Attorneys Demand VA Restoration Of GI Bill Benefits

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GI Bill

Benjamin KrauseNumerous state attorney generals are demanding that the US Department of Veterans Affairs reinstate GI Bill benefits for veterans defrauded by for-profit colleges.

Attorney generals (AGs) in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington sent Secretary Bob McDonald a letter demanding restoration of GI Bill benefits. The justification is that for-profit colleges uses deceptive tactics to recruit veterans while the agency failed to verify education quality.

According to Illinois AG Lisa Madigan:

“Veterans earn educational benefits through their heroic service to our country… They should not return home and become targets of predatory, bogus colleges whose only interest in our veterans is to profit off them. It’s critical that our tax dollars allow student veterans to get a true education and the opportunities it provides.”

The problem with the schools was that they promised veterans jobs after graduation that never materialized. In fact, those colleges provided such low quality educations that employers do not accept nor would other colleges accept them for transfer credits. Recruiters used proven psychotherapy techniques to manipulate veterans into enrolling.

VA then paid benefits without verifying the claims made by such colleges. Veterans used up the benefits without the result they were promised.

GI BILL RESTORATION STRATEGY

The AGs are also suggesting VA adopt the following four strategies to protect veterans moving forward. According to Progress Illinois, those strategies are:

  • Exercising current federal statutory authority to provide relief to these veterans. In cases where the VA has authorized the use of benefits contrary to its own governing statutes and regulations, federal law (38 U.S.C. §503) provides the VA discretion to offer equitable relief that would give back to the veterans full eligibility and entitlement to their benefits that they have lost from the schools’ conduct. Restoring these benefits would allow the veterans to obtain an education that will help them advance their careers.
  • Triggering Automatic Reviews. The VA should establish that a review to exercise this discretion will automatically take place in any of the following cases: (1) when the U.S. Department of Education, a state regulatory agency, or a state attorney general takes a regulatory or enforcement action against a school; (2) when a court enters a judgment against a school, or (3) upon application by a veteran or a group of veterans alleging that an education program or college has utilized advertising, sales, or enrollment practices which are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading.
  • Taking Proactive Steps To Provide Full and Accurate Information. The VA should take proactive steps to guarantee that veterans will be furnished full and accurate information about their education options to prevent them from enrolling in schools that employ aggressive and misleading marketing practices.
  • Increasing Cooperation. The VA should continue and increase its support of efforts of state regulatory agencies and attorneys general in protecting veterans from misconduct.

So what do you think about the plan? Should veterans receive the benefit, or harm, of their own educated choice of attending for-profit colleges? Or, should VA reinstate the GI Bill benefits of veterans defrauded?

I used to be rather cynical about this, but VA does have a fiduciary duty to ensure colleges provide the quality education they promise before approving a veteran’s attendance. The past two presidential administrations were clearly asleep at the wheel while veterans were ripped off.

Should taxpayers bailout these veterans?

Source: http://www.progressillinois.com/news/content/2016/02/29/madigan-veterans-affairs-must-restore-benefits-defrauded-student-vets

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namnibor
namnibor

Yes!! I have read about the predatory recruitment practices of these ‘For-Profit-Colleges’, and specifically the likes of Univ. of Phoenix and the minions of other ‘For-Profit-Non-Accredited-Colleges’….and that phrase “Non-Accredited” is of upmost importance because I do believe Veterans have been placed in the bulls-eye of these colleges.
Why do I think this? Why do I think the VA and ALL of the “Big VSO Groups” are responsible?
Because I noticed at all the local “VA Stand-Downs”, those VSO Groups were ENCOURAGING those very colleges to be seriously looked into to use the Veteran’s G.I. Bill Benefits with these ‘For Profit Colleges’ having tables set-up all throughout the Stand Down, with various VSO Group’s seal of approval.

Now, this brings the appropriate question that I have had for a while and that is, what exactly, if any, kind of kick-back or donations do these VSO Groups receive for helping these predatory recruitments of ‘For Profit Colleges’?

Not all colleges are properly accredited, which if people do not fully understand, this means that if you had previous college credits those Non-Accredited-College’s credits will not transfer and NOR would the ‘For Profit Online Colleges’ credits transfer to yet any future college a veteran may wish to attend, and with major employers not taking such credits “seriously”, this amounts to Grand Theft and Deception of these ‘For Profit Colleges’ of often a veteran’s only window of opportunity to go back or start to attend college….ripping off Vets like this is yet another flavor of “War Profiteering”.

