Top Priority: Shulkin Wants To Eliminate Veterans Choice Program Restrictions

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Veterans Choice

Sunday, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, MD, said he wanted to eliminate the mileage and wait time restriction for the Veterans Choice Program.

Presently, the Veterans Choice Program only allows veterans to use a community health care provider under two criteria for non-emergency care: 1) Veterans who live 40 miles or more from the nearest VA facility; or, 2) Veterans who need to wait 30 days for an appointment.

Shulkin spoke at a Disabled American Veterans (DAV) conference yesterday and set out his top priorities for VA now that he is head of the agency.

Veterans Choice 2.0

One high priority on his list was an overhaul of the Veterans Choice Program Shulkin referred to as “Choice 2.0.” As part of his new plan, Shulkin plans to remove those two restrictions that limited access to community care options because the restrictions are “extremely complex and bureaucratic.”

He said the new proposal first requires that Congress eliminate the expiration date established for the present Veterans Choice Program, which is set for August 7, 2017.

Some Other Shulkin Priorities

Other priorities mentioned at the conference were addressing employee accountability with new lawmaking. Shulkin wants to push legislation to “make sure bad employees are leaving the system.”

As an aside, this is interesting since Congress is supposed to push legislation and the Executive Branch, including VA, are supposed to carry out those laws, not push them through Congress. It is more a sign of Congress’s abducation of its duty to reasonably pass legislation needed to efficiently run the federal government.

Shulkin also plans to address the “national tragedy” of the high veteran suicide rate. It is about time veteran suicides get addressed, right?

Back To Veterans Choice

Nonetheless, I am surprised to see Shulkin endorse this move since he was reluctant to answer direct questions in a succinct manner during his confirmation hearing about Veterans Choice and how the program might be affected by his leadership.

While many veteran organizations will disagree, I think veterans should be allowed a choice when seeking health care, whether in VA or in the community.

VA would also do well to increase veterans opportunities for choices related to their care within VA.

Presently, many veterans have their health care dictated to them, and this kind of health care via tyranny needs to go the way of the dodo. Civilians can choice their health care provider and the manner in which they receive care at their respective provider.

Isn’t it time veterans have the same flexibility, even if they stay within VA?

I know, some of you reading this will respond that you get great health care at VA and that you have full decision making authority when receiving your care.

Well, you are lucky. Many veterans do not have that same flexibility.

Beginning this week, DAV and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be stumping to tell Congress what they want VA to work on. On Tuesday, DAV is scheduled to present their position to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

It may be worth tuning in to hear how each organization addresses Veterans Choice.

Source: https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/shulkin-proposes-eliminating-40-mile-30-day-rule-for-non-va-care-1.456087#.WLOiFBIrLBU

cj
cj

You mean it will no longer be in “Gods hands” as my pcp told me on last visit? I made an appointment with the local vetinarian, I figure it couldn’t be any worse than the va. Ohhhhh that was a ruff comment.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, good one! ROFL!

cj
cj
As long as he is going to try and get law passed to tell the unions to piss off, your fired, I hope he also works on getting the sieu infestation out of the va as well. ACORN working at the va? Really? Communists working at a facility for veteran freedom fighters? While he is at it, I hope he fires all those quacks that deny service connection claims for bonus’s. I mean, if he wants to cut down on… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

I like the way you think, CJ.

Benefit of the doubt goes to the Veteran. Way past time for the VA to implement that.

cj
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: It is suppose to be current policy, benifit of the doubt goes to the veteran. Only problem is they don’t practice current policy when there is money to be had in bonus’s for denying a veteran service connection. Take away the damn bonus money and you will quickly see claims no longer beinng denied.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@CJ – Your last reply is why I said “way past time to implement. We all know that it has been VA policy for years, but when has the VA ever correctly followed their policies in favor of the Veteran? Way past time. Veterans First, VA Workers last. That should be the priority sequence.

Agreed. 60 days should be more than enough time to adjudicate a veterans claim.

cj
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: Amen. Also, I appologize for the confusion.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
No apology necessary. I always enjoy your postings along with 91Veteran, Crazy elf, Namnibor, Dennis, Ex va, along with my displaced island bruddah ANutterVet, and a few others. And of course, our host – – – Ben. I shudder to think how my life would have continued had I not found Ben’s Blog. The education you folks have provided me over the last five months has been most helpful to me in my own dealings with my local VA healthcare… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, they put time limits on social security, why can’t they do that to the va? I think the va should have less time to review c & p exams that social security.

VAISLYING INC
THE AFGE UNION SEWAGE RATS WILL FIGHT TO STOP FROM VETS GETING TO CHOSING THER PRVIATE HEALTH CARE THE P BIG FAT PORKER PIMP DACVID COX AFGE UNION PRESIDENT WILL FIGHT THE VETS ON THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dick Backus
Dick Backus
This is LONG overdue. I have had health issues like most vets. I went to the Charleston, S.C. V.A to take out my gall bladder. First they said I could get it done in FOUR months. I had to call my congressman, and MIRACULOUSLY I got in in two weeks. Then I had the operation, and STILL have my gall bladder. The surgeon said my gall bladder was rapped around my liver. I had to give him the benefit of… Read more »
Lem
Lem

If you have sand vs stones reduction should do the trick and you wouldn’t have a gall bladder if it wasn’t needed for something.

I’ve had a reduction in 1998 and after about 4 months I had no more problems.

