I have been using the VA for several years and have found them to be a great benefit. They don't send me money, but they do supply my medications at reasonable prices and offer great service when I ask to see a doctor or nurse.
In my experience with the VA and the private sector, the difference is the cost and even the service. In my experience, it is better than Medicare.
About a week ago I realized I was going to possibly run out of one of my medications and called the local VA number and explained my concern. The person I spoke with asked for my "last 4 digits of my serial number" and my name and said she put it in the process. Two days later the medication was in my mail box. Can the private sector excel at service like that?
The last time I used non-VA service, I called and was told to come in to the doctor’s office. I spent most of the afternoon waiting to see a medical person for a refill. Finally I got a prescription. I went to the pharmacy and waited for the refill of a medication that I use. Then later I found out it was available over the counter.
I believe the VA, offers and deliver a great service to veterans. I am not disabled and my only qualification is I was in the service for several years, either active or reserves.
So when I hear about the VA being a poor choice, I have nothing to say but how great the service has been in my experience.