Category Archives: Health Care

Stop the Destruction of Our VA Medical System – Please Sign/Share

— > Sign On to Stop the Assault on Veterans Healthcare

As of 2022…

  1. Over one-third of all veterans’ medical visits have already been sent outside of the VA system
  2. And more than 25% of VA healthcare dollars have already been diverted to the private, for-profit sector as a result of the VA MISSION Act.
  3. One-third of the union jobs at the VA that the AIR commission would destroy are held by veterans themselves.

This fiasco must be stopped.

Petition to #SaveMyVA from AIR Commission Closures – Action Network

Thank you very much for reading these articles, signing the petition and sharing this information to your veteran and non-veterans friends and asking them to help you by signing on.

Peace

Buzz Davis, Vets for Peace in Tucson

 

 

More information:

Veterans for Peace – Save Our VA Campaign


These 17 Medical Centers Would Close and More Than 30 Built or Replaced Under VA Plan | Military.com

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has unveiled a plan that calls for closing 17 aging or underused medical centers, while shifting services to more than 30 new or rebuilt hospitals. In some cases, it would rely on private care.

Under the nearly $2 trillion proposal released Monday, the department would lose a net of three medical centers and 174 outpatient health clinics but would gain 255 health care facilities, including new clinics, stand-alone rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.

Medical centers in areas with diminishing veteran populations are among those slated to close, while others would be built in growing urban centers, the West and the South — areas where veteran populations are growing…”


Blog | VHPI (veteranspolicy.org)

“The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that studies the provision of healthcare and other services to the those who served in the US military as well as their families and communities.”


The VA Needs More Funding, Not More Privatization (jacobinmag.com)

Joe Biden touted himself as friend of veterans while on the campaign trail. But now he’s overseeing the continued privatization of the VA and backing nominees that brag about being venture capitalists.” 


Biden’s VA Secretary Proposes Shutting Down Dozens of Facilities

It’s both bad politics and bad policy.

BY SUZANNE GORDON MARCH 21, 2022. Prospect

 

“On March 14th, the Department of Veterans Affairs VA) released some deeply flawed proposals for reorganizing the nation’s largest and only publicly funded, fully integrated health care system.

Rather than building back better at the VA-run Veterans Health Administration (VHA), VA Secretary Denis McDonough’s blueprint embraces, rather than rejects, further outsourcing of care for more than nine million veterans, and proposes VHA downsizing that will dramatically accelerate that trend.

It’s not often that national unions representing around 250,000 VHA workers and right-wing Republicans like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis issue simultaneous denunciations of privatization. But that’s what happened in the wake of McDonough’s facility-closing recommendations to the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission, a panel just nominated by President Biden.

Adding to the political confusion was the outraged response of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who co-sponsored the VA MISSION Act of 2018, which created the AIR Commission. During Joe Biden’s first year in office, the MISSION Act also helped divert $18 billion from the VHA’s direct-care budget to the private health care industry, whose providers now consume 20 percent of the VHA’s budget..”

Militarism’s impact on health is focus of fine article

November 11, 2014 7:00 am  • 

Public health professionals have generally failed to work for the prevention of war, even though — like disease —war has negative impacts on health for both civilians and military personnel as well as detrimental impacts on infrastructure and the environment.

In a recent article, nine U.S. and Canadian public health scholars and thinkers directly confront “The Role of Public Health in the Prevention of War” — a role that has been tragically absent. Published in the June 2014 American Journal of Public Health, the writers pinpoint “militarism” as a root cause of the public health industry’s failure to take up the cause of preventing wars. Public health, they write, “has been more focused on the effects of war than on working toward the prevention of the fundamental causes of war.” The authors also define “militarism” in terms that are both familiar and chilling.

