Yes, it's free medical, the horror, a socialized medical care system in the United States. However, that's not the point. People might ask, what do we have to complain about? In the immortal words of 'Fire Marshall Bill', "Let me tell you something...": As a disabled Veteran, there is a certain protocol to follow. If we have a health issue we have to wait to see a healthcare provider in the VA system, which can take months. We can't just go down there when we are sick and get seen, they no longer take walk-ins. I suppose, if your on your death bed you might be accepted in the emergency room. As it stands now, if I get sick, I rely on Mexican antibiotics to get me through. When we do have appointments, the waits are extreme, 2-3 hours at times.
I've been waiting for this surgery on my knee for 10 months. It was cancelled once already in October, the re-schedule date was Feb. 4 months, not bad. I certainly will be glad when I don't have to drag this leg around anymore.
Recently, at the local VA Satellite Clinic, during a 2 hour wait for my blood to be drawn, a Veteran was telling me he had had a heart attack awhile back, his wife called the VA and they have a recording that states, "If this is an emergency go to the closest hospital". So he did (duh!). Then the hospital bills came and the VA refused to pay because he did not go to a 'VA Hospital' for help. He has it currently on appeal. If that won't give you another heart attack, I don't know what will!
The poor kids returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are still waiting for their claims to be reviewed. The backlog is up to 12 months. Why? Again it's funding. When cuts had to be made, they laid off the claim inspectors. In a lot of cases, it's easier for the VA to deny a claim, then let the Veteran fight for their benefits on appeal. They have 12 months after the claim is denied to make sure their paperwork is in order. If not, they could easily lose out.
That's where the VSO's (Veteran Service Oranizations) come in handy, they help expedite the Veteran's claim or appeal.
But no, the politicians have to tip-toe around the question, hem and haw about what the Veteran's need. Face it slimeballs, the VA needs money! Oh, comes as a huge surprise. Really? NOT!
Yes, the big question for Veteran's this year and upcoming years will be: "Where's the money going to come from!"
Larry Scott has an answer:
A fully-funded VA that serves the needs of all qualified veterans will mean
increasing taxes. There! I've said it.
Now, it's time for Congress to face that reality and raise the tax money
needed to keep the promises made to veterans.
We can't afford to fall victim to "Congressional Math" that leaves veterans
waiting months, and even years, for necessary services.
We can't afford veterans dying after being denied services at VA facilities
as happened twice last year in Spokane, Washington.
We can't afford to let our service organizations continue their political
kowtowing...kissing the hand they should be biting.
We can't afford to let Congress dazzle us with their rhetoric while they
run from reality.
Most importantly, Congress can't afford to treat veterans as second-class
citizens, thinking we'll just take the crumbs they toss our way.
We'll be here in 2008...and we'll remember.
With that, I'll be off to my VA appt today. I'm sure my shrink will want to know the latest!
Seven of Six