The Department of Veterans Affairs has stepped in it again concerning one Minnesota veteran’s emergency room bill and subsequent denial.

That veteran is me, Benjamin Krause, and the problem of VA wrongly denying veterans coverage for ER bills during legitimate emergencies is about to hit the fan. I have been working with AJ Lagoe and the KARE 11 News team to help get the word out to veterans before more veterans are economically injured by this particular VA screw job.

WATCH: Krause ER Bill Story via KARE 11

For you folks new to my website, this is not my first rodeo, and certainly not my first time working with KARE 11 to expose systemic problems in how VA treats veterans. Personally, I fought VA for 15 years on my disability compensation claim.

In working with AJ at KARE 11, we exposed the lunacy of the Veterans Choice “crow flies” distance limitation. KARE 11 won an award for that, and the piece was featured on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.

We then exposed that VA was using unqualified doctors to examine veterans with traumatic brain injuries. My client was patient zero, and Lagoe’s investigation exposed a national scandal affecting almost 25,000 veterans.

Both scandals were national, and AJ won numerous awards for his work. I have no doubt this emergency room scandal will eclipse the size of the traumatic brain injury scandal, which we know affects almost 100,000 veterans annually.

FOLLOW: AJ Investigates On Facebook

Background On ER Visit

The nuts and bolts of this are as follows. Veterans are required to notify VA within 72 hours of receiving emergency care at a non-VA facility. VA is supposed to pay so long as the emergency was a legitimate emergency regardless of the final diagnosis.

RELATED: 3 Things A Veteran Must Do After A Non-VA ER Visit

On February 21, 2017, I experienced chest pains and neurological impairment due to malignant hypertension due to stress just days after a family member died of pancreatic cancer (burn pit exposure, Iraq War Veteran) at 36 years old. My wife immediately took me to the nearest ER, where I received treatment for the next 9 hours. Once home, I notified VA using its IRIS email system and also faxed notice to the VA medical center where I am registered.

The program used to be called Fee Basis and is now renamed Non-VA Care. It is supposed to cover situations like mine. I even called senior executives in VA Central Office, informed them of the issue, and was promised the claim would be processed properly.

RELATED: VA Engaging In Bad Faith Denials Of ER Bills

That was then. Two months later, nothing happened. VA never reached out to the VA facility, and VA Central Office apparently failed to reach out to Minneapolis VA.

On May 5, 2017, I faxed the ER bill to Minneapolis VA directly and circled back around with VA Central Office since no one in VA had yet contacted the ER to cover the bill.

On May 19, 2017, I received a denial stating the reason I sought emergency care was not consistent with some “prudent layperson” standard used by the Non-VA Care department. Coincidentally, the processing of these claims is directed by VA’s Chief Business Office at Denver VA, and much of that processing is likely handled by a government contractor.

We later learned VA denied the claim without FIRST requesting copies of the medical records in order to make the determination.

Now, for an agency that is supposedly veterans friendly, would it not make sense to review the medical record prior to denying a claim while also asserting the veteran did not even meet the prudent layperson standard while in distress?

If you said, “Yes,” I would agree with you. Except, VA is not exactly veteran friendly, despite its mandate.

Does this also seem like a possible defamation issue?

I am an attorney. VA accused me of lacking the sense or state of mind of even a prudent layperson in writing. Would you hire an attorney who lacked the sense of a layperson?

Instead of requesting my records and reviewing them prior tot the denial, VA used the “Great Benefit” scam we see in the movie Rainmaker. There, the scam insurance company Great Benefit denies first and asks questions never resulting in the preventable death of a young man sick with cancer.

I would argue VA lacks the sense of even a prudent layperson, who would likely check records before making a derogatory assertion about a leading veterans rights attorney.

Am I wrong, here?

As of this publication, VA has acknowledged fault and that it will pay the bill. That is one hell of a quick turn around for a denial.

Think it had anything to do with the fact that the veteran being screwed was me, and that I have deep ties with the press that can expose any newsworthy issue immediately?

PRUDENT LAYPERSON STANDARD

For this, I turned to review the regulation cited using the Cornell legal database, which states for the relevant regulation concerning emergency care:

(b)In a medical emergency. Emergency treatment not previously authorized including medical services, professional services, ambulance services, ancillary care and medication (including a short course of medication related to and necessary for the treatment of the emergency condition that is provided directly to or prescribed for the patient for use after the emergency condition is stabilized and the patient is discharged) was rendered in a medical emergency of such nature that a prudent layperson would have reasonably expected that delay in seeking immediate medical attention would have been hazardous to life or health. This standard is met by an emergency medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) that a prudent layperson who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in placing the health of the individual in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Basically, it says VA will pay facilities for care provided to certain veterans when a prudent layperson (whatever that means) would reasonably expect a lack of immediate care could result in putting that veteran’s health in serious jeopardy, impairment of bodily function, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Personally, it seems reasonable to me now to believe my heart my stop due to heart attack or stroke. I assume “heart stopping” or “death” is sufficient to meet the serious dysfunction standard.

So what is the problem? Why is VA confused on my case? Further, why are countless veterans receiving denials who sought emergent medical care for heart attack or stroke symptoms?

PRUDENT LAYPERSON FACT SHEET FROM VA

The “prudent layperson” standard originated from Medicare law in the 1980’s and was established as a standard for Medicaid effective October 1997. The standard was then adopted by VA in 2010 per the Federal Register.

Using my cyber-sleuthing techniques (ie Google within 5 seconds), I was able to dig up a VA document that explains the standard, its use in VA adjudications now, and an explanation of medical necessity. This document made me wonder how Minneapolis VA and its Non-VA Care Department could screw up my claim.

I would like to repeat one thing. It took my 5 seconds to find a sheet published by VA that explains how to assess a case and what the prudent layperson means.

Would you be surprised to learn it addresses a case exactly like mine – – and that such cases should be approved – – not denied?

DOWNLOAD: VA Prudent Layperson Fact Sheet (from Puget Sound VAMC)

And, I know, some of you may be saying, “Well, you were not diagnosed with a heart attack, so maybe VA was correct to determine your symptoms did not show a medical emergency requiring emergent care.”

I can see why you would say this, but VA’s own guidance on the subject explains this reasoning is incorrect.

Now, instead, you may be saying, “Many VA executives hate you, Ben, so why would you expect to be treated fairly?” I will get to this in a second.

In bold print, that Prudent Layperson Fact Sheet states, “A determination of a medical emergency focuses on the patient’s presenting symptoms rather than the final diagnosis.”

PRUDENT LAYPERSON AND MEDICAL NECESSITY

The full section on medical necessity reads:

Any medical condition of recent onset manifesting itself by acute severity of symptoms, including severe pain. A determination of a medical emergency focuses on the patient’s presenting symptoms rather than the final diagnosis.  

Adjudicative decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. However, certain conditions are the leading cause to seek emergency treatment. These conditions include, but are not limited to: loss of consciousness, seizure, no recognition of one side of the body, paralysis, chest pain, shock, gangrene, coughing blood, trouble breathing, and choking.  

Cases that fall into categories that may be chronic or blatantly non-emergent generally do not fall into qualifying for immediate treatment under the prudent layperson standard. Normal follow-up of a medical condition, removal of stitches, or medication refills would generally be considered as non-emergent conditions under the prudent layperson standard.

Notice the explanation includes symptoms I experienced including chest pain and trouble breathing. Again, since I experience chest pain, and this was reported to the emergency department, how come Minneapolis VA denied my claim?

