Schools, offices, and other businesses are shutting down nationwide as the United States ramps up its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we read about the extreme strain placed on Italian hospitals, many Americans are nervous about whether or not we have adequate resources within our healthcare system to care for a large number of seriously ill patients. How all of this will play out remains to be seen — but it drives home the need to maintain a strong system of VA medical facilities nationwide.
As virtually everyone knows, VA’s primary mission is to care for those “who shall have borne the battle,” and in terms of health care, it does so both by providing direct care and by paying for enrolled veterans to get care in the community. It fulfills two other functions that affect all our lives on a regular basis: training health care professionals and conducting cutting-edge medical research.
Its fourth, and least well-known, statutorily required function is to provide backup to the DOD medical system in a national security emergency and to support the National Disaster Medical System and Department of Health and Human Services as necessary.
Read the full article in The Hill.
More from CNAS
CommentarySharper: The Next Four Years
America will face a range of national security challenges over the next four years. From sustaining military deterrence to bolstering the nation's economic leadership and more...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
CommentaryJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the U.S. Military
Today’s military has become more equitable since the start of the all-volunteer force in 1972. Much of that progress has been due to Ginsburg....
By Emma Moore & Robert Levinson
VideoVanessa Guillen's Killing Gives Way to Claims of Sexual Harassment, Abuse in the Military, and Hope for Change
The disappearance of 20-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillén began badly and ended horribly worse. The private first class vanished on an April Sunday, in broad daylight, from For...
By Kayla M. Williams
CommentaryHarnessing Military Talent to Compete in the 21st Century
Developments in technology mean that the DoD must update its processes to attract, recruit, and harness talent to apply skill sets where they are most needed....
By Emma Moore