December 19, 2017 vfpvc

As you know the Congress, VA, VA contractors and the White House are pushing as many veterans into private sector healthcare via the Community Care and Choice programs.  Both administratively and legislatively these privatizers have been very successful.  They are very smart, the effort is well funded and the privatizers get help from many quarters including the corporate owned media.
 
Presently a high percentage of veterans asking for outpatient doctor appointments are being sent to the private sector for care.  The email you received from me yesterday including Suzanne Gordon’s article provide more information.
 
If you are interested in learning more about VA privatization, please study the documents at this
website:  https://ffvhc.org/
 
This is the Fighting for Veterans Healthcare non-profit group that has been organized by a group of individuals who are very concerned with the effort by the Koch brothers and many others to eliminate VA healthcare and move all care into the private healthcare sector.  This is the only organization that is keeping up with, writing about and trying to stop the VA privatization.  This is the website to go to to keep up to date.  Privatization bills are flying around Congress like waste paper from a high speed garbage truck.
 
Veteran service organizations like the VFW, DAV, Am. Legion, etc. are becoming stronger and stronger advocates for fightingback against VA privatization but being non-profits chartered by the Congress they have to be very careful in how they fight.
 
Unions, except for the Am. Fed. of Government Employees (AFGE), have not really started to fightback at their state and local union levels. AFGE which represents 700,000 federal workers and about 220,000 of those who are Veterans Affairs Department workers, is the only federal union that has an organized fightback effort at the local level.  Rather I should say they are in the middle of implementing a local fightback effort.  And they lobby hard in Congress to stop those garbage VA privatization bills flying around the halls of Congress.
 

REQUEST: 
Below is a laundry list of actions that need to be taken to help us stop VA privatization and instead improve
the VA’s ability to meet present and future veterans’ medical needs.

1. 
Letters to the editors of newspaper, op eds to newspapers
 
2. 
Press conferences by VFP members and members of any
other veterans groups, unions or peace groups, issuing press
alerts before the press conference and press releases with
pictures after the press conference, publicity/invitations
to attend/rally before the press conference, etc. 
 
3. 
Group meetings with local US House members or
staffers and meeting with US Senate members or staffers, how
to organize a little rally before the meeting in front of
the congress members office, with Save Our VA banner and
flyers, etc. (we have a letter and over 1,400 person signed
petition on Stopping VA Pvt. that you can give to your
Congressional members or staffers and have a group picture
taken turning in the petition, etc.)
 
4. 
Group meetings with local newspaper, TV and radio
editorial boards, editors, news managers or
reporters
 
5.  Appearances or
interviews on local radio talk shows or TV talk
shows
 
6.  Rallies or
events on Stop VA Privatization or speak at other groups
rallies or events with Save Our VA banners and flyers to
distribute, etc.
 
7.  Coordinate
efforts with local VA hospital Am. Fed. of Government
Employees (AFGE) local union (you can call your local VA
switchboard and ask for the AFGE office and ask to talk to
the president, ask what actions they are taking, urge
president to ask union to co-sponsor a press conference or
rally, etc.)
 
8.  Distribute
Stop VA Privatization flyers in local communities at events,
on busy streets
(we have examples of flyers you can take, run
off and then distribute or take and modify into your own
flyers, a background flyer on privatization by FFVHC is
attached and we have others that are ¼ or ½
half page flyers ready to use) 
Fly the Save Our VA banner at such events/actions
 
9.  Display the Save Our VA banner on busy street corners, at events and at
above events.  Below is a group of Nashville VFP members at a Nov. 11th parade
carrying the banner.
 
TO GET A BANNER MAILED TO YOUR HOME: 
Send an email to Buzz Davis at dbuzzdavis@aol.com
with your contact info. including Chapter, community and state and how you think you can use the banner.  FFVHC put up the money for about 27
banners and we have about 10 or more left to distribute.  The banners are free.
 
10.  Tell your story on how you use VA healthcare and how you are against Privatizing the VA on a VFP weekly radio show in Nashville, TN organized and led by Harvey Bennett bennethe2@gmail.com  and Jim Wohlgemuth,  jrwohlgemuth@juno.com
of the local VFP Chap. (a few of us have already been guests on this show and they are looking for other guests)
 
11.  Join the VFP
Work Gr. To Stop VA Privatization to help plan and manage all the above type of activities. 
Contact Buzz Davis to join dbuzzdavis@aol.com
 
12.  And most importantly recruit a few people in your chapter to work on
local activities they choose to do.  You cannot be successful alone.
 
13.  Get your chapter to consider and pass a resolution on VA
privatization and healthcare.  (we have an example resolution for you to start
with)
 
For all the above activities we have drafts or examples of what you can do including letters to the
editors and op eds, resolutions, etc.
 
YOU SHOULD NOT TRY TO REINVENT THE WHEEL. 
We ask YOU to volunteer to work and then others will help YOU pull off what you decide YOU want to
do!
 
TIMING: 
We need to take actions, as many as we can,
starting immediately and during the next year before the
Nov. 2018 House and Senate elections. 
In this effort no one approves what you want to do,
just decide to do and away you go, and ask us for
help
 
THE “VA” IS A DIFFICULT & COMPLEX ISSUE. 
The VA did not develop is successes and
problems in a day and none of us are going to
“fix” the VA in a week or so of work.
 
To help win this battle YOU have to turn yourself into a community organizer. 
If you are already such an organizer, then please
round up some other volunteers and mentor them on raising
hell in the community.
 
In this game, in these political times, nice
guys end up being run over by the Koch Brothers’
Bulldozers. 
 
We much fightback hard and smart!  We do not have the big bucks.  We have the people power if we can
organize it.  The people we are
fighting do not and will not respond to rational
arguments.  They have received
their marching orders and they will not be deterred by
veterans or community members. 
It is their way or the highway!
 
Dialoguing with elected officials who are
privatization advocates (and who are probably receiving
political contributions as pay offs from the Koch brothers
and their front organizations) are not worth the energy to
sincerely help them change their minds. 
It is very unlikely that you will receive any time to
“talk” with them unless they are setting
you up to be a knock down target.
 
SO YOUR FIRST STEP IS CONTACT US AND TELL US WHAT ACTIONS YOU WANT TO WORK ON.  WE CAN GO FORWARD TOGETHER FROM
THAT.
 
Thank you for reading this and
Peace!
 
Buzz Davis, member Stop VA Privatization Work
Group.

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