IOM has started the So-called Veterans’ studies

 

Taken from Larry Scott’s website on “Watching the VA” because someone has to.

 

I would suggest that all Veterans AND THEIR FAMILIES book mark his website at: http://www.vawatchdog.org/

 

Moreover, go there daily to see just what the Bush Administration and the GOP senators and congressmen are up to as they try to slaughter VETERANS BENEFITS.

 

As I pointed out before, if you look at Larry’s links and what Congressman Buyer has done as the head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  In my opinion, it is imperative that we make an example out of the congressman and relieve him from his “tortured duties” as a GOP/Bush operative.

 

As I have stated as a Republican, now a member of the VPA, I will not vote republican for a long long time.  Not after this, last four years of nothing but the GOP and Bush trying to stump- break the Veterans of our Nation and their families while he panders with photo ops and then our own congress wants to reward illegals for breaking the law, including social security.

 

It is mind boggling to me that our government is so arrogant and has such disregard for Veterans of the Nation that even during a time of war they attack Veterans to in order to pay for others.  This by the way is not that unprecedented in our nation’s history.

 

You hear of no such congressional commissions sponsored by the GOP or the Dems for Illegals and how it is those that broke the law and should not even be in this nation can qualify for by the millions:

 

Earned income credit to $3,200 dollars.

Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.

Food stamps. 

Free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.  (Of which I might add is on demand 24 hours a day 7 days a week) not the Veterans lets take a year to get into the VA system and then take four to seven months for an appointment.) 

Children get free breakfasts and lunches at school. 

Requires bilingual teachers and books.  (So much for assimilation) 

Relief from high-energy bills. 

Aged, blind or disabled they qualify for SSI. 

Qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare. 

No worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance. 

Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins, and printed material.

He cannot be fired, harassed, or sued.

Increased crime, graffiti, and trash cleanup.

I would also add three or four multi-families living in a single family home which is also against the local laws, codes, and bypasses the tax structure of multi versus single.


Ultimately
receives the equivalent of $20 to $30 an hour in benefits or more!

 

(Thanks to a 101st fellow for sending this in) 

 

All this on the pretense of cheap labor is needed and of course, political pandering has absolutely nothing to do with it!

 

I would point out that during the Diane Sawyer special on ABC on VA hospitals; had that been an illegal lying in the bed with maggots growing in his nose or an illegal begging for someone to please fed him.  The outrage in this nation would have been immeasurable, including the president and our current politicians.

 

Or how it was that even the wives of these Veterans said they were afraid to speak out because of the retaliation by the VA against their Veteran Husbands.  Not exactly what I would call freedom, more in line of total fear of your own government representative, the VA.  

 

For these Veterans there was not even the bat of an eyelash in our media much less our government and its elected officials.

 

There was however, a wink and a nod as the VA hospital administrators were allowed to retire.

 

I would add that these morally bankrupt hypocritical politicians go on the senate floor demanding more federal dollars for their overcrowded prisons and jails per incarcerated illegal alien criminals.  Demanding such federal dollars making the point the federal government is not protecting the borders causing them undue hardship. 

 

The hypocritical part? 

 

They will not even go back to their own states and demand the borders be shut down and that includes those governors of those states who also pander, no matter what the cost to the states and their constituents.  Then demanding other states have to support the issues and bus the illegals to other parts of our nation.

 

This is not immigration “with assimilation” which is why we have immigration quotas, this is nothing but a foreign invasion supported by an outside corrupt government. 

 

If there were any form of assimilation or attempt at assimilation then we would not have; “for English  - press 1, now would we?  ON THE OTHER HAND, Mexican flags being displayed above our own.


Working Americans are lucky to have $5 or $6 an hour left after paying their bills and the “bills of the illegals.  And to be fair the Medicaid fraud which instead of a helping hand has become a way of life, or the fraud in the welfare system of some folks having as many as 70 social security numbers, or the large metropolitan areas giving out millions in food stamp dollars to dead Americans each year for how many decades now.