A Vet would fare better attending a Vocational Tech College where they also get the hands-on training along with the book smarts, and even proper job placement.

The USA bailed-out all those fat-cat bankers and Wall Street who enjoy their freedom to continue being corrupt and store all their billions off-shore, so seeing how Americans have not been asked to make sacrifices in these 15 years of solid wars, it’s the right thing to do in reinstating the G.I. Bill to affected Veterans scammed by predatory college recruitment….however, this is assuming the VA would do the right thing…I can see *many ways* the VA could seriously screw this up even if ordered to do this.

crazy elf
crazy elf

When I was discharged from the Army. There was one of these “for-profit colleges” trying to get me to enroll. I didn’t. Because, there was too much “high pressure sales techniques” being used.
About two months later. The schools upper management, two or three people, took off with all the money.
What happened to the students? Nothing! They were left out in the cold.
And quess what happened to the perps – NOTHING! They got away scott free with all the money!

So YES! The states are correct in having VA restore the GI Bill.
The VA should not only give the veterans another chance at an education. They should also “go after” the people who ripped off the veterans AND taxpayers as well!

Well, that’s my thought on a cool Tuesday morning.

crazy elf
crazy elf

P.S.
I forgot to mention. Here in Florida, either late 2014 or early 2015, there were numerous news articles coming out about these “for-profit colleges” ripping off a lot of people. Seems veterans aren’t the only ones being taken!
On every article, there was absolutely NO mention as to HOW the problem would be rectified!
I quess everyone got screwed.
I’m just glad some representatives are trying to help veterans. Of course, WHAT will Bagdad Bobbie do about it?

91Veteran
91Veteran

A few years ago, I started getting emails from a college I attended that wanted me to lobby congress against legislation they wanted to pass to clamp down on for profit schools. The school was very good, was accredited and had a 97% placement rate of graduates. When I graduated, if a student didn’t have a job for them they weren’t trying very hard to get one.
The problem was the legislation was more designed to cut down on competition for the 4 year public universities than it was to correct problems.
I don’t know whatever happened to that legislation, but the problem will not be fixed unless state and federal regulators do their jobs at weeding out obvious diploma mills.
If you look at degrees given out in those universities, you have to wonder why regulators are not focusing on them as well. If you go to school for 4 years for Gender Studies and get a degree, how many jobs will there be for students that would pay off their $100,000+ student debt?
I don’t believe all for profit schools are bad. I do believe any legislation or regulation should look at any institution handing out degrees.

namnibor
namnibor

The Catch 22 that it places a veteran in is say the VA has not paid tuition timely (another huge problem) or often your educational benefit type does not pay for everything AND you must maintain a minimum credit hour…if some of these colleges run off the cash and leaves the Vet with cancellation of classes/registration, when a Vet goes to apply for FAFSA and Dept. of Education College Loans, you often are not able to receive future aid until all the tangled mess is cleared-up, which means $$$, then worst case, Vet gets sent to collections.
I did as my college work study job, and 3 year class president, work as a Student Advisor and also Registration. Any Veterans HAD to go only to a specific VSO/College Advisor, not even on the sly with me, and the stories I heard of vets having trouble with the VA paying tuition on time, and yes, often cancellation of classes, et al…made me sick because that vet Rep they were to utilize was NEVER available and when he was around, he haunted the invasion of Starbucks on campus…another gripe, students are dirt poor generally, and to remove once free or cheap coffee and only option Starbucks, JUST LIKE what the VAMC’s have been moving to, grinds my arse.
Rant over.
I think The Dept. of Education and The Obama Admin. have been incredibly slack with these things as far as proper oversight…and those damn VSO’s that pander these For Profit or Otherwise questionable Colleges.

Don
Don

In 82 Just before my GI bill benefits were due to run out I attended the Tucson College of Business to take a course in booking…Classes were held in a refurbished church. One teacher was famous for coming back from lunch with alcohol on her breath and another , the accounting teacher, had just graduated from the same school about six months prior…As soon as the money started coming the first thing they tried to do was get me to sign over the checks to them…When that didn’t work they allowed me to continue attending but would bill me every month…The office staff was totally incompetent. They only had one real job and that was to make sure that the documentation got back to the VA that I was attending classes. They somehow couldn’t manage that even though all they had to do was put a check mark on a card and drop it in the mail… They screwed it up, checks stopped coming, I almost starved to death and I lost my benefits. They kicked me out when they figured out they weren’t getting any more out of me…

namnibor
namnibor

Follow The $$$$$$$$$$$$. Take notice at your next local VA Stand Down and walk past the VSO tables and look at the free trinkets like ink pens, key chains, with these various for profit colleges, essentially giving the seal of approval having that there along with all the other ways to make $$$ off back of Vets.