Dennis M
Dennis M

It’s an interesting ideal. Just a couple of question; how much money will be withdrawn from veterans health care to pay for those who want to go outside va.,secondly what guarantees that next year that budget for private doc, will be enough for the care of the vets. 19trillion deficent

cj
cj
We could start by using the money we sent to Iran 1.3 billion + 400 million Illegal alien cost to US taxpayers 100 billion annually cost to jai illegals for crimes they commited 1.87 billion annually DOD cant account for, also known as “lost” 6.5 trillion With just a few minutes of my “fuzzy” math.There is no shortage of wasteful spending. I can research for another hour, and find even more funding that would be better used for veterans, and… Read more »
cj
cj

Don’t get too pissed off at me, my thinking may be a little screwy, but my heart is in the right place.

Craig Womer
Craig Womer

The VA and Choice Program need to improve on paying their bills to providers timely as to not lose that doctor or provider. It’s a huge problem in Georgia. When a provider has the auth why are they not payed. VETS are getting Bill collectors on their butts cause of this inefficient system for the Atlanta area.

91Veteran
91Veteran
The Choice program is a scam designed to look like something is being done about wait times, when in fact vets are waiting longer for a Choice appointment. The VA hired numerous “Choice champions” to administer this disaster, and not a one of them know what to do. You can bet your ass if their paycheck was late, someone would be hearing about it, but delaying payment for a vets care is no big deal. If the delay is long… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
Thanks for the 411, Ben. Will certainly be highly interested in seeing what course Dinosaur VSO’s think VA should chart for the next few years. I like Shulkin’s thinking on proposing “Choice 2.0”. Were I only to have the freedom of what he is proposing on this tiny island . . . That would be a very positive life-changing experience for THIS veteran. I would then be allowed to see people I can trust. And not have to deal with… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

@Disgruntled Veteran– As long as the VA authorizes a dozen Choice Crows to carry you from your tiny island while you hold-onto coconut husks to arrive timely at a California appointment, you should be fine…providing the Choice Crows are not allergic to coconuts. Better wear a life preserver and some shark repellant just to be safe (shark repellant and life preserver on veteran’s own dime…it’s your Choice to be safe…) 🙂

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@Nam – All I really need from them is a card the guarantees prompt payment to my provider. I will take care of my own scheduling, transportation on-island, etc. Got a doc I just LOVE who is also a computer wonk to the Nth degree. Once a patient of hers – – – just log on, fill out a one page form, submit. Within a few hours – – – you receive e-mail ticket with details of your appointment time… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@Nam – – – Too late for me on the shark repellant! Already been to the Spark Matsunaga VA Clinic in Honolulu more than once. Shark repellant only works on Great Whites, and other pure breds. Might work on pure bred piggies as well. Not sure.

But here in the islands, we have a special AFGE-enhanced strain known as the SharkohawgarhinypotaVSOamus. Christ, Kryptonite wouldn’t kill that critter.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Disregard this post. Accidentally Fat-fingered unfollow while performing subscription managemen.

Ex va
Ex va
This sounds good that Dr. Shulkin is addressing real problems with real solutions. Veterans should not be denied care at the va medical centers and if they are being neglected they should have the choice of seeing a doctor outside of the va system. These things should be implemented immediately and there should be no discussion about it. Save lives, let Veterans choose where they want their needs for healthcare met. Treat the disabled Veteran in a manner that a… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: That is for sure. One thing the va will never square away with me, is the phrase “THE LIQUIFIED REMAINS OF A VETERAN WERE FOUND AT THE VA” That kind of says it all. Where else in the entire world, have you ever heard that term? I don’t think even the most prehistoric tribes of the Amazon jungle, have ever found the “LIQUIFIED REMAINS” of even a damn shunkadillopuss.

Ex va
Ex va

@cj, there has been so many unspeakable, unimaginable and diabolical abuses by the va over too many years. You are right the terms used are beyond understanding and with it in writing it is beyond what a civilized country should allow to happen to their disabled Veterans. Beyond madness…Borders on evil doings, don’t know how to comprehend it and will never comprehend it. I will not forget it either.

Dick Backus
Dick Backus
I agree the V.A. is completely a JOKE. Long wait times. Can’t speak to your primary doctor. Have to get them an email. Might not hear from them for a week, or many weeks. I decided to go to my local hospital from now on. I make them bill the V.A. I go to the EMERGENCY department, if I have a problem. THEN the V.A. has to pay for it. I am 100% disabled from the V.A. I have a… Read more »
John Cokos
John Cokos
That little gambit will work just well if you remember to claims that( for example an Emergency Room) visit the is connected to treatment that you are getting at the VA Hospital.I tried just that little tactic some years back and the VA paid up a chuck of change after dickering with the padded Hospital Emergency Room Bill. It was all laid out in in some VA regs post that I looked up. May have changed some since then. Hey,… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
So, instead of the VA and VA Sec. using Public Affairs $$$ to make a televised address to America’s Veterans, VA Secretary Shulkin decides to play his violin for the dinosaur VSO swamp beasts of the DAV/VFW variety and let me get this correct: “[Beginning this week, DAV and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be stumping to tell Congress what they want VA to work on.]”….WTF…The DAV and VFW will be TELLING CONGRESS what THEY want to work… Read more »
Just Another Veteran
Just Another Veteran

I agree with you entirely namnibor. They need to do their dam job. There’s so much red tape dealing with AFGE that everyone who is supposed to be administering health care to veterans are actually blinded by appeasing the union workers hired to provide veterans care.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