 

Then we have the politicians themselves gold digging to bring home millions a year to each state in nothing but pure pork, so they can stay elected.

 

Yet, during a time of war our totally arrogant politicians many of whom think they are above any law in our land; now come after the one segment of society that has done nothing wrong but protect those in this nation and others in other countries around the entire world.

 

I think the BEST SYSTEM the world has ever seen is finally dead! 

 

While it was wounded for decades it is finally taken a belly up POSITION and is close to becoming not only totally socialistic but to some parallel points, nothing but anarchy at least for some segments of our society.  Veterans being the first but which segment is next?  The entire middle class or what is left of it?

 

You have to admit Mr. Ross Perot in his bid for president was totally correct in his view of what was going to happen.  It has happened and in reality in many ways, exactly how he said it was going to happen.      

 

The cost to the American citizen for serving in the military is already too high and now the cost will even go higher as the Veterans and their families subsidize even more our politicians and their pandering postures. 

 

In fact, in my opinion we need to teach the republicans a lesson and do not vote for any of them as incumbents or challengers in 2006 and 2008.

 

Veterans and their families united can elect “any president” we want much less “any congress” we want as long as we stick together.

 

Maybe time for a third party candidate in 2008 regardless of who is running in the main two party system.

 

I do know this, had General Wesley Clark got the Dem nod in 2004 instead of John Kerry I would have voted Democratic for the first time in my life. 

 

Of all the candidates I contacted (and that was about all of them early on) and submitted data, he alone responded and said he would demand the VA have suspense dates and that he would call for a commission to investigate the previous administrations transgressions against the Veterans.

 

Unfortunately, he did not get the nod of the nation.

 

In this new government philosophy of pandering to the masses, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and the benefits.  We need to show these politicians that Veterans can unite and vote as one in order to save what little rights and benefits we do have.

 

This posting is on the government contracted NAS/IOM, which I have lost all faith in getting any kind of nonbiased assessments from this VA funded agency.

 

The decisions seemed to be made before the studies even begin and the protocols adjusted to make sure that it happens.

 

I had submitted about 500 pages of hard evidence to the “Gang of 13” that I think are being used as GOP political pawns in something they know very little about and very little working knowledge - the day before the NAS/IOM showed up to present.  I was surprised that Commissioner Grady had actually read some of my collected and referenced data.

 

He asked the NAS/IOM program manager point blank.  Were they reviewing the Ranch Hand study in associations to toxic chemical findings?

 

His direct answer, which was a bald face lie, was that he thought Dr. Stellman had reviewed the findings painting the assumption that the NAS/IOM had not done so or used this corrupt government study as collaboration in their findings.

 

That is in fact a lie.                                        

 

I contacted Dr. Stellman and indicated what I had heard this NAS/IOM guy categorically state and her comments to me were: “I do not serve on any Agent Orange Committee.” 

 

I indicated that I realized she was not on the committee but the NAS/IOM as a whole has the Ranch Hand collaborators give them a presentation on their findings yearly.

 

So no, I was not comfortable with this NAS/IOM that replaced the VACEH, which was nothing but lies.  This latest event of out and out misrepresentation tore it with me.  

 

Unless we know “what they are doing” and “how they are doing it” in some form of government sunshine requirements since they are “deciding our fate;” then anything this contracted agency does is suspect, in my opinion.

 

Only “this agency” as prescribed by the DoD/VA found that Gulf War Illness was associated to stress in a 100-hour war.  How ridiculous is that!

 

As the Disability Commission’s agenda is characterized by the VA as quality of life for Veteran when you look at that agenda, as I put forth, it is more on the government side of cutting benefits in several ways and orders of magnitude.

 

As your read through the IOM study’s characterization, and what the commission has stated you will see it parallels exactly what the disability commission is looking for in the way of ammo.

 

Many Veterans and Veterans Families have changed the name of this commission’s acronym to Veterans Disability Benefits Cuts (VDBC) and then associated that to the Institute of Medicine’s studies; along with the commission’s agenda.