I really am starting to view most VSO’s as lamprey to Veterans. Not all, but most.

crazy elf
crazy elf

Here’s two articles to google. The first one, I believe, has a lot to do with today’s subject. The second one is on a more personal viewpoint.
____________________________

#1.)
“Watchdog Says Uncle Sam’s Financial Books Are Useless”
by Kathryn Watson
from: The Daily Caller News Foundation.
2/29/2016

The DOD is not up to par on “balancing its Books!” Neither is other government agencies!
A must read!

____________________________

#2.) like I said, this is on a more personal viewpoint!

Title;
“Lead Singer of Band In Paris Attacks Shocks Millions As He Says This About Guns”
from: “Right To Bear (Arms)!”

The lead singer is pro 2nd Amendment. Read the article. It’s eye opening!

crazy elf
crazy elf

Since today is “Super Tuesday”. I thought this would be appropriate, from
“Military dot com”

“Sound Off: Should a Veterans Identification Card Qualify as a Voter’s I.D.”

Also, a few more articles from “Military dot com!”

“Bill: Cruz, Rubio Back Bill to keep Obama From Opening Draft to Women”

“Sikh Officer Sues Army for Right to Wear Beard, Turbin”

There were more. Lots more from Military dot com. I just though we could see some of the futile, stupid crap, attempts which are coming out daily concerning our Military! Especially when it comes to more pressing issues facing our nations “financial status” as a world leader!

91Veteran
91Veteran

Crazy Elf, on the Voter ID thing, given the new veterans ID card and how it is produced, it should be accepted. The other day when I was at the VA, it looked to me like the documentation needed to get an ID is close to what is now required to get a Drivers License under the Real ID Act.
Voter ID should be required in all states given the level of fraud I saw in Wisconsin going back to the Bush-Gore election, if not further back. There were reports of college kids being bussed to various sites and voting multiple times, investigations into people going to group homes for the disabled and having them do absentee ballots, and a woman caught on video admitting she drove around picking up homeless people promising them food or cigarettes if they voted a certain way. I believe it was the Bush-Kerry election where the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did an investigation after the election showing voter registration for 1100 voters had fake addresses for Milwaukee alone.
I believe in response to that fraud, WI now requires photo ID, and after a recent election, those opposed quickly brought out an elderly veteran who had no ID and couldn’t vote.
The state offers free state ID for those who cannot afford one, so if those opposed to voter ID are so concerned, they would insure those voters are identified and get ID before the election.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Given the kind of fly-by-night schools that are out there, I would initially say yes, they should get their benefits restored, but that would require more detail.
On the one hand, I never saw anything on whether these schools are accredited by anyone. Were they accredited by some higher institution? If they were and still ripped off veterans, then the veteran should not have to suffer.
If they were not accredited, the veteran still should not have to suffer if it is shown the school clearly had unreasonable promotional material suggesting a veteran would get a job on graduation.
The problem I see is too much regulation or too little. If a veteran wants to be a basket weaver, they should have the right to use their EARNED benefit anywhere they like. On the other hand, veterans should not expect to make a good standard of living off of basket weaving and leave the taxpayers on the hook. If they were convinced they would earn big money by basket weaving using misleading promotional material, then they shouldn’t have to suffer.
It all comes down to schools having an acceptable level of accreditation, OR veterans fully understanding they can be a basket weaver, but there is no guarantee of making a living at it.
Veterans should be able to get a worthy education, but they should not be forced into a formal 4 year degree setting if they can not function in that setting, and they just want to be a welder or truck driver. Good money can be made doing both jobs, but there are lots of bad schools out there suggesting students can make that money immediately.
States should be much more agressive at overseeing these schools that guarantee the moon knowing full well there is no market for it. Ignoring those types of schools just means others will continue to get ripped off.

Steve
Steve

Give me a big “Hell Yeah!” (Sound of Bud can crushing of forehead)

crazy elf
crazy elf

“BREAKING NEWS” from WFTV Orlando Florida, channel 9, WFTV

The Daytona Beach VAMC, which is overseen by the Lake Baldwin VAMC in Orlando Florida, was caught “Cooking the Books over wait times!”
Seems the schedulers were deleting the patients (veterans) appointments and/or falsely showing the patients (veterans) had seen a PCP. In many cases the veterans had not seen a physician.
This is from an OIG report which was being “sat on” for months, possibly for more than a year or more!

