VFW Report: Veterans Prefer VA Care

WASHINGTON (September 25, 2015) — One of the greatest ongoing debates in the aftermath of last year’s allegations of patients dying on secret waiting lists is where America’s veterans should get their care. According to a new report released this week by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, America’s veterans prefer that their care be provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

image003Entitled “Our Care,” the VFW report revealed that where veterans choose to receive their care depends on the number of options they have available. Still, the majority of the 1,847 veterans surveyed prefer to use the VA because they receive high quality care, they regard VA health care as an earned benefit, and they consider VA’s ability to treat service-connected conditions to be unmatched anywhere in the private sector.

“While some may believe the actions taken so far to fix the VA may not be thorough enough or fast enough, our latest report validates that 82 percent, an overwhelming majority of eligible veterans, choose to use their local VA for their medical needs,” said VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr. “That’s significant, because it means veterans want to use their VA even though they may have other options ranging from private health insurance to the military’s Tricare program or Medicare or Medicaid.”

The VFW report does reveal that the VA continues to experience problems in the consistency of care, which affects all veterans, but was most recognized by the 101 women and 277 Post-9/11 respondents. Negative press reporting was also noted because it hides the great care provided daily by the vast majority of VA personnel and facilities. The top five factors that survey respondents reported as the main drivers of individual health care decisions were quality of care (92 percent), appointment availability (43 percent), distance to care (33 percent), cost of care (25 percent), and provider reputation or expertise (22 percent).

“The VFW has been at the forefront of helping all veterans to obtain the timely and quality care they earned and deserve,” said Biedrzycki, “and we will continue to work to ensure veterans have a voice when reforming a VA that was created to serve them.”

Read more details about the VFW’s “Our Care” report at http://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/VFW.org/VFW_in_DC/VFWOurCareReport2015.pdf.

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