Beginning this week, DAV and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be stumping to tell Congress what they want VA to work on…..why don’t they send the vet’s a survey instead . who died and left these worthless fucks in charge of what we want.as if we all belong to these worthless organizations

namnibor
namnibor
@OLDMARINE– Right-on…who left the Dino VSO’s in-charge and somehow representing me and my interests, let alone ALL Veterans? Way too cozy of a piggy relationship with those lamprey, that DO NOT represent the vast majority of Veterans…no, the VSO’s have proven they represent THEIR own interests, period. Makes me recall the VSO’s movement of “SAVE THE VA” (from true Choice and Privatization), when vast majority of the Dino VSO’s or at least their management, do NOT even use the VA,… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Old Marine,
The VFW sent out word for a poll on what veterans thought about VHA’s.
You could call them and let them know.
Like all VSO’s, nothing came of it!

namnibor
namnibor

I think those VSO’s only send out periodic polls to further stretch the justification of their existence.
All the VA needs to do is…FOLLOW THE LAWS set-forth for them to FOLLOW…

John Cokos
John Cokos

As for the VSO”S their best days are behind them for whatever good works they have done for vet. I don’t have any use for them myself, they are now part of the problem.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@OLDMARINE – Precisely. Time to call in the massive air-strike on the Dinosaur VSO’s. Used to belong. Not anymore. None of them ever did anything for me except to lighten my already too light wallet. Pay their dues, or pay my rent? Easy choice.

Semper Fi.

James Gallegos
The VA employees are exempt from being fired as of today. The house passed the Holman Rule and I was told by senator’s Bennett’s office that it was not in effect until it passed the Senate. And becomes law. Don’t know about that. If that is true. I know one thing the Holman Rule. Is the key to getting rid of bad employees and everyone must do their part and call and text and write to their senator’s and tell… Read more »
Bob
Bob
Very interesting,I hope it is not smoke and mirrors as usual. I am a Retired Vietnam Veteran a Marine and Rated 100% Living in the Philippines and the Manila VA Clinic is 800 air miles round trip for me and in 2015 I Got a Choice Card and when I contacted the Clinic in Manila about it it I was Told by the Clinic manager,”The Choice card is no good here”What a Crock!! That is like taking a kid into… Read more »
Peterson, L.H.
Peterson, L.H.

Get a signature sheet together of the Vets in your area. Send it to the whoever you were talking about to Make them authorize the hospitals and clinics in your area! Maintain copies of all correspondence for use later.

Lem
Lem

If the clinic is an authorized Medicare provider it is authorized by the law. All you have to do is call and verify.

If it isn’t authorized you’ll have to pick up the difference in what the VA pays and what they charge same as Medicare part B.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I would be asking for proof about the Choice card not being any good there.

Sounds like someone just pulled another flippant answer out of their ass.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@Bob In Da Pill-Oh-Peenz Sounds like you may have had dealings with the Infamous Rima Nelson whom after she probably exposed over 1500 vets to HIV and Hep C in St. Louis, was given a transfer to the Manila Clinic so that she would be “under the radar” for awhile. Now, she is in charge of the Phoenix VA. Poor bastards up there in addition to their other medical problems – – – are about to be “RIMA’d”. She should… Read more »
cj
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: Funny you should mention that. Check out the next blog story Ben just posted.

cj
cj

It may not be about Rima……….but like always……….the same damn players over and over again.

Dick Backus
Dick Backus
You are like me. Fomer Marine-100% diabled. I finally woke up, and started going straight to my local hospital EMERGENCY department. The V.A. has to pay anyone who is 100% that goes to the EMERGENCY department. I am DONE with going to the V.A. other than blood work, and talking to my primary doctor, who is basically useless. I have a two hour ride to my V.A. hospital. I have quit doing it. I go straight to the emergency department… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
It *sounds* as if Shulkin is trying. The two VSO’s mentioned in the article are pushing the opposite. “cj”, “Disgruntled Veteran” and “Ex va” have basically summed up everything VHA’s & VBA’s need to accomplish! I would add, VHA healthcare providers, PCP’s, nurses, PA’s etc., who only “perform at the minimum” for veterans healthcare, need to be gone! How many out there, at your appointment, have nothing done except a “routine exam”? Ex; blood pressure, PCP listening with a stethoscope,… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Crazy elf” – Good points everyone posted. I believe that many VA Nurse Practitioners [NP’s], Clinical Pharmacologists [CP’s], Physician Assistants [PA’s], and Primary Care Physicians or Providers [PCP’s], don’t review the Veterans charts in order to be familiar with the past medical problems, they don’t take into consideration what the Veteran expresses on how effective a past or current treatment is, and most importantly the last two points, many VA medical providers don’t ask Veterans medical probing questions, and how… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
“[Plus, many VA medical providers don’t have a warm and expressive behavior when evaluating patients during a face to face appointment. The attitude of the medical provider is important to make a patient feel comfortable.]” Yeah, something about the sharp pointy teeth and fangs and the evil sinister grin of the VA witch dr. hacks is more than disquieting. Then there’s the total lack of interest in a given Veteran’s daily life while the hack types into the computer and… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
@ANutterVet, I know for a fact, my PCP has never reviewed my medical records. She has absolutely NO clue whatsoever about my physical or mental health! She didn’t even know what the medical term: “Peripheral Polyneuropathy” (of all four extremities) meant! She was also unaware it was/is one of the “conditions” set down in the Agent Orange conditions! Even though I receive “disability compensation” for this “disease”! Which is on every document she’s supposed to review BEFORE I see her.… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Crazy elf – Sorry that your going through this like me. Its very frustrating, and I believe that I have suffered more because of it. Whatever these VA leaders do, they need to focus on what is happening in their own facilities. My trust level with them are below the floor. I hope your health improves my Brother.

