Bruha over Veterans Choice is distracting the public from a little know DoD plan that could rock the future of VA Health Administration far more than more choice.
In a statement to Bloomberg, DoD officials acknowledged merger plans are moving from the feasibility study phase into the strategy development phase. The merger would combine the Defense Health Administration with the Veterans Health Administration.
Called the DoD VA Health Care Staffing Service” initiative, the joint strategy would deliver “integrated, high-quality health care services”. And at least one VSO is on board.
“The idea in itself makes sense,” said Pat Murray, Deputy Director of the National Legislative Service for Veterans of Foreign Wars. “But it’s going to be a lot harder than I think they understand.”
“I think you have the possibility to save,” said Kathy Beasley, Director of Health Affairs for the Military Officers Association of America. “Where there might be excess capacity in one area it may be utilized by beneficiaries in the other,” Beasley said.
So, while AFGE and veterans groups fight publicly over privatizing parts of VA health care more than they already are, how much further would the agency change if it were run by DoD?
I think many of us suspected a move was underway to merge VA with DoD based on the antics surrounding the Cerner contract to merge the agencies’ electronic health records systems, talk of merging with DoD certainly is an element that must be contemplated by stakeholders.
What do you think of the plan to merge with DoD? Can we expect to see more camo dressed medical professionals at our local medical centers?
With DoD cutting back on hiring medical clinicians, what does a merger like this really mean for servicemembers and veterans?
This is the first time I’ve seen this conversation out in the open making me wonder if the blow up over Veterans Choice is simply a rouse to keep the public focused on the wrong angle.