Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tennessee veterans deserve better facilities

Andy Ogles
by Andy Ogles and Mark Lucas - The Tennessean, Jan. 31, 2017 -  Recently, USA Today published an internal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs rating system that the agency had kept concealed for years, claiming it was for “internal use only.”

It doesn’t take long to see why they kept it hidden for so many years. According to the ratings, one in every 10 VA hospitals has received the lowest possible rating in either 2015 or 2016. The VA determines these ratings based on an array of factors, including avoidable complications, death and infection rates, and wait times.

.....  Tennesseans are some of the most under-served veterans in the country. Three of its four VA medical centers – those in Nashville, Memphis, and Murfreesboro – have received the lowest rating in both 2015 and 2016 – one of five stars. ....  all but one of the VA medical centers in Tennessee falls at the bottom of the rung. Yet VA officials’ unwillingness to share information about its own poor performance sends a clear message that they are more interested in trying to prop up their public image than fixing the very serious and widespread internal problems in offices like Tennessee. .... Our nation’s heroes deserve the best health care possible, and they should be empowered to choose where and when they see a doctor. That’s why we need to expand veterans’ health-care options by passing VA reform such as the Caring for our Heroes in the 21st Century Act. (Read the full article)

 Andy Ogles is the Tennessee state director of Americans for Prosperity and is occasionally mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for governor. Mark Lucas is the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America.

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