LET’S MAKE THE VETS WAIT FOR CARE UNTIL THEY ALL DIE
Dr. Laurie Roth
May 28, 2010
This seems to be the philosophy of the Veterans Services (VA) administration. Just recently I interviewed Dick Phenneger www.vstnow.org, a leading, whistle blower, former vet and business man, who has investigated health care abuse to our veterans for many years at the hands of the VA. He shared enough violations and horrors with the VA against our troops that I couldn’t help thinking about the dreaded IRS. In my view, both should be gutted and started again with an emphasis in common sense, real service and ethics. Oh…..but back to the bigger than life problem.
Let me cut to the chase and give you a few bottom line facts regarding the VA.
Records have been and are being destroyed. Back in 2009, a VA office in Detroit turned in 16,000 unprocessed mail and 717 unprocessed documents that were stuck in storage and hadn’t even been looked at. Many other documents were found in shredding bins, not just in one office but in several regional offices. Phenneger stated during our visit on my national radio show www.therothshow.com (listen to archive, dated May 25th, 1st hour www.therothshow.com) that almost 100% of the time that the typical response of the VA to inquiring and needy Vets seeking care is that ‘we do not have your records.’ Naturally, the responsibility and problem falls again and again on the needy vet, not the out of control, disorganized and corrupt VA that has actually lost, burned, shredded or misplaced the forms!
This is a CLEAR betrayal to our troops. I thought it was bad enough for our troops to face the politically correct crowd in our media and attitude of progressive leftists about this war, but now I find that they come home, needy and maimed from serving their country to face lost forms, hideous service and treatment way too late.
Vets have to complete a 23 page application with absurd amounts of detail, even if their injuries or disabilities are clear and simple. Not only is the form intimidating and TOO LONG, but Phenneger found that there there is a literal quagmire of legal documents and forms (80) to figure out. Many troops reported to Phenneger in his investigation that when asking for help to figure out which form to use, they were constantly told ‘that is your problem and responsibility, not ours.’
What often happens is the needy VET accidentally fills out the wrong form and 6 months later gets the standard refusal for care. They are told that they have to start again with a different form. Typically, another rejection comes 6 months after that and so on. One example Phenniger shared was of Leroy Comer, a Vietnam veteran who had spent over 21 years processing applications with nothing but denials and appeals.
VA policy is to reward denial of claims
Yes, the VA actually has a policy to give bonuses for denied claims. That must explain why 70% of the claims are refused or sent back to be redone. It is an absurd daisy chain which ends of betraying and abusing our troops even more than they already may have been!
The VA senior staff and management defend the employee bonus program which honors and rewards turn downs! They talk about their employee accountability, on and on. They seem to certainly be accountable alright….TO THE BROKEN, OUT OF CONTROL AND MISREPRESENTATIVE BUREAUCRACY, NOT THE VETS IN NEED OF CARE.
The VA is an out of control bureaucracy that seems to now exist mostly for itself, not for our vets and their needs. Just recently I had a caller on my radio show talking about his friend not able to get the extra benefits he needed because his file had been mysteriously burned in a fire, thus the VA couldn’t help him. He is told that is his problem not the VA. Naturally, the VET is suffering in the hospital and in need NOW, not years later.
It appears that 1000s of vets are in this situation, where they are filling out the wrong forms and getting turned down again and again. It appears that most of them are in endless wait mode trying to stay alive until they get some care.
of what the series of problems with the VA are, there is no excuse,
especially in a time of war that our troops have to have any kind of
delay or problem getting care.
They shouldn’t have to wait anymore than 2-3 weeks for care, not 6 months to 5 years!!! The sign up form (s) should be simplified and dramatically shortened and guidance and help offered before a VET fills out a form so they don’t make a costly mistake which denies them care!
If lack of money is the big problem according to the high up VA leaders then they should be marching into congress and demanding more! Our Government has wasted and spent hundreds of billions of dollars on rubbish. Certainly if they knew there was a budgeting need and revamping need for the VA to function right, they would respond. If they refuse to respond and fix this WE SHOULD ALL MARCH ON WASHINGTON, YELL, SUE, FAX, SCREAM AND DEMAND UNTIL THEY DO SOMETHING REAL ABOUT THIS. It is not just money or lack there of. It is an out of control, disorganized bureaucracy that has betrayed its real mission of health care to Vets, in a timely, affordable and clear manner.
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I could care less what the high up leadership of the VA bureaucracy says about how proud they are of accountability, bonus structures and service. The facts are numerous and spreading far and wide, just like the BP oil spill, so their words are nothing but bull rot and lies!
IT IS TIME FOR THE TALK TO STOP AND A TOTAL OVERHAUL, FINANCIAL INTERVENTION AND MANAGERIAL CHANGE TO OCCUR WITH THE VA.
No longer is it acceptable to hear our leaders in congress, the White House, military and media ignore the ongoing treatment of our Vets at the hands of the VA.
© 2010 Dr. Laurie Roth - All Rights Reserved