Coincidentally, Case Example A in the document addresses a similar situation as mine, where the veteran presented with a complaint of chest pain:

A patient presents to the emergency department with a complaint of chest pain. The patient is examined and evaluated and discharged with a diagnosis of mild gastric irritation. Retrospective analysis by a Fee Basis Unit may determine that gastro-intestinal upset is not an appropriate use of an emergency department and deny the claim as non-emergent. However, the patient’s initial judgment seeking emergency treatment regarding his/her chest pain, a potentially serious problem, is appropriate. This type of visit clearly falls into the category of what any prudent lay person would consider an appropriate use of an emergency department.

Seems open and shut, right? And, since VACO offered to help resolve the matter, why was my claim denied despite being on point with VA’s own guidance?

Tens Of Thousands Of Veterans Affected

Each year, approximately 90,000 veterans are denied coverage based on the prudent layperson standard. According to an audit, many of those denials are due to inconsistent application of policy and standards. Those denials allow VA to save approximately $3 billion each year.

For veterans wrongly denied, they are forced into a financial hardship or bankruptcy, all the while VA plays hide the pea with our benefits.

So, that is the background, and why this is a big deal.

Please enjoy the news video and write to AJ Lagoe at KARE 11 ([email protected]) if you have a similar story to VA denying your claim based on the prudent layperson standard. You can also merely sent AJ an email thanking him for his work to expose systemic problems within VA.

Either way, I am sure he would like to hear from you.

The KARE 11 team are working to put together a bigger story of the national scope of this particular issue. What will it take to reform this muddy system of obfuscation?

Source: http://www.kare11.com/news/investigations/investigates-va-calls-veterans-imprudent-denies-er-payments/448136461

73 COMMENTS

  1. I go to a pin specialist under Choice. It is a pill mill and you better be armed, because you will be robbed by the clients. I just get injections in spine, I question if there not just saline ( so I feel a burn) Went to a private one several years ago ( attached to orthopedics office) and shots lasted three plus months, now they have me monthly. No legit place takes Choice. I was sent to urologist after six month wait ( I’m 67) and waited till my time and was told at drsk we don’t take this insurance. I had letter from HealthNet with date time and doctors name on it. Called local,VAMC and was told sorry they stopped taking that a year ago. So peeing blood I was sent to a guy who told to take vitamins and he gave me phone number to order them and the code for his office as person who told me ( kick backs?)

    • The VA in anchorage sent me to pain clinic that doesnt prescribe pills at all.

      The shot he gave me was the strongest steroid out there. He literally said do not get in any fights, I laughed I was going to be the Hulk. He said that in the past the shots were probably just cortisone and didn’t help. He said the VA may not pay for the med used, but I am also on alaska state insurance, so I cross my fingers. I had a fusion on my c 5-6 and now the one above and below it are encroaching on my spinal cord. The pain got worse so they did the MRI and found them. I was having cervical dystonia or at least guarding of my right shoulder, after the steroid injection my right shoulder released like a miracle. I am going to treat all sides so I hope they cover this expensive steroid. Instead of making me stressed out I was calm and comfortable so I think the pain relief was so severe that it only made me comfortable and not angry.

  2. Hey, Ben, I gotta sneaky suspicion A.J.Lago is going to be “bombarded” with emails from lots, and I do mean LOTS, of vets who’ve been screwed by VA over this issue!

    Keep the pressure on these VA reprobates, Ben!

  3. “[… What will it take to reform this muddy system of obfuscation?]”

    My humble layperson opinion recommends a prudent enema because the swamp is muddy with obfuscated assholes at the VA.

    Why don’t they just get it over with and remove the word “Veteran” from Veteran Affairs and rename it “Indifferent Affairs”? Rat Bastards!

    I wonder what a VSO Piggy does when they are volunteering in private hospitals all over the USA and one of the piggies have a medical emergency? Ship the piggy to the nearest VAMC or let’s see….use the rather handy EMERGENCY ROOM?

    Inquiring minds really want to know. Rat Bastards!

  4. I have several emergency room bills that the VA denied my husband, and their excuse for the denial? Not service connected! or the illness or injury was not service connected, or the reason for the chest pains was not service connected. That’s what it all boils down to that they use every single time…not “service connected” Even though we live 90 miles one way from the Phoenix VA with a car that won’t make the trip, and my husband has a “Choice Card” we still get denied every single time.
    So ow I have stacks of unpaid emergency room bills, gone to collection agencies..and we are screwed.

  5. Funny you should use the Puget Sound VAMC. They denied my ER visit to the Skagit Valley Hospital, Mount Vernon WA when I shattered my right ankle. My whole foot was shoved forward and to the right side of my leg. The one thing I did not do was call 72 hours after the visit.
    I informed the nurse at the hospital I had VA Healthcare. I was later informed that the hospital decided to send me to Harborview Hospital in Seattle after “everyone involved” was notified. I took this to mean that they had talked to someone at the Puget Sound VAMC. I was wrong.
    I was taken by ambulance to Harborview and they informed me they would have to operate on it to try and rebuild the ankle. They knocked me out and I woke up the next day after the surgery. It took eight screws and a plate to get my ankle somewhat close to how it used to be.
    Then the nightmare. My total bill for all of this was over $66,000. All of it denied by the VA. I was told this was not considered something what qualified to be paid. The guy from fee services (I believe) told me that the VA would have sent me to Harborview anyway as they could not have handled the ankle. The Puget Sound VAMC was 68 miles one way and after seeing my foot on the side of my leg, I decided the local ER was the place to go.
    The ankle has avascular necrosis and does not move side to side. I also cannot curl my toes. I still think it should have been taken care of. Oh well.
    f8f

    • I ‘ve had the most unbelievable thing happen to me when i went to the VA for a stroke, THEY DIDN’T CHARGE ME A DIME because of my housing situation but they always deny me everything and i still don’t have a rating and they still say I’m not service connected for my benefits from Oct. 22, 2009 when i applied for benefits, very strange and uncoordinated fools! Even a high paying VA employee can’t pay VA medical bills & they probably get free treatment, somebody help me investigate them.

  6. The VA makes up its own rules! They do whatever they feel like. I’m battling them too in a different issue, and no matter how much of the law I throw in their face, they just ignore it and can’t find anyone to hold their feet to the fire. This is outrageous.

    I applaud you Ben, but unfortunately, that’s how the VA works – they make their own rules. Statute and/or case law does not apply to them. They violate state/federal laws – and even violate their own procedures, policies, regulations.

    When you quote them, they act like you are speaking a foreign language and just don’t care.

    • In my law classes they talked about programs like the VA and EPA….they have full control to make up their own rules. If they do something wrong I think they have lawyers staffed just to find a loop hole. That’s where their money goes to jk lol

    • They try so much to be like social security as far as to deny every veteran benefits even when they see what is in your Service Treatment Medical Records and they pass you case back and forth to the regional office and BVA and then to US Court of Appeals, all of that nonsense is unnecessary and it has to stop immediately! They all see what’s in your records, they even tried to deny me because of an article 15 that they more than happily had given me because of more non-sense that the drill sergeants are trained to create like the time i had done 42 PT push-ups and drill sergeant (HITLER) Lincoln Kay said that i only did 17 when i had a spotter who told that fool that i did 42 and the whole platoon saw the same thing Ooops! Stupid A** abusive drill sergeant! Hope your in hell where you belong.

      • I did almost everything better than the soldiers in my platoon! WITNESSED AND BRAGGED UPON.