(Related article:
“Watchdog says IG dropped ball on VA Probe, tried to discredit Whistleblowers”)

Rep. Miller said, “It’s time the VA to show all their cards!”
He said more I can’t remember it! Does anyone actually believe the committee in Washington will actually do something/anything?

As far as I’m concerned, it will be more b/s from VA (McDonald, Gibson & the rest of the pukes) and from the Committee!

namnibor
namnibor

Given the level of steady scandal after scandal in just last year alone, I am postulating that the VA OIG sat on this until the VA was sure to get the funding they demanded, and also likely hoping people will just forget about it…just like Cincinnati, how the VA called on the sly scripted statements only because whistleblowers went to the media.

How much more is the VA OIG or Special Counsel holding back? How can an agency be truly “Inspector General” when they enable the VA’s bad behavior by hiding it?

namnibor
namnibor

Anyone else see a steady pattern of codependence between the VA and VA OIG? One hand washes or hides the other.

Meanwhile, Liberals are corrupting the standardization within the Military with that Army Officer from India refusing to shave beard or remove his towel…err…hat!!! What’s next? All tanks must face the East certain times of day so foreigners can pray? Carpet-Lined Tanks?
Reminds me of seeing these pathetic fools in Basic Training crying, “My feets hurt!” We USED to call THAT a “wash-out”. Reject! Send back to momma or your own country where you can wear your damn hat and beard!!

If there was a reason to wear that gas mask and it required an air-tight face to rubber seal, that sorry sad sack of an officer from India that the U.S. Army is training would place ALL at risk. I just do not get it.

Rant out!

crazy elf
crazy elf

@namnibor and others.
Concerning the manipulation of wait times. Here’s the article by “Newsmax”, witten on 29 Feb. 2016 @ 6:41 PM.

Titled:
“Watchdog Releases Reports on VA Wait-Time Manipulations”

Very scolding article about how OIG is NOT doing the job(s) it’s being paid for!

Arnold Cabral
Arnold Cabral

Do you go on Facebook email me my email address is [email protected] we chat better on Veterans Healthcare Issues

91Veteran
91Veteran

Unfortunately I think this is a problem of Obama and the Congress failing to correct it. Within the first year, Obama fired 4 IGs in various agencies, and one was investigating possible criminal action by one of Obama’s cronies in LA. I recall one of the IGs tried to fight against him, but the media and other admin hacks smeared him badly.
Congress yawned throughout the whole thing. If they would have conducted oversight from the start and demanded to know why Obama was interfering and firing HIs for blatant politics, it wouldn’t have given other IGs the green light to look the other way, or in some cases, participate in looting federal agencies. If you want to look up the news on this, I believe the name of the one smeared was Walpin.
A Washington Times article from 2014 tells the details on several of the IGs fired.

James
James

I fill that if our government can bail out big banks and companies and veterans were lied too.then yes.

I wonder who at the VA made out like a bandit.knowing these school’s were using the veterans.

I sure someone was promised something. But who?

Ben you know first hand about VA tactics! It’s sad that it seems the major employment deal’s with conning people !

Haven’t applied for a job in a long time. Is one of the questions being askes, are you honest.would you turn in someone for fudging ?

If they answer yes. They say great we will call you. we have a lot of qualified people that have applied.

In reality.they throw that application in the file 13 pile.

Time to get back to honesty !

Frank Calderon
Frank Calderon

Dear Mr. Krause:

It is very unconscionable for anyone now to ask: Should taxpayers bailout these veterans?

One thing these ingrates forget that is, “that these veterans not only continue to pay taxes if able to work, and those not able due to a disability who are not able to work continue to pay taxes with whatever we buy or services we pay for, yes, I said we, I am one of the totally disabled that are not able to work and pay my own way as they think, I am not hving a pity party; I am just bringing this up because we accept our inability to work to make a living as any other human being, probably someone in your own family.

We knew when we went to serve our country what we were risking for all americans, family and strangers, and many could have gotten out of serving considering what we were getting involved in, we knew we would not be shot at spitballs over there and if we wanted we could have said to these ingrates, go fight your own battles.

We are not going through this because we are goldbrickers, nor lazy good for nothings, we were concerned in the future of our country including those ingrates who do not know what it is to leave family, job, a comfortable lifeor more or less comfortable.