Everything that I mentioned in my previous post, I have unfortunately experienced.

91Veteran
91Veteran

My last PCP appointment, the doctor seemed pissed off with me. I don’t care.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@91Veteran- I don’t care what they think either. My last appointment-meeting there was another provider that attended. I told my PCP [NP] not to surprise me like this anymore. Call me and let me know that another party will be present. And, let me know the agenda for the meeting. Geesh, to complicated I guess. Brother, I’m getting tired of this shit.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Namnibor, you guys reminded me to look once again for my records showing up in the Blue Button. The first time I tried, no notes were downloaded. I tried again, and the notes were finally included. I insisted I only be seen for service connected issues, so she spent about 30 seconds total on each, and still managed to miss 3 out of 9 conditions. What she did include on my notes was that no Alcohol screening took place because… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@91Veteran- The VA could be adding other information besides your current conditions. Then when all the records are scanned for problems, they are added up, and then the VA probably submits a report that shows these areas of concern, and they may get more monies into the till. Its possible. But this is the VA, they wouldn’t do such a thing. These politicians can kiss my ass as well. Not that I’m prejudice, but Veterans should be on a higher… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
I sent my PCP a Secure Message after cutting and pasting that section into the message asking them to explain why that is there. I learned my lesson some time ago from a PCP falsifying records. As for the MSM, hell we can’t even get our own fellow vets to acknowledge there is a problem. I posted on my Facebook page a link to that news article about the old vet lying on the floor of the ER because he… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@91Veteran – Vets who don’t see what is going on within the VA they have their heads in the sand. Nothing more to say about these folks. There not on our team. And, the big political differences applies to Veterans as well. The Great Divide in America.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Crazy Elf, if I had a quack like that as a PCP I would be looking up their licensing and credentials. Not on the VA web site though since they like to obscure where their doctors go to med school of its an overseas school. I found one VA doctor went to med school in the Cayman Islands at some school named like St. Jonathon University of the Caymon Islands. His VA profile showed he went to med school at… Read more »
Just Another Veteran
Just Another Veteran

Not sure if Shulkin is trying or if he’s creating smoke screens so he doesn’t wind up dragged face-first over a hot coal bed by Trump.

namnibor
namnibor

No worries, most VA witch dr’s can walk on hot coals, no problem. However, face-first will be interesting to see how resilient the zombie powder dust actually is. Might be defense contracting potential for his golden parachute when Trump says, You’re Fired! 🙂

namnibor
namnibor

No worries, most VA witch dr’s can walk on hot coals, no problem. However, dragged face-first on hot coals will be interesting to see how resilient the zombie powder dust actually is. Might be defense contracting potential for his golden parachute when Trump says, You’re Fired! 🙂

namnibor
namnibor

Sorry, I was literally beside myself there^

cj
cj
@namnibor,@Crazy elf,@ANutterVet,@Don Avant: Everyone is on the money here, Don, I like the idea of when a veteran wins their appeal, they should get the bonus money paid to the one who denied it in the frist place.’ As far as doctors go, again your all on the money, mine doesn’t even lay a hand on me, he reads to me from a computer screen all the shit I already know, with a twist, he doesn’t know how to pronounce… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
Crazy elf YOU NAILED IT WITH THIS COMMENT …..I would add, VHA healthcare providers, PCP’s, nurses, PA’s etc., who only “perform at the minimum” for veterans health-care, need to be gone! How many out there, at your appointment, have nothing done except a “routine exam”? Ex; blood pressure, PCP listening with a stethoscope,….but you forgot the rubber glove they always want to stick up your ass which I refuse every time. I have even sent a message on secure messaging… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@OLDMARINE,
Hey, brother, not once since I’ve gone to the VHA in Lake Baldwin, Orlando, Fl. has a PCP ever put on that dreaded rubber glove to give me that “Finger Wave”!
I also wouldn’t allow that to happen even IF the PCP wanted to.
Don’t trust VA one freaking bit!

John Cokos
John Cokos

Like Ronnie Raygun Said: Trust BUT Verify…I will wait to see if this does in fact come to pass.

Bill
Bill

What does “Veteran Choice” and “Military Intelligence” have in common?

Yup you guessed it niether none of those words belong in the same sentence.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Hey, Bill, Military Intelligence is fucked up! Check out “The Battle of Ko-Tang”, May 1975! This “operation” IS considered the “end of the war in Southeast Asia!” That was a FUBAR from the beginning. The Marine Corps even refuses to admit the “intelligence reports” were flawed from the beginning! We lost many Marines in that “exercise” of futility, against a newly formed enemy. My “brother” who passed last April, of Pancreatic Cancer the VHA in Daytona Beach failed/refused to diagnose,… Read more »
Bill
Bill

I am sorry for yor you loss. If your brother was anything like you i am sure he wad a good man.

Unless I am mistaken the marines in the failed op were stationed in okinawa. I was also there in 1975. We went on alert but were sent in.

