Showing posts with label Paralyzed Veterans of America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paralyzed Veterans of America. Show all posts

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Major Veterans Groups Fighting for Veterans Against More Cuts

Major veterans' groups voice concern over Senate health bill
Jun 27, 2017
"What will become of these veterans as they face higher insurance costs?" Carl Blake, associate executive director of Paralyzed Veterans, wrote in a letter sent to all 100 senators. He pointed to more than 1.7 million veterans now on Medicaid — nearly 1 in 10 — as well as veterans ages 45 to 64 who have benefited from tax credits offered under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin arrives at the wedding of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Scottish actress Louise Linton, at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Major veterans' organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate GOP bill to repeal the nation's health care law, fearing the impact of rising insurance costs and worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won't be able to fill the coverage gap.

While there are more than 21 million veterans in the U.S., only about 8 million receive health care from the VA. The others rely on Medicaid, purchase insurance on state or federal exchanges, have employer-provided insurance or have no coverage at all.

In a letter Tuesday to senators, Paralyzed Veterans of America, one of the six biggest nonpartisan veterans' groups, criticized an "opaque and closed" legislative process and proposed cuts to Medicaid that could lead to hundreds of thousands of lower-income veterans losing their insurance.

It joins a Democratic-leaning group, VoteVets, in opposing the bill. VoteVets launched a six-figure ad campaign in two states, mostly to pressure moderate Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who faces a tough 2018 re-election race. Heller, who indicated his opposition to the bill last Friday, says he's worried that too many people will lose coverage.

Two other major groups, Disabled American Veterans and AMVETS, also are expressing concern about the Senate legislation backed by President Donald Trump. They are worried the beleaguered VA — already facing an emergency $1 billion shortfall — won't have enough money to provide federally paid health care to more patients and say VA must be better funded.
read more here

Saturday, March 18, 2017

President Trump Had Meeting with Veterans Groups

It looks like Politico doesn't read Military Times.....

Trump's 'major meeting' on veterans affairs doesn't happen

Trump meets with veteran leaders, promises VA reforms
Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
March 17, 2017
Along with Got Your 6, the meeting included Student Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the “big six” veterans groups — American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, PVA, Vietnam Veterans of America and AMVETS.
(Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP)
WASHINGTON — President Trump held his first face-to-face meeting with representatives from prominent veterans groups on Friday, a step that community advocates called a productive and critical step in advancing the White House’s promises to veterans.

The hour-long meeting with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and senior White House staff covered issues including medical care access for veterans, accountability for VA employees, veterans caregiver programs and the president’s campaign pledges to make veterans services more efficient.

It included top officials from 10 veterans groups and was billed as a listening session for the president, with no policy or legislative proposals presented to the community leaders.

But individuals at the event said Trump was involved in the conversation throughout the meeting, questioning the groups on their priorities and ways the White House can help.
read more here

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Veterans "thrown to the wolves" Memphis VA Medical Center

‘We’re left to the wolves’: Videos allegedly show Memphis VA leaving disabled vets unattended
FOX News
August 26, 2015

Video footage allegedly showing veterans -- many of whom are quadriplegics or paraplegics -- being left unattended at a Memphis Veterans Affairs hospital during staff meetings is reviving concerns about how VA hospitals treat American servicemembers.

The videos, first reported by Communities Digital News (CDN) and said to be filmed at the Memphis VA Medical Center, show patients being left alone for about 30-45 minutes each evening during a staff meeting attended by all hospital staff, whistleblower and former Memphis VA employee Sean Higgins told

Higgins said the videos, filmed by a close friend of his, show a breach of hospital policy, which dictates that even during meetings, there should be a nurse at the nurse’s station. He said the videos all show the spinal injury ward, which contains quadriplegics and paraplegics.
read more here

When you watch this video, think about the fact this is a hospital. There is no one there. No nurses. No doctors. There are patients, but there are no visitors. I have never, ever seen anything like this in my life. I've been to plenty of VA hospitals, civilian hospitals and several nursing homes. The only time I ever saw anything like this was at the Lake Nona VA hospital during a tour OF A HOSPITAL THAT WAS NOT OPENED YET AND NO PATIENTS NEEDING TO BE TAKEN CARE OF!

Paralyzed Veterans of America Reacts to Video Footage of Paralyzed Veterans Left Alone at Memphis VA
August 26, 2015 03:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a recent video aired on Fox & Friends today, a paralyzed veteran who was housed on the spinal cord injury inpatient ward at the Memphis VA Medical Center said he felt "thrown to the wolves" in the video, which showed a nursing station unmanned for an extended period. A former Memphis VA employee and whistleblower who saw the video said patients are typically left alone for about an hour each evening during staff meetings attended by all hospital staff, despite a requirement that at least one nurse remain stationed at all times.

“We can no longer scrimp on the cost of freedom where our Nation's most disabled heroes are concerned.”

