A note of clarity?:
When it comes to health care from VA, there are 8 (eight) PRIORITY GROUPS, under which veterans MAY qualify for VA health care. NOT EVERY VET QUALIFIES!
From Group one; veterans with 50% or higher service connected disabilities, all care is free, and they have PRIORITY FOR TREATMENT, as in appointments, level of care, etc.
Down in Group Eight, there are economic requirements, as in several other groups, that allow those who can’t get or afford other coverage or care through “the outside world of medicine”.
The wonder years of the Reagan through “W” administrations, with a pause actually under Clinton, have seen continual increases in needs of COMBAT CASUALTIES, as well as the influx of older vets who now look to the agency, as they can’t afford the geriatric (among others) care they need in old age, and don’t have the incomes to match. Even Social Security and Medicaid have passed these folks off to the VA.
I totally support, obviously as a permanently and totally disabled veteran myself, providing care for ALL VETERANS who need help. But an offshoot it seem of the “me generations” is that an awful lot of those stressing the system, and trying to con their way in, are those citing the positive aspects of “Reaganomics”, while calling for the “government” to support them. For example, folks trying to get diagnosed with PTSD so they can get the money, not treatment, even though they never left the states of Qatar or other non-contact locations, or MOS.
On our local news, I did see a guy, retired law enforcement with PTSD from service, who pointed out he wants psychiatric therapy, NOT JUST DRUGS OR MONEy, and he’s had trouble with VA. I’m sympathetic to him, because just as I found in over 30 years of “private practice” medicine, I was also just given more drugs, rather than other therapies. VA did provide me with outpatient (fee basis) visits to a psychologist on contract, and in my time with her, I went from 50-80 “flashbacks” a WEEK, to one or two a month. BIG improvement over drugs because she was good and knew PTSD well! Other practitioners may indeed NOT have the experience or skill to accurately treat PTSD, and it does often require some searching for the right practitioner.
The points being of course, the situation is a LOT more complex than people, or ’toonists, realize!