As someone whose healthcare treatment is from the Veterans Administration (VA) because of service connected disabilities, Romney’s discussion of how healthcare should be perhaps provided via voucher sounds like a really, really bad idea. From Talking Point Memo‘s Romney Spit-Balls His Way To Privatizing Veteran’s Benefits:
MAULDIN, SC — Over barbecue and sweet tea with 12 veterans here Friday, Mitt Romney appeared to brainstorm a fundamental change to the way the nation pays back the people who put their lives on the line in the military.
Talking with the veterans about the challenge of navigating the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy to get their health care benefits after they leave active duty, Romney suggested a way to improve the system would be to privatize it.
“Sometimes you wonder, would there be someway to introduce some private sector competition, somebody else that could come in and say, you know, each soldier gets X thousand dollars attributed to them and then they can choose whether they want to go on the government system or the private system and then it follows them, like what happens with schools in Florida where they have a voucher that follows them. Who knows.”
The idea is similar to Romney’s plan for Medicare, which would allow recipients to choose a private plan instead of the classic government-run health care structure.
Vouchers for veterans with service connected disabilities? This sounds like another way to enrich the 1% of the private sector — while at the same time providing inferior healthcare than the healthcare services currently provided to disabled veterans.
Bad, bad idea. Even if I weren’t a disabled veteran, I would be arguing against this plan — we owe disabled veterans better than a voucher plan designed to limit how much treatment they receive for disabilities attained in service to their nation. Our disabled Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, coming home with brain injuries, missing limbs, and PTSD deserve so much better than that this crappy Mitt Romney idea.
All I can add to this is the more general comment of ‘What the hell is wrong with all the Republican candidates for President this year?”