      • Witnessed that also Genius. Even had men from my unit try to co-opt me in their exaggerations. My war stories are from Americans and Allies not the enemy. Trying to fill out a form now for the VA on PTSD. Just can’t face to it. And never was in a fire fight or under fire by the enemy. Figure that one out. And I didn’t think having a pistol barrel poked up your nose after watching a woman nearly get killed (thought she was at the time but now realize she probably wasn’t) could have that kind of effect upon me.

      • I think it wouldn’t if I hadn’t had the later TBI while on liberty in the land of the great PX.

  7. I didn’t go to the ER even though I was having chest pains, I got the standard- call an ambulance and go to the local ER- from the VA when I called , but she couldn’t guarantee the bill would be paid when I asked about that, (Apparently nobody really can, so it’s a crap shoot) I found someone to drive me the 50 miles up to the VAMC and was admitted for a couple days after they decided it was a mild Heart attack and they put a stent in my heart. Getting stuck with a huge medical bill kept me from going and I’m sure it does a lot of other Vets. too.

    • Thats what you get. Call the VA nurses line, and they are worthless…go to local er, then tell me that even tho you recommended me to you don’t know if it will be covered. Our vs was 3 hours away. If I was taken by car there when my neck gave me migraines I would have been sick all over the car. So I got screwed with a lot of medical ER visits

  8. …Sqwauk….Sqwauk….buzzzzzzz. radio clearing…

    Veteran inbound to point VA, Bravo Echo November, this is combat control, and your IFF code is confirmed. You authorized for a weapons fence check at this time. Weapons hot code follows… stand by….
    …sqwauk… Bravo Echo November your IFF and countermeasures systems confirm weapons hot code verification….Vet you are a go to hop the neighbors fence and terminate any and all targets at your discretion. Good luck and report on outbound leg – poop cannon support is standing by and the beer at the O club is free tonight!

      • In a well discipline army absolutely nobody is alive very long in combat who is named “William”. They opt for “Bill” as the shortened version…

        “Fire at will!!!”

    • Standing-by for poop canon support on my end, quite literally. Have had a really bad intestinal flu bug and all can do to keep hydrated. Lots of good shit going to waste.

  9. I was let go nearly 7 years by Tennessee VA into almost full paralysis. I had severe case of cervical myelopathy but made to feel like I was malingering by the VA. I was denied left and right for things because cervical myelopathy can not be rated, each neurological damage had to be rated one by one.

    The TN VA did an xray, I went for a follow up. The doctor acted like it was just one of those 10 minute check ups. I had to remind him it was about the xray, he acted like it was no big deal. At the time my husband had awesome insurance working offshore on the deepwater horizon disaster, so I gave up the 3 hr drive to the specialists at Johnson city and saw a reputable pain clinic in Knoxville. That doctor saw my xray and MRI and urged me to immediate care by a neurosurgeon. The nurse at the neurosurgeon office watched me walk, then went to the doctor and he talked with us and when he took me out in to the hallway he told the nurse that he saw what she did. A nurse!!!! Diagnosed my cervical myelopathy while I never even heard about that before at the VA. The neurosurgeon showed the spinal cord nearly pinched in half slowly going from healthy discs and onto the really bad one. Even me as a layman immediately saw it and I grabbed onto my husband and cried. Finally someone could help me. After stupid misdiagnosis over and over at Johnson City VA. It gets worse. In the surgery he was aware of an infection in my spinal cord because there was a discoloration in the MRI that gave that impression. He found a bone spur unexpectedly that was stabbing into my spinal cord. The delay in care made the neurological conditions and pain permanent, but at least I wasn’t, “a sneeze away from paralysis”.

    I was rated for the discs involved. I should have had temporary 100% disability while healing from a c 5-6 discectomy and fusion. We had a car accident from behind with 4 car pile up, we were first to be hit. I was delirious, in shock freaking out about my neck that I literally got out of car, because the guy kept pushing us from behi,d by a huge truck into our little ford focus. I walked into the turning lane and thankfully those people had already stopped but I ended up getting put in an ambulance and checked at the nearby hospital, they said I was fine but check in with my neurosurgeon. I was scheduled to check on 3 month and 6 months, but this accident made me see him at 1 month. Well to file for the 100% temporary disability the VA wanted all the records. They denied it after the first month because they said my doctor said I was “healed”. I looked at that report the doctor said, “she is healing nicely”. Totally stupid or sadistic they were.
    My doctor wrote three letter to support me, but they weren’t worded right or he didn’t do this or that. I was never to have the temporary disability.
    I couldn’t work, migraines debilitating, neurogenic bladder, my husband couldn’t hack it helping me and our son (high school sweethearts and served in guard together) so he left me to be with people that party (stress and ptsd). If the VA did their job I would be a lot more healthy, leg strength energy I could probably have kept my husband.
    I’m 34 years old, serious athlete until this injury. The VA put me on so many different medications in the past that mom mom thinks it could have been why at 34 I had congestive heart, non ischemic cardiomyopathy with ef of 15% when I went in at JBER. The Alaska VA saved my life! They have taken great care of me, doctors care, even tho some are on teleconference. My needs are always addressed same days. Some things dealing with external care, (the VA has to outsource to specialist because they carry none, so its JBER hospital with the air force medical, or out in town), it can get convoluted, I think one issue with external scheduling made the clerk know me by name and social when I called. The doctors inevitably went straight to the clinic I needed and in 1 day I had it fixed. I love to Alaska January 2016, and I will stay in Alaska no matter what, because I’ve been to others (Nashville, Johnson city TN and Dayton Ohio), I WILL NEVER LEAVE!

    • @Jessica– I so want to move up there in two years or so. However, it may end-up being WA or OR, then visit often. Need to lighten my footprint and go up bare essentials and start over. Ohio is indeed a ratty mess at their VAMC’s. Not a fan and reason I use Medicare…until the VA gets safe for all Veterans, then I might think about it. I love cold weather and snow and ice.

  10. @Ben, the things that you do to get a story. Now, it’s fake pain and an emergency room visit. God Bless you. Yeah, I have pretty much the same situations. It’s a year ago, but there’s still bills. I service connected for conditions putting me in the ambulance, then hospital. I remember telling the ambulance people to bill the VA. Didn’t wake up for four days. So, my friendly VA wouldn’t discuss it. Three day rule. Keep up the great things you do.

  11. What were you billed for the ER visit? I think that would add to the power of the story. I heard once a story where the bill was many thousands. I think that they puff up bills when the patient has no insurance or looks like they would not costest overcharges.

  12. My TBI exam experience (repost to get it out there to more people)

    The X VA medical center did this to me too. My c&p exam for my TBI they had me walk in to a conference room with probably 8-10 people sitting around this table (so right away this seems strange to me) they each took turns going around their table grilling me with questions about my head trauma from when I was in Iraq and the trauma prior. After feeling like I’d been verbally attached abused what ever you want to call it but not a good feeling, they send me to the next room where a doctor (super fast) does a “physical” but i felt he went too fast and didn’t ask me anything either it felt like a high school check up we’d use to get (again that was strange) so then after that they have me sit by myself in a separate room while they (I’m assuming) sat around their table coming up with an answer as to whether I suffer from (had a) TBI or just migraines. So after about 5 minutes maybe not even (quick decision making right??) they pull me back into that uncomfortable room and sit me down again. They say “mr x, unfortunately we decided that you did not experience a TBI because you never blacked out during your injury”(even though I had bashed my head open that bled light a stuck pig requiring 6 large stitches) ok so how was this fair at all to me the veteran? It was unbelievable. I just thought I’d share my story to expose the wrong that was done to me a few years ago. So what do they do for me? Like they do for many vets pump us full of either addictive sedative or unsafe (lots of side effects) type drugs and send you out the door. It’s a crime how the va treats veterans, I truley hope our new president will help us vets and get the va straightened out so that future vets who are injured won’t have to go through the unfair and poor treatment that I am many of my brothers and sisters have gone through. My experience with their cardiology doctors/department is even better I need to get my story out there as it will blow your mind.

