Policy Expert Suggests Dropping Free Health Care for Veterans

Jim Fausone
Veteran Advocate

In an online essay, institute Director of Health Policy Studies at Cato Institute Michael Cannon offered a radical idea to transform the Department of Veteran Affairs. Cannon suggests that free health care not be provided for veterans and instead provide better pay and vouchers for veterans to buy their own coverage.

Cannon also has recommended privatizing the Veterans Health Administration, which he believes would “improve the quality of veteran’s benefits immeasurably.”

The idea, despite some factors such as expanding private care options for veterans, has been widely opposed by individuals all over the political spectrum. Republicans, including President-elect Donald Trump, are in favor of providing veterans with more private health care options but have never mentioned plans to completely rid veteran’s benefits. Democrats and veteran groups are completely opposed to privatization of VA functions arguing that these physicians lack expertise or motivation to handle difficult service-connected injuries.

The common belief amongst many is that not only is this idea radical, but it is also a ridiculous idea provided from the Cato Institute think tank. The strict privatization of health care for veterans would almost certainly result in veterans paying out of pocket for their medical care, despite the vouchers received. Medical care is the least we can provide our veterans for the sacrifices of them and their families.

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