Veterans Choice Program Almost Out Of Money, Again, After A Couple Weeks?

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Veterans Choice ProgramSince its inception, the Veterans Choice Program has been plagued by three things: 1) bad VA employees blocking access; 2) bad contractors not paying doctors; and, 3) underfunding.

Well, we are now facing the third rail for what seems like the fifth or sixth time since the Veterans Choice Program was first created in 2014. In fact, the speed of running out of money is now happening so frequently that just a couple weeks ago, VA cried for and received more money. Now they are almost out of money, again.

Now they are almost out of money, again.

Let me summarize the various arguments on the Hill.

Republicans are saying wonk wonk.

Democrats are saying wonk wonk.

Veterans organizations like VFW and DAV are saying wonk wonk.

RELATED: Choice Program Needs $421 Million Fix VA Says

Seriously though, left-leaning groups cry against privatization of VA using misinformation. Right-leaning groups cry foul since both Republicans and Democrats have drastically outsourced VA jobs and services.

Blah blah.

RELATED: VA Facing $1 Billion Shortfall For Veterans Choice

Running out of money has become such a frequent problem over the past few years that it’s losing the effect it once had on Congress and the American taxpayer.

I have no doubt the practice of now coming to Congress crying for money is at least better than the old practice of screwing even more veterans out of benefits while lying to Congress about budgetary shortfalls.

RELATED: Jon Stewart Nails It On Choice Program Farce

Now, we at least know when VA is broke, or at least we know when VA says it is broke. Seems like going hat in hand to Congress is the new black – – at least for Veterans Affairs.

Source: http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/09/27/business/business-breaking/va-running-out-of-money-for-private-health-care-program/

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133 Comments on "Veterans Choice Program Almost Out Of Money, Again, After A Couple Weeks?"

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Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

YAAAAAAWWWNNN….. noting new here. We get mad, nothing gets done…

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

One big crime racket at work and pockets are being filled otherwise why not a Audit ?…Our government is bleeding the taxpayer DRY on purpose

AirmanBob
AirmanBob
Another program in the ditch. There is soooo much money down the drain by starting another new program in the shadow of the old one. A lot of money down the drain from the start up cost. Can’t count how often this happens, I lost track of what is the latest and greatest and frankly I’m tired of it and don’t really care. Can’t do anything about anyway. It’s just another VA scam to pay themselves
T
T
Hi all! No, I am not dead yet, just so much going on plus going a bit blind until my Medicare supplement kicks in and can get in for some surgery next year. So Old Marine and others on Wire I’ll be back on there when things settle down. Per topic: I had better luck with some things about getting civilian care locally before the 40 mile and Choice Card stuff came along. I fell and needed physical therapy &… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
Ok Ben, when you toss a softball of course I am gonna take a swing…. “Republicans are saying wonk wonk. Democrats are saying wonk wonk. Veterans organizations like VFW and DAV are saying wonk wonk.” —– The hippy tye-dye stoner disabled vet from Oregon ammends your words thusly for more complete context —– “Republicans are going whack whack. Democrats are going whack whack. Veterans organizations like VFW and DAV are going whack whack. We The People feel bent over and… Read more »
ThisVet2017
ThisVet2017

Yep plan on for another four years of promises, good/bad cops. I guess the best bet is to become a VA cronie and get in on this scam while it’s good.

Lem
Lem
The idea with choice was to avoid the payouts for 38 CFR 3.154 (malpractice compensation). Vets would have to sue their choice Dr. instead of claiming compensation under the liberalized 3.154 route. But 3.154 is way cheaper than fee based malpractice insured medical practices. And managed care doesn’t do any better than VA care other than being closer to your home and having a better bed side manner geared to letting the fee based physicians milk the system until it… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

Yeah, let’s go the commie route, nationalalize companies so they run as fucked up as the VA.

Dennis
Dennis

I move to support a Constitutional ammendment that is very simple. It would forbid the federal government from engaging in the dispensing of goods or services that are already available in the common marketplace and are already utilized by the general public.

Do I hear a second?

I am sure the legal profession can interpret my ammendment into no more than six or seven large volumns of legal opinion about how this is interpretted…..

91Veteran
91Veteran

The first 6 abridged volumes covers just the definitions of the words you used. “General” and “public” cover 2 volumes each.