Windguy
Windguy
Elf. Sorry about yet another brother from a different mother. Military Intelligence was pretty darn good back in that day. What’s fucked-up is what “management” does with it. I was Army Intel – ASA – Top Sec Umbra working the KR mission out of Thailand up to end Oct 74. I was also involved in watching FANK (Cambodian Friendlies). In God We Trust – Everyone Else We Monitor. While I do not know what was on the Mayaguez that day,… Read more »
Don Avant
I’m all for eliminating the Choice program as long as the eliminate the as long as the eliminate the NEED for the program first by providing timely, quality health care first…Eliminate the NEED for the program before you eliminate the program… As for the Benefits backlog, mandatory adjucation within 60 days. If the claim is not decided within 60 day it’s automatically granted in favor of the Vet…NO RUBBER STAMP DENIALS…If a Vet is denied and wins on appeal, the… Read more »
Lem
Lem
Now I understand the dragging of feet in this year’s appointment approval. Didn’t realize the Choice Program had a sunset clause. Hope he get it. The VA needs the competition. Director’s budgets getting drawn on for choice so they will try to nicely attract veterans to the VA instead of trying to use bullying. Might lead to some overall improvement and less belly aching when some of the complainers can’t find the service they think is out there some where.
namnibor
namnibor
If VA Sec. Shulkin and Team want to really eliminate the Choice Program Restrictions, why not follow a RANDOM handful of Veterans attempting to utilize Choice across the USA as to actually SEE WHERE the problems exist first before slapping band-aids to a program without properly knowing what is broken with program? If Shulkin is relying on the Dino VSO’s for feedback, I highly doubt too many piggies actually use Choice and if they do, more than likely receive preferential… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
This was the “Message” on “Fox News” yesterday. Titled; “Vets Blast Warren Over Support for Illegals – Dana Loesch” Posted on 26 Feb. 2017 (7:30 min.) Think about it. Illegals are ripping off “entitlements” specifically designed to help citizens of the United States! Wouldn’t it be amazing to see Congresspeople fighting for veterans instead of illegal immigrants?!?!? Today’s blog is a great example of WHAT Congress, Secretary of VA and other appointed officials should be asking about. It seems most… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

P.S.
Y’all can also google this;

“Immigration Outrage —-
“Vets Blast Warren Over Support for Illegals – Dana Loesch”

What was said by Dana is exactly what all veterans should be saying to their elected and appointed officials!

Peterson, L.H.
Peterson, L.H.
@crazy elf Were you deployed to Iraq? I have polyneuropathy and full body fasciculations. My face has been asleep (pins/needles/electrical fire) for years and 11 herniated or flat vertebral discs…there’s more but that’s enough for now. I’m not allowed to go to a neurosurgeon again. The tests the previous one did were positive but they wrote in my file the tests showed nothing. They scanned my brain and it showed results proving TBIs but then they erased the files at… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
Peterson L.H sorry to hear about your problems you need to try to get some outside care…..i keep track of my own blood-work because i am at stage one ,after a friend of mine kept complaining he didn’t feel good and moved to FLA went to the V,A. there and found out on his first blood work he had stage 4 cancer died in 4 months…agent orange…. i have highs and lows on my blood work and the witch doctor… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Peterson L. H. No, I was never in Iraq. My multiple services include; first; Army 64-69 Vietnam 2 years, 2 months and 2 days! Which is the reasons behind my disabilities due to Agent Orange. second, Navy from 75 to 82, Honorably discharged under medical. “Operation Fluid Drive”, June 1976, “evacuation of civilians held captive by Hezbollah”! In 1979 is when my body started going to shit. So, after a couple years of medical exams, the Navy decided to release… Read more »
Peterson, L.H.
Peterson, L.H.

Well, holy crap.
After my first fun IED time, my problessings started. A bunch of IEDs later, with a daily heavy steel rain for good measure my body was wrecked. (Infantryman here) nobody else was whining so, neither did i.
Now, I’m lucky to walk from the couch to the bed and back. But hey, it’s not bad enough yet…fuckin piss ant neuroteam.

Just Another Veteran
Just Another Veteran
Speaking from experience, Veterans Choice needs to fix their payment problems. My most recent Veteran Choice referral to a specialist now is over 90 days since service and no payment has been made. Friday evening I received a notice from the provider they want immediate payment. They’re threatening to ruin my credit. Why do we continue to be treated like this? Why is it Tricare is paid timely but Veterans Choice payments continue to be a disaster? Aren’t these programs… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

@ Disgruntled Veteran, the people handling the choice program dollars at the va medical center is handled by va employees (at the va medical center near me). They are called fee base clerks. Ask for the fee base office staffing extension number. You may be able to speed up your appointments and payments to your outside doctors if you call them. Good luck to you.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Just Another Veteran,

Send a copy of the bill to Shulkin. With a hand written note of what the provider said to you!
Keep it short and sweet,
Close by asking this one simple question—–
“Sir, What are you going to do about this?”

namnibor
namnibor
@Crazy elf, and ALL: Ohio Breaking News: Audit of Illegals and Non-citizen refugees registered to vote and some voted: “821 Non-Citizens registered to vote in Ohio…of these illegal residents, the tally in Ohio is about 128 of them illegally voted in last election” Breaking News in Ohio. The names of the illegal non-citizens are being referred to proper agency investigation and action. Remember when Obama told the illegals and non-citizen political refugees they could go ahead and vote? Well, if… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

“”http://www.10tv.com/article/election-investigation-uncovers-non-citizens-voting-ohio””

cj
cj
And another thing that really PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF. Why the hell is the va spending money on commercials mis informing veterans, and therefore the public, about how great the va healthcare is, showin what looks like a combination of club med, and Rush Medical Center, instead of paying their bills, so VETERANS DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH COLLECTIONS, and have their CREDIT go down tlhe drain. This current push to show the va in a good light is… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

LMAO!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

“cj”
That $25 million dollar public relations firm has a job to do. That is;
*Misinformation of VA to the public!”

