Sunday, October 25, 2015

Veterans Screwed By Congress Since 1779

Veterans Victims of Weak Congress
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 25, 2015

History repeated!

"Revolutionary War veterans, like Martin, found themselves victims of a weak government unable to pay them and of conflicts between American republican ideals and the military institutions veterans represented."

Military Times reported on the VA Choice Act in September of 2015 and pretty much the trouble was summed up by Senator Isakson.
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said 7.5 million more medical appointments have been made under the VA Choice program this year than last.
“A lot of people have said VA Choice is a cop-out," Isakson said. "But you just don’t provide health care to 6.5 million veterans by snapping your fingers. We don’t have the money in the federal government to provide all the health care to veterans if we wanted to. We have to empower the private sector through programs that work."
The trouble is none of this was new and they should have actually planned for the 22 million veterans they forget about all the time showing they had no intensions of caring for when they can't even take care of the "6.5 million" veterans. Then again, maybe veterans are right and Congress wanted the VA to be broken so they could sell off care to private sector health care providers they always complain about.
Isakson said VA Choice needs “time to work,” but added that the program, which last year received $10 billion in funding intended to last through 2017, along with health care provided at VA facilities, has “a long way to go” to reach the goal of providing seamless, quality care to veterans.
Yes, you read that right. $10 Billion going into the private sector for a couple of years.

The trouble is that members of the House and Senate seem to forget that have been in charge all along. Revolutionary War Veteran Entitlements
Revolutionary War veterans, like Martin, found themselves victims of a weak government unable to pay them and of conflicts between American republican ideals and the military institutions veterans represented.

The first veterans pension movement began during the war, when officers lobbied Congress in 1779 for half pay for life.

Public outcry charged officers with attempting to establish a military aristocracy on the backs of the civilian population.

After the war, officers responded to the failures of government support by forming a hereditary veterans organization called The Society of Cincinnatus, an allusion to an ancient Roman general who gave up his military power to save the republic. The society provided some mutual support, but only officers could join, leaving enlisted soldiers like Martin to fend for themselves.
Veterans have been fighting wars and then fighting the government for what they need afterwards since the beginning of this nation and hearing the same reply.
“Scarcely a day passes without some striking evidence of the delays and perplexities springing merely from the want of precedents. ”
Representative James Madison to Edmund Randolph, May 31, 1789
The Congress of the United States established by the new Constitution met for the first time at New York City’s Federal Hall on March 4, 1789. It is arguably the most important Congress in U.S. history. To this new legislature fell the responsibility of passing all the legislation needed to implement the new system, solving the difficult political questions left by the Constitutional Convention, setting up the rules and procedures of the House and Senate, and establishing the roles of its officers such as Speaker of the House and President of the Senate.
In 1932 veterans protested when the promises made to them were not kept.
As World War I drew to a close in 1918, millions of American veterans returned home to the promise of a cash bonus — compensation for their overseas service.

There was a catch, though: The money would not be paid out until 1945.

Then, the Great Depression struck. Millions of Americans were left hungry and homeless. Veterans of the war were desperate for relief.

So in 1932, a group of veterans in Portland, Ore., led by a man named Walter Waters, decided to go to Washington to lobby for early payment of their promised bonus.
You can read even more of the real history of what was not done for our veterans on United States Department of Veterans Affairs

WCSH 6 News AUGUSTA, Maine-- Maine hospitals say they've been having trouble getting paid by the Veterans Administration., and the debt is in the millions of dollars.
The VA says often the problems are the result of veterans seeking services which are not pre-approved by the VA, creating long delays as hospitals try to work their way through the complex federal system to seek payment. Last year, Congress and the VA created a new system called "Choice", for veterans living in rural areas more distant from VA facilities. But Jim Doherty of the VA at Togus says that system is funded separately from regular VA medical programs, and the process for using it is still fairly new.
USA Today reported back in March of 2014
Federal law requires that such emergency expenses be covered by the federal government even if the injury or illness is not related to the veteran's service-connected disability.

But when GAO looked at a sample of 128 of these claims brought by non-VA hospitals in 2012 seeking reimbursement and that were later denied by the VA, investigators discovered mistakes in half of them, the report says.
In November of 2014, AZ Central reported on one of their veterans having to deal with unpaid medical bills

In New York this was reported by WKTV News on May 29, 2015
After returning to the U.S., Ready says he was employed as a computer network analyst, but due to company downsizing, lost his job, so when he went to the emergency room at Oneida Healthcare on Dec. 29th of 2013, he says he told hospital staff he had no insurance after being informed he needed an emergency appendectomy and he said he would need to go to the Syracuse VA Hospital.

Ready says Oneida Healthcare staff told him the surgery would be covered because it was an emergency situation, but he says the VA has not paid any of the bills, now 18 months later.
Tampa VA has this on their site
Emergency Care in Non-VA Facilities
In 2001, the U.S. Congress provided VA with authorization (called the Mill Bill) to pay for emergency care in non-VA facilities for veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. The benefit will pay for emergency care rendered for non-service-connected conditions for enrolled veterans who have no other source of payment for the care. However, VA will only pay to the point of medical stability. There are very strict guidelines concerning these types of claims. Veterans and their non-VA providers should be aware that these claims must be filed with the VA within 90 days from the last day of the emergent care.
Do I need to get approval before going to the emergency room?
No. If you are an eligible veteran, and a VA facility is not feasibly available when you believe your health or life is in immediate danger, report directly to the closest emergency room. If hospitalization is required, you, your representative or the treating facility should contact the nearest VA within 24 hours to arrange a transfer to VA care by calling the VA Transfer Center at (813) 972-7614.
As you can see, there have been too many times that Congress has listened to veterans, claimed to be fixing the problems while veterans are forced to see history repeated. Maybe it is time for yet one more massive protest of veterans seeking relief from this endless battle they have fight after they fight battles Congress sent them into in the first place!

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