Thursday, November 06, 2008

Veterans and PTSD

Private health insurance companies try to exclude the more expensive patients. This Orange County Weekly article explains that a significant number of war veterans are losing their publicly funded medical benefits as well. Since lifelong psychiatric care weighs heavily on the Veterans Administration budget, eligibility has been taken away from those who received dishonorable discharges. It seems obvious that people in that situation, mostly men, are seriously in need of care. It could be argued that disciplinary problems made them less deserving than others, but that conclusion will not make their health problems go away. As some of them have a history of violence, providing this care, even simply monitoring their condition, is more than a gesture of compassion, it is in the interest of everyone, a matter of selfish public safety.

I don't want to discount compassion. Access to medical care is essential for non-veterans too. If we need a public interest reason to justify it, I think that some of the people who receive good care, will go on to pass on care and support to the rest of society.

No comments: