President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear future President,
Mr. M, a patient at my mom's clinic, almost died six weeks ago because of a heart condition that could have been prevented. He was waiting to be seen by a cardiologist at the VA medical center. Instead, he went to a local hospital and received care there. He has since seen the cardiologist 4 times and is scheduled for heart surgery next week. His original appointment at the VA with their cardiologist is next week as well. Mr. M. is a proud veteran of World War II, who prides himself on his service to our country. He has chosen to use the VA for most of his medical needs because of his pride in his service. In this case, that choice nearly cost him his life. Our veterans deserve both an improved healthcare system and the option of free access to private care paid for by the VA because they have sacrificed for our country and delays in the current health care system are causing harm to some of those who have served.
Many people assume we do not need a new veterans healthcare system because there is already one in place. It does help veterans that live in rural areas get to different hospitals by providing transportation, but in reality “The assessment, out of an independent review mandated last year by Congress, found a system plagued by bureaucracy and leadership challenges that is following an ‘unsustainable trajectory of capital loss.’”(Kime). The system is also known to be difficult to navigate for veterans looking for their proper healthcare. The system as it is now has good intentions, but it is inefficient in its delivery of care.
Veterans have served our country and deserve respect and the care that they need. These veterans have sacrificed a big portion of their lives to serve our country and protect our freedom. It is not fair to those who have protected our rights to be subject to a system that is inefficient and at times gives care of lesser quality than those for whom they have sacrificed. They shouldn’t have to navigate a slow system that is difficult to get even simple appointments, and they deserve better.
In many cases, veterans have had delayed health care which has led to their conditions being worse. It is not acceptable that “More than 300,000 American military veterans likely died while waiting for health care--and nearly twice as many are still waiting--according to a new Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general report.”(Bronstein et al) Veterans should not have to wait to get the proper health care that they deserve because of their important service to our country. An example of someone who did not get the proper healthcare in time Barry Coates. He is a veteran who was trying to get help for terrible pain he was for over a year. After one of many visits, the doctor said he should get a colonoscopy. After about a year of more pain and begging for an appointment, he had a “colonoscopy and doctors discovered a cancerous tumor the size of a baseball.” (Bronstein et al) This lead Coates into an extreme effort to save his life. Veterans health care needs
As an American, I am concerned for our veterans. Because of them, I enjoy the freedoms this country has to offer. I implore you to act in a way that provides them with the best of care in a timely and efficient manner. I ask that you not let politics interfere with caring for our heroes.