Virginia 11th Best for Veteran Retirees

Source: WalletHub

Virginia scores a disappointing 11th place in WalletHub’s ranking of the “2016 Best & Worst States for Military Retirees” based on 20 metrics encompassing economic environment, quality of life and health care.

The Old Dominion racked up creditable 3rd place for economic environment (eight metrics including state taxes on military pensions and percentage of veteran-owned businesses, among others) and 4th place for quality-of-life (seven metrics including veterans per capita and percentage of homeless veterans). But the state scored a dismal 48th place finish for health care, which reflects five metrics including the number of VA health care facilities per number of veterans and recommendability of VA hospitals.

The impression created by the metrics is that veterans receive sub-par health care in Virginia. Whether that is a function of poorly run VA facilities or issues with Virginia’s broader health care system is impossible to deduce from WalletHub’s presentation. But it’s a question worth asking.

— JAB

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3 responses to “Virginia 11th Best for Veteran Retirees

  1. I looked at the methodology and it’s hard for me to discern why the health care ranking was so low, other than we may have lots of veterans and few VA hospitals. But, so what? California ranked very high for # of VA facilities per 10,000 vets, but also #2 for most homeless vets.

    I guess my point is that there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of nuance in evaluating the raw data.

  2. The “number of V.A. facilities per population” may be meaningless, since many Virginia vets get treated at the VA medical centers in Washington D.C. and in Martinsburg (W.Va. panhandle) which are both virtually on the Virginia state line, but are technically not counted as Virginia facilities…. Some vets in far S.W. Va. are also treated at V.A. hospitals in nearby TN and WV which are quite close to them, although not counted in the equation as “Virginia” facilities.

    • Makes total sense.

      I find WalletHub interesting because it raises questions and prompts us to dig into the statistics. But you always have to take their rankings with a grain of salt because their high-altitude overview overlooks the kind of details that you pointed out here.

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