Lem
Lem

Already in the Constitution. Haven’t you read it? No need to amend, it is in the Articles.

windguy
windguy

Single payer works just fine in other countries. The VA doesn’t get fixed because Pig Pharma and Pig Med want it all. They certainly don’t want an example of a functional single payer system. Same reason “they” won’t clean up Medicare.

Lem
Lem

Worked for Truman and the Railroads. Got them in line and hauling troops. When the greedy get too greedy they need to be shown they can be taken down a notch and held there until they get their act together.

norman
norman

audit the va

Dennis
Dennis
I hear ya norman but point out that Congress has been “auditting” the VA for decades. The results are tabulated now on a weekly basis as things are very fluid in the agency under scrutiny. The audits are filed in Congress in hopes Congress will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. These audit results have been kept in a warehouse somewhere in area 51. This is not because it is any secret at all. Generally… Read more »
AvengingAngel
AvengingAngel

Trouble is the VA has no internal auditors. Just the inept VAOIG that reports to Shulkin who is counting down the days he runs out the door and heads the Penn health system for doing nothing that would rock the boat. If HVAC appoints forensic accountants whistleblowers will point the path of fraud. At the Philadelphia VA everything from illegal management bonuses to systemic HR management fraud. Too much to ask for?

Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt

Is nobody watching the chickens in the hen house? Which Senators son is overseeing the programs

91Veteran
91Veteran

None. They are too focused on funneling cash to Dick Gephardt, Tommy Thompson, George Miller, etc. , the mutual funds the Senators invest in make money. Mutual funds give them the appearance of being clean since it is not investments directly in Gephardts ass.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Yep, VA’s MASSIVE fraud, waste and abuse shows NO signs of slowing down! I wonder how many of our elected and appointed officials bank accounts have grown fatter? Or, have any of them opened new off shorebank accounts since the last time choice was given monies? That would be something which should be investigated! _____________________ This out today (28 Sept. 2017) from: “military.com/daily news” via; “Stars and Stripes” | by: Claudia Grisales. Titled; “Senators: More Must Be Done to Reduce… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

To think ‘Choice’ started as a murder of crows flies rules while the VA keeps murdering.
“The owls are not what they seem.”– Twin Peaks

Dan
Dan
I know exactly what you are talking about. I go to the local VA hospital tomorrow for pre surgical lab work and an MRI for a 90% chance of having a pinched nerve in my lower spine for the FIFTH TIME, and these idiots wanted me to drive 120 miles round trip to go to their emergency room just so they could tell me what my local hospital emergency room stated, and then come back 4 days later to see… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

If a VA doctor is authorizing the care, what the hell say should Choice have? If it’s authorized then they should pay the damn bills.

Dan
Dan

Yea thats the way its SUPPOSE to work. But the VA doctor actually has no authority to send you to an outside doctor. They have to get permission from a “Fee Basis” worker, which means that the worker will decide IF you should be allowed to do this and IF they will pay for it.

Pretty screwed up way of doing things isnt it?

namnibor
namnibor

That ‘Fee Basis’ worker crap is simply federal job welfare works security program that also provides another AFGE dues-paying engorged purple team member. It’s ALL about ‘control’…passive-aggressively, at that.

T
T
Other issues exist too like civilian MDs not accepting the amounts the VA is willing to pay. I was told there are set rates of pay for everything. I was told by one doctor, specialist, when the VA told me to find one my own in my area and would pay for it. The MD’s secretary reported that she (MD) would not lower her expected charges/rates. The MD does not discuss reasoning over rates or debate the VA over them.… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
I am misunderstanding something Dan. My point is that if the VA has referred you to Choice and the authorization sent, then Choice should be paying the bill. Why is some bean-counter at Choice second guessing a medical opinion? Now, if a doctor says they will refer you to Choice and a VA bean-counter won’t issue the authorization, that is the same as the bean-counter second guessing an opinion, but different from Choice not paying for a properly authorized appointment.… Read more »
Dan
Dan
No, they told me that IF I used it in this then the VA may not pay for it. So I waited until today and let my doctor see this, and after she got the MRI boy was she PISSED! She wanted to know why I had not came in earlier, and I told her that I was NOT driving 120 miles round trip just for some dweeb to tell me what my ER already told me and then for… Read more »
sepp dietrich
sepp dietrich

Dan, you better watch Esther Gokehale “Walk This Way” before you get back surgery. Her method fixed most of my back pain after 40 years of chronic pain.

