The Trump administration is looking into offering grants to connect veterans who are not already getting care from the Department of Veterans Affairs with the outside support they need as part a new initiative to tackle veterans suicides, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

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Remember Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson? He was President Donald Trump's doctor who said the president had "great genes" and was later nominated to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, although he withdrew his nomination in April 2018 over allegations that he overprescribed certain drugs and created a hostile working environment.

Well, he's up for his second star while still being investigated by the Defense Department Inspector General's Office, officials said on Friday.

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Some dank nugs. (Flickr/Creative Commons/Dank Depot)

The ranking Republican congressman responsible for veterans affairs has once again introduced legislation directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to research the potential applications of medical marijuana to treat issues like post-traumatic stress disorder.

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President Donald Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.

But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.

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Editor’s Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on ProPublica.

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