Yours for GOD and Country
Frank P. Calderon

Lookedover
Lookedover

Yeah, the funds paid for the defunct for-profit colleges should be considered a loss and put back in the vet’s GI Bill.

But first a GI Bill should be issued to those of us who never got one because they couldn’t make the GI Bill a hard standard in the 1980’s. It was random and always changing. There was no internet and no way to pin down what you were or weren’t getting. No telling how many of us got screwed out a GI Bill…Me? 6 years- Honorable, Meritorious, Good Conduct. Ans still No GI Bill to date.

James Hall
James Hall

I was dropped from appointments for mental health so often that I got angry. when I did get angry the police were called then, no other appointments were made and my mental health medication were not refilled. At the same time after six years on pain meds was give one week and no more refills, had a seizure lost a front tooth. Drove 80 miles to VAMC in a psychosis, when at the emergency room police confronted me and I was charged in federal court of a misdemeanor for disruption of VAMC. Just trying to get mental health. Just to be made a criminal, No Thanks. AND JUSTICE FOR ALL EXCEPT IF YOU ARE A VET.

Gary M Bradshaw jr
Gary M Bradshaw jr

Same here James pain Meds over decade and mental health she dropped me because she had me on Valium with pain meds,another Dr blew her shit & long story short Mt Vernon Mo VA just stopped all my care

James
James

James did you plead guilty or did you fight it ! If you fought it.did you have an attorney?

This us what I been speaking about.when veterans need the help and are not feeling good and question or get upset.the VA will do what they did to you or punish the veterans by using the disruptive committee !

Instead of finding out what the veterans are going through and treating the veterans.

It’s seems it’s easier to punish the veterans than do their jobs and help !

As stated before the VA can and do punish veterans and in my case.they can’t provide one date or one piece of evidence period. !

If I would have gone to court.the judge would have throw the case out. Due to lack of evidence and the fact that hearsay was used.

That’s why the VA punished me using the disruptive committee.

If they use the disruptive committee They are able to punish the veterans and they violate all the veterans civil and constitutional rights !

Did you have any attorney or did you plea.

Kirk R
Kirk R

Personally I support the action of restoring the GI Bill benefits to Veterans who have been taken advantage of by these for profit sham schools. But unlike Madigan and the other Attorney Generals I support it for all Veterans who have been tricked by these scam schools. Not just for the Veterans who are now receiving GI Bill 2.0.

I also believe they need to investigate and find all the people responsible for these sham schools and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

That includes all of the people responsible for creating these schools, creating access to Veteran Benefit and US Department of Educational benefits. Including the schools originators, their political connections, Veterans Administration employees, US Department of Education and Department of Justice employees that are in any way associated with starting and protecting these criminally run money mills prying on taxpayer including Veterans.

Currently the only changes that these Attorney Generals are calling for is a second bite at the apple on the back of Tax payers including Veterans. They are not calling for, or taking any action to, shut down these money mills or pressing the need for tougher regulations on how their states accredit these schools to receive federal aid or Veterans Benefits. Instead they are calling for more money in system guaranteed to be wasted. So that these so called “schools” don’t go out of business.

A prime example of these college scams is the Corinthian Colleges scam covering 17 states. The Corinthian scam was originally modeled after the Adelphia Colleges scam of the 80s and 90s. The new twist is where the college finally loses accreditation and when legal actions brought by students win they just file bankruptcy and the assets are take over by a new school with another name and the very same business plan. That is not spending money on instructors or resources for students to learn.

But because of the decline in the population of possible students who are eligible for VA Benefits or Financial Aid in the areas surrounding these Money Mills. These Attorney Generals are proposing not shutting these sham schools down or forcing these scam schools to change to a business plan that guarantees a proper education. They just want to throw good money after bad knowing full well it will not work. Of course these attorneys get to act like they are doing something about the problem and give a air of legitimacy to these criminal enterprises. Like they have been cleaned up even thought it is the same business plan.

See : “”Everest College closing Vancouver, Portland campuses Programs will be consolidated in Tigard, Ore.”

“http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/dec/03/everest-college-closing-vancouver-portland-campuses/”

Of course in our current system it is less profitable to correct the problems and offer a quality education then it is to hire a few names to end an investigation of the school. Although It doesn’t always work.

