The US Department of Veterans Affairs is part of the most generously funded institution in the government, and guess what? All that investment pays off.
It might not be perfect, but in contrast to the rest of our healthcare sector, instead of being fragmented, fractious, profit-driven, and poorly prepared, the VA is national, integrated, non-profit, and relatively effective.
It’s national: The VA operates thousands of healthcare facilities in rich and poor places, including 170 VA Medical Centers and 1,074 outpatient sites. And the VA’s response to Covid has shown what’s possible when your healthcare system is actually a system.
It’s integrated: While other vaccination programs rolled out in fits and starts, the VA pulled together its pandemic response plan last summer and began vaccinating veterans before Christmas. Knowing their history of hesitancy, they held listening sessions with minority veterans that gave them a jump on building trust. Now, they report only 2% refusals and an inoculation rate above the norm across every racial group.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
How about we have VA 4 All? Start by making spouses and children of veterans eligible for benefits. Then extended family living in the same household. Then all government workers and their families. Then anyone who walks into a VA hospital right off the street.
Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.