“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan.”Abraham Lincoln,  from his second inaugural address, used as the Veterans Administration motto.

Full Disclosure: I get all of my considerable healthcare needs addressed through  VA healthcare facilities. I have been for several years now since service-connected medical conditions effectively ended my military career in 2004. They control my literal fate in a real and tangible way.

With that in mind, I pretty much know the system inside and out. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Do you know that old saying, “your mileage may vary”? That’s what I tell new VA patients when they ask me what to expect. To the VA’s credit, they have saved many lives. Unfortunately, others have not achieved such positive outcomes.

The soaring lobby of the VA medical center in Orlando
Inside the VA Medical Center in Orlando. If you were picturing an old, dark, dirty hospital, this is not it. I’m not complaining, but there is enough open vertical space in there for two hospitals—photo by the author.

Even before I started using the system for my personal healthcare needs, there’s been talk of scrapping it altogether in favor of giving veterans private medical insurance subsidized by the government. This recent Twitter post from a Florida Congressman reflects the opinion of many and asks questions that need to be asked. Namely, can the system, as it exists now, be saved?

According to RawStory, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz had  a recent question and answer session with FreedomWorks, who describe themselves this way: “FreedomWorks is the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to the issues of lower taxes, less government, personal liberty and the rule of law.”