Keith B. New York

The War on Health Care for our Veterans

The health care our county provides our veterans must be more efficient, preventing excessive waiting times and obstacles that currently exist.

Letters To The Next President

Dear Mr./ Mrs. President,

Welcome to the White House. I understand you are very busy person but there are some things I’d like to bring to your attention. My name is Keith and I feel it is necessary to bring the deficiencies of the Veteran Health Care system that are in need of improvements to your attention. For example, Noah Berlatsky said that “One VA audit found that 10% of veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals and clinics have to wait at least 30 days for an appointment. More than 56,000 veterans have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments, according to the report, and an additional 46,000 veterans who asked for appointments over the past decade never got them” (2). The health care our county provides our veterans must be more efficient, preventing excessive waiting times and obstacles that currently exist.

The government is underestimating the amount of people who are going to use the VA health system. The government is slacking in their calculations and must re-adjust their numbers (Vlahos). If the government does not set aside the correct amount of money for these veterans and under funds the health program, there will be excessively long waiting times. Veterans could be without health insurance. Another issue will be the future and current veterans returning from war especially the young men and women, who lost limbs and suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Their health care is and will be expensive. According to Kelly B. Vlahos, “Millions of Americans have served in these conflicts, and future health care and disability costs alone are projected to be nearly $1 trillion. The costs of the wars are too high, and it is time to bring the conflict to an end so resources can be directed to veterans who need them” (2). In addition, the government health care system is going to be inefficient, outdated, and crowded. Within a little more than a decade the spending has gone up through the roof. 

The cost is horrible but a more serious issue is the long waiting lists which force dying veterans to suffer painful deaths while they are told help will have to wait. Noah Berlatsky, a writer, states, “Obama ordered the review last month [in May 2014] in a response to widespread reports of long delays for treatment and medical appointments and of veterans dying while on waiting lists.” (1). In addition, Noah Berlatsky reveals, “ The VA has confirmed that dozens of veterans died while awaiting allies in the Phoenix area, although officials say it's unclear whether the delays were the cause of the deaths” (2). This could easily be remedy if patients were rank on the seriousness of their ailments. Proof that veterans are dying while excessively waiting for an appointment is a disgrace to our veterans.  

Although attempts have been made to remedy the situation according to Michael D. Shear “ the president said the backlog of veterans' claims for benefits, which had surged to nearly 610,000 almost four years ago, was now at 80,000, a nearly 90 percent decrease” (1). Cleaning up the backup of claims is one step in the right direction. Another step is to increase the facilities and to secure a larger budget to increase the budget for the Veterans Administration. But a few extra beds will not meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of veterans. Plus the cost, with proposing a “Veterans Trust Fund, to be paid for with a surcharge, dedicated to ensuring these astronomical costs will be paid” (3) reveals Kelley B. Vlahos may not be enough.

Unfortunately, our country is and will be part of many wars even when there is peace. We have and had our strong military fight hard to protect our freedom. I ask you, President of the United States is this how we treat our veterans? Shouldn’t they receive excellent health care and not have excessive wait times and obstacles in their way. Do we really not care enough about our veterans to do something about their health care?



VS North HS

Italiano/Suarez Per 2

These letters were written by 9th grade students. They spent two weeks researching issues and one week learning how to write an argument letter. This was the first project of this magnitude that they have ever experienced, they learned a lot, and they are very happy to be done! Thank you for reading.

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