Remember the old joke you used to tell in junior high school: "Suicide Hotline--can you hold"? Apparently it's reality at the VA, where 40% of suicide hotline calls are not answered promptly, and some staffers don't appear to be doing a whole lot of work. What's the consequence? Well, apparently the VA is also leaving bodies to decompose for weeks in their morgues. No, it's not a question of funding or staffing, just a matter of getting staff to...actually do their jobs.
The recent record of the VA suggests to me that, apart from things that are specifically related to combat stress and injuries, we could do little better than to replace most of it with insurance vouchers that vets could use to get their own health care, and guidance in where to look in their own area. For that matter, I'm guessing that there are a lot of private healthcare providers who could do better with combat related illness than does the VA. Certainly the one near me could, I think.
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