The probable adoption of a national health insurance system in the near future makes the Veterans Administration's health care program vulnerable to change. The last major turning point in the program occurred at the end of World War II when a decision was made to link VA hospitals to medical schools. This linkage in large measure has been responsible for the program's focus on acute care. The VA professional staff prefers an even greater interaction of the program with medical education. Others suggest its termination. The authors propose instead that the VA become a model system for the care of the chronically ill, the alcoholic, and the aged whose needs tend to be neglected by the overall health system.