    • @W2 Team Leader: LOC is NOT REQUIRED in order to have suffered a TBI. They denied your TBI, erroneously. I hope that you filed a NOD. ANY expert witness, would have a field day with them. Don’t let this go, follow through, you WILL WIn!!!!!!

    • To: Veterans, try to always go to the VA’s ER with a witness (spouse, girlfriend) or lawyer if possible.

      • Best to go by ambulance and get the attendants” names. Their company wants to get paid too. I maid the mistake of having someone drive me and that began the questions.

        When I went by ambulance I had no problem on another occasion.

  13. Continued.. I left out something very important. So when I was explaining the incident over in the sand box my head injury I “did” tell them I feel I what they referrred to as “blacking out” for maybe a second till my buddies were able to get me to med. they responded with “you have to had blacked out for 3 or more seconds to be considered as having a TBI”. Again, unbelievable pathetic just wow. And to this day I continue to suffer from the neurological damage of my head injury/s from my 15 years in the army. Thank you to for having a website where we veterans can have a voice and expose these types of “crimes” crimes against the men and woman who deserve so so very much better. Sad but true. Thanks for allowing me to get my story out there..

    • You suffered a TBI, how the hell exactly, do they expect you to know, how the fuck long you were blacked out for? Again, LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS, is NOT REQUIRED, in order to have a TBI. Get an opinion, from an independent neurologist, you will win!!!!!

      • find a really good med malpractice lawyer and file a lawsuit against all persons who were involved in this decision. Before you do get the paperwork which contained this decision. This is part of your medical treatment and you will win $$$$ against these miserable creeps

  14. Ben, you were physically and mentally in crisis and needed to receive emergency care. You meet the requirement of emergency care. Your pain left untreated could cause you more complications with your heart or blood pressure. These bills met the definition or criteria of being paid by the va. They just want to deny, deny, deny…..

  15. Ben – You and I should really chat. We are both in the MN, however I go to the Fargo VA which is really screwed up. And Fargo VA takes care of all veterans in the upper MN area and ND as there is no one else to go to. We also get sent to the Minneapolis one when needed.

  16. Had an interesting evening last night in one of my rare social interactions with other humans and indeed involves we Veterans and the VA.
    In the booth behind us was a group that had been indulging in the brain lubrication liquid obviously, for a while before I met some loose friends seated in booth nested back-to-back to the getting louder ever more group of lubricated tongues.
    What perked my ears up was when one interjected loudly over others talking, stating: “Well, I have the easiest job on the planet but the most underappreciated by those I counsel at the VA…I only have to do minimal work and still receive performance bonuses, with almost no supervision because my manager and others in chain at the VA get the same garbage-in, garbage-out.”
    Another at the table asked, “Garbage-in, garbage-out–then you are a programmer and a counselor?” He replied even louder, “No, the damn Veterans are the garbage-in, garbage-out each and every day…thankless lot, all of them!”

    WTF?!
    I was very leery of saying a thing because I was already infuriated and afraid I would cause a scene or the asshole and obviously now drunk VA employee, a counselor no less, would cause a fight then blame me as a Vet then DBC all the way.
    But I could not resist…as I was leaving because my nerves had enough and was beyond a simmer stage, more medium-high range at this point, and I was not drinking.
    As I was leaving I turned around and said, “If you are indeed a counselor of some capacity at the VA, you are the perfect Wikipedia poster child for ALL THAT’s WRONG with the VA and the way WE VETERANS are treated….with disdain and indifference!!”
    That piggy just laughed, as did the rest of their booth. I left.

    Reason # 687 I keep to myself mostly these days. When I do venture out, as luck would have it, I get seated right next to a VA piggy play pen. I wish I had said more but I do not suffer drunk idiots and knew my strategy to leave was best FOR THEIR HEALTH…not so much mine.

    WTF? Surely, not all VA employees view we Veterans in same light, but this was an affirmation my decision years ago to stick with Medicare and private medical even though am 100% and Medicare costs me…this is for my mental health, staying away from these indifferent assholes.

    WTF, VA?!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I have worked as a bouncer when not DJ’ing in the past, and learned to loathe drunken assholes and believe it or not, the fights amongst the women were the most vicious and difficult to disarm.

      With that experience under my belt, I knew to best leave the situation, creating a boundary for my PTSD and exiting after at least saying something to those dicks.

    • @namnibor,

      The next time one of the scum sucking pond dwelling botom feeders known as a VA employee shows up a your local estalishment doing this, take the time to excuse youself to the batender or better yet make an excuse to go compliment the cooking staff in the kitchen.

      Tell them they are great people. Ask if any of them are a vets and thank hem especiallly for their service… then tell them off-hand what the loudmouth thinks of them…. then say, “Gosh I bet a prick like that gets a lot of boogers get smeared onto his food and spit hurked up in his drinks! Serves him right pissing on vets like that!”

      Then thank them all for their service in the establishment and remind them that vets like you can appreciate the bust ass job each and every food services worker does to serve others for peanuts come payday. Pony up a $10 as a tip and apologize to them that as a disabled vet you can’t afford more and then vigorously shake the hand of the lead cook or manager…

      Then leave….knowing that you have done all you can do. What you bought for $10 is absolutely priceless!

    • Too bad you couldn’t have called & recruited a few friends to meet these punks outside for a little extra-curricular P.T. Really sorry to resort to this but these punks who “work” for the VA need to change their attitude; time for an attitude adjustment. (Were these pukes also veterans?)

      • Have no idea if any of them were actual Veterans, as I did not trust myself to stick around long enough to eavesdrop for any more time, nor wanted to engage them.

        As far as a few friends recruiting…little hard to do since each and every person I called a friend has passed-away over last 7 years, and I am in a new city to me for as much time…and am very slow to warm-up and make new best friends all over again as I’m afraid I have a black widow effect or something on friends. More studies need done but so far, my cat has survived for 9 years under this veil of black widow friend syndrome.
        The people I met at that pub are real-life lackadaisical hipsters, tight jeans, fake glasses, and live off trust funds…and would run away from a fight unless surrounded by like-minded mobs…they also happen to be part of the “butthurt snowflake crowd”….it’s always a good thing to keep an eye on your adversaries….just had no idea the BIG ONE, the VA and it’s ilk would be having a Tuesday Night Round Table.
        Still sizzling over this. Taking Dennis’ advice and next time such a scenario arises, am going right to bartender or ask to speak with the kitchen staff and ask them if I can help them make any fudge-type deserts for the patrons. 🙂 Rocky Road with a good chance of corn. 🙂

        Rant OUT.

        No, not really. WTF is wrong with people these days going postal in workplace or snowflakes shooting at congress critters? WTF?

    • You handled the situation well Namnibor. Given the VA employees were probably loaded on more than just alcohol. There is no sense in catching a case for losing it on the worthless VA employees.

      • Yes, Namnibor, Seymore is right on, unless you had a good tape recorder that you could have stated was for recording some music at the place and produced this tape recording via an intermediary, and then let others take the necessary remedial measures at the VAMC, there was no other right thing for you to do. You did good. The gigglers were probably on something.

