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(16,184 posts)
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 12:59 PM Sep 2015

An Open Letter to Dr. Ben Carson from America’s Leading Veterans Organizations


Dear Dr. Carson:

As leaders of the nation’s largest veterans organizations, with more than 5 million active members, we vehemently disagree with your dangerous proposal to eliminate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system for America’s veterans. Eliminating the VA health care system – considering all that it has done in the past and all that it could be in the future – would inevitably endanger the health and well-being of millions of wounded, injured and ill veterans, an outcome that we cannot allow to occur.


Dr. Carson, do you really think that veterans would be better off today had VA not existed, or that they would be better cared for in the future in a world without a national VA system dedicated to their unique and often complex needs?

Furthermore, your suggestion that giving veterans health savings accounts in lieu of access to a VA health care system would effectively diminish our nation’s sacred obligation to “care for him who shall have borne the battle…” It would put the onus on the veteran for finding their own health care providers, navigating through the private market-based system, determining whether it meets the standard of care they require, and dealing with the consequences if it goes awry. To suggest that disabled veterans could be sent out into the private economy with a health savings account card overlooks the fact that civilian health care providers have waiting lists of their own, that private practices often limit the number of government plan patients they accept due to low reimbursement rates, and presupposes that civilian doctors have the necessary skillsets and training to meet the unique health needs of military veterans.

Dr. Carson, as one of our nation’s preeminent medical practitioners, you are well positioned to work with us to promote needed reforms at the VA, reforms that will ensure this country keeps its promises to America’s veterans. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and open a dialogue about the benefits of a national health care system focused exclusively on veterans. America’s veterans have earned the right to a VA system that provides veteran-centric, high quality, accessible health care. We invite you to join with us in an effort to strengthen and reform the VA, not destroy it.


Garry Augustine, Executive Director, Washington Headquarters, DAV

Robert E. Wallace, Executive Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

Verna L. Jones, Executive Director, The American Legion

Homer S. Townsend, Jr., Executive Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America

Stewart M. Hickey, National Executive Director, AMVETS

Robert Puskar, National Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart

Paul J. Rieckhoff, Executive Director, IAVA

VADM Norbert R. Ryan, Jr., USN (Ret), President, Military Officers Association of America
19 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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An Open Letter to Dr. Ben Carson from America’s Leading Veterans Organizations (Original Post) NuclearDem Sep 2015 OP
I am more and more convinced. qwlauren35 Sep 2015 #1
+1,000,000 yeoman6987 Sep 2015 #2
$1,000,000? qwlauren35 Sep 2015 #3
Lol. How cheap of me. yeoman6987 Sep 2015 #5
Something is really off with that guy... TeeYiYi Sep 2015 #4
Agreed...something is really weird. SoapBox Sep 2015 #14
This veteran agrees. Scuba Sep 2015 #6
Vets often have special health issues not shared by civilians Shoonra Sep 2015 #7
Ben Carson is dead wrong on this. democrank Sep 2015 #8
Ben wants Vets in the for profit medical system Geronimoe Sep 2015 #9
Damn. I kept clicking the Rec button. Please give me a SuperRec one for this post. erronis Sep 2015 #10
Kickin' Faux pas Sep 2015 #11
The man is really not very smart. Milliesmom Sep 2015 #12
The venomous hate republicans have for all human beings is again exposed in Augiedog Sep 2015 #13
Fork time. Stick it in. He's done. nt kelliekat44 Sep 2015 #15
What an impressive list of signers! MadashellLynn Sep 2015 #16
Holy shit. Pissing off the VFW and the American Legion? progressoid Sep 2015 #17
He's a screwball,sorry but I can't figure this guy out. The level of support is scary. YOHABLO Sep 2015 #18
I can't believe that any sane candidate would even have the nerve to suggest such a smirkymonkey Sep 2015 #19


(5,999 posts)
1. I am more and more convinced.
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 01:06 PM
Sep 2015

That someone is paying Ben Carson to say what he says. Nothing else makes sense. Even he could not believe that the idiotic, senseless, inflammatory statements he makes will get him elected.


(18,791 posts)
14. Agreed...something is really weird.
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 03:10 PM
Sep 2015

Or it could just be that he's nutso since he's a PukeBagger.


(509 posts)
7. Vets often have special health issues not shared by civilians
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 01:30 PM
Sep 2015

The VA, for all its many faults, has developed real expertise in treating an enormous number of physical and mental & emotional disabilities and ailments that are seldom found in noncombatants. Sending a combat vet to a neighborhood family practitioner will benefit neither of them.


(11,000 posts)
8. Ben Carson is dead wrong on this.
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 02:03 PM
Sep 2015

Spend just a few minutes walking through a VA hospital/center and you`d know how far off base Ben Carson is.



(1,539 posts)
9. Ben wants Vets in the for profit medical system
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 02:09 PM
Sep 2015

The VA is nonprofit. They have their problems but they are not trying to profit off of wounded soldiers.


(14,719 posts)
10. Damn. I kept clicking the Rec button. Please give me a SuperRec one for this post.
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 02:13 PM
Sep 2015

While bashing the VA is a popular pastime for republicans (90+%) who haven't done anything to really serve, the VA has done a great job given the limited resources (again, discrediting the non-serving, non-functional republicans.)

Of course throwing the most vulnerable into the Commercial Insurance pool appeals to those that make their livelihood from screwing the patients.

Let's just ask that congress gets the same healthcare that normal us citizens get. Not the top-tier corporate stuff, just what someone making $15/hour can afford. Good luck with your plastic surgeries, critters.



(493 posts)
12. The man is really not very smart.
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 02:39 PM
Sep 2015

What about all his mal-practice suits against him, he may be a doctor, but that does not make him common sense smart.
I have a son that is brilliant, however he has not one bit of common sense in every day living.


(2,541 posts)
13. The venomous hate republicans have for all human beings is again exposed in
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 02:48 PM
Sep 2015

Candidate Carsons desire to throw military veterans to the private insurance wolves. I'm a Vietnam vet (central highlands 1970) and, while seriously injured during my tour, I have had no need to use the VAs medical system. While I have been lucky in this respect, I do think the care I received in-country and the rehab in Japan and stateside prevented my needing the VA now. Any time I think about this I thank the Army medics, doctors and nurses who helped me. If ever again I find myself in extreme need I want those people in my corner again, not some group of penny pinching bean counters who want a new Beemer or fancier hooker for their insurance convention in Vegas. I live in a community that has incredible medical facilities, Madison wi., and have been fortunate to have access to these facilities. The VA hospital here is highly regarded and I have always thought of it as an place I could go if necessary. I can still almost see the faces and feel the hands of the doctors at The Armys field hospital at Pleiku as I surrendered to their care, and I want that feeling as a backup for any future issues I might have. If you want private insurance to take care of vets, then send insurance agents and execs to fight your wars.


(411 posts)
16. What an impressive list of signers!
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 03:55 PM
Sep 2015

I shared the link on facebook as well as rec on DU to help spread it around and suggest that anyone who can toss a few bucks to any one of the groups that signed that letter do so.

Just retired from a VA hospital and I can tell you nothing can replace the work done there for veterans by dedicated people who truly care about their wellbeing. If this country can only get one thing right it should be taking care of our sick and wounded Veterans.



(63,221 posts)
19. I can't believe that any sane candidate would even have the nerve to suggest such a
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 04:52 PM
Sep 2015

thing. It's disgusting.

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