Rodriguez for Congress campaign
Veterans Affairs

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[August 11, 2016]  Junius Rodriguez Believes Veterans Deserve Efficient Healthcare Benefits - Each year when we celebrate the Fourth of July and commemorate our nationís values we also honor and thank the many men and women who over the years have defended the nation through their service in the armed forces.

Todayís policy proposal is intended to keep faith with this tradition by recognizing the service of those who have done so much to ensure the freedom and the liberty that we all hold so dear.

Responsibility and commitment must be the benchmarks by which the effectiveness of any system of government is evaluated. In short, does a nation always stand true to its ideals and honor the promises that it makes? Sadly, the recent scandalous revelations regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs would suggest that the nation has fallen woefully short in living up to its time-honored commitment to care for those who gave their all in service to the nation. Regardless of our party affiliation, we can all agree that this situation is intolerable and that it must be remedied.

Last year the U.S. Congress agreed to a stopgap measure that would begin to address the backlog of cases that are pending in the VA hospital system. Under this system a veteran is entitled to receive emergency healthcare at a non-VA facility at VA expense provided that the hospital has an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Yet, in an apparent bureaucratic snafu, the non-VA hospitals that agree to provide these important services were denied the ability to advertise this to the public. It is unclear as to whether this policy represents a fear of free market competition or whether it is intended to maintain a monopolistic hold on healthcare on the part of the VA, but either of these justifications is unsound. The prohibition on advertising these vital services must be lifted.

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Junius Rodriguez believes that in addition to lifting this advertising ban so that more veterans have access to vital medical services, the stopgap measure should be expanded so that additional healthcare facilities that wish to participate in providing care to veterans are allowed to do so under the umbrella of VA benefits. The measure of true reform in this regard must be whether we are providing the promised health services to our nationís veterans, not to whether or not the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. are given an opportunity to save face. This is the least that we can do to keep the faith with those who have served their nation through the years with honor and selfless dedication.

[Text from file received]

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