91Veteran
91Veteran
I am leery about any Choice legislation. Its being pushed already in Congress by McCain, so it makes me wonder why that is being done. I can’t believe it’s to help veterans. But I must ask, why is McCain pushing it and not Isakson? Did he fall off his friggin Stairmaster and forget he’s the Senate VA committee chair? I would send the Stripes article to him via Twitter but he has me blocked now. Didn’t like bad news I… Read more »
cj
cj
@91 Veteran: Military Cultural Competency…………………does that mean also, that the va will quit recruiting in 3rd world and impoverished countries for doctors? I think they put more emphasis on spreading the wealth to those very same mentioned, then they do veterans healthcare. Just another reason the va has a creep factor rating in the 90’s. Oh wait, are they accusing veterans of denying other veterans treatment on let’s say the battlefield, and getting a bonus for a job well done?… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

VA Sec. Shulkin’s “Military Cultural Competency” is just PhD goobly-gook for “No Prior Military Service” but am trying to relate to you Veterans.

Salisbury Steak = Nice way of ordering hamburger shaped sort of like a steak.

Steak Tar Tar = Raw Hamburger.

cj
cj
@namnibor: [email protected] Tar Tar. That brought back a memmory. I was installing a kitchen in a steakhoue in Indy. They started to bring in product. At the time, I was leveling a chefs counter, so I was laying on the ground. I hear one of the construction workers say “this must be a fancy place, look at all of these boxes of beef pate’ ” in a strong southern drawl, then I hear another worker say “that says beef patty… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, beef pate’!!! ROFL!. That’s hilarious!

namnibor
namnibor
I wonder if VA Sec. Shulkin will do like McDonald did and go out on the street for a PR shot next to a cold Homeless Veteran and shake his hand while thanking the Veteran for his “Military Cultural Competency”…you know, in an effort to “connect with a Vet”? I wonder if the word he was looking for was …”camaraderie”, as in Military Camaraderie? It still would have been completely wrong context when speaking of non-veteran VA employees. My crystal… Read more »
cj
cj

@namnibor: Oh my God. If he were ever to use a homeless vet like that? That better never happen………

Some days I wish to be one of those flying monkeys in the poppies.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yeah, I don’t know what kind of BS Shulkin means by this military cultural competency BS.

If he were truly concerned about that, the AFGE contract would not illegally restrict hiring veterans.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@91Veteran – I didn’t know that the AGFE don’t allow the hiring of Veterans. If so, that is asinine, and makes me even more suspicious of the dam system. Taking a break for a while. Need to relax and refresh.

91Veteran
91Veteran

ANutterVet, I believe Ben had a post on the AFGE contract or I read it somewhere where the contract specified a large number of jobs in the VA are only open to other AFGE members first.

The only jobs directly open to veterans were janitor and one other.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@91Veteran – And we all know that these policies so the Veterans have first dibs on a VA job should be a priority.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
Not ever has PCP asked me, “Do you have any current complaints, conditions, issues, or problems that I should be aware of today?” “How are the medications working out for you?” “I know that your disability is hard on you, how is it effecting your social life?” “How is the rest of your family doing?” The above are very simple questions, and are what I mean by medical probing questions. And, the answers from these questions will tell the PCP… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Sorry for the finga and mind slippages when writing the above post

cj
cj
@ANutterVet: Your first paragraph says volumes of the disconnect at the va. If I got my medical liscence out of a box of cracker jacks, and my patient told me “this med has always helped, and allows me to live a better life” and I could see it was not a harmful med for my patient………….then wtf? No brainer, scribe it, check back with the patient to see how he is doing Come up with an actual treatment plan, tailored… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va
@ ANutterVet, the manner in which you have been receiving medical treatment from the va is the ongoing problem that plagues the Veteran population. They give you their course of treatment, not caring if it is helping you or alleviating pain of symptoms or improvement of your health. This is what angers me the most with va healthcare, THEY DO NOT CARE!!!! The va’s livelihood is not dependent on patient/Veteran satisfaction. It is cruel, just cruel, how they treat a… Read more »
Lem
Lem

You have to ask for a change of PCP. Then explain to the new PCP why you ask for the change. Often individual beliefs reign dominant with professionals. “Inattentive blindness”: look it up. Your PCP needs a psychiatrist.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Lem – Yeah, I’ve changed PCP’s already, 5 times in less than 4 years. It seems as though the policy at my local VA or somewhere in the chain of command, there is a big problem. I’ve had my circumstances reviewed by out licensed medical professionals, and they all said that I have solid arguments. I guess I’ll have mama go off on them. Looking for additional tactics to put these off the wall issues to rest once and for… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Lem – There were requests made for my PCP to see a Psychiatrist. Denied, denied, and denied. Sound familiar. LOL

Lem
Lem
Sorry for the delayed response. Nutter, use the reference “inattentive blindness victim” next time you talk to a PCP. Tell them they have made a conclusion without listening and looking. You might look up some studies like the experienced space shuttle pilots landing on people in the runway during simulated landings while inexperienced pilots avoided the stuff that shouldn’t be on the run way. There is one where 100% of the car counters didn’t see a gorilla walking in the… Read more »
Lem
Lem

