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VA — You need to use it or lose it

January 28, 2011
Jack E. Tincher, Chairman, West Virginia Veterans Coalition

I know it is hard to believe, but there are thousands of Veterans in West Virginia that have never had the need for the Veterans Administration Medical Centers. I know most veterans work and have medical coverage provided by their employers which makes them believe they do not need the VA and this is true as long as they have medical coverage. The problem comes when they loose their jobs and medical coverage.

The process used by the VA to fund our four VA medical centers in West Virginia is based on the number of eligible veterans registered at the VAMCs. The VAMCs are funded based on the number of veterans that use the medical centers and not the number of veterans in their catchment areas. The Beckley VAMC has some 35,000 veterans in their catchment area but only 13,000 register for health care. The problem with the veterans not being registered at the VA is that when they need the VA, the VA may not be able to take care of them because they don't have the budget.

It is critical that every veteran in West Virginia go to your local VA and register and be seen at least one time a year to keep your registration current. If you are not going to use the VA for your health care right now you may need it in the future. It is also critical that every veteran register because the funding for your fellow veterans depends on you being registered. Please take the time to go to your local VAMC and register even if you are not going to use the VA right now for your primary health care because your fellow veterans depend on the VA for their primary health care.

Please help all veterans by going to your local VAMC and register.

 
 
 

 

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