Sunday, September 27, 2015

CNN VA Fast Facts Too Fast and Missed Most Important Fact of All

Department of Veterans Affairs Fast Facts CNN Library September 25, 2015 is floating all over the net today. The trouble is, while it is good it isn't good enough to give folks an idea how long all of this has been going on.

They kind-of-sort-of skipped over some of the most important years of all.
More Than 260,000 Can't Get VA Health Care
Associated Press | January 25, 2006
WASHINGTON - More than a quarter-million veterans considered to have higher incomes could not sign up for health care with the Veterans Affairs Department during the last fiscal year because of a cost-cutting move. Those locked out - totaling 263,257 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 - have no illnesses or injuries attributable to their service in the military and earn more than the average wage in their community.

The VA suspended enrollment of such veterans beginning in January 2003 after then-VA Secretary Anthony Principi said the agency was struggling to provide adequate health care to the rapidly rising number of veterans seeking it.

That year the VA population was about 6.8 million. About 7.5 million are enrolled today, with more than 5 million treated.

"There is no reason for the VA to give the cold shoulder to veterans who have served our country honorably," said Rep. Lane Evans of Illinois, ranking Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

VA spokesman Matt Burns said VA provides world-class health care to veterans, "particularly our newly returning veterans, those with low incomes and those who have sustained service-related injuries or illnesses."

Iraq veterans are guaranteed health care if they enroll within two years of leaving the military.

2008 Reported by Associated Press VA secretary pledges to cut 5 weeks off wait
Peake wants to reduce wait times from roughly 180 days to 145 days by the start of next year. He cited aggressive efforts to hire staff, noting the VA will have 3,100 new staff by 2009. VA also is working to get greater online access to Pentagon medical information that he said will allow staff to process claims faster and move toward a system of electronic filing of claims.

Peake promised to “virtually eliminate” the current list of 69,000 veterans who have waited more than 30 days for an appointment to get VA medical care. Such long waits runs counter to department policy, and a group of Iraq war veterans have filed a lawsuit alleging undue delays. He said VA plans to open 64 new community-based outpatient clinics this year and 51 next year to improve access to health care in rural areas.

“We will take all measures necessary to provide them with timely benefits and services, to give them complete information about the benefits they have earned through their courageous service, and to implement streamlined processes free of bureaucratic red tape,” Peake said in testimony prepared for a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Thursday.

Veterans Affairs Health Dept. Undersecretary addresses House Appropriations Subcommittee Undersecretary for the Health Dept. of Veterans Affairs Michael Kussman
He also promised to provide “compassionate care” for veterans suffering from mental health issues such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He said that VA expects to treat about 5,771,000 patients in 2009. Kussman also said that in April 2006, over 250,000 “unique” patients were waiting more than 30 days to receive their treatment but that as of January 2001, that figure has been reduced to just over 69,000.
VA to call Iraq, Afghanistan veterans reported by Associated Press April 24, 2008
The Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday that on May 1 it will start calling 570,000 recent combat veterans to make sure they know what services are available to them.

The first calls will go to about 17,000 veterans who were sick or injured while serving in the wars. If they don’t have a care manager, the VA says they will be given one.

The next round of calls will target 555,000 veterans from the wars who have been discharged from active duty, but have not reached out to the VA for services. For five years after their discharge from the military, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have access to health care at the VA.

The effort will cost about $2.7 million and will be handled by a government contractor.

Vet care spending is at record level reported by USA Today Gregg Zoroya on July 23, 2008
Expenditures hit $82 billion in 2007 because of the rising cost of health care, the expense of caring for an aging population of mostly Vietnam veterans and a new crop of severely wounded troops from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That exceeds the $80 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars spent in 1947 after most of the 16.1 million Americans serving in World War II left the service, according to a Congressional Research Service report submitted to Congress last month.

An 11 percent hike in spending is slated for this fiscal year to $91 billion and the Veterans Affairs Department has proposed $94 billion for 2009. And still more is needed, said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is seeking another $3.3 billion for the 2009 budget proposal.

“While we are spending more than in previous years, we are still not meeting many of the health care and benefits needs of our veterans,” Murray said.

Last month’s passage of a new GI Bill will add $100 billion in education benefits for veterans over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and his Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama clashed over the bill last month.

McCain opposed it, saying its increased education benefits might encourage troops to leave the military.

Peake: VA needs young, tech-savvy workers reported by By Rick Maze - Staff writer Aug 21, 2008
VA expects to receive almost 900,000 benefits claims this year, and has a backlog of about 400,000 claims
Followed by this report September 14, 2008 from Gazette reporter Jill Bryce, Backlog of veterans benefits appeals growing bigger.
It’s estimated there are 600,000 to 800,000 unresolved claims and appeals with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to veterans’ advocates.

“We have claims that have been pending for a decade, two decades and some that date back more than 50 years. We have appeals from World War II,” said David E. Autry, a spokesman for the Disabled American Veterans in Washington D.C., which represents veterans and advocates and helps them obtain their benefits.
Would have been more helpful to actually do basic research on what has been really behind all this pain and suffering for all these decades. CONGRESS!!!!!!!

If you have some time there are over 25,000 more reports just like those right here on Wounded Times.

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