Convention Resolution | Health Care

Resolution 40: Rejecting the Privatization of Veterans' Health Care

WHEREAS, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mission is to care for those who “have borne the battle”; and

WHEREAS, the Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,245 health care facilities, including 170 VA Medical Centers and 1,065 outpatient clinics, serving more than 9 million veterans each year; and

WHEREAS, independent studies from RAND and other research organizations have shown that VA hospitals have consistently produced superior health outcomes for patients as compared to private-sector health care institutions; and

WHEREAS, one in three VA employees are veterans who are honored to serve their country for the second time by taking care of their fellow veterans; and

WHEREAS, veterans overwhelmingly prefer to receive care at VA hospitals; and

WHEREAS, veterans who have used the privatized choice system have faced significant out-of-pocket charges and bills for the care they receive at private hospitals and clinics, with many reporting they faced significant wait times for private care; and

WHEREAS, veterans see VA hospitals as their own communities where they connect with other veterans; and

WHEREAS, veterans overwhelmingly reject the privatization of the VA and reject the Trump administration’s proposal to make the choice privatization program permanent; and

WHEREAS, members of Congress have introduced several pieces of legislation to privatize the VA in whole or in part and divert resources from the VA to enrich private hospital CEOs and special interests, including the Koch brothers;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO opposes the privatization of the VA and joins AFGE in its effort to fight the privatization of the VA.