Veterans' Health Care:

Veterans' Perceptions of VA Services and VA's Role in Health Care Reform

HEHS-95-14: Published: Dec 23, 1994. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health care system, focusing on veterans': (1) perceptions of the VA health care system; and (2) opinions about the future role of VA in meeting their health care needs.

GAO found that: (1) although the views expressed by the 127 veterans surveyed are very diverse and are not representative of the nationwide veteran population, many of their opinions are consistent with findings in previous studies; (2) veterans are apprehensive about possible changes that could diminish or eliminate their health benefits, allow nonveterans to use VA facilities and detract from their care, cause VA to lose its focus on the special health care needs of veterans, and emotionally hurt veterans who are dependent on VA; and (3) some veterans feel that VA is the appropriate vehicle to provide health care for veterans' service-connected needs, while other veterans feel that VA can no longer adequately tend to their needs and that other options to address veterans' health care needs should be developed.

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