Veterans' Health Care

Veterans' Perceptions of VA Services and Its Role in Health Care Reform Gao ID: T-HEHS-94-150 April 20, 1994

GAO conducted a series of focus group meetings with veterans to explore their views on the current veterans health care system and the future role of the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) under health care reform. Among the topics discussed were the reasons and extent to which the veterans used VA health care services; their overall satisfaction with the care VA provides; the need to maintain a separate VA health care system; whether the VA health care system should be expanded to cover dependents; whether VA should set up managed care plans to compete with private sector plans, and the potential competitiveness of VA plans; the factors they would consider in deciding whether to select a VA health plan; and improvements that would make VA a more competitive provider. The veterans expressed a wide range of opinions on these topics. Although their views may not be representative of the nation's 27 million veterans, many of the concerns expressed--such as the excessive waiting times and poor customer service--have been the focus of earlier GAO reports and congressional hearings.

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