Also you can do the research and write a letter to the editor of a local paper. Your Director will see it. You’ll get a call. I did.

cj
cj
A typical visit to your local va. You put your left foot in, you take your left foot out, you put your left foot in, and you shake it all about, you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about. While your doing that, your doctor is doing the hungry hungry hippo. The administrators are all doing the funky chicken dance, and phyc ward is dancing to the jail house rock. The imaging dept… Read more »
cj
cj

Sorry ladies, I apologize for that last sentence, I should have thought before I typed. It was inappropriate.

namnibor
namnibor

Cats were not happy about that cat scan either. 🙂

Ex va
Ex va

@ namnibor how is you big cat doing?

namnibor
namnibor

@EX va — The big cat is having a catnip nap.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@cj – The problem with one medication is that the younger peeps use it for the euphoric effect. And, the caution on the med states, that it may be addictive, not that it is addictive. I was on this med for over 10 years with no side effects, and when the VA wouldn’t prescribe it to me, I didn’t have a hard time because I tapered the dose down. Treatment plan? WTF is that? Never heard such of a thing.… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

@ ANutterVet, that would freak me out too!! ROFL!

cj
cj
@ANutterVet: That is exactly why I like my private pcp, She has a “treatment plan” tailored just for me. I also have every specialist I see, forward all of their reports to her, so when she looks at alll the data, she knows exactly what is going on. How can the va, after so many decades of data, not possibly know what the hell to do? It is incomprehensible to me the level of incompetence…………………….wholly carp I used two big… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

You could ask for your treatment plan to be taken to the treatment team. (This is suppose to be a weekly meeting). Tell them that you state their course of treatment is not beneficial and that you repeatedly asked for medications that worked in the past and that they keep denying you that beneficial medication.

cj
cj

@Ex va: I am sure in their weekly meeting, they all gather around a pinata in the shape of a hungry hippo, and tape a picture of their patients on it, and take turns trying to bust it open, to get all those missing meds they been talking about. I would never, under any circumstance, give the va my medical file from my private providers. All they would do is use it as a weapon not an asset.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@cj – I wouldn’t want to give the VA my med file from the private sector neither. But you have to understand, there is no other way to prove my points per previous medical and pharmaceutical treatments. And, there is nothing in my private sector files besides appointment notes of my medical condition(s) and prescription history. That’s it. And remember, the VA PCP’s have this all down to their own little dirty science tricks. They can and will take things… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Ex va- Brother, thanks for your concern. I have informed them for over 4 years about my medication issues. I don’t want to be on any anti-depressants. Because of their lack·a·dai·si·cal response, this is why I’ve become depressed. And, depression also makes your pain worse. So now its an extra pill that has definite side effects in which I don’t want. I don’t want them to think that I’m bowing down to them. As a matter of fact, the treatment… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

@ ANutterVeteran, you have every right to be angry. I wish you could go back to your old pcp.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@cj, @Ex va – I have informed them to go back and check the medications that I was previously on. That’s too much to ask. Answer was, their denial was a done deal. That really pissed me the fuck off. I was up and about, doing my chores, taking my wife out, and training my K9 [to not be able to do this really hurts me the most]. My health has deteriorated so much, that I’ve lost a desire sometimes… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@namnibor and all,
This is from the “Daily Headlines”.
Posted on 23 Feb 2017 by Steven H Able.
Titled;

“Illegal Alien Went to Pick Up His Welfare Check But Found This Instead (Video)”

There’s some very disturbing “factual” statistics in this article.
Also, do y’all remember, and namnibor stated, when Obama said for all the illegals to vote? Only problem was, he added, quote; “Because, it will make you a citizen!”
He was actually telling “non-citizens” to commit a felony!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Off Topic – Anyone getting notices of duplicate emails from postings on Ben’s blog?

cj
cj
@ANutterVet: Sorry, I had to walk away for a while, just now read all your posts. About emails from Bens blog. Lastnight, I was getting email notifications of my own comments, then that stopped. Then it is like everyone is gone to lunch, not a single comment notification for about a half hour. Sure some crazy things going on here that is for sure. There are many things in my private medical files, that I wouldn’t want the va to… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@cj – Same on my end. Anyone else?

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

i made 2 more comments and nothing showed up

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@ANutterVet @cj – Yeah, lots of dupes – – – then when try to reply, gets misplaced in thread. Definitely weird stuff going on here.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Disgruntled Veteran – Thanks for the feedback. Don’t know what’s going on. Out of my league, but concerned.

Ex va
Ex va

@ ANutterVet, i get duplicates, it comes and goes. Don’t understand what is going on with that either.

cj
cj

@Ex va: How are you today? Sorry for not asking earlier. Some days I am just an inconsiderate asshole lol.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Ex va – This started to happen to me about 3-4 weeks ago. I thought it was me until I started to monitor it more closely. Lately, it has occurred more often.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, no apologies necessary, i know your not an inconsiderate a******. LOL!!! I feel like i resemble that at times. ROFL!! How are you doing? I am doing about the same. Sorry about your pain today. It sounds like you did a little too much. This weather has been messing me up.

cj
cj

@Ex va: Hey Ex va, hows you tonight?? Yes this was a BAD day for pain. Doesn’t happen that often but when it does it’s a doozy. Mostly chest pain from inflamed nerves in the upper back.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, do you think it was something you did to aggravate it. That kinda pain is awful. When i get that i think my heart is the problem and it is just inflammation connective tissue for me. Upper back i feel for you. That sucks. Sorry about the bad pain. I hope you have meds.

cj
cj

@Ex va: I don’t know what brings it on. I try not to dwell on it too much. That way it doesn’t bother me that bad. All is good, it sure isn’t as bad as everyone elses here.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, you still up? It is raining hear and heard some thundering. K-9 hates the thunder.

cj
cj

@Ex va: yeppers, still awake. Same here, my dogo hates thunder, he starts shaking like va upper management. Raining here too. What causes your chest pain, and what do you do to relieve it? Also, what kind of pup you have?