Dan
Dan

I will look into that, but it may be too late for me as I have already had 4 of these. But thank you for the info as it could be very helpful in the future

91Veteran
91Veteran
Again, Choice, like the VAs budget is not underfunded in my opinion, but pissed away because of poor management, and zero accountability from zero oversight by congress. If that were not the case, why the hell are the same problems being reported 3 years after the program was created? I see the usual hacks have lined up either to defend the funding, oppose it, or defend VA, but I see nobody demanding improvement for vets. The comments in the linked… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Right-on! I believe the VA just keeps spending $$ without any concrete budget until the ratty claws reach stone-dry bottom of cookie jar. This is also how such massive over budget VA projects like the Aurora VAMC Black Hole manifest. VA LOVES to spend oodles of $$ as long as it’s not primarily on Veteran Healthcare.
Rat Bastards!

91Veteran
91Veteran
In many respects, the VA is just doing what many federal agencies are doing. Lining up their place at the trough, elbowing aside competition to get the most amount possible from congress (taxpayers). They are operating under a Continuing Resolution which expires in December. That’s why they mentioned Choice may be out of money by December. They need to drum up support for how much they demand in the next budget. Anyone else find it weird how the VA claims… Read more »
Atom9
Atom9
The VA use to have the month rule if you can’t see a doctor in a month you can use Choice but they took that away and tell you to wait now Choice is primarily used for only medical treatment they don’t provide yet the VA is making the veteran jump through hoops for instance let’s say the veteran needs cortisone shots for a bad back the VA will now have you see their back surgeon who most rule out… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

The VA still has the “month rule”. It applies to both dead veterans and uncooked chicken. They figure if the dead vet gets in the ground before a month ticks off then it is mission accomplished. The VHA food service folks are same-same with the chicken; if it is left out for less than a month it is mission accomplished.

Bon appetite.

James Clement
James Clement
It is high time for some real leadership at the VA. Leadership that speaks truth publicly about how bad things have really gotten. Leadership that develops solutions to take better care of ALL our nations warriors. Leadership that recognizes that when they are doing a good job – – – it will be veterans singing their praises, rather than the VA needing a PR Agency to put out “Fluff Pieces” to mislead America. Current VA leadership has their Brain Housing… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
With respect JC we have tried as a people countless changes of leadership in the past several decades and corruption grows ever more deeply. The reason for this decay in our democratic republic is pretty simple – it operates outside of the laws that we ourselves, The People, are held to. Ben can fill in just how many rights we are granted in the Constitution and likewise can point out in the Constitution just where it says “Go directly to… Read more »
James Clement
James Clement
Dennis, I agree with everything you posted. Guess I have just gotten too old and outlived my usefulness to America. America as a whole has changed along the way. Some ways good. Some way not so much. I do observe that from where I sit Vladimir Putin is the most honest player in the United States Government. Not saying I like it – – – but it is what it is. Yet there is still that small spark within me… Read more »
ThisVet2017
ThisVet2017

Well of course there’s no more money…SES, managers and cronies have to get their bonus money and kickbacks from some pot of gold.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
WOW! It really pays to know the “Clinton Crime Family!” Check this out from: “Daily Caller” by: Richard Pollock dated: 9/27/2017 Titled; “EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea’s ‘Best Friend’ Wins $11 Mil In Defense Contracts With No Clearence!” This goes back a few years. And the Defense Department is just now getting people clearances! I wonder IF Hillary, while Secretary of State or as a Senator, had anything to do with this? Oh, but wait, that would mean an illegal “pay to play… Read more »
JAne
JAne

No Money DUH due to finally paying the bills for two years! VA Accountants sure cant count! got their accounting degree from the Hippo and Scum school?
I said this before when VA went crawling for money like a check book need to look at what is still needs to paid add that too the amount requesting for supposed future!

