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r090820 t1_iy567qa wrote

I use VA, and I am very fortunate to have healthcare in this country, but most 1st world countries with universal healthcare systems (particularly something M4A-style, and again, Medicare is single-payer) have much better outcomes (both for veterans, and for the population). However, in the US, troop strength levels (and corporate labor) could be impacted by making healthcare and education universal instead of using them as recruitment incentives.

The military-industrial complex uses the VA to outsource its after-care, distance itself from actually being involved with people that it no longer needs, and normalize the human cost of waging endless war. Literally a subsidy to the military. This is not just regular govt agency funding, it's military-related which is the anti-thesis of public benefit funding. VA embodies all of the negatives of military culture (cover-ups, lack of transparency, waste, exceptionalism, etc etc). If you want universal healthcare, then the VA is not some pre-version of it, the VA is just extending the military into society through other agencies.

It's not a coincidence that almost no developed nation has such a large and overbearing VA system (some have various forms of VA-like systems, but they are typically very limited). The VA is literally one of the reasons why the healthcare system is so screwed up, because it confuses the difference between single-payer and single-provider. When people want to criticize govt programs, they don't point at Medicare, they point at VA (which is used as an example against govt programs generally, and this is so bad that it's well known even with the extensive cover-ups). Military healthcare is similarly mostly single-provider, and has similar problems. The coverage looks great on paper, but the choices on where to get it are shit and tightly controlled. The VA has to severely limit and sabotage community-care because it cannot keep patients unless it's against their will. Conversely, the UK NHS (which is often wrongly compared to the VA) uses community-care intrinsically for some of its services (because NHS is for the whole population and has to be actually useful or else everyone will know).