PODCAST: As The VA Readies Health Care Changes, Here's A Flashback To AOC's Twitter Feud With Trump Over Privatization

Retired Army 1st Sgt. William Staude, of Elliott, Pa., salutes soldiers from the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, stationed in Coraopolis, Pa., as they march past him during the Veterans Day parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Nov. 11.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is poised this week to make big changes to how it provides health care services to veterans, giving them the choice to seek care from private sector physicians under certain circumstances.


On June 6, hundreds of thousands of veterans enrolled in VA health care will be eligible for new expanded community care rules, allowing them to seek private-sector medical care at taxpayer expense. The moment has been a year in the making, and brought with it significant concerns from veterans groups who fear the massive rules shift could ultimately undermine existing VA services.

“We do expect to be ready,” he said during an appearance on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program on Friday, calling the deadline a significant moment for his department but not one that will bring chaotic changes to core VA operations. “I’m confident that our team is ready across the country … (Most veterans) are not going to experience a great change.”

While this isn’t the same as privatizing health care provision at the VA, that didn’t stop the loquacious Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from engaging in a twitter fight with President Trump about increasing this kind of choice at the agency. Although their dispute happened a month ago, the discussion is still relevant.

Dan Caldwell, Executive Director of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) was interviwed in a Fox News report following the minor twitter dispute between President Donald Trump and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez regarding how well the VA administers health care services to American veterans.


In short, Caldwell addressed AOC’s fearmongering that the VA would be privatized and extolled the virtues of expanding choice in health care for veterans. He talks to The Heartland Institute about putting veterans on an equal footing to the rest of America using the V.A Mission Act, passed by Congress in June and subsequently signed into law. The act allows veterans to use both VA services and gives them choice of using a network of private providers if they choose.

“Through legislation like the V.A. Mission Act, they’re trying to put the veteran at the center of the V.A., not the bureaucracy,” Caldwell told Fox News. “Giving veterans a choice will force the private sector and the V.A. to compete for veterans, this will give veterans the power to choose.” Join us as Caldwell explains the benefits of that choice on today’s podcast.


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