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(WTKR)   Has the VA solved their backlog problems? Let's just say you still never want to get sick after you've served our country   (wtkr.com ) divider line
    More: Fail, VA solved  
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2989 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Apr 2014 at 9:23 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-05 12:34:59 PM  
This is a sad state of affairs, over which our government should be embarrassed, but isn't.

Men and women have either voluntarily gone into war or been conscripted (the Draft during WW2 and Vietnam) into the military and many returned shot to pieces, damaged mentally and forever changed.

For decades there has been problems and scandals infesting the VA, from medical wards infested with rats, to buildings basically held together by termites holding hands. From too few overworked staff to uncaring, overwhelmed doctors and the battle for proper funding from Congress has been going on nearly forever.

It is as if once our soldiers get the shiat shot out of them and can no longer serve, the government has no use for the troops and discards them. Yet, the next encounter that pops up, they expect young men and women barely out of high school to inundate the military and charge off to defend the nation.

The military can quickly approve a billion dollar jet manufactured by a company which has little to fear over the bidding process, yet will stall for years on cleaning up the VA.

Many of you probably don't recall the Vietnam fiasco where wounded soldiers were denied VA benefits and the benefits granted to soldiers who had fought in a war. Because congress never declared Vietnam more than a 'Police Action'. Thousands of vets had to protest at the White House, and the government promptly called in the cops who ruthlessly broke up the action, destroyed their camps and beat up vets who had already been injured in that nasty war.

It took years for them to get benefits and even the VFW was reluctant to accept them, since getting your legs blown off in a 'Police Action' was not the same thing as having them blown off in a Real War.

The Military modernizes it's fighting equipment readily, but balks at upgrading the systems needed to make the VA work better; systems commonly found in your average civilian hospital.

Congress would rather spend a million dollars putting in an eco-friendly hikers outhouse in Glacier National Park. It didn't take Congress long to bastardize the Emanate Dominion Law, to be used only for the good of the nation, to now be used for the good of developers in cities. Then we have the $90,000,000 for continued upgrade of the M1 Abrams tank to the M1A2SEP variant. The army is on record saying it has more than enough tanks, and wishes to delay the M1 upgrade program until 2017, saving taxpayers $3 billion. However, much of Congress disagrees, probably because the tank has many suppliers spread across a vast number of congressional districts. (CGAW excerpt.)

So, we'll send our soldiers out to war -- any war seems to do --, leave behind billions in vehicles and accessory supplies after it's over (too expensive to return home and surplus, tough, reliable military vehicles sold cheaply to the public cuts into Car Makers profits) then make our Military Wounded jump through hoops to get the care and support they need.

That just aint right.
 
2014-04-05 12:41:32 PM  

undernova: Tricare Prime, baby - that's why I stuck out the full 20.


way to go man! Tricare Prime is a pretty sweet deal if you can do the time.

/after 8 years i hobbled out with my dd214 and an immense collection of well traveled socks
 
2014-04-05 01:18:03 PM  

edmo: As a disabled vet I can't say I've seen much improvement over 20 years. Under fund anything and you will get this kind of performance


It's so underfunded they are giving massive bonuses to themselves for their superb job.
 
2014-04-05 01:21:07 PM  

Dog Welder: Good thing the GOP just filibustered a bill to increase funding. I mean, it's not like we've had a sudden increase in people coming back from wars with horrid physical and mental injuries. We wouldn't want to increase the amount of takers, moochers and freeloaders in this country. Vote Republican!


What else was in the bill. You aren't one of those ignorant people who ignore all parts except the part you can politically use to bludgeon the other party are you?
 
2014-04-05 01:23:37 PM  

GORDON: Dwight_Yeast: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

It's a track record of failure in line with everything else the GOP started defunding under Reagan and which they now point to show that government "doesn't work."

Through the Bush years my favorite newspaper headlines were BUSH CUTS VA FUNDING INCREASES when the reality was Congress pushed for a 6% increase, and Bush wanted a 5% increase.

Nope, no citations.  Don't care if you believe me, it wouldn't matter if I did provide them.  Obama 2016.


Shhhhhhhhh with the facts. This is now a blame the GOP thread. Why point out how badly run the entire system is when you can blame the GOP for only increasing it at double the growth rate instead of triple.
 
2014-04-05 01:31:43 PM  
Parthenogenetic: "So? Those people will wait.  They have to!  Where else are those losers going to go? And if they get mad and want to have it done elsewhere, then your backlog gets smaller anyway and it's off-budget.  So we win."

