.docx - Google Docs

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 Reports | VHPI (

VA Vs. Private Sector Healthcare
A recent study by Stanford University economists categorically demonstrates that veterans who get their care at the VHA live longer during and after a medical emergency, and at lower cost, than those receiving non-VA care. Read more about this and other comparisons of VA and private sector care at New Study Settles the Privatization Debate: VA Produces Better Outcomes at Lower Cost (

A physician explains the difference in care the VA offers her emergency room patients.  Read her experience atA VA Primary Care Physician Explains How the “VA Advantage” Works on the Ground (

Two studies show veterans do not necessarily get better quality or more timely care in the private sector.  Read about the study results at VHA Caregivers Provide Privatization Reality Check - The American Prospect

A new Office of the Inspector General (OIG)report confirms that privatization has made veterans’ care more costly, with fewer financial controls.  Payments to the Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) have, between 2017 and 2020, jumped a whopping 500 percent.  Read a summary of the report at The Rampant Fraudulent Billing in Outsourced Veterans’ Health Care - The American Prospect

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.


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