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President-elect hints at privatization of veterans' healthcare

Those that have served our country have often made immense sacrifice. The sacrifices made by our military, both current and retired, could be time away from family or even sacrifices of health or well-being. This is a huge reason why military members and veterans are offered healthcare benefits through the government. However, there has been talk that the new president-elect is thinking of privatizing veterans' benefits, specifically, veterans' healthcare.

This would take the entire system of veterans' healthcare and turn it on its head. In theory, it would allow veterans to see a doctor of their choosing, instead of the doctors working exclusively for the VA. There is the possibility to receive a combination of private and public healthcare, or to opt into the government's veterans' healthcare as it stands today. With the soon-to-exist change in the house, senate and in the White House, it's possible that VA benefits could see some ground-breaking changes.

Since veterans can require long-term medical care due to their physical or mental illnesses or injuries after serving their country, it matters to a lot of military members and their families what changes may come. Social security disability, in conjunction with veterans' benefits, could look completely different for those receiving those benefits. It's possible veterans and their families could have more options, or it could become more confusing how to apply social security disability in conjunction with veterans' benefits. Hopefully any potential changes would be beneficial to those who need and receive those benefits.

It's true that the VA has come under scrutiny as to the quality of their healthcare administered to veterans. There were alleged incidents of theft and other white-collar crimes in connection with those administering veterans' benefits. The current president has been in opposition to change. Regardless of the future of veterans' benefits, those who are injured and cannot work and are otherwise disabled can utilize the funds set aside for social security disability and, if a military veteran, veterans' benefits.

Source: nytimes.com, "Trump weighs letting veterans opt out of V.A. medical care," Michael D. Shear, Dec. 28, 2016

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