Letter: Dismantle the VA

Published: Tuesday, June 3 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

When the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I.Bill, was passed, it provided returning WW II servicemen cash payments for tuition and living expenses to attend college, high school or vocational training, among other benefits.

Within 12 years, 2.2 million GI's used the money to attend college, another 6.6 million used it for some other training program. The G.I. Bill has been heralded as an unmitigated success, a government program that helped boost our post-war economy and raised millions of veterans and their families to a higher standard of living.

One thing the G.I. Bill did not do was use taxpayer funds to create a separate system of veterans-only colleges and universities, building expensive institutions and hiring government-paid professors and staff that duplicated an existing and successful system of higher education.

Why was the opposite done with the VA healthcare system? Relying on government to duplicate an existing successful private sector system and somehow expecting it to deliver services as well or better was, and is, folly. Give veterans the equivalent of the 1944 G.I. Bill for healthcare and let them use the existing, proven private healthcare system. Dismantle the dysfunctional VA healthcare system, saving our veterans headaches and worse, and the rest of us a lot of money.

Greg Rampton

American Fork

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