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Retired in 2012. Finally made it to the VA clinic to get an ID card. I've been using tricare at the local base but decided to give the VA a try for at least supplemental coverage. Not sure if I'll make the VA my PCM or not yet.

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I know others may disagree but if a veteran has a choice between VA healthcare and private healthcare, I would choose private healthcare. My opinion especially holds true for treatment of chronic life threatening diseases such as cancer or heart disease. I know there are some good doctors and other health professionals in the VA system but the policies of the VA healthcare system hamper their efforts to provide the same level of services provided by private healthcare providers and provide those services in a timely manner. As we have seen in recent news reports, it could mean the difference between life or death.


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The thing about the VA is that they have dumb, rigid rules that are OK for routine treatment for minor ailments, but not for serious ones. I get my free drugs there and document continual treatment of SC conditions but that is pretty much it. The VA will never in its current form adequately serve vet's health needs. Keep the Tricare! I would not want Curly, Larry and Moe doing heart surgery on me or even a colonoscopy with dirty equipment. I really worry and dirty equipment since I once worked for the VA and knew some of the guys who sterilized the tubes and stuff they insert into currently living, but soon to be dead veterans. I remember accidentally barging into a room where nurses where trying to stick tubes into old geezer's intestines. He was screaming and trying to get away and they were holding him down. Not a pretty sight.


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