  17. This is a reprint of a National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) Notice to Veterans who are suffering the same fate as Mr. Krause, it is not widely known. AJ Lagoe at KARE 11 ([email protected]) was informed of this decision prior to publication of this article, any veterans who have been denied should refile a appeal in accordance with the Staab vs. McDonald decision as a Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE). I congratulate and honor the efforts of Mr. Lagoe and Mr. Krause in their continued efforts to hold the VA accountable for even the simplest of stupid moves. The VA knowing the Staab vs. McDonald decision and the precedent it sets and they still have the balls to deny Mr. Kraus medical claim. It will take many more articles from Mr. Lagoe and Mr. Kraus to fix the Stupid that prevails in the VA. The only way the Veteran will consistently win is through the efforts of the Press Mr. Lagoe and dedicated Attorney’s like Mr. Kraus and the National Veterans Legal Services Program and most importantly Veterans Like our self’s helping of the Veterans to get the benefits they deserve.

    NVLSP Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON – On Friday, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims struck down a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulation that VA had been relying upon since 2009 to deny reimbursement requests from veterans who incurred emergency medical care costs outside the VA healthcare system. The Court’s decision rebuked the VA, emphasizing that VA’s reimbursement regulation became “wholly inconsistent” with the governing statute when Congress amended it in 2009, but thereafter the VA unlawfully “declined to remedy this inconsistency.”

    The case, Richard W. Staab v. Robert A. McDonald, was brought by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) on behalf of an Air Force veteran who had a heart attack in 2010 and was rushed to a non-VA hospital, where he underwent open heart surgery and incurred approximately $48,000 in emergency medical expenses. Medicare covered a portion of this medical bill, and the veteran sought VA reimbursement for the portion of the medical expenses not covered by Medicare.

    “This is a major win for veterans, and their families,” said Bart Stichman, joint executive director of NVLSP and one of the attorneys in the case. “Often veterans have to seek emergency medical care outside the VA healthcare system, and for years the VA has refused to reimburse these veterans for any of the expenses incurred simply because secondary insurance covered a portion of the medical bill. This practice has violated federal law since at least 2009. The court’s ruling means the VA will have to amend the unlawful regulations it should have amended in 2009 and do right by these veterans. It’s not just a win for one veteran. Veterans who have pending claims for reimbursement will benefit. Plus, veterans whose reimbursement requests were turned down years ago may now be able to get paid by claiming that the previous denial contained “clear and unmistakable error.”

    • “…VA…became wholly inconsistent…” – with the governing statute…

      O.k. I will buy that descritption, but your honor does that not beg the REAL question? Exactly which governing authority or regulation is it that VA is ACTUALLY consistent with? A quick perusal of my own record and of public information validated to be true that I offered now into evidence, suggests that they are also wholly inconsistent with just the quick read of the following list. I present this list so we can exclude these items and focus on what exactly which rules VA DOES follow by excluding the regulatory authority that they do not follow. Like Spock says, eliminate the impossibilities and you are left with the truth.

      To date VA is wholly inconsistent with (partial list);

      1) Title 82, USC federal code of regulations.
      2) Ammendments 1,5,14 and other portions of the document relating to individual and personal rights promised to all Americans by The Constitution, circa 1776.
      3) The Privacy Act of 1972.
      4) Americans with Disabilities Act.
      5) Veterans Choice Act.
      6) State statutes like Oregon’s felony coercion laws;
      “2015 ORS 163.275¹ Coercion. (h) Unlawfully use or abuse the person’s position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely.”
      7) Official VA Directive (the list they fail to comply with exceeds the memory capacity of my iPad mini 4 so will of technical necessity be ommitted here).
      8) Congressional oversight.
      9) The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
      10) Doctors Helping Heros Act of 2015.
      11) Helping Homeless Veterans Act of 2017.
      12) Helping Veterans Exposed To Burn Pits Act of 2017.
      13) Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Asistance Act.

      … it turns out that the list is just a teeny tad longer, but let us stop at lucky number 13 – VA style luck.

      So respectfully your honor, which law off the top of your head ARE the kind and loving folks at lucky and goog old fashioned VA wholly consistent with? Go ahead and Tweet the answer, or better yet maybe POTUS should…

  18. #1.)
    BREAKING NEWS:
    From: “Fox News” channel 35 (local Orlando Florida)
    Titled:
    “Congressman Steve Scalise (R) shot at baseball field in Alexandria, Va.!”

    (The shooter has NOT been caught yet!)
    It’s an ongoing investigation!
    A total “of four republicans were shot” during the baseball game. It’s thought the shooter was also shot and killed!

    It’s getting bad out there, brothers and sisters! Be careful where you got. And be aware of your surroundings, like your were on patrol in a combat situation!

    _________________

    #2.)
    From:
    “Military.com/Daily News”
    Titled;
    “Congress Sends Bill to Speed Up Disciplinary Action at the VA to Trump”

    Dated:
    14 June 2017
    By: Nikki Wentling reporting.

    David “Little” Cox(sucker) isn’t too happy about this new Bill.
    Lastly, my wife has a surprise in store for my PCP next month. My PCP does nothing for my MANY physical/medical problems. She’s a”…waste of taxpayers monies…”, according to my wife!

    I think it’s going to get very interesting in the VA in the coming months!

  19. Will post more later but for now, this is just a small sampling of what we deal with locally trying to group up or find other vets dealing with Indiana’s corruption or the VA’s.

    “you are a fucking drug addict so quit fucking bitching”

    “http://terrehaute.craigslist.org/vnn/6114520950.html”

    This kind of stuff comes from other vets, VA staff and their families, town council members, college kiddies, the Antifa, special interest groups, vet groups, etc. Media supported, college supported, all the rest. Nice huh? Don’t dare mention any negatives about Indiana. Forsooth, egad, it many blemish or harm the upper crust and corrupt like Hulman, George, Lugar, Hogsetts, Bloombergs, and all the other legal and illegal syndicates ruling the state and towns.

    • T,
      Deanna Albrittin of fox 59 news did an update on the opioid prescribing practice of the Northern IN VAMC’s. After her story aired, I e-mailed her and she called me. We had a little over 40 minute talk about her story and how it has changed from trying to help veterans continue what has been helping to being on the VA’s side. She tried to tell me that she only had a couple of minutes in which to do the story and she tried to put in the most important information. Nowhere did she state that the VA would continue to keep veterans on opioid theratpy long term. She actually went the opposite way and basically said veterans will be weaned down to almost nothing or the pain meds will be taken away completely.
      She agreed to put in one line stating that some veterans would be on the opioid therapy long term. I still think the VA has forced the news to agree with what they want. Dr. Hancock, VA clinic director, stated:

      “We began to focus on the fact that we didn’t want anybody to ever have any pain,” said Dr. Hancock. “Now we are 180 degrees from that.”

      What does that indicate? I read it to say that they now do not care if we are in pain.

      Another part of the story:

      Across the country, VA doctors and nurse practitioners are supposed to make sure other forms of pain management are available before taking veterans off their opiates.

      “We have some relatively strong guidelines about how we can begin to reduce things,” said Dr. Hancock. “For some veterans, that may be a little bit too fast.”

      Dr. Hancock says some veterans can react poorly to finding out a drug they depend on currently to maintain a good quality of life, should no longer be an option. And because all pain needs are different, he says doctors at Roudebush should be taking veterans’ concerns seriously, not using a “one-size-fits-all” formula to get people off the medications. That includes leaving some veterans on long-term opiate therapy if needed.

