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Old 03-17-2009, 08:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

I know Stillers4me posted something about this, but I couldn't believe what I was reading on the front page of the local paper. This may be old news for a lot of you.

Plan to bill veterans’ insurance for treatment draws fire.

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is considering making veterans use private insurance to pay for treatment of combat and service-related injuries.

The plan would be an about-face on what veterans believe is a longstanding pledge by the government to pay for health care costs that result from their military service.

But in a White House meeting Monday, veterans groups apparently failed to persuade President Barack Obama to take the plan off the table.

“It’s a betrayal,” said Joe Violante, legislative director of Disabled American Veterans, which signed a letter of protest to Obama. “My insurance company didn’t send me to Vietnam, my government did. The same holds true for men and women now fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the government’s responsibility.”

“Veterans of all generations agree that this proposal is bad for the country and bad for veterans,” said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “If the president and the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) want to cut costs, they can start at AIG, not the VA.”

“It became apparent during our discussion today that the president intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540 million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

The proposed requirement for these companies to reimburse the VA would not only be unfair, says the Legion, but would have an adverse impact on service-connected disabled veterans and their families. The Legion argues that, depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran’s condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health care benefits. The Legion also points out that many health insurance companies require deductibles to be paid before any benefits are covered.

Under current policy, veterans are responsible for health care costs that are unrelated to their military service. Exceptions in some cases can be made for veterans without private insurance or who are 100 percent disabled.

The president spoke Monday at the Department of Veterans Affairs to commemorate its 20th anniversary and said he hopes to increase funding by $25 billion over the next five years. But he said nothing about the plan to bill private insurers for service-related medical care.

Few details about the plan have been available and a VA spokesman did not provide additional information. But the reaction on Capitol Hill to the idea has been swift and harsh.

“Dead on arrival” is how Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington described the idea. ” … when our troops are injured while serving our country, we should take care of those injuries completely,” Murray, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, told a hearing last week.

“I don’t think we should nickel and dime them for their care.”

In separate comments, Republican Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri said the nation “owes a debt to the veterans who fought and paid for our freedom.”

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki said at the hearing where Murray spoke that the plan was “a consideration.” He also acknowledged that the VA’s proposed budget for next year included it as a way to increase revenue.

But Shinseki told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee that “a final decision hasn’t been made yet.”

For veterans, that was little comfort.

“When a man goes and defends his country and gets injured and then they want your insurance to pay, that’s wrong,” said David Gerke, a 60-year-old Vietnam veteran and retired postal worker from Kansas City. “When we went into the service, we were told our medical needs…would be taken care of for the rest of our lives.”

Veterans claim that the costs of treating expensive war injuries could raise their insurance costs, as well as those for their employers. Some worried that it also could make it more difficult for disabled veterans to find work.

Several veterans groups had written Obama last month complaining about the new plan.

“There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran’s personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide,” the heads of several veterans groups said in their letter to Obama.

Despite the current economic crisis, they wrote that “placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable.”

A spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade association, said Monday that it would evaluate any proposal that the administration puts forth. But “we don’t have a position on it at this time,” Robert Zirkelbach said.

Many veterans had high expectations for Obama after years of battling the Bush administration over benefit cuts and medical concerns such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

But the VA’s decision to float a potential change in its policy of paying for service-related injuries could signal a quick end to the honeymoon.

Gerke was a 20-year-old petty officer in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He helped load Sidewinder missiles and 500-pound bombs onto F-18s.

He came home with a bad back and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other injuries. But the government honored its pledge and has paid for his health care. Now he’s worried, especially for the injured service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Let’s face it, (the VA) needs the money,” Gerke said. “But why should disabled vets be paying that price?”


http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news...ge_tab_newstab
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

This piece of shit ( yeah I called him a piece of shit) better be careful. He's sucking around for some long range projecties! (not from me of course )

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Old 03-21-2009, 12:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

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I visit the VA med center about every 3 weeks for my disabilities and although at first I used to dread them, I now enjoy them. When Vets get together we really do swap war stories. I almost always show up for my appointment an hour early. WWII Vets are the best. They give you chills when you listen to them and the pride in thier voices as they tell you stories that defy the hollywood dribble you watch at the theater.

On the other side of the coin is seeing the sacrifice first hand. Soldiers who gave parts of thier body in order to secure the worlds freedom from tyrants and terrorists.

It's a GD shame that we (Vets) have to jump through so many hoops and cut through so much red tape to get the help we need.

My family has a lineage of Marines who have fought for our country through three generations and three seperate wars. I served to honor them and every other soldier who ever served our country.


You want to thank a Vet? When you see a hat or shirt or a bumper sticker walk up and shake his hand when you see one. Don't be shy, believe it or not a handshake and a personal thank you goes a long way.


Amen Brother!

The elderly do that occasionally still........and it is a stimulus all in itself. I always feel as though I am walking a bit straighter and taller when someone just walks up out of the blue and does that very thing.

My Grandfather was at Pearl Harbor, a great Uncle in Korea, 2 cousins and 3 Uncles in Nam, Myself and a couple of cousins in Gulf War I and II. I saw Somalia as well.

For you Hammer, Steelertruck, and the other Vets here..........Thank you Brothers!
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

Oh no no no.... It's been taken off the agenda so we no longer have the right to discuss it....


No matter if thats what"he" wanted/supported he toke it off the table when the backlash forcast called for defcon 4 retaliation. So he did the 'right' thing so we are no longer justified in discussing this issue what-so-ever.....
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

Thanks for smacking down that Obama to charge veterans crap. If you want the nuts and bolts of how the decision was reached, read this article. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...s=rss_politics

Your welcom stlrtruck. Fortunately for me I have a direct source for WWII. My father, he is 93 and still remembers and has told me several stories. One was wading through water filled with blood and not being able to get cleaned up for a couple weeks. He also has told me of living through the Great Depression. Makes me look at what I have went through with another lens. After coming home, he went to work at the VA as an orderly. So he saw it from both sides.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:24 AM   #16
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

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Thanks for smacking down that Obama to charge veterans crap. If you want the nuts and bolts of how the decision was reached, read this article. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...s=rss_politics

Your welcom stlrtruck. Fortunately for me I have a direct source for WWII. My father, he is 93 and still remembers and has told me several stories. One was wading through water filled with blood and not being able to get cleaned up for a couple weeks. He also has told me of living through the Great Depression. Makes me look at what I have went through with another lens. After coming home, he went to work at the VA as an orderly. So he saw it from both sides.
Tell your dad I said, "THANK YOU!"
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

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Oh no no no.... It's been taken off the agenda so we no longer have the right to discuss it....


No matter if thats what"he" wanted/supported he toke it off the table when the backlash forcast called for defcon 4 retaliation. So he did the 'right' thing so we are no longer justified in discussing this issue what-so-ever.....
We reserve the right to shut threads that have devolved into nothing more than flamefests, especially when the flamefests are over dead proposals. If you have such a problem with that, maybe you should PM the board owner about it.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Veteran's (VA Hospital lessons)

I will tell him. It is kind of funny, I recently took him to a doctor's appointment along with my niece. We got into a few discussions with other patients in the waiting room. All three of us were vets along with a couple others. My niece had not long returned from Iraq. I served during desert storm and of course my father was WWII. It made an interesting conversation as we covered many different conflicts and wars. The great thing was that military service connected us all and the ages ranged from 93 to 19. That common service let complete strangers have a common ground.
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