Healthcare Technology Featured Article

September 26, 2017

VA Private Health Plan May Soon Run out of Money

Weeks after a veterans' health initiative received $2.1 billion in emergency funding, the Trump administration says the private-sector Veterans Choice health care program may need additional money as early as December to avoid a disruption of care for hundreds of thousands of veterans.

Veterans Choice currently allows veterans to receive outside care if they must wait 30 days or more for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a VA facility. 

The fact that veterans have been able to spend over $2 billion dollars using private healthcare shows just how great the demand is to forego this system and depend on the free market.

This trend in the military mirrors free market solutions in the private sector such as UMA Health which allows patients to avoid being locked in to insurance or other one-size-fits all plans which do not suit the needs of all individuals.

The New York-based company was set up to give choice to the people who truly need care and cannot otherwise afford it or are at risk of being bankrupted by never-ending insurance bills they never knew they were going to receive.

UMA Health allows patients to shop for procedures or doctor visits based on price, distance, ratings and availability. Patients skip insurance and save money in the process.

Legislative proposals to fix VA have run the gamut, including one backed by the conservative Concerned Veterans for America that would give veterans almost complete freedom to see an outside doctor. Another plan could create a presidential commission to review closing some VA medical centers.

"Congress can either double-down on the failed VA policies of the past or they can go in a different direction and empower veterans with more choice over their health care," said Dan Caldwell, policy director of Concerned Veterans for America.

During the presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to fix the VA by bringing accountability and expanding access to private doctors, criticizing the department as "the most corrupt." At an Ohio event in July, Trump promised to triple the number of veterans "seeing the doctor of their choice."

President Obama too proclaimed he would fix the VA problems and increase the level of care veterans were receiving.

It's worth noting that after decades of talking by politicians, healthcare at the VA hasn't gotten better. Allowing the free markets to continue to work for all citizens is worth trying as competition has increased quality and lowered costs in virtually all other markets.

By TMC ,

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