      “We’re always willing to listen,” said Dr. Hancock.

      The “that includes leaving…” is what she put in after we talked. I will post the link so others can read and listen to the story. My take on the story is that the narcotic pain meds will be taken away. The reporter insured me that she was told otherwise.

      The link: “http://fox59.com/2017/06/13/lawmakers-concerns-about-improper-opiate-prescription-cutoffs-grow/”
      remove the””
      f8f

      • First off, Thanks for the info and link. To my knowledge there are NO lawmakers doing anything about Indiana’s VA, veteran’s issues, corruption in the state entirely, or about pain management.

        Hogsett, Donnelly, Kersey, all media, vet groups, Hancock, Dr. Slime Golla, patient advocates, the past and present governors, attorney general, any staff, medical boards, etc. are all a pathetic lying joke spouting lies about being concerned about us over any issues. I have written to the White House and not a damn one of them has returned any form of communication or shown concerns. For years we in this state have had zero true, honest, factual reporting or journalist that would dare to report on serious issues that may harm the fine globalist, sanctuary state, of Indiana. The corruption is too vast and deep-seated. Surely those “law makers” have read this site cause I know I have promoted this site all over the place, so how can they miss it? And why no connections with other vets who complain in person but fear the powers that be? I also will not use salutations or the usual honorable prefixes with any of those freaks listed. They do NOT deserve honorable mentions or any respect from me at all, none. They are all just stuffed corrupted, self serving, suits.

        No-one wants to listen and then just passes the buck or reports never being contacted or know about the variety of issues. I have tried every damn thing. Here is the new one: “https://terrehaute.craigslist.org/vnn/6181843989.html” All I get is threats, nastiness, or followed in real life, harassed, ignored by local officials, and nothing from any “law maker” or interested parties with true concerns. If we have lefty enemies and corrupt playing town officials and elected, there is no safety zone for us.

        A few of us used to meet for coffee every week for chit chat, info, or to vent. All of those others are now deceased and those with web sites were taken down by family because they didn’t want involved in controversial issues, or to attract attention to themselves like their husbands did.

        Golla said she had to cut, “per those orders from the top”, patients on pain meds. She said the ‘new pain clinic’ was voluntary, but it was mandatory. Pain clinic MD told me on the phone that I need to stay on pain meds and seen I had absolutely no issues with addition or abuse, none. So the pain clinic MD at the time filled my script. Golla refused to comply the next month and cut me off cold along with more nasty treatments and gaming.

        “Per orders from the top” was also the words used by our new pain clinic orientation scum bag that treated us like dogs. “From the top” including Hancock, medical boards of Indiana, the DoD, etc. So that shows the article is more BS and lies.

        Personally after years of being on pain meds I had no severe withdrawals. I have had more severe withdrawals from the head dope they want to push on us, or demand we do, than anything else. Other than that the only thing I experienced from being dropped cold turkey was nothing compared to trying to quit smoking or jitters from backing off of coffee. But we are dealing with “collective punishment” communist, fascist style, with a lying media to match.

        Before the VA care and during I was told I would need to stay on pain meds the rest of my life. Migraines, surgeons putting artificial joints in the wrong size, spine and joint (all) issues, etc. Then I am told by the new pain clinic drug counselor to forget everything we have ever been told about pain, but to trust them alone.

        Over the years I have tried everything. Bio-feed back, their miracle cure called anti-depressants, Tai Chi for arthritis, went to every event, clinic, conference, or convention about pain I heard of. Tried to keep Bees and use Apitherapy, using Bee stings on my joints for pain. Not good for neck or migraine issues so be warned. Six Bee stings around each knee did okay but temporary. I learned that trick from a guy with MS and other issues. In short there is nothing I haven’t tried. But then we are told we are too stupid to know our own bodies and that the mighty VA is god and knows all. Which has filtered into the civilian health care systems. So there is not one damn thing the VA can tell me about pain or the use of alternatives, the scum. Then all in the medical professions want to play games and pass us around to suit their own greedy purposes and none of them care about us.

        “http://www.thedailysheeple.com/who-is-the-richest-person-in-your-state_062017” Remove quotes. Health care benefits those “law makers” and those in “Health Care” according to this report. It should mention the lawyers making a killing from mal-practice suits and bankruptcies. Take it for what it’s worth.

      • T,
        I tried to get Deanna to include that this is not just a state VA problem and it is a nationwide problem. Us veterans are getting screwed across the country and that needs to be included so the civilian population can see that we have no voice, no say in our care, nothing. Her response was that “they” want her to keep it local.
        I agree that this state insures that what gets out will sound as if it is only a few who are having trouble and that the VA is right on top of it and making everything right. That is what the general population sees, but it is not what is actually happening. This state will do what they need to do to hush us. Deanna did tell me that the Roudebush VAMC is to be the next story she is to do. We will see how that one will go.
        Golla is an evil person. I wonder if they taught her that at Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, India? I am so glad I no longer see her. I will say that my new PCP has been good so far. We have not came up with a plan for my pain med as of now and he is not weaning me. He is waiting for the outside Ortho report to come up with a plan. The problem now is that the outside Othro appointment was with a surgeon who told me He is not a pain doctor and will not do anything about that part of my problem. So the VA sent me to a surgeon to help with my pain and the surgeon does not deal in that area. He said there is nothing he can do that would help. He offered physical therapy and gave me new braces for my knees. The braces suck and the VA will not tell me if the therapy will be covered by the non-VA fee services. It was all a waste of time and effort. I am sure the fight to remain at an employable level will be starting soon with my new PCP.
        Add to that my new flag in my records thanks to golla, I do not stand a chance to express my side. If they think I am going to give up and do whatever they say, they are so wrong. I am sure the crappy pain clinic will be where they want me to go next and if I go, there will be a record of what actually happens at that appointment.
        f8f

      • Civilian care today is no better than the VA. They all refuse anything, care, treatments, meds, that actually work. I had my fill with physical therapy which is a waste of time unless it was needed like after a fall or injured shoulders that I had trouble moving. Hell, I get more therapy here at home other than the money game for the ring of doctors or therapist we are told to fill their wallets over. I still have a pile of various exercises to do with all the joints in my body that I may need to use or do. I have my traction units and inverter table and my own joint supports, vibrators, and special shoes. So there isn’t anything new they can give me or say to do. Just to waste more money and deal with bs, and be passed along to other greedy quacks. Then Golla and Howard say I am to do it all over again with each and every clinic? All the testing and fondling? No way, the damned idiots. Then be told by a pain clinic idiot that we are not capable of knowing what we need and to totally depend on the VA and never again use the choice card or use civilian care? Then media, our scum officials and politicians see nothing wrong with this stuff? They refuse to investigate things or contact us for many reasons and one main is… they don’t care. If I was an illegal I’d have it all for free and the ACLU and others would have my back. Not so with many veterans or Americans.

        How all these filthy, nasty, lying, greedy bastards sleep at night is far beyond me. Signs of the times I suppose.

