VA and Government Philosophy

Loss of Benefits (political)

 

 

Political stuff so you if you believe the VA and the government is honest, forthright, and just when it comes to veterans issues; you might not want to read this:

 

Let me preface this section with the following:

 

CHRIS ADAMS and ALISON YOUNG Kansas City Star - March 06, 2005:


Knight Ridder news may be onto one of the biggest stories of the year: 13,000 veterans needlessly died awaiting appeals on VA benefit payments, with a net savings of untold millions for VA.

 

You will notice, as I did, this story says “NEEDLESSLY DIED” waiting on VA benefits.  That is a bold statement to say the least.

 

While my contention in the book is the “lack of information in the medical community as well as the veterans because of many issues found associated, and then covered up; may have caused this needlessly; and still is.  Thus, 13,000 veterans left to die; are a tip of the old ice burg.

 

The one issue I found in reviewing all these veteran issues is the disingenuous part of the government and particularly the VA.  The VA keeps a running outstanding balance of from anywhere from 200,000 outstanding claims to the present 430,000 outstanding claims.

 

If Specialist Smith submitted a claim for an associated disease of lung cancer in November and then by April it had not been approved for the customer.  That is ridicules. 

 

Yes, I think we can consider the Veterans the customer of the VA.

 

Many of you were and still are in management positions.  If you had an organization that was continually this bad; you would find out what the problem is; and you would fix it by new processes, new procedures, and/or new mid-management.  Unless it was your job, as manager, to create such time lags and then make excuses as to why you were doing such an excellent (in reality a poor job) job of it. 

 

It seems the VA system is doing exactly what it was designed to do by the VA and the government in general.

 

I think we can all agree diabetes automatic association is miles different from a cancer association and should fall under different rules of “expediting” no different than the Social Security does.  Yet, this never seems to happen.  “Associated diseases and disorders,” no matter what they are, should be approved within a three to four week’s time frame.  Cancers and such that are automatically associated to service in Vietnam and are going to be 100% should be almost immediate priority approval.

 

From what I understand, the claim by Specialist Smith was not approved by the date he passed away, some five months later.  His family will not receive the over $10,000 dollars that he and his family would have received, if the VA had approved the claim in November.

 

This is not much compensation and small consolation nor is it really wanted in place of the veteran.  However, once again in the real moment of need of the veteran and his family; the order of the day by the government seems to be to rob the veteran and his family using the delaying processes; so very well crafted and perfected at and by the VA itself.

 

The other issue in this stalling campaign for these already associated disorders even for those with limited disabilities is the fact of survival for the veteran and his family.  Stalling creates a monster of problem in house payments as well as even the purchase of food, as the veteran may have had to quit work or at least cut back to part time.  Trust me, I have personally seen and experienced the results of this one.

 

Once approved, the Social Security Administration seems to be able to get money in the bank within ten days.  Yet, the Social Security Administration has no automatic associated and already approved disorders and diseases that only require the approval and forwarding on of the approved compensations to dispersement.

 

The VA stance in this issue is just mind-boggling.  Yet, the congress will not investigate the processes used by this totally administrative agency as to how they are carrying out these promises and mandates of the congress.  Of course, this is just a congressional ruse. 

 

If they can bring the Secretary of Defense to the congressional whipping post in front of a national media audience; then certainly the Secretary of the VA is not off-limits, as they say in their congressional letters back to the veterans.  The Congress runs the country as it applies to all citizens except for the Veterans community.  I think that borders on being unconstitutional and nothing but government subjugation of authority, with government personal and monetary interests in mind. 

 

The other issue is, it seems the VA rules are still set up for combat wounds and such.  Not for the many cancers and associated diseases and disorders from serving in Vietnam.  These rules allow the veteran’s widow and the veterans children an extra amount of dollars should the veteran survive past eight years and then passes away of the compensated disorder.  That does not work on cancers that only have a “clean cancer” or “cancer mortality” within two to five years as a national average.  Nice way to hedge VA insurance bets by three years but not so great for the veteran and especially his family.

 

This is especially true in some cancers such as lung cancer, which is almost never caught early in the disorder.  In Vietnam Veterans this should have at least been a two year interval CT scan of the lungs but this never happened.

 

Put it in perspective.  If the VA can rob $10,000 dollars, as a minimum, off of each of the 430,000 claims, look at the money the government saves just in one time frame of outstanding claims.  Times how many years it was only 200,000 claims and the robbery goes into the trillions of dollars. 

 

Just in the 430,000 claims that exist today, you are talking 4.3 billion dollars. 

 

Just a slight bit of Presidential, Congressional, and VA conflict of interest.  Especially over the last 60 years. 

 

(I have also posted a report from an Oregon veteran on a meeting he had with his state veterans affairs committee.  It seems that once again the VA secretary lied; and the actual number of claims by the VA's own admission that are left lying around is well over 500,000.) 

