Since President Trump took office, speculation has raged that he intends to privatize major portions of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ sprawling health care system. Last week, the administration took its most definitive step in that direction by releasing rules allowing veterans who live more than a 30-minute drive from a V.A. health care facility to choose to receive private care instead.
Many Democrats and most veterans organizations have opposed such policies, arguing that diverting funds from V.A. hospitals and clinics will damage care for needy veterans. I am anything but a supporter of Mr. Trump, his horrendous treatment of women and his anti-government agenda. But as a former Marine Corps officer who has needed quality health care, I am thrilled by this move.
I’m a survivor of a sexual assault that happened years before I joined the military. But that experience left less of a mark on me than the years of fierce misogyny and sexual harassment I experienced in the Marines. This has shaped much of my perspective as a V.A. patient, and unfortunately I am not alone.