        I have called about every MD in the lousy phone book and from online sources to no avail. Living in the tech age and the phone book or online info isn’t much, with online websites for MDs full of false info, and them claiming to have all these degrees and internships only to find out it is total BS or told different when talking to desk staff. ( Sadly there are plenty of Gollas here that support the others, and the town loves them. They are gods in Indiana.) Then to discover for us serfs there are only 4 pain clinics locally for us to use and all of them are foreigners and we have to sign a pile of contracts with them including notes to never sue them for damages or mal-practice, etc. That and unless we are special, have to sit in waiting rooms like I had for two to six hours or more which is total disrespect to mal–practice in its self. Plus I can’t sit in normal sitting much if at all, especially in a crowded small waiting rooms and dealing with cramps and all the rest of the issues to deal with. Who the hell in their right minds would think that sitting that long in some doctors office like that is okay or slightly acceptable? While all the scum laugh all the way to the bank knowing they are F-ing us over till we are dead, suffering, and not a thing we can do about it. Of course local or state or fed politicians, city workers, cops, etc., have their own MDs/clinics and health care plans unlike ours. Then to hear on the news how great the medical colleges are and more to come to my area, complete with Eskenazi managers, and more uncaring activist youth and ‘professionals’ flooding the medical systems. Oh what fun.

        Ortho told me there was nothing to do about my joints or knees until they were so bad, and me older, to have them replaced. They informed me that braces or supports would not be provided and that they wouldn’t be that much help to me anyway. So I went out and bought my own ankle and knee firm supporters to keep them in place, at least a little. So for years I played the run around game at the VA for nothing. Several hundreds of miles driven monthly between several clinics and testing sites, and endured for years to end because of BS and VA staff wanting to do harm to me in a variety of ways.

        I left before I did blow up on one of them and before I got a flagging which I was told I never had in my file. Or be set-up to be put in Indy’s fine jail system to be harmed more. When more than one incompetent clinic, the staff, are clearly playing games, being called names to our back pretending to muffle or whisper it all… like “Bitch and moan cracker,” “snowflake”and not the liberal kind either, “white bread”. Or some other veteran ( I guess) sitting talking to staff telling me the Indianapolis “clean up crew” which is the cops I was told would have to come scoop me up after talking bad about dear Golla and the VA.. is a sure sign, with many others, that the Nap town VA needs to replace it’s administration and most of the staff and their stinking low life PCPs playing MDs. Along with their activist and game players that must be around for use by them.I said nothing and kept walking out of THEIR clinic or horrors and torture and games. And forgot to turn on my damned voice recorder. I’m too old and in pain to play a I Spy game with Indiana’s corrupt game players and activist. Odd thing was not one other person sitting in the waiting room close by lifted their heads or looked our way to see what was being said or why, not one. Their faces were in their laps. It gets no more real or apparent than that.

        I reported this stuff to one of the P Advocates too. He said that stuff doesn’t happen at his VA. Then another one called and wanted to know what I did to instigate that situation. I said nothing but just walking out. Then the idiot asked why I didn’t turn around and smack the dude or laughing fat staff. I said, right, play rough or argue with somebody like that on YOUR turf? No way, you think I’m totally insane or stupid? Then he went on about how great Golla is. The way he sounded as with others, I think he too was boinking ol’ Golla by the sounds of it. Fits the VA there being one big cluster F.

        I’ve heard some horror stories bout the VA cops and staff forcing vets into a mental ward for arguing with the scum workers at the VA. So that is more that needs investigating is the so-called ’emergency detention’ claims that silences the trouble makers or vets hitting their threshold limit of bull shit and VA lies and tactics. Giving them the power to play fascist pigs and to punish the fed up veterans who are supposed to kiss butt and eat VA crap.

        The good from leaving the VA is nonsense of hundreds of miles driven and the total waste of time per month. Not coming home sick with a flu or cold which was frequent (yes I wash my hands and use sanitizer). No slipping and sliding in the men’s room on pissy and bloody bandage topped floors many times. Not dealing with multiple clinics for years and staying in the same shape most of the time. Not dealing with the Gollas. Not going through the intentional gaming and total disrespect and disregard. Not having to see other vets pitch fits and damage vehicles on their way out, lashing out at everything around them. Having to listen to the union gossip and their tactics and how fun and profitable their plans are. Not having to listen to VA staff crap outside in Indy’s high dollar, taxes for a sports arena, restaurants discussing VA issues and them dealing with us trashy stupid veterans they deal with daily. Dealing with the obvious racism and white bread hatred. Like we are there for “white privileged.’ Not dealing with the pain and obstacles and threats on the way there and back. You don’t want to deal with cops when puking with a migraine at the side of the road, or out staggering trying to walk off cramps, etc. They are “not social workers” or care. Dealing with road closures that make us get lost, drive through some of Indy’s worse neighborhoods or areas….not fun. Much less stress or stressors. Not able to find a disabled parking spot in the heat of day. No constant keeping track of a calendar full of appointments or having to rearrange it multiple times per month to pacify them or their vacations. Countless blood and urine screens trying to catch me doing something I don’t do. Able to take a glucose tab without being called a drug user or it being a big orange dope pill off the streets. Not dealing with the corrupt VA scum or their contractors. Dealing with countless contradictions, incompetence, and excuses. No dealing with the young college crowd full of vanity and ego. No dealing with the scum lying patient advocates. And much more. Oh happy days! The few good ones there do not out-weigh all the negatives we may have to face or deal with.

        I won’t hold my breath over Deanna. I’ve heard bugs fart on the water before when fishing. Indiana needs exposed for the filth and anti-American corruption filled edifices that have total control over our lives and freedoms. It would expose too many perversions, pedophiles, psychopaths, evil scum from top to bottom. I may have left the VA and the consequences are my death and long suffering. This life is not that precious to me any longer. And I will not shut up, threats, no threats, ignored, censored, etc. Rage, rage, rage. “https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night” My hopes and prayers are out there for you and all the others here.

      • It is all the same T. Insurance company boards decide how much to pay private care hence a pull back from care of the 1950s and 1960s. For the VA it is the Congressional VA Committees (behind closed doors on this decision).

      • It appears that giving medical care to employees of the VA which pays the Medicare PLUS what the supplemental charges are vs. only paying doctors the medicare fees for veterans which the “Choice” program allows, violates certain standards as well as the Equal Rights Section of the U.S. Constitution even though being a veteran is not a “suspect class”, (alienage, race,) nor is the provision of medical treatment a fundamental right, there is a legal hook upon which we veterans can hang our legal hat. It bears looking at, even if embarrassment of certain legislators which may secure their defeat at the polls may be enough incentive. There has to be a sufficient legal hook,
        (a basis upon which to base a serious lawsuit), so this may be one prong of our attack in our effort to be treated with equanimity and fairness. There may be an issue of violation of “DUE PROCESS”, (DEFAMATION BY GOVERNMENTR OR DEPRIVATION OF PROPERTY RIGHT, (ONCE GRANTED A PROPERTY RIGHT IS THE RIGHT TO BE GIVEN APPROPRIATE TREATMENT, AND DISABLITY COMPENSATION, ETC).
        Any attorneys out there who know whether these issues have been litigated, please let us know.
        So, any of you who have had your benefits terminated without a hearing, (violation of DUE PROCESS) can proceed against the gov’t to have the benefits restored, VIA A HEARING WHERE YOU MAY BE REPRESENTED BY AN ATTORNEY, and back benefits from the cancellation of those benefits paid to you, as I understand the law.

  20. I read the new accountability bill is friendlier to employees. How is that possible? The way things have gone the last 80 years, well, guess I have trust issues.

    • Find out who supported the various parts of the Bill, which do not support us Vets and organize and go after and spotlight the ones who are our enemies and remove them from the Congress, vote them out make them the laughing stock of the country…………………………………………..

  21. @Dennis, I saw yesterday that AG Sessions wants to go after, ” medical marijuana ” growers. I thought you supplied information that Sessions wasn’t given funds to do that. So, where is he getting the funds?

