The medical care delivered at a VA medical hospital is expensive and often inappropriate. I base these conclusions on several years working directly at VA hospitals, and trying desperately to transfer patients from a public facility. All VA hospital employees are “federal” workers and as such are compensated at a significantly higher rate than similar workers at public hospitals. This includes all the nurses, doctors, x-ray techs, lab techs and other staff required of a large hospital complex. The veterans are often required to travel long distances every few months just to get a simple prescription refill. If necessary, they then must wait in a clinic to be seen by an unknown physician and have there health problem re-assessed. For this and other reasons, I personally know several veterans who seek public physicians locally for their needs. They simply do not wish to go to a VA facility. In addition, most of the health problems that require hospitalization are not war related. They are easily addressed in the existing public system.
The solution is simple and already partially addressed by Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont. Give the veterans a medical card, which can be used like Medicare or most private insurers, and let them access healthcare locally.
The government can then pay for all their healthcare needs as promised when they were recruited.