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Privatization discussed for veterans' hospitals, and Michigan vets aren't happy

Demonstrators lined the street in front of the VA hospital in Ann Arbor to protest privatization of veterans health care.
Bryce Huffman
/
Michigan Radio
Demonstrators lined the street in front of the VA hospital in Ann Arbor to protest privatization of veterans health care.

Michigan veterans are protesting the privatization of veterans’ affairs, or VA, hospitals.

The federal government-created Commission on Care is tasked with finding ways to improve health care for veterans.

One suggestion is to privatize some veterans' health care, despite the opposition of many veterans who favor public veterans' hospitals. 

Bob King is a retired United Auto Workers president and labor activist.

He says closing down public VA hospitals goes against the interests of the veterans.

"We need to give them the best benefits possible," King says. "They put their lives on the line for our democracy, for our country, and it's outrageous that they're even considering privatizing."

"Have there been problems in [veterans’ affairs] hospitals? Sure there have, like in any human institution," King says. "A lot of the problems are created from not funding the [veterans’ affairs] system well enough."

The Commission on Care says veterans deserve an option to select the best care available, whether it's in the VA or with private medical providers.

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