“”Leon Panetta Quits Corinthian Colleges Board; Marc Morial Should, Too”

“http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/leon-panetta-quits-corint_b_3646152.html”

​”UC Davis Chancellor Quits DeVry Board of Directors After Eight Days”

“http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/uc-davis-chancellor-quits_b_9358754.html”

And of course if you need help tainting an investigation just set up a special unit to control the area and scope of the investigation.

“Education Department Launches Unit to Crackdown on Higher Education Fraud”

“http://newsone.com/3354684/education-department-launches-unit-to-crackdown-on-higher-education-fraud/”

Kirk R
Kirk R

Oh I forgot to add info about the Adelphia Colleges scam of the 80s and 90s.

It involved Rudolph Guiliani and the Terranova Crime Family.

Guiliani was to Terranova as was Mueller to Whitey Bulger

“http://articles.latimes.com/1989-07-21/news/mn-4249_1_student-loan-money”

Kirk R
Kirk R

A special note “Donald Trump and Trump University never allowed any of their customers or students to apply for any state or federal educational Financial Aid. Nor did they allow them to apply for Veterans Benefits.”

Trump University never attempted to seek accreditation so that their students could apply!

None of my preceding comment is connected to Donald Trump in any way shape or form.

James
James

Very nice write up. Guess their suing Donald trump school concerning this matter.

Gary M Bradshaw jr
Gary M Bradshaw jr

I got what looked like an award letter from Dept of Veterans Affairs yesterday,stating that since my son turned 23 that they were removing him,Bullshit they removed him @ 18 ,my point is this ,I tried to help him go to college under my GI Bill went to service officer filled out all paperwork all I ever got back was letters apologizing,for taking so long ,needless to say they never helped,Since this piece of Shit has taken office & stole resources that were allocated for Veterans, ,I am not joking everything has been stopped medical wife’s champ VA no help with college, the real question is this what or who is getting all this Money ,probably the Fucking Refugees. I say Goodbye to Garbage,don’t let door hit your assistance on the way out Obama

Arnold Cabral
Arnold Cabral

Gary M Bradshaw my experience with all Legislation Leaders its election time so try to be cool if you know me i always been trying to called someone who controls how to improve Veterans Healthcare its like ttrying to fix a broken record but when i am right i will never surrender to the day i died especially when it comes to Veterans Healthcare.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I looked into the removal of benefits for dependents when my son turned 18. They can remove them when they turn 18, but you have to submit paperwork to keep them in if they are enrolled as full time students, until they are age 26. I don’t know what evidence is required.
On ChampVA, I talked with a Choice program coordinator at my VA hospital the other day. I was shocked to hear the VA had one. The VA is using Choice to hire all kinds of people since my small VA has not just one coordinator, but three. Not that they are that helpful anyway. Anyway, in talking with him about Choice, I asked him about ChampVA, and he said that program has been slimmed way down from what it used to be since Choice started. This was the guy in charge of the other two coordinators, but told me it was so new he didn’t know much about it. He was asking if I had TriCare since he was very happy with his.
I don’t know if my email to Senator Gardner and Congressman Tipton did the trick, or if tweeting a message to HealthNet and emailing the address they provided worked, but after 54 days of excuses from them not setting an appointment, I got a call yesterday from a lady on their escalation team. She said she was assigned to my case to follow all the way through until the appointment is done. She then called again yesterday with answer to questions I had.
Supposedly some rule changes made just yesterday by the VA will speed up their ability to pay providers more timely. I will believe it when I see it.

yes I complain loudly
yes I complain loudly

91Vet > They call these people “Choice Champions” – they work at each VA hospital and are supposed to help the veteran who is on Choice who is having trouble with Choice by calling Choice (Healthnet Federal Services) or your non-VA provider you are using and “explaining” your problem to them on the phone. These “Choice Champions” don’t know much about choice themselves and listen to whatever the Choice authorization group tells them — much of it incorrectly. I discussed one of my many hundreds of problems with a C. Champion guy last Oct. and he called me back and gave me one authorization number for two doctors I was to see. I told him that I should have two – a separate different number for each doctor (which is common sense). He told me that they said to use this one number for both visits “That’s what they told me to tell you”. That fucked everything up for me and I just got off the phone today – 4 months later – with the provider who I had received from claiming the VA didn’t pay – so I have to. By the time I got off the phone, I convinced them to drop the charge to me and go after the Choice assholes as well as my speech as to how much the federal government BLOWS. I told her to remember this when she votes in Nov. She was totally on my side, and told me about her conversations with Choice for the last few months. She tells them how badly they are treating veterans. Her stories were funny. She told me how the Choice people close by “thanking them for their service for being the provider to the veteran”. She then tells them “well you’re not of any help at all to the veterans”. I told her some of my conversations with choice and how I unload on them. She was all ears! Keep posting your experiences with these clowns