After two years of waiting for disability (they finally rated me at 70% for PTSD/Depression alone) I had the idea that maybe some bean counter was trying to get me (and my friends, as I wasn't alone in this) to commit suicide and stop being their problem. I'm actually alive today partly just to spite the farkers.

Your story basically confirms it. If that guy existed in your field, I shudder to think what their accountants could be capable of.
 
2014-04-05 02:06:09 PM  

DrExplosion: Parthenogenetic: "So? Those people will wait.  They have to!  Where else are those losers going to go? And if they get mad and want to have it done elsewhere, then your backlog gets smaller anyway and it's off-budget.  So we win."

After two years of waiting for disability (they finally rated me at 70% for PTSD/Depression alone) I had the idea that maybe some bean counter was trying to get me (and my friends, as I wasn't alone in this) to commit suicide and stop being their problem. I'm actually alive today partly just to spite the farkers.

Your story basically confirms it. If that guy existed in your field, I shudder to think what their accountants could be capable of.


Thank you for your service. When I hear stories like yours, it makes me sick to my stomach. I had the DAV helping me get 10% and while it should be more, I know I'm lucky to get that.
 
2014-04-05 02:19:39 PM  

vincentfox: Thus we should end all military pensions, free healthcare, and subsidies.  They can use their paychecks to purchase private insurance and provide for their present and future.


If it's what we're doing to everyone else, it's what we should do to the military.

No more military pensions, make them get 401ks.  No more VA, let them get Social Security if they're disabled, and let them buy healthcare on the exchanges.  If it's good enough for everyone else, it's good enough for the military, right?

On the other hand, if it's not good enough for the military, maybe we need to rethink what we're doing to everyone else.  Maybe we need a single GOOD national disability system.  Maybe we need a GOOD national healthcare system.  And maybe we need a GOOD national pension plan for everyone.

But having a separate system for the military is a massive mistake.
 
2014-04-05 02:25:17 PM  

MyRandomName: Why point out how badly run the entire system is when you can blame the GOP for only increasing it at double the growth rate instead of triple.


Doesn't that just prove that the GOP is denying people the healthcare they need.

The GOP started 2 wars, and are now responsible for 12 years worth of damaged veterans.

And they don't even want to spend money on caring for them.

So yes. I WILL blame the cop for increasing the cost by double digits instead of triple

/You monsters are why Fort Hood happened.
 
2014-04-05 02:26:21 PM  
We had a saying that sums up all you need to know about the VA:

"The VA: Giving you a second chance to die for your country."

/Used the GI Bill: Awesome
//Tried to use VA Loan Guarantee: Not so awesome
///Never going near VA medical
 
2014-04-05 02:49:02 PM  
If the VA is going to reduce that backlog, they need to hire more clerks. You know, the people who handle the initial paperwork and applications and such like as.

/I'm actually quite happy with my VA care, much more so than any "civilian hospital" experience I've had.
 
2014-04-05 03:03:00 PM  

GORDON: Dwight_Yeast: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

It's a track record of failure in line with everything else the GOP started defunding under Reagan and which they now point to show that government "doesn't work."

Through the Bush years my favorite newspaper headlines were BUSH CUTS VA FUNDING INCREASES when the reality was Congress pushed for a 6% increase, and Bush wanted a 5% increase.

Nope, no citations.  Don't care if you believe me, it wouldn't matter if I did provide them.  Obama 2016.


That was the exact same tactic the democrats used in the Clinton era. Put in a budget increase of 12%, then claim that republicans "cut" a program when they only increased it by 6%.
 
2014-04-05 03:45:22 PM  
C'mon people. We're denying them as fast as we can!
 
2014-04-05 03:50:11 PM  
Probably not as I've gotten hit up for spare change by the same person trying to get bus fare to get to VA hospital every week for the past month.
 
2014-04-05 04:01:55 PM  

Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.


To be fair, veterans as a group are conditioned against speaking ill of any authority figure, especially ones that have any sort of power of them (such as their medical care.)
 
2014-04-05 04:08:33 PM  

Securitywyrm: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

To be fair, veterans as a group are conditioned against speaking ill of any authority figure, especially ones that have any sort of power of them (such as their medical care.)


Maybe you should head over to a VFW and listen in on the conversations.
 
