The VA has received a great deal of criticism over the last few years much of it justified. It is important, however, to remember just how effective the VA for the greater part of its existence and to recognize that most of its failures have come from inadequate funding and constantly increasing expectations.
This Veterans Day, in addition to honoring those who serve in uniform, we should spend some time remembering the 300,000 employees of the Veterans Health Administration. The V.H.A. — the nation’s largest public health system — doesn’t just keep veterans healthy; it has developed treatments that help all Americans. And if we don’t defend it, it could be dismantled and auctioned off in whatever remains of the Trump era.
In V.H.A. facilities I have met some of the best doctors, nurses, therapists and medical researchers I’ve encountered in 40 years of reporting on the hospital industry. They deliver high-quality care to more than nine million patients who are, on average, older, sicker and poorer than those served by other systems. Yet, unlike veterans themselves, who are praised by politicians and the press, V.H.A. staff members, and the agency they work for, are routinely denigrated.
– The New York Times