"Privatizing the VA would be an insult to the more than 22 million veterans who risked their lives to defend our country and it would significantly lower the quality of health care they receive.Our goal, shared by The American Legion and other major veterans' organizations, must be to improve the VA, not destroy it," read a statement released by Sanders. "When men and women put their lives on the line to defend us, the president must listen to them, not to the Koch brothers and their extreme right-wing, anti-government ideology. We will vigorously oppose any and all efforts to privatize the VA."
The statement from Sanders comes as a response to a suggestion from the Trump transition team that the VA might be privatized by expanding the private care Choice Card program to all veterans. In 2014, a report of the inefficiency of the VA led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. In October, U.S. President Elect Donald Trump proposed a reform to the U.S. VA program that would essentially privatize their options for medical care.
"We think we have to have kind of a...public-private option, because some vets love the VA," said a senior official from the Trumptransition team on Wednesday. "You know, in the federal government, it's hard to break things up and start over. So, those are the types of things that people are talking about."