The United States has a long, proud history of caring for our veterans in many ways. This includes providing healthcare services to those who’ve fought on behalf of our country.

But sadly, today the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is plagued with dysfunction and is failing to meet the needs of the 8.3 million veterans who depend on this system for their care each year. A scandal in 2014 brought attention to “unofficial” and manipulated waiting lists, where tens of thousands of veterans languished waiting for care. Many veterans even died for lack of timely care. It is a sad irony that our most revered citizens, our veterans, suffer in a second-rate healthcare system with fewer options than other Americans.

Americans need to understand the reasons why the Veterans Health Administration is failing to fulfill its mission. It is truly a government-run health system, experiencing the same symptoms of other governmentrun systems in various parts of the world. Without individual choice and competition, bureaucracy reigns.

On the positive side, there are efforts underway to reform the Veterans Health Administration. The solution lies with allowing veterans a choice in their healthcare providers and facilities. America owes a special debt to our veterans, and competition would provide what they deserve: the best value for the best care. 

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