2014-04-05 04:12:10 PM  

thehobbes: Note that the article is about VA disability claims, not medical care. There is a massive glut of disability claims needing to be processed as a result of 13 years of deployments. Along with conditions like PTSD and anxiety becoming a reason for benefit claims, you also have multiple chronic conditions fairly unrelated to the service like mild high blood pressure being accepted as a permanent VA claim with lifetime payout. Anecdotal yes- but one of the guys I work with (who has an active job) was bragging last week about he now gets a VA disability check for his high blood pressure, as well as compensation for the time since he filed.

The largest example of this abuse of VA disability claims comes from Congresswoman Duckworth, a double amputee shaming a federal contractor.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/tammy-duckworth-strong-cast le _n_3504531.html

The last round of U.S. Marshal applications required 10 veteran's preference points to even have application considered, regardless of education or training. They had enough applicants for the Marshals service (A physically active job) that you had to be drawing on disability or purple heart to even make it to past application round.
Point system explained:  http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/veterans-employment - preference-points.html

So college degree, service, and no injuries means a snowball's chance in hell.



I know two guys that are on the Marshal's hiring list and are 5 point vets
 
2014-04-05 04:33:56 PM  

ReverendJynxed: Securitywyrm: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

To be fair, veterans as a group are conditioned against speaking ill of any authority figure, especially ones that have any sort of power of them (such as their medical care.)

Maybe you should head over to a VFW and listen in on the conversations.


There's a big difference between "griping" and "filing a formal complaint." There are serious negative consequences for filing a formal complaint in the military. The general policy is "If you're going to complain about this bad situation, we're going to make your situation so much worse that you'll wish you never complained about the bad situation."
 
2014-04-05 05:05:46 PM  
My son is being treated for depression, anxiety and agoraphobia related to PTSD from serving as a corpsman in Afghanistan. I just got a notice in the mail last week that the VA charged my insurance for treating his service related condition. They also told him that his case won't be settled for another 18 months or so which is about 2 1/2 years after he started the process.

Assuming they don't "lose" his case file again.
 
2014-04-05 05:44:45 PM  
<sarcasm on>
Subby, how can you say that about the VA? I only visit the local VA hospital once per year for my annual heart check-up and to update my prescriptions. Despite this, my latest echo showed absolutely no sign of the trio of heart defects which got me kicked out of Subs. I'm telling you brother, that is the most effective medical service in history.

Come to think, that sort of medical miracle exceeds Starfleet's abilities. Not even Dr. McCoy could completely heal a bad heart valve just by reading an echo report. <Sarcasm off>
 
2014-04-05 06:01:29 PM  
Remember how the libs blamed all this on bush and swore that their messiah would fix all of this?

// guess these soldiers aren't hoping hard enough.
 
2014-04-06 05:42:03 AM  
I work for the Department of Veteran's Affairs. I've also worked in the private sector doing radiology.
I come from a Navy Family, but was unable to serve due to adolescent asthma.

We have our problems, but they're similar to private hospitals.

Our biggest problem is, of course, our file system and lack of people able to digitize them. Our internal medical records are all digitized, but the claims system is not. The problem is that we've got such a huge backlog to even GET them in the computer, that nothing is being processed any faster until it's actually input. But we've had an effective pay freeze and hiring freeze (aside from nursing), for the last 5 years that nothing cant get done any faster.

There are lot of people that work here, that do their damnest to treat every veteran with the care and respect they deserve. However, just like the private sector, there exists the 80-20 rule. For the 80% that work their asses off, there's 20% who just don't give a shiat. These 20% tend to be the old guard. They're nearing retirement, they're lazy, and we can't get rid of them. And sadly, a lot of them are vets themselves. Typically, the real go getters are the newer people like myself. I will say though, that the average age of a VA employee is 54 years old. let that sink in for a sec. Average.

And to the guy who posted earlier that that VA people are stealing the money and keeping if for themselves... I haven't had a raise in 4 years. I haven't had a COLA adjustment since 2009. This year, supposedly, we'll be getting 1.5% increase... not enough to put a dent the continuing rise in cost of our health insurance costs (blue cross federal, in my case). I lose money every year I stay, but I stay because I want to help.
 
2014-04-06 10:10:25 AM  

snoopy2zero: know two guys that are on the Marshal's hiring list and are 5 point vets


Weird. I still have the email telling me 5 points and a B.S. don't cut it from 2011.
 
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