Mike
Mike

All they are doing is hiring too many people to run the program and it’s more money for them. The program can never be successful with the overhead they have, plus they like finding ways for the money to land in their pockets. Anyone that’s tried to get an appointment sees the hoops we run through. I’m so tired of the VA, I’ve lost my will and probably won’t be around to see improvements

Mike
Mike

Congress tells them that things are wrong and fix it. The make promises that can’t be done. It is the most disgusting thing that I’ve ever dealt with and there will be there till I die

namnibor
namnibor
May I highly suggest the VA be appointed a Disabled Veteran Fiduciary since they cannot manage the $$$ allotted to them? I’ll suggest and say this yet again: I still insist the VA is one huge Federal Slush Fund and because public generally has compassion for Vets, it’s not even a gamble usually when asking for *more* $$$, as long as that essential word ‘Veteran’ is in it…from there, it’s terminal velocity for Vets and congress critters on Stairmasters that… Read more »
ThisVet2017
ThisVet2017

This is priceless, McCain demanding VA accountability?

“http://kdwn.com/2017/09/28/mccain-wants-accountability-va/”

Oh, where is the VA Office of Accountability (that was created from the VA Accountability Act of 2017)???

I don’t know if I should laugh or feel insulted at this point.

Jim nose
Jim nose

Where’s is our pro veteran president? What’s shulkin dong?
Is he waliking around with a cane? How can this shit happen?
It’s one fxxxxxg thing after another. Nothing gets rectified!
It’s partially our fault. We’re all over the place.
We should take on one issue at a time and show our strength in
numbers by writing and calling the White House.
Or maybe marching over their. There’s strength in numbers.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Right on. I’ve said this same thing before. One issue, big strength in numbers. Best advice I’ve heard yet about getting Vets together.

T
T
I have been barking about that for years and – nothing – has changed. Plenty of lies, propaganda, liars, hypocrites, facade, to total BS from the talking heads on TV to the churches to the vet groups, etc. “One issue at a time” to trying to get ALL these cats herded up on that one simple concept is impossible. “http://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/the-war-against-veteran-suicide/819981115” The above is a small example of the local fluff and lies. If, if, an entire community. the locals, three… Read more »
lily
lily
I wish I could use Veteran’s Choice. The vet center therapist I went to was a complete asshole. For 6 months I wasted my time talking to the dumbass. He tried to make me out to having a personality disorder and made up my past without asking me about it. I dumped the bum and am considering my next move. I told the idiot from the beginning I was already service connected for PTSD and he asked me multiple times… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
Next time you go into that psycho VA therapist, try this rather fun technique that usually drives theraplists types and most humans absolutely nuts: Simply fix your eyes and stare at the center of your therapist’s forehead; not into his eyes, piercingly, imagining you’re burning a hole through his head and frying his brains into green eggs and ham…may want to practice first because you’re going to want to laugh when you see the results of your therapist starting to… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Important: act as if all is normal as you interact and continue to stare at the dead center of forehead. Use their own witchy poo psyops techniques right back at them.

Dennis
Dennis
lily, I carry severe PTSD in my skull too. I have seen exceptional folks paid by VA but non VA and VA folks MUCH less so. It has been years and a variety of therapies, pharmacutical and otherwise and I find myself this morning pretty much ok with how things are right this instant. As a fellow PTSD sufferer you must certainly know how precious and fleeting these moments can be. Let me tell you what therapy I landed on… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
ok…I need to add the silly part but this is true and DEFINATELY a part of my therapy. I am being honst here: As I walk when I realize that my mind has drifted to an unpleasant memory, I say simply (when I can) ,”… but all that doesn’t matter now because I moved to the Land of Dontgiveafuckrightnow. So, Idontgiveafuckrightnow. Then I giggle lolz. Just try saying that as one word WITHOUT pausing. The acid test is if you… Read more »
lily
lily
I agree on the walks. I’ve been doing that 15 minute walk about 3 times a day. It does exactly what you say. I also do yoga breathing where I lay down on my back, full body self massage and tai chi. I do them all at the same time for the greatest relief. The mind is another story. Controlling the thoughts is difficult but possible. I have a series of things I repeat sometimes over and over because it’s… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
The problems that a vet faces who carries a diagnosis of PTSD to obtain care is not uncommon but the nature of the disease makes the VA uniquely unsuited to treat it. PTSD will likely become renamed to something that also accurately describes the condition but in terms that others can relate to. I have seen medical journals talk about calling it something like Hyperactive Adrenalin Syndrome or similar. In other words when you skip past the “why this happens”… Read more »
Lily
Lily
The therapist I saw isn’t licensed by the state I’m in. I think it’s because he’s union, fed worker who knows he can get away with abusing veterans with less accountability. I was going to report him to the state. He left me a message saying i could talk to his supervisor. Why’s he not worried about his supervisor getting complaints? Tells me his supervisor is an enabler. I’ll never tell them I feel well again because going there alone… Read more »
James Clement
James Clement

