On Wednesday, Jan. 10, a group of veterans and citizens from the Veterans for Peace (VFP) Chapter 13 in Tucson, Indivisible and the S. AZ Alliance for Retired Americans will conduct an operation at the front gate of the VA hospital starting at 4 PM at 3601 S. 6th Ave, Tucson.
They will hold up banners and distribute flyers to VA workers as they leave work.
Bob Phillips, President of the VFP Chapter, a Marine Combat Engineer in Vietnam, who has been receiving care at this hospital for more than twenty years, said veterans are very concerned when they learn the VA is being privatized. “I talk to vets who say that overall the care they receive from the VA is very good and the staff are very nice.”
Phillips said, “Vets for Peace is trying to pass out leaflets at VA hospitals across the nation in coming months to help workers understand the threat privatization is to quality veteran healthcare and to VA workers jobs and careers. What we will be doing here in Tucson over the coming months is help workers fightback.”
Buzz Davis, a former Army officer trained in the infantry, said, “Veterans need the general and specialized care given by the VA. Yes, the VA has serious problems but so do private hospitals and clinics. But we seldom read in papers about the many problems in private healthcare, the long wait times and high costs and medical mistakes.
Veterans from the wars on terror are the most physically, emotionally and mentally damage veterans America has ever had. The excellent immediate medical care vets get on the battle field today enables vets to live compared to Vietnam where many of them died on those battlefields. This results in more grievous wounds and injuries. The repeated tours of two, three or four years in combat results in many emotional and mental problems because of 24/7 combat conditions in today’s wars.”
Davis stated, “The billionaire folks and Wall Streeters who think all government should be privatized are the folks who want to make a fast buck from government. They want the government to spend billions more on private companies for tasks done better and cheaper by government workers.”
“The VA is almost half privatized at this point. We guesstimate that for 2017 about 40% of all completed out patient appointments were privatized. The VA paid for over 103 million outpatient appointments. About 40% of the appointments were done in the private for-profit and non-profit facilities and only 60% done at VA hospitals.”