Sherman Gillums Jr., deputy executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America and a paralyzed veteran himself, said, “This video speaks to a need that our organization has stressed to VA leaders, Congress, and the public for quite some time: VA needs more nurses in specialized care services like spinal cord injury centers.”
read more here

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Veterans Service Groups Give Priorities Report

Veterans groups release annual priorities report 
Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
Published: January 15, 2015
“By sending veterans out of the system, they are abandoning a system that veterans rely on,” Blake said.
WASHINGTON — Four of the nation’s top veterans service organizations said Thursday that the VA health care system is still underfunded and running the risk of new delays for care, despite a $16.3 billion shot in the arm last summer.

The nationwide system of hospitals serving nearly 9 million vets annually will run about $2 billion short of the money it needs this fiscal year — and could be significantly more after a wait-list scandal revealed much higher demand than the VA had acknowledged, according to American Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the VFW.

Furthermore, expanded vet access to outside care runs the risk of creating more delays without proper management and oversight, they said.

 The concerns are part of the groups’ Independent Budget, a collaborative list of policy recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress that has been published annually for the past three decades. The document focuses on access, claims, infrastructure, caregiver support and women’s issues.

The shortfalls in VA funding “is a problem that has compounded over time” and began as early as 2000, said Carl Blake, associate executive director of government relations for Paralyzed Veterans of America. 

The $16.3 billion Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act was an emergency measure that drastically increased the funding but is not enough to dig the department out of its funding hole, according to Blake. read more here Highlights

Friday, May 16, 2014

Veteran’s suicide stuns family and friends

Veteran’s suicide stuns Hill Country family and friends
My San Antonio
Posted on May 15, 2014

His friends say that D.J. was the kindest person you’d ever want to know. That makes his death all the more difficult to bear.

“He went out of his way for everybody. He always put them first,” says Anne Robinson, President of the Texas Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. Robinson is one of those mourning his loss.

Donald Charles Redden – D.J. was his nickname – was an Army veteran who seemed well-adjusted despite a spinal cord injury. He had his downtimes, according to Veronica Espinosa, the 32-year old girl friend with whom he planned to spend the rest of his life. But the 31-year old hid his troubles well, “sucking it up” like the good soldier he was.

“There were moments when he would share his emotions with me…but for the most part…he was a man’s man, you know, too tough to cry,” Espinosa says. She is still in tears every day.

D.J. was in the midst of a difficult divorce, Espinosa says. He hadn’t seen his kids in months. She also says he had “bad insomnia, PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and was 100 percent disabled.” Still, she says on most days he joked around and seemed okay.

She met him at her parents’ home in New Braunfels where she had moved after her own divorce. D.J. was a close friend of Espinosa’s father, Alvin Guerrero, who is also disabled. Guerrero is an Air Force veteran who was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident at a base in Blytheville, Arkansas where he was stationed from 1982 to 1984.

Espinosa said D.J. was always fun to be around. They were close in age and had so much in common. Shortly after they met, he moved into the guest house in her parent’s back yard. They saw each other every day.

“He was like a member of the family,” she says. ”I thought he was happy.” She believed he had long since won the toughest battle of his life – preventing his own suicide.

“Two years before, he had tried it. He said he would never do it again. He said he knew it was not the way out. It wasn’t the way to erase the pain,” she says through her tears.
read more here

Hero After War from Kathleen "Costos" DiCesare on Vimeo.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Disabled American Veterans among groups VA taps to help with claims

Now this is a smart thing to do. Administrations come and go but these groups have been around through many of them, no matter what party was in charge.
VA taps vets groups to help fast track claims
Published: August 10, 2012
WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials hosted a workshop last week to brief 10 veterans service organizations on plans to fast track certain veterans benefits claims, and how they can help in the process.
The VSOs involved in the process were the
American Legion
Disabled American Veterans
Marine Corps League
Military Order of the Purple Heart
National Association of County Veterans Service Officers
National Organization for Veterans Advocates
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Vietnam Veterans of America
read more here

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ben Affleck: "Surely those who have sacrificed so much, deserve no less".

Jason Neilson was paralyzed by a sniper while stationed in Iraq. He discusses how Paralyzed Veterans of America helped him following his injury.

Friday, February 6, 2009

$3.6 billion hike urged for VA health care

$3.6 billion hike urged for VA health care
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 6, 2009 15:11:06 EST

Four leading veterans groups called Friday for a $4.5 billion increase in veterans programs, including $3.6 billion for health care.

This is an even bigger increase than the groups asked for a year ago, and puts added pressure on President Barack Obama to keep campaign promises for full funding of Veterans Affairs Department programs.

The increase, which would result in a $54.6 billion discretionary VA budget, comes in the so-called “independent budget” prepared each year by AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The $54.6 billion budget includes health care, administrative and construction funds and some costs related to the administration of benefits, but not the costs of the benefits themselves.

Recommendations made in the independent budget often become a benchmark used by members of Congress to judge the adequacy of administration budget requests. Its timing — before the Obama administration makes its first budget submission — sets the stage for criticism if Obama asks for an increase of less than $3.6 billion.
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