Thank You.

JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS

If Health Care providers aren’t getting paid, WHERE is the money going ? Are the off the books operations from the 60′ and 70’s still in place ? Just asking….

91Veteran
91Veteran
Administration, salaries, bonuses, stock prices, donations to politicians. Whatever’s left might go to a provider if they won’t just go away. As I posted previously, Centene, the parent company of Health Net had their stock price rise over $6 per share from last Tuesday. I suspect that jump was from the news that the VA was going to beg congress for more money for Choice. If you owned 1000 shares in Centene, you made $6000 on that news. If you… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
@91Veteran You are absolutely right but the dollar amount is off by a huge factor. I once made my living by trading options. Specifically I traded “covered calls”. This is a simple concept. If you own a “call option” to buy a stock at say $62 then you can force the sale of stock before the option contract expires and purchase the stock at $62. So if the stock is now $95 you can force the sale at $62 then… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
Good point about the options Dennis, and yes it includes a huge amount of money. I stuck with numbers that are essentially reportable or provable rather than those that could be denied by some weasel. As it is, politicians have even gotten around that by investing in mutual funds where they can claim a little deniability that they are invested directly in a company that makes them money when they take certain legislative actions. I looked at McCain’s financial disclosure… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
Where does sit go? heheeee. When Google Earth gets good enough to overlay a map of the Earth with the ability to portray the population of local Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche, and like cars then you will know. For now just find ANY webcam in Washington DC that is live and count the number of those fine autos that go by. Then find a webcam at any other town in America and count the same thing there. Any… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

We have seen ENORMOUS dollar amounts seem to evaporate in tue last few years. If you go to the press release portion of Rolls Royce and find a 2015 end of year sales figure, ttyis is what business was like in that period that America saw billions evaporate into thin air…..

Copy and paste from Rolls Royce press release, 2015;

“Second highest sales in the marque’s 112-year history.”

Where does the money go? lolz, apparently hand built cars are popular….

91Veteran
91Veteran
If you were a well connected former politician like Dick Gephardt or Tommy Thompson and wanted in on that government run health care gravy train, you could have joined the board of Centene when their stock price was $18 per share in October 2012. As a board member getting stock shares as compensation, say your compensation up to today means you have 100,000 shares of Centene. Those stock shares alone mean you now have $9, 527,000.00 in stock alone. Now,… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
Totally Off Topic – – – As I’ve gotten older, I’m having a annoying problem with a lot of hair growing out from my ears. I have to pluck, then add soap and water to then shave my ears. Its getting on my nerves. Here’s my question; “Does anyone know of a durable, but reasonably priced laser light that will wipe out the hair roots so the hair doesn’t grow on my ears? By having a system like this will… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“VA chief took in Wimbledon, river cruise on European work trip; wife’s expenses covered by taxpayers”

By Jack Gillum, Alex Horton, Drew Harwell, Lisa Rein Washington Post, September 29 at 2:02 PM

“https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/va-chief-took-in-wimbledon-river-cruise-on-european-work-trip/2017/09/29/c1f17046-a458-11e7-8c37-e1d99ad6aa22_story.html”

More on page 2 of the Comments here.

namnibor
namnibor

More Poo On Page Two… 🙂

Dennis
Dennis
ANV, With respect, just make sure when you get whatever laser you think you are gonna get by listening to either me or my fellow cretins here who post that you aim it at something not alive before you pull the trigger. Observe the results. Maybe post on the RAND website a photo or something of what happens and see what their take is? Asking a group of disabled veterans which laser to aim at your own head has it’s… Read more »
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