Our veterans put everything on the line to protect this country and American values. The least we can do is ensure they are properly taken care of when they come home. I believe we need to reform the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) healthcare system by eliminating the 40-mile/30-day wait rule and improving wait times at VA healthcare facilities.
The 40-mile/30-day rule stipulates veterans seeking healthcare cannot use a private physician unless they are either more than 40 miles away from the nearest VA facility or have been waiting for longer than 30 days to receive treatment at their local VA facility. With veterans literally dying while they wait for treatment, we need to remove this ridiculous restriction on care and increase funding to properly staff existing VA facilities.
We also need to address the over-prescription of opiate with alternate methods of pain-treatment. Veterans are disproportionately affected by suicide with an estimated 22 suicide deaths per day. I believe the best way to combat this epidemic is by improving support networks in the VA system and driving change to increase job opportunities and affordable housing options for our men and women in uniform. Our men and women in uniform took care of our security and communities by serving -- it’s time for us to take care of them.