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, did you say you garden? I use to grow a lot of tomatoes and lettuce. I would like to try it again. Save on groceries and get me outside. I have some strawberries and grapes and a peach tree.

cj
cj
@Ex va: Oh yes I garden, last year I had over 125 tomato plants. This year I will rent out some space from a local farmer to grow even more. I need about 3000 sq ft for tomatoes, another 2000 sq ft for different mellons. In my back yard I will also grow green beans, two different kinds of snap peas, tow kinds of beets, romanesco, sweet corn, orange sweet peppers, heirloom lettuce, brussle sprouts, and garlic. That is a… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: I have over 200 varieties of tomato seeds. Here is my list of tomatoes I will grow this year.

X kellogs breakfast
X hawiian pineapple
X anna russian
X druzba
X 1884
X amana orange
X hillbilly
X rose de summer
X pineapple
X andrew raharts jumbo red
X illini star
X large red
X omars lebanese

cj
cj

@Ex va: I am sure I have left things out, I have my list down in the dungeon.

Ex va
Ex va
@ cj, va upper management shaking!! LOL! They hide under their desks till it blows over. I get bad back spasms 9-10 on scale. Feels like a heart attack sometimes, but it is not. Take a pain med and try to lay down and relax it. Rescue dog, border terrier mix. She wants to bite people sometimes. Not very friendly she was abused. Good to me when i am sick she stays by my side. Need a raised bed or… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: Raised beds are the way to go if you can do it. I don’t have enough money to buy all the lumber and dirt to do that. Sounds like a great little dog you have there.

Lem
Lem
Ever try hydro kinesthetic therapy? The pain clinic in DC used it well from 96-98. After the retirement of the therapist his understudy apparently didn’t learn anything from him. He was a one size fits all therapist using compressive techniques for spurs on patients with herniated and ruptured discs that need stretching. I used the techniques taught me in 96-98 in Ibusuki Japan hot sands beach to stretch my spine with a life preserver, bicycle inner tube around my neck,… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, you must be a good gardener. That is a lot of food. That is generous of you. I use to do that when i was younger. I would like to try something small. You have a rototiller? I hope for the size you have. You can’t beat home grown tomatoes. I loved those heirloom for eating. Plum tomatoes good for canning. Do you start your plants from seeds? I use to for tomatoes.

cj
cj
@Ex va: yes, have an old tiller that still works great. I start my seeds not this Saturday but the following Mid March. I start my seed in a proofing box to control the temp. then they all get planted in what I call my Polynesian room. It’s a room set up just for starting plants. I control the temp, humidity air movement, and lighting. All tomatoes will get transplanted 4 times, and each time they get all branches and… Read more »
cj
cj

Shoud say 12 to 24 inches tall.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, i can’t afford raised beds. Thinking about container gardening maybe. I will have to check prices on what i can afford. What do you use to fertilize? I can get some manure from my uncle. Now i am really thinking about it. Do you have a hot bed for your seedlings? I don’t have even a gro lamp now. I will have to try to figure what i can do and afford.

cj
cj
@Ex va: I compost all year long, for use in the backyard gardens. When I go to put the tomatoes in the ground I throw a handful of concentrated purple cow. it makes em grow like crazy. it costs but its worth it. This year since I am going to rent farm land, it should already be fertilized by the farmer. This is the first year I will be renting land. Will see how it goes. No hot beds, but… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: For grow lights I just use cheap flourescent shop lights and put full spectrum bulbs in. No need to go any more then than.

Ex va
Ex va
@ cj, you are growing roots where you pull off those leaves, that gives you a great root system for tomatoes. You know what you are doing. LOL! That is great. You know tomatoes could grow all year if they were allowed to? Well, i say you are an impressive farmer. LOL! You know your gardening. A lot of people can’t garden like that they don’t have those skills or knowledge. We have some Amish communities and they have a… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: I sure wish I could get some of those heirloom seeds that the Amish are using. Geez they have some awesome stuff they grow. I had some Todd county Amish tomatoes from minnesota, they didn’t do to well last year. I don’t think I gave them enough room. Didn’t realize they needed way mroe than mose heirlooms.

cj
cj

Grrrrrr that is……….way more than most…………I can’t type anymore today.

cj
cj

@Ex va: Ex, I need to get some sleep, will talk another time. Have a good night and sleep well. God Bless you and your family.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, hadn’t thought of shop lights, that would definitely be cheaper. Build a small shelf with the shop light hanging above. I can see that. Those kits are too damn expensive. I hope you do well with the extra grow space. You can’t beat the taste of fresh vegetables. I have to go small. Back couldn’t take much. I need to do physical therapy again.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, goodnight. God bless.

Ex va
Ex va

@ Lem, thanks for the advice. I will see what kinda physical therapy i can do. This time of the year i usually do some therapy. I do not know if they have hydro kinesthetic therapy around here i can ask about it. I was doing water therapy before. It helped a little. Chiropractor helped me some too. I will see what i can try here.

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