I disagree with pretty much everything Donald Trump has ever said. But in calling for veterans to have more options on their doctors and hospitals, he's got a point. Imagine, for example, the outrage if military veterans were able to receive subsidized health care at the clinic or hospital of their choosing, but were then forced into a separate system of run-down, inconveniently located facilities. If the next administration rejects proposals to reform the Veterans Health Administration and instead perpetuates the current system, the effect will be the same.
Providing health care to veterans is a moral imperative and a substantial challenge. The VHA is massive, with roughly 300,000 employees, 20,000 physicians, 1,600 facilities, almost 6 million patients, and a $60 billion annual budget. The system is plagued by deep problems, including a failure to provide the kind of facilities vets need in the places where they're needed, according to a congressionally mandated independent assessment.
Now the Commission on Care, formed to figure out how to do better, has recommended the right pathway forward.