 

See http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/Veteransaccount.htm

 

I had another Veteran from Michigan ask why?????? on Peripheral Neuropathy. 

 

See http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/Veteransaccount1.htm

 


 

Loss of VA Benefits:

 

I had some long drawn out political impact association but decided not to use that.

 

Let me again preface this with the following:

 

CHRIS ADAMS and ALISON YOUNG Kansas City Star - March 06, 2005:


Knight Ridder news may be onto one of the biggest stories of the year: 13,000 veterans needlessly died awaiting appeals on VA benefit payments, with a net savings of untold millions for VA.

 

On top of this callous and unconscionable policy harming veterans, VA recently set up a "Disability Commission" with the goal of slashing veterans' benefits even more even as the military reports 11,000 wounded in action in Iraq.”

  

Here are the facts as I found them:

 

The commission mentioned above is already at work.

 

After the reelection, the GOP removed Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey also a republican.  Congressman Smith served as the chair of the House VAC and had a been a member of the committee for 23 years.  During the last four years, he had gone against Bush on many Veterans cuts and redefinitions.  In other words, a shot was fired; do not mess with Bush and his changes.

 

The GOP then appointed as chair of the House VAC a Congressman Buyer from Indiana, district four.  Veteran’s worst nightmare as far as I am concerned.

 

Buyer issues and statements:

"While some veterans' organizations like to create a theme, that 'A veteran is a veteran (and) there is no difference,' I disagree,'' said Buyer."

"Today the VA has $3 billion in "uncollected debt'' for health care rendered, which insurance companies have not paid."

So what?  This is all of sudden the fault of the veterans?  Damn, what happened to going after the insurance companies?  What kind of crap is this guy talking?  Another David Chu of the pentagon???

 

Develop a "seamless transition'' process for veterans moving from active duty to VA care.  So far more than 10,000 have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan and as many as 100,000 could have post-traumatic stress disorder, Buyer said.

 

They have been saying that for the last 15 years.

Re-focus VA health care on its "core constituency'' of service-disabled, indigent and special-needs veterans.
 

He expects a new bipartisan Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission to review whether Congress went too far on allowing concurrent receipt of military retirement and VA disability payments.

You can bet your cannon-cocking rear end; concurrent receipt is in jeopardy, as planned all along.

 

Buyer also expects the commission to consider whether to change the way disability ratings are set or to tighten the definition of "service-connected'' injuries or ailments.

 

I told many of you when they were discussing concurrent receipt way back when this was in the wings.  I had already heard about this redefinition that Bush wanted.

He said he wouldn't want to assure current veterans with disability ratings that they will be excluded from commission recommendations.

Congressman Buyer and the new VA Secretary Nicholson are going to ram it home even to us old guys. 

An idea Buyer wants considered is offering lump-sum payments to veterans with disabilities rated 20 percent or less, as settlement of all future compensation claims.

 

Good for the government but if you die from this 20 percent wound then your family gets zero!

 

It seems Buyers wants to treat the military like it is some federal civil service job or something. 

I can report that the Senate AC is standing tall “so far” and for all practical purposes told Congressman Buyer in a meeting to go peddle his papers someplace else as they had every right to recommend the raise in combat death benefits and life insurance which the Congressman opposed as to the implementation of those raises without checking with him and the VA.

 

Senator Obey told Buyer to "get his facts straight" and stop characterizing his  provision as restrictive. He also said the Appropriations Committee has full authority to deal with military benefits.

"I make no apologies that the Appropriations Committee may have been  stepping on his toes," Obey said.

"I'm not going to play games with you, Mr. Obey," Buyer responded.

That drew Lewis into the fray. The chairman said he would look into the issue before the supplemental spending bill goes to conference with the Senate.

 

When Buyer tried to pipe up again, Lewis cut him off and warned  him that it was his approach or no approach.

 

There in lies most of the problems with the VA.  They think they are not just an administrative agency and should “make policy” no matter what the congress says.  When their real job is to provide “efficient service” to implement the wishes of the government, whatever that is! So far, I think in our case we know what that is.

 

I have no problem with all these changes as long as they make sure that everyone signing on the dotted line from here on out, understands them all; including the fine print like the unconstitutional Feres Doctrine.

 

Just a tad bit of difference between the two career paths of a federal employee and a military career called: Duty, Honor, and Country.  Along with all the other rules that go along with joining the military.

 


For a review of what I found in my research, only in more detail by Vietnam Veteran Steve Mungie as to the explanation of what is called the "Iron Triangle" of NVSO's, the VA, and both the House and Senate Veteran Affairs Committee. 

 

See http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/NVSO's.htm

 

Click to Return to Update 15

 

Best to all,

 

Kelley  

 

SP5Kelley2nd94th@aol.com