Wednesday, August 05, 2009

VA = Obamacare Foreshadowed?

I'd like to think that our soldiers and veterans get the best medical care around, but it's important to remember that the VA, at least, is a bureaucracy, with all the baggage that entails. I've received permission from the author to post this vignette:
I have been processing a claim with respect to being hit by lightning as a cadet (to include bilateral hearing loss and traumatic brain injury) as well as being in a vehicle rollover in a Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle. The State of NM Veteran Affairs has a great office which assists vets through the process. Every time I get a response from the VA, it is as if they did not read the previous information. They wanted me to send more evidence I actually attended West Point (even though it is on my DD-214 and Officer Record Brief and my file has medical records from Keller Army Community Hospital).

Another vet who was at the office while I was there served in Vietnam as a Marine. The VA was questioning whether he was actually there after providing his DD-214 which chronicled his duty there with Vietnam-specific awards as well as his duty record recording his service there on multiple tours. If the VA is any indicator of what a nationalized healthcare would be like, perhaps it would be good to have those who have never dealt with the VA try it out for a year and then decide if they truly like the idea of nationalized healthcare.


Eric Turner said...

I spent 21 yrs in the Army and am 40% disabled (retired 2006). Thankfully, I live near an Army base and get all my care from that Army hospital. Therefore, I do not get my care from a VA facility. However, I do need to get my rating reviewed have heard nothing but horror stories about the process and how long it takes. I did try to get disability for continual headaches and even though on almost every sickcall visit I complained about headaches as an additional problem, the VA decided I had no problem with it and denied it (I should have gone numerous times specifically for headaches. But, honestly, very few military guys are going to go in for headaches alone. You know as well as I do the harassment soldiers receive for any sickcall visit, regardless of the legitimacy). Additionally, I wanted to get my thyroid checked due to possible radiation exposure at the Nevada Test Site in Mercury, NV and they denied that as well.

Darren said...

I'm sorry you have to go through that.

Anonymous said...

This is awful to hear. Twenty some years ago, my dad had terminal cancer treated through the VA system. They were very good to him and to us.

It is terribly sad to hear that the people to whom we owe so much don't get treated well.

Ellen K said...

The administration seeks to minimize funding to military facilities and I believe that includes the VA hospital system. I am sure they would rather have military personnel funneled through the funhouse that will be our national healthcare with all the horror that implies. Our heroes deserve better, but then again so do we. I am fighting the good fight, but everyone needs to make their opinions known to elected officials. Right now, thanks to Pelosi, they think a socialist solution is the only one available. Sadly, once we've traveled that road there is little chance of turning back.

allen (in Michigan) said...

It would seem to me that the VA system ought to display many of the characteristics of the public education system in that it doesn't actively preclude good care, or a good education, but provides little to no incentive to those who are exceptionally capable and thus depends for those occasional sparks of excellence upon the unusual combination of excellent professional skills, good political skills and good luck.