    • Here is a link to the letter that Sessions wrote regarding marijuana.

      “https://www.scribd.com/document/351079834/Sessions-Asks-Congress-To-Undo-Medical-Marijuana-Protections”

  22. Off topic.

    With the congressman being shot today we can all look forward to new laws and legislation that will further remove congress and the senate from us. For months to come we will hear little more than how we need to protect them. You can bet that most every thing that is now public will now be made private including how they make their money and what charities they own.

    Each time you hear about how the poor congressman was shot remember there are 22 Veterans committing suicide everyday. Also remember how our health care is decided for us leaving us very little choice. How each and everyone of those congressman and senators really don’t give a rats ass about Veterans and are only concerned with how to make a fast buck off of looking like they are trying to do something for us.

    I don’t condone shooting congressman but I certainly don’t condone the way we are treated by them.

  23. Looks like we can have silencers on our guns. Senate just keeps on passing bills. Myself, I don’t care. I’m in the country. But, my son was murdered a few years ago. They caught the guys. Only because witnesses heard the noise, then identified the two running away. They would have gotten away with silencers. Again, why does everyone need a silencer? The reason I hear is noise pollution? I own many weapons, never needed a silencer. Don’t get it.

    • Jo3n,
      I am very sorry to hear of your loss. The only reason I can give for the use of a silencer is for hunting coyotes, foxes, ETC… The noise cancelation helps to not scare other predators away. It does help. I do know more people who hunt predators are getting silencers. That is all I can give my opinion on.
      f8f

  24. Ben,
    It wasn’t just one “prudent layperson” who made the determination that you needed tp go to the ER. It was two. You and your wife….and the entire medical community backs you up. Chest pain is ALWAYS an emergency since even minor pain can signify a heart attack.

  25. YOU KNOW WHY THEY DON’T WANT ANY VETERAN GOING TO ANY HOSPITAL OUTSIDE OF THE VA… BECAUSE YOU ARE THEIR PRIVATE LABORATORY RAT / GUINNEA PIG AND THEY WANT ABSOLUTE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH CARE, MEDICINE AND MEDICAL RECORDS FOR THEIR RESEARCH. YOU KNOW, THE MILLION MAN VETERAN SCAM THAT EVERYONE FELL INTO WILLINGLY. THEY SELL THEIR RESEARCH, AND THEY ALREADY SOLD YOUR VA MEDICAL RECORDS TO OTHER RESEARCH FACILITIES. NOW, EVERYTHING IS ONE BIG DATABASE CONNECTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES. THANKS MILLION MAN VOLUNTEERS. YOU SIGNED AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO LIVE BECAUSE YOUR GETTING ALL THE NEW EXPERIMENTAL DRUGS AND TREATMENTS. Good Luck with that.

    • Someone has to be the first human subject. I don’t mind. If someone hadn’t let me do my first stitch on them I’d never have been qualified to sew someone up. What goes around should come around. My being his Guinea pig might return the favor or perhaps his son’s. Who knows what advances may happen?

      What I do mind is being left on a medication with side effects to see how bad they will get. that is beyond the pale and was the case with an interaction with Tegretol and Nortryptaline. Carrying the “rat” act too far isn’t what we expect of our fellow humans.

  26. Ben, good job!!
    Under the new law the people who are RESPONSIBLE for these obvious blatant illegal decisions should be immediately placed under the “Firing” Microscope and IMMEDIATELY the prcess of firing should begin, (as well as efforts to reverse the illegal decision).
    Morever, any private entity who participates OBVIOUSLY in the illegal decision should have its contract IMMEDIATELY SUSPENDED.
    As well, IMMEDIATE LAWSUITS FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE, (Yes, such a decision involves medical malpractice with a cause of action for FRAUD WHICH IF PROVED BRINGS WITH IT PUNITIVE DAMAGES), should begin immediately.
    A good defense is only outrated by a really well prepared, ready to pounce OFFENSE.
    A good ambush repeatedly executed properly will achieve great results.
    Think of this as a professional prize fight, even if you can’t K.O. the other guy with one punch, if you hit him so hard so many times you will get a TECHNICAL K.O. because he will not be able to answer the bell at the beginning of the next round. These VA employees and “contractors” need to pay attention to the law, not the bottom line. Hit them hard, with lawsuits, firing and publicity and run them out…. DO NOT GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO CATCH THEIR BREATH………………
    Semper Fi Brothers/fellow veterans
    Gather ye lawyer brethren hither, veterans and lawyers sympathetic to us veterans.
    File, as well, Criminal RICO (18USC Sect 1961) and Civil RICO (18USC Section 1963) cases against these cruds, beat them in the courts, send them packing without pensions, and hound them to the edge of the cliff, because we are in a war with these cruds……………….

  27. P.S. the next time you go to the VA expecting respect and expedient treatment you may not get a big smile but you will get the kind of treatment you deserve.

  28. I think that the following statement from the VVA newsletter covers another aspect of non-VA ER visits than the claim being denied because the vet’s emergency didn’t qualify as an emergency:
    “VA Obligated to Pay Out-of-pocket Costs for Private, Emergency Medical Care

    VVA Veterans Benefits Director Kelsey Yoon reports that VA has decided to withdraw its appeal in Staab v. Shulkin, permitting the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims decision to hold. This is a significant step forward in ensuring that VA-enrolled veterans will be protected from out-of-pocket costs when they are forced to use private, emergency medical care. Prior to the Staab decision, VA would deny requests for reimbursement from veterans for emergency medical expenses, if they had other insurance that covered a portion of the medical bill, but would pay emergency medical expense claims for veterans who had no insurance. VA now agrees that it is obligated to cover non-VA emergency care costs when veterans have other health insurance. VVA believes the Court got it right in interpreting Congress’s intent of having VA reimburse a veteran for portion of expenses not covered by a health plan contract. This is a major win for veterans and their families. ” Do you ever talk to John Rowan President of VVA? I think you should talk to him about this matter. I believe that he had also told me that if the VA doesn’t find the medical specialty or finds the quality lacking, the vet can go to a private physician under the Choice Program and the VA will pay. I never saw this aspect in any VA or non-VA documentation. Have you heard about it?

  29. I am writing you in regard to Veteran’s that suffer with PTSD and addiction. The current support for inpatient care for Veteran’s are provided through the Veteran’s Administration. Due to location of facilities and scheduling of this type of care, the VA has established the Veteran’s Choice Program.

    I own a hotel, the California Palms, in Austintown OH. that I converted into a treatment center for addiction rehabilitation. My heart has always been behind our Veteran’s that have suffered in many ways, all while serving our country. I decided to focus solely on our Veteran’s and their desperate need for support.

    I understood that availability to house and treat the Veteran’s with inpatient care over these issues was a problem the VA faced. With the Veteran’s Choice Program being a resolve to help with the strain the VA was trying to alleviate, I seen this as an opportunity to get personally involved. This is where my commitment to support the Veteran’s was now a possibility for me to achieve.

    My research shows that in Cleveland alone, there are approximately 7000 Veterans. With just 5 percent of those Veterans having issues where inpatient care is required, that number being 350 Veterans and Cleveland VA only having room accommodate 32 Veterans at one time, the demand for support through the Veterans Choice Program has never been more needed. We here at California Palms PTSD and Addiction Recovery are here to support that demand.

    Our program meets the requirements to help these Veterans. Our 11 million dollar facility has the staff, programs and amenities for a positive, well structured atmosphere for a successful treatment. But go far beyond them to ensure a support group surrounds them long after the initial care has been provided.

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