 

I would point out that this four-year GOP/BUSH attack on Veterans and their families just recently resulted in the closing of the Veterans Small Business Administration with no (zero) notification.

 

“In closing the contracting assistance office, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has eliminated the one office solely dedicated to implementing a law that requires three percent of all federal contracting dollars to be awarded to service-disabled veteran owned firms.  The government has failed to meet this goal and has failed to develop and support the Veteran's Advisory Committee, as required by law passed in 1999.  Last year, the federal government awarded just .38 percent of contract dollars to companies owned by service-disabled veterans, costing them nearly $9 billion in lost contracts.”

 

Time to step up to the plate and save what few benefits we have left.

 

From Larry's site:

 

Late last year the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC or Vets' Commission) contracted with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study certain aspects of veterans' disability ratings and compensation.

 

Those studies are under way.

 

First, you can see the list of the seven major areas of study.

 

There are two IOM committees.  The first will study all the questions except #6.  The second committee will only study question #6.

 

The first committee met on May 25, 2006.  The second committee will meet on May 31, 2006.

After the list of study questions, you will find the agendas for the committees and their members.

 

Do not expect good news from the IOM studies.  AMEN BROTHER!

 

This information available here... http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=IOMX-H-05-03-A

 

Project Title:  Medical Evaluation of Veterans for Disability Compensation

PIN: IOMX-H-05-03-A. 

Major Unit: Institute of Medicine

Sub Unit: Board on Military and Veterans Health

RSO: McGeary, Michael

Subject/Focus Area: Health & Medicine
 
Project Scope
IOM will convene two committees of experts having the spectrum and balance of knowledge that is needed to respond to the seven tasks posed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

 

This committee will address all the tasks but Task 6, which will be addressed by a separate committee.  *

1.  How well do the medical criteria in the VA Rating Schedule and VA rating regulations enable assessment and adjudication of the proper levels of disability to compensate both for the impact on quality of life and impairment in earnings capacity?  Provide an analysis of the descriptions associated with each condition’s rating level that considers progression of severity of condition as it relates to quality-of-life impairment and impairment in average earnings capacity.

2. Certain criteria and/or levels of disability are required for entitlement to ancillary and special purpose benefits.  To what extent, if any, do the required thresholds need to change?  Determine from a medical perspective at what disability rating level a veteran’s medical or vocational impairment caused by disability could be improved by various special benefits such as adapted housing, automobile grants, clothing allowance, and vocational rehabilitation.  Consideration should be given to existing and additional benefits.

3. Analyze the current application of the Individual Unemployability (IU) extra-scheduler benefit to determine whether the VASRD descriptions need to more accurately reflect a veteran’s ability to participate in the economic marketplace.  Propose alternative medical approaches, if any, to IU that would more appropriately reflect individual circumstances in the determination of benefits.  For the population of disabled veterans, analyze the cohort of IU recipients.  Examine the base rating level to identify patterns.  Determine if the VASRD description of conditions provide a barrier to assigning the base disability rating level commensurate with the veteran’s vocational impairment.

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of adopting universal medical diagnostic codes rather than using a unique system?  Compare and contrast the advantages/disadvantages of VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities and the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

5. From a medical perspective, analyze the current VA practice of assigning service connection on “secondary” and “aggravation” bases.  In “secondary” claims, determine what medical principles and practices should be applied in determining whether a causal relationship exists between two conditions.  In “aggravation” claims, determine what medical principles and practices should be applied in determining whether a preexisting disease was increased due to military service or was increased due to the natural process of the disease.

 

I think all of you can see through this BS in number 5.  Again, this goes back to the secondary effects of some presumptive disorders that just go in all directions health wise.  While medically common it seems if the VA wants to pronounce these as not directly related to service and just a continuous progression of the one disorder.  Whether that side effect will be reduced monetarily or treated differently or not; who knows.  It certainly looks like they are looking to treat it separately and apart or at least try to.  As in my example in diabetes, a 20% disorder develops into a 100% with an eight-year mortality and then the widows and orphans then qualify for an additional monthly sum providing the original service connected diabetes and the secondary medical issues is associated to the cause of death.

