Poll: What Do Veterans Think of VA and VA Health Care
A Need for Change: Veterans Show Displeasure with VA, Military Benefits
The gathering and analysis of information is an essential part of improving any state of affairs. This is exemplified in one of the most important recurring political issues in today’s climate: veteran benefits and healthcare.
As the numbers of veterans affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continues to rise and the risk of veteran suicide grows concurrently, attention must continue to be paid to the care that veterans are receiving.
And in addition to those affected by PTSD, there are a myriad of other health concerns and general well-being matters that are called into question when it comes to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This lack of confidence is reflected in the 2019 Concerned Veterans for America national online poll.
This poll, conducted in April of 2019, collected the opinions of 800 veterans and 800 military households. The respondents were asked about topics such as President Trump, foreign policy, military engagement, and veteran benefits and healthcare.
Generally speaking, questions of opinion on the overall quality and approval rating of the Department of Veterans Affairs showed a strongly negative response. For example, 59 percent of veterans and 64 percent of military households surveyed rated their overall opinion of quality of services and benefits from the VA as poor or fair. As an additional support of this opinion, nearly half of both respondent groups responded to say that they felt the benefits veterans received were generally worse than those received by the majority of Americans.
For this reason, healthcare and military benefits will be a hot button topic that veterans will be watching closely in the 2020 presidential race. 77 percent of veterans and 70 percent of military households surveyed agreed that a reform of these benefits was absolutely or very necessary.
As a rule of thumb, the VA has a bad rap. With veteran suicides showing more alarming patterns, most veterans and their families agree that finding a way to increase the quality and accessibility of benefits, specifically healthcare, is important.
One such option in easing the burden of poor quality care would be to allow veterans to use their healthcare benefits outside of the often-limited network of the VA. Doing this would lessen the pressure on overburdened medical facilities and burned out staff and would allow veterans to seek the treatment they need with little or no waiting period.
This type of policy reform was met with resounding support on the Concerned Veterans for America poll responses. Of the veterans and military households surveyed, 90 percent and 86 percent, respectively, showed favor for allowing the extension of benefits beyond the VA network.
With elevated wait times and little confidence that the VA will ever get the funding it needs to properly support the veterans who rely on it, it is unsurprising that the poll results show a strong desire for reform. Even at an additional out-of-pocket expense, many veterans and their families agree that they simply want more options when it comes to benefits and healthcare.