Don’t turn over VHA to private interests

first_imgIn late March, the Trump administration fired Veterans Health Administration [VHA] Secretary David Shulkin. Trump attempted to replace Mr. Shulkin with Ronny Jackson, who withdrew his nomination on April 26 amidst allegations of drunkenness.  Dr. Shulkin had resisted efforts by wealthy corporate interests to accelerate privatizing the VHA, now more than 25 percent privatized, and, thus came under intense attacks from the privatizers, many of whom insist the public sector can do nothing correctly and the private sector everything well. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion One goal of the privatizers, who include the billionaire Koch brothers, is to destroy VHA labor unions. Another is to leave VHA workers, one-third of whom are veterans, with no rights. And, of course, the Kochs and their allies want to add to their stupendous wealth and power by profiteering from veterans’ health care.Federal workers and their rights are under intense attacks from Trump, many Republicans, some Democrats and the privatizers. The VHA has problems for sure, but with bipartisan and public support, these problems can be greatly reduced.  The VHA needs stable, competent leadership committed to keeping the VHA a public entity. It also needs greater staffing and higher salaries to attract and retain qualified workers to help reduce the wait time for veterans to get care.  Do we want to throw the veterans into the private health care system, where health insurance companies deny care to so many of us? Do we want VA facilities in our region to close?Tom EllisAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img

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