Inside the Koch Brothers’ War on the VA

At last night’s debate in Miami, the Republican candidates – as they have all primary season – attacked the VA health care system and demanded its radical restructuring. Few viewers were aware, however, that the candidates were following a script written by the Koch brothers.

In the next issue of the Washington Monthly, investigative journalist Alicia Mundy reveals how the Kochs and their network have executed, with meticulous detail, a plan to get Washington to outsource the health care of millions of our nation’s veterans to corporate sector providers. Among other revelations, Mundy shows:

  • that stories about veterans dying while waiting for VA care in 2014 (the “scandal” that sparked the current call for privatization) turned out to be baseless.
  • that these claims were cooked up by the Koch-funded group Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) and key Republicans precisely to stampede Washington into passing legislation to outsource VA care.
  • that the first round of outsourcing has been a fiasco.
  • that independent research mandated by that legislation shows that the VA continues to provide the same or better quality care than do private sector providers.
  • that the commission now making the outsourcing decisions is stacked with members and allies of CVA and representatives of private sector providers.

To read the full story, click here. And check back Monday to see our whole new exciting March/April/May issue.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at