91Veteran
91Veteran

Those Choice “champions” are all getting participation trophies because they sure as hell are not champions in helping veterans.
I talked with the guy in charge first, because I didn’t know there were 2 others. He is the one who told me he didn’t know much about Choice.
I got the names and extensions of the other 2 when I called my provider after more than 30 days to confirm Choice had never called them. I called Heather, and could never get her on the phone. I called Carrie, and she kept telling me I would have to wait for Choice, that there was nothing she could do.
When I finally got the Choice supervisor on the phone and was told I would have to start over, I called Carrie again, she logged into HealthNet and confirmed what I told her. She then said she would call HealthNet and call me back. When she did, she said she talked with a HealthNet supervisor, and said my consult was all that they needed, that what I was told was wrong. I got the sense she thought I was lying about what the supervisor said. I gave her the name of the supervisor and the call center he was working at.
Now that I think about the escalation call I got yesterday, she again mentioned the name of this neurologist I was told about once before by Choice. I repeatedly told her throughout the call the consult was for neurosurgery, and that I had the VA consult and knew what it said. I pressed her on how this neurologist could ever get my consult, and she said Choice had called him, and determined he was a neurologist.

I still believe it was me emailing all these details to my Senator and Congressman and asking for an inquiry that finally got this moving.

yes I complain loudly
yes I complain loudly

You have to ask for the authorization group all the time. Don’t waste time with the phone answerers. I am trying to straighten out something this week with them of which I will write about when things settle. Everyone hates them, and I don’t think the VA is going to cancel their contract no matter what I was told. Political as hell.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I just got off the phone with Senator Bennets office after several days of waiting.
They are VERY interested in the details of this whole Choice disaster.
Since I already had my Congressman and other Senator involved, Choice finally noticed. I got a call from their escalation team a couple days ago. I also got a call from the provider last night. The appointment is set. The neurosurgeon wanted a different type of xray, and that is also set and approved under a separate authorization number which the escalation person gave me when she called this morning.
Since she was on the phone, I asked her about legislation requiring VA doctors following the laws of the state they are in, and discussed at length how they can be shuffled around after malpractice suits. She said they are very interested in that as well, and she will make sure any write up I give her on that legislation is given to their legislative aides.

yes I complain loudly
yes I complain loudly

That’s super cool. I may even email Bennet’s office myself, too, even though I am not in CO, since that would fortify your voice also. “My experiences with Choice” I shall name it.
For your information, whenever you have to get anything done (like an x-ray, or imaging) outside the doctors four walls, you must get a different auth # like they are telling you. That’s correct. Who the fuck knows this??? Certainly not the providers who have to submit a fucking “request for additional services” which is a pain in the ass and time consuming. They treat both the vets and the providers like babies, and I resent that. Like this is a slow and agonizing game of “Simon Says”. If, however, your doctor does the x-rays within his office – you DON’T need another auth #. The Choice program is riddled with these never-ending rules drawn up to make the program FAIL. Congressmen and senators (small s) have no idea about these details that are alienating providers from doing business with VA choice. I blame McDude and Mc David Sulkin or whatever his name is.
As for how VA doctors are shuffled around – the politicians don’t have a clue about that either.
What we are doing, in our own little ways, is really the way to get the VA. Not marches in Washington where maybe 10 people will show up since it is too expensive for masses of veterans to afford that. Or billboards saying the VA lies where you might as well say the entire Fed gov has been lying to everyone exponentially each year. Not with a bunch of veterans that have thousands of misdirected opinions about the VA, and can’t stay on message. The answer is each of us speaking up individually like we are doing. That’s why I complain loudly! Yes I didally do.

arnieandcaroline13
arnieandcaroline13

How many Veterans like a Veteran Primary Care Doctor can lied to you and get away with it.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I was only aware of the need for additional authorizations because of other veterans speaking up about their Choice experiences, and made it very clear to the “Choice Escalation” person who called that she needed to find out everything that was needed prior to the appointment and get it authorized.
By the way, Bennets office may not care if you email them. I first contacted his local office last week when Choice said I would have to start over. The poor lady is overworked being the only person in the office. I called his Denver office and left a voice mail with his Vets Affairs case manager. I didn’t hear from her for several days, so I emailed him through his Senate web site. I didn’t hear anything from that for a couple days, so I called his DC office. It still took a couple days for the message to trickle back to his local office.

