Rick Disney served in the United States Marine Corps for four years. He was deployed overseas immediately after the attacks on September 11, 2001. While on active duty, Disney sustained injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and leg. Those injuries affect him to this day.
Disney visited his local Department of Veterans Affairs facility for treatment. That’s where his trouble began. Disney spent six hours at the VA trying to file a claim. He then waited nine months for his first appointment. After several examinations and months of waiting, Disney was told his injuries were not sustained on active duty and his claims were denied.
“The country is not fulfilling their promise to our veterans when we return home,” Disney states in a recent video about his VA care. He, like so many other veterans, spent unnecessary time waiting for an appointment at the VA. The process for filing claims and seeking appointments with medical staff is drawn out and unduly burdensome. Once care is accessible, it is often substandard or inadequate.
Disney is right – the country is not fulfilling its promise. Veterans were sent into harm’s way with the promise they’d be cared for when they hang up the uniform. But veterans who use the VA are constrained by long wait times, insufficient care and limited choice over where they seek their care. The solution is to give veterans more choice over their health care decisions; allow them to seek care at the VA or in the community.
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