Mitt Romney pledged to increase funding for the government-run Veterans Health Administration during a town hall at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating, in Hudson, New Hampshire this afternoon. Without specifically mentioning the highly efficient veterans health care system, Romney told an attendee, “I want to be able to support our veterans with the care they deserve. I want to take our savings from waste and inefficiency and care for our veterans and make sure in our hospitals, in our clinics, to make sure they get the care they need. I will not cut our defense budget so we can in part take care of our veterans.” Watch his remarks:
The fully integrated veterans’ health care structure of doctors and hospitals actually provides veterans with benefits that are the envy of the rest of the health care system — including private payers and providers (which Romney regularly touts as a better alternative to government programs). A study by the RAND Corporation found that “VA patients were more likely to receive recommended care” and “received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow up.”
Romney has previously floated the idea of partially privatizing the veterans health care system, but eventually backed away from the idea. “We have a VA system that needs to be improved and I’ve got no plans to change that other than to make it better and to invest more money in providing for our veterans,” he said.