Worries roiling around the anti-Ebola virus effort, when compared with the prevention of war, might offer some insight into the way in which many Americans, including public health professionals, ignore the obvious when a new war is proposed, or an existing war is accepted, or a former war is discussed. As the outstanding, and overdue, AJPH article describes: “The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Don’t the 190 million deaths “directly and indirectly related to war” during the 20th century represent a public health epidemic? Doesn’t the record-breaking war carnage of the past century qualify as a menace to public health?

If further proof is needed, consider this from the article: “Civilian war deaths constitute 85 percent to 90 percent of casualties caused by war, with about 10 civilians dying for every combatant killed in battle.”

Consider: “Ten percent to 20 percent of U.S. soldiers (of 1.8 million deployed since 2001) in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have experienced a concussive event with long-term health implications.”

Consider: “Thirty percent of active duty women experience rape, and 5 percent multiple or gang rape. Female soldiers are more likely to be raped by a colleague than to be killed in combat.”

Consider: “More U.S. troops committed suicide last year than died in combat.”

The compilation and concise presentation of these staggering statistics by the article’s authors is exhaustively supported by 223 carefully researched references, by title, website, date and page.

To their credit, among other important breakthroughs the authors present a case for the prevention of war in fewer than 8,000 words. Details about authorship, led by W.H. Wiist of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and references take up several more pages of this valid scholarly work, which is also very readable.

The writers follow a trail blazed when the American Public Health Association approved an official policy on the cessation of military recruiting in public schools. The APHA policy followed the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, which gave military recruiters free access to public high schools along with the threat of funding cuts for noncompliance. According to the APHA policy: “Across the United States, recruiters from all branches of the military regularly enter every public high school to approach adolescents aged 14 through 18 years to persuade them to enlist in military service branches.” The vulnerability of minor-age children, and the disproportionate health consequences they face, compared to older soldiers, if they are recruited and sent to war is well documented. Action recommendations in the APHA policy include congressional repeal of public school collaboration with recruiters.

George Bush’s NCLB has been under justifiable scrutiny for its testing standards, while its enticement of adolescent children as potential combatants goes largely unnoticed. If parents, educators, churches, public health professionals, caregivers, and many other righteous people fail to intervene against the recruitment of minors in public schools, they embody the very definition of systemic militarism.

In three powerful paragraphs, the article dissects and defines militarism as extending a military mindset “into shaping the culture, politics, and economics of civilian life so that war and the preparation for war is normalized.”

Militarism “glorifies warriors, gives strong allegiance to the military as the ultimate guarantor of freedom and safety, and reveres military morals and ethics as being above criticism.” As a war-like, violence-seeking condition, the authors continue, “militarism has been called a ‘psychosocial disease,’ making it amenable to population-wide interventions.

“Thus, militarism warrants a priority focus for public health’s efforts to prevent war, including emphasis in public health curricula, research, and advocacy.”

Militarism’s profound effects on the economy, politics and corporate profits are noted, as are the military’s shadow cast across research and development, education, civilian law enforcement, justice systems, the media, outer space, and other important segments of 21st-century life. The writers wisely selected the pervasive presence of militarism as offering “critical insight for the analysis of the causes of war, the effects of war on health, and the influence of a culture of war on society and on the prospects for peace.”

They conclude: “Public health practitioners and academics have an obligation to take a lead role in the prevention of war by addressing the fundamental causes in society that lead to war.”

With clear thinking and focused writing, the American Journal of Public Health article explains precisely why “war is not healthy for children and other living things,” as the Another Mother for Peace anti-war slogan pointed out nearly 50 years ago.

David Giffey, of Arena, is the editor of “Long Shadows: Veterans’ Paths to Peace.”

Veterans for Peace discuss VA health care, funding – The Cap Times

June 19, 2014 2:45 pm  •  By Jessie Opoien | The Capital Times

Local members of Veterans for Peace gathered Thursday to voice concerns about the “massive under-funding, massive under-staffing and effort to privatize” the Veterans Administration that they said has been occurring for the last 15-20 years.

The VA currently enrolls 9.1 million of the estimated 21.6 million veterans living in the U.S.