Jonathan Cohn at the New Republic (my emphasis):
Of course, it's worth remembering that some of the problems
veterans are having right now have very little to do with the VA and a
whole lot to do with American health care. As Phil Longman, author of Best Care Anywhere, noted in his own congressional testimony last week, long waits for services are actually pretty common in the U.S.—even for people with serious medical conditions—because the demand for services exceeds the supply of physicians. ("It
took me two-and-a-half years to find a primary care physician in
Northwest Washington who was still taking patients," he noted.) The
difference is that the VA actually sets guidelines for waiting times
and monitors compliance, however poorly. That doesn’t happen in the
private sector. The victims of those waits suffer, too. They just don’t
get the same attention.
I went to visit someone at the Hines VA in the western suburbs once and was struck by what a nice facility it was. My friend seemed to be getting excellent care; I sure didn't see anything that would justify the horror stories I've read in recent years. Just sayin'.