AFL-CIO fights VA privatization

The AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Government Employees have joined efforts to prevent privatizing veterans’ health care and to restore due process rights for VA workers.

On Oct. 24, at a AFL-CIO’s quadrennial convention, delegates adopted two resolutions in support of workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs; one that would to oppose the privatization of veterans’ health care services and another to help AFGE restore due process rights for VA employees.

“Ever since the waitlist scandal at the Phoenix VA, it’s been open season on VA employees,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement, adding, “Very few people know that the scandal was brought to light by AFGE bargaining unit employees – whistleblowers – who knew that their bosses were manipulating the data in order to qualify for big bonuses.”

The groups particular oppose the expansion of the CHOICE program, which allows vets to receive care outside of the VA health system.

He continued, “Yet that scandal has been used by politicians of both parties to justify not only privatization, but also the weakening of our civil service protections and collective bargaining rights.”

Read the full statement here.

Reader comments

Wed, Dec 6, 2017 Jeff Moreorless Phoenix, AZ

The VA medical system is crap and we all know it. In the 10 years that I've been going to the VA, I have yet to find a provider that actually knows how to diagnose an issue. I recently got GEHA health insurance through my job and my private doctors are much better at diagnosing my ills than any VA doctor I have ever seen. I am having a knee replacement done in the private sector because I'm afraid that the VA will amputate my leg instead. If anybody wants to provide healthcare under the ACA, let's let everyone go to the VA and see how long that lasts.

Wed, Dec 6, 2017 Gary MN

The VA should not run like the private sector. The VA must remain part of the government and not be privatized or Veterans will pay more and get less. Currently Veterans pay minimal and get a lot of support. So support your VA hospital today

Wed, Dec 6, 2017

Just give the Vets the choice of private or VA and see who they choose! The VA already has the advantage of being what's familiar. So the private sector will have to work even harder.

Wed, Dec 6, 2017

Worked for the VA, never met a more dedicated group of people who's mission in life was to care (with great love) for our veterans. The VA also provides some specialized services tailored to vets that profit hospitals cannot match. Sure there are some some bad apples, but making a statement that taxpayers are paying 10x the price of private care is pure hokum. Show me a private hospital where they pay administrators and medical professionals the pittance they receive at the VA.

Tue, Oct 31, 2017

If the VA secretary had any real interest the first thing that needs to be done is delayer and fire management defectives and replace them with the workers who really get things done and are trying to do the best for the veterans. Management deficits cover all management defectives.

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