I am a former Marine. My father served 22 years in the Army and my uncles/family members have over a 100 years of service. We talked recently about what is going on at the VA Hospitals and all agreed that the military should get out of the healthcare business. In fact, it was mentioned more than once that all hospitals should be closed with the exception of military hospitals on active military bases. After all, isnt this the pink elephant in the room that nobody wants to bring up in fear of what "veterans" may say? We never use the VA hospital here in Columbus Ohio, as we have over 10 hospitals in the private sector to choose from. We simply take our ID or military insurance card and go obtain whatever service we require from a for profit hospital. They do serve veterans. We have kept these VA hospitals open far too long when they are under staffed, under equipped because they are under used. They are not in great demand and the service that they do provide can be obtained from the private sector more efficiently. Lets not waste our money, not another dollar, on these facilities, when they are not able to compete with the private sector. Why go there? I wouldnt call the police if my house was on fire, I would call the fire department. Why seek healthcare at one of these facilities when the military is not in the healthcare business and what they are in is not as effective as the private sector. Example....Chicago has 3 VA hospitals that over the last 20 years we tried to close 2. The hospital rooms were less than half full, which would put most hospitals out of business. Closing 2 would allow us to staff the remaining hospital, equipped it with the latest technology (having to only buy 1 piece of equiptment versus not being able to update 3 with the same equiptment) and run it correctly. But no, as with anything with the word "veteran" in it, people who dont understand business complained and the politicians stayed away from this. Leaving us with 3 empty, understaffed, ill equipped hospitals. if these were private for profit hospitals, they would have closed. Wouldnt we rather close them than run it below par? Veterans wont be without care like everyone seems to think. My father has no issues receiving any care from any private hospital with his disabilities tied to his service. In fact, I can tell you first hand that he receives better, top notch, care from OhioHealth. It is unfortunate that no other veteran has brought up this issue and we have this idea out there that Veterans only can get health care from a VA facility. Come on politicians, address the issue and close these hospitals. Our veterans will have no problem receiving care, as the insurance that you provide us is outstanding!!!!