Email every one you can on your experience and let them know what billion dollar waste looks like.

I told her about that when she called me, and about Cincinnati VA closing down departments and dumping vets on Choice to make their budget better.

She asked me if I knew whether the Choice contract was up for renewal, so I told her about HealthNets investor web site and their Form 10-K they file with the SEC. I told her they had an initial contract, and 4 options to extend it 1 year. I said it’s been extended once. She asked if I knew who controlled that, and I said it looked like the VA does.
At least she was willing to ask questions and listen.

arnieandcaroline13
arnieandcaroline13

HOW MANY VETERANS LIKE A VETERAN ADVOCATES?

Gary M Bradshaw jr
Gary M Bradshaw jr

Hey one more thing Friends,Everyone of us should Fucking Demand from our elected that they Audit every Dollar ,I mean every Cent this is election year ,I know these worthless politicians.have been putting feelers out here in Missouri to get a feel ,& people are pissed ,Please guys let’s We all know you follow the money it leaves a trail .I bet it would infuriate.us.We bitch alot on here it’s time action ,we were f ing.soldiers guys

.G. T. Martin, PhD (O4, ANG-Ret.)
.G. T. Martin, PhD (O4, ANG-Ret.)

Third tier education (in fact, all education) is a matter of personal pursuit … a student’s absorption of standardized data. The determination for certification is testing to a percentage of “correct” responses to the applicable data. Ultimate value of the certificate is a matter of public acceptance. The agencies determining the validity of an institution’s product are unions of contributors, designed to enhance the members’ public image–ultimately to profit.
The Department of Education is a scam. Government has no business determining the importance of certification to the individual, VA rules notwithstanding. The individual is the judge of value, and the eventual determinant of investment success. VA is obligated to perform congressional mandates, not to determine how the society operates. Don’t tell me how to spend my earnings.
Certification relies upon examination of individual’s achievement. The problem is with the educational system’s methodology. Caveat emptor.
Funds expended for G.I. Bill take away from other mandates. If the individual veteran feels he has a case against an educational institution, there are civil procedures available for appropriate actions. It is not the VA’s obligation (NOR SHOULD IT BE) to protect the individual veterans’ choices.
Every person is responsible for their own consequences.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I don’t disagree with anything you said, but the VA should have some obligation of informing the veteran of the quality of some schools, and whether that may translate into future success for the veteran.
It would not be that difficult for the VA to do this if state education regulators funded by the worthless Dept. Of Ed. took action against schools that are clearly scams or have little track record of success.

You would see a lot of this disappear if schools were required to prove a certain job placement rate in order to receive any federal funding. Either the schools improve to keep funding, or they die because the spigot is turned off.

merti busch
merti busch

I think the minute the VA starts to provide back benefits for a veterans poor selection we have entered ‘nanny state’ mentality.

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times a school sales per, uh, I mean academic advisor has talked one of my vets into attending. The vet is blinded by the slick sales pitch. But they are also adults, with the ability to do their own research.

Adults sometimes make poor choices. Uncle Sam shouldn’t have to bail them out.

AND, every one of those schools was accredited by the state’s Dept of Education, which the VA partially relies on to police the fly-by-night schools.

Vets get GI Bill benefits and can use them any way they want for training at WEAMS facilities. Isn’t that the point of adulthood?

Bob Petersen
Bob Petersen

I agree with much of what you say BUT when there are recruiters using the teamwork and follow-the-chain-of-command programming of military life exploiting soldiers struggling to find their way back into civilian life-well, I have a problem with that. I’ve been suckered by one of these schools and I’m sure if I took them to court I could prove they failed to meet their obligations in our contract-but it would cost me more to sue than I lost. So they get away with it. We need to make it easier to get class-action status-not more difficult as the GOP Congress is trying to do. The ubiquitous Binding Arbitration Clause has got to go! So, yup, We’re responsible for making poor decisions-but so are hucksters who take advantage of those poor decisions to the detriment of us ALL. Having a well trained/educated workforce is good for America and it’s time we quit penny-pinching on veterans programs while spending like crazy buying bombs.

Arnold Cabral
Arnold Cabral

How many Veterans on here believes that Veterans Healthcare needs to improve that is good but what is better telled your Congress also. ….you might tell me they don’t listen it goes out one ear then then then the another. ….can you hear me now?

google
google

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