 

In addition, the aggravating factor, which has been traditional in the conscript military service time frame, looks as if it will go away in the new military.  I guess one could argue the point but it must be told to our “new volunteer military” that if you have a condition and the service to your nation aggravates that condition to some sort of disability then you are on your own.  Our government will no longer support you as service connected because you had a condition and you chose to defend the country. 

6. Describe and evaluate the current model used to recognize diseases that are subject to service connection on a presumptive basis.  If appropriate, propose a scientific framework that would justify recognizing or not recognizing conditions as presumptive.

 

This one I warned you about over two months ago.  I heard through the grapevine that the presumptive disorders that the Secretary of the VA has pronounced without the NAS/IOM as toxic chemical associated are being looked at to do away with them.  One of these is diabetes.  The presumption of diabetes and “the secondary issues” that are associated with the diabetes is costing the government a ton of money and they are looking to repeal any issues that were considered presumptive by the VA secretary, as is his legal right to do so according to CFR 38.  So you can bet that will be a consideration to recommend.

 

Now to show how unbiased I am.  In my review of these issues I am not so sure that diabetes in the ADA definition of diabetes is associated as direct as the VA has concluded.  Many scientists have also concluded this same thing and there are many who will argue against this issue as it is defined today.  

 

Do I think that something more sinister in the body's processes caused what ever it caused and that diabetes or insulin issues and insulin sensitivity should be associated as secondary to that damaged process.  Then the answer would be yes.  But if that were to happen then the more sinister process would not not only be responsible for the insulin issues, but then they would have to admit all the other issues that go with it such as hyperlipidemia resembling that of atherosclerosis and the elevated increase of ischemic heart disease found in those populations exposed to the dioxin, TCDD including the Ranch Hand cohorts and so forth. 


So you can see that the VA probably took the path that on the surface would cost the least or at least they thought they did.

 

One example of this would be pancreatotoxicity.

 

What this study will do to already associated disorders?  Who knows?  I do think that is one reason why the VA itself is in the process of rewriting CFR 38 Chapter 5 to establish definitions of experts so that these formally presumptive disorders will now have to be argued for years and years in the BVA.  While the pretense is to make it easier to read and adhere. 

 

Just a little GOP/DoD/VA mandated budget control here at the expense of the Veteran and his or her family.

 

Ironic, that the only agency that has not found many of our toxic chemical and Gulf War issues as many other studies have found a direct tie to “increased risk of incidence” or “significant increase” is now going to be allowed to do even more studies that as Larry said do not expect anything on the side of the Veterans.

 

The difference is:  The one agency that found no (zero) issues or very few, were paid by our own government. 

7. Compare and contrast the role of healthcare professionals in the claims/appeals process in VA and DoD, Social Security, and federal employee disability benefits programs.  What skills, knowledge, training, and certification are required of the persons performing the examinations and assigning the ratings?



The project is commissioned by the congressionally established Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission and is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

Yes, it was established by the congress but it was a republican GOP/Bush initiative.  Not as the wording describes as like it was the whole congress or something like that.  The above statement is totally misleading, as usual.

 

Therefore, the answers are GOP cast and etched in stone before the study even commences as “Paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”


The approximate start date for the project is January 11, 2006.

A report will be issued at the end of the project in approximately 15 months.

*Note: For activities on the related study concerning the "Evaluation of the VA's Presumptive Disability Decision Making Process" being conducted by a separately appointed committee, please see the project record under the Project identification Number IOMX-H-05-03-B. 
 

Project Duration: 15 months
Provide
FEEDBACK on this project. 
Contact the
Public Access Records Office to make an inquiry or to schedule an appointment to view project materials available to the public.

 

The first meeting has already taken place:

 

Agenda is at the below link:

 

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/meetingview.aspx?MeetingID=1407&MeetingNo=1