Poll Shows 88% Of Veterans Want Non-VA Health Care

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Veterans Want Non-VA Health Care

 

Benjamin KrauseA poll recently conducted by the Tarrance Group shows 88% of polled veterans want non-VA health care, which contradicts VA’s anecdotal claim on Monday that most veterans want VA health care.

Is someone lying? And if ‘yes’ then why?

On Monday, Veterans Affairs came out in full support of President Obama’s push to divert funds from the Veterans Choice Program to other resources. The justification for the diversion is that many veterans are not choosing the use the program. VA erroneously claims most veterans want to receive their health care from VA.

Of course, the missing link is VA’s omission of the fact that the regulations in place restrict the majority of veterans’ option to use the program.

Concerned Veterans for America hired Tarrance Group to conduct a poll of 1,000 veterans. The poll concluded 88% of veterans want non-VA health care with a margin of error of 3.5%. While not a sizable poll, this one is certainly more trustworthy than the mere anecdotes VA used to justify gutting the Veterans Choice Program.

“Veterans overwhelmingly favor VA reform and want more health care choice,” group CEO Pete Hegseth said in a statement. “Unfortunately, President Obama and the VA remain wildly out of touch with these wishes.”

As part of the department’s nearly $169 billion fiscal 2016 budget request released Monday, White House officials said they will submit legislation to shift money from the Veterans Choice Program “to support essential investments in VA system priorities in a fiscally responsible, budget-neutral manner.”

Who is telling the truth? Do you trust a VA anecdote or an actual poll of veterans?

Source: http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/benefits/veterans/2015/02/03/veterans-health-care-options-poll/22791005/

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33 Comments

  1. I cannot begin tell you how the VA system has negatively affected my life. It is a corrupt, inadaquate system that is getting aware with literal murder. Congress is no better to sit by and ignore vets concerns time in time again. It is time to shut down VA and allow us to go else where. To find Drs that actually can treat without VA oversight.
    I believe the VA is trying to purposely give poor care to force the ones who can leave to get out of VA payroll. Anyone who can leave does! Really don’t think this shotty care is in anyway by accident. This country has its priorities wrong and most of it is driven by money.
    We owe it to the Vets who can’t speak up or have the money to leave.
    We must pull together!

  2. Where does Robert (fix the VA) McDonald stand on this? VA health care needs to change for veterans. I’m literally scared to death of VA health care! VA primary care is the “gatekeeper” that opens or closes for veterans like me and most of the time those “gatekeepers” have the gate closed and locked. The VA Execs.”beancounters” tell the gatekeepers who to keep locked out of VA health care. In other words, if you’re a sick disabled veteran and it’s going to cost them a lot of money to take care of you, primary care is going to swing that gate shut and then lock you out. It’s all about their money in other words.

  3. I think that most vets do want care from somewhere other than the VA given the VA’s current and past treatment of us vets. Nothing is really being done. What is going on with “Bob” McDonald? I haven’t heard a word from him lately about what he is doing to redo the VA and make it the “world class healthcare” system that he was saying he was wanting. He fired a few, made some comments on TV to tell the Civilian and those vets who thought he was going to make the VA better, and other than that he has disappeared. Sound familiar? Same ol’ VA. If it is not going to change then us vets should have the option (a REAL option and not that worthless “NO CHOICE CARD”) on care. The VA is getting worse not better. The VA is going back to business as usual and nothing is being done. My dad who has had nothing but praise for the Indy VA has started to tell me that even he has noticed the change in this VA. A friend of ours (his former co-worker) was rushed t the local hospital by ambulance to the ER. He was unconscious, they thought he had a stroke, he had a temp. of 105 degrees, and was not responsive. So the call was the right one given the circumstances. The good news, he just had a very bad case of the flu and has overcome the flu and is now better. The bad news, he was not able to contact the VA until after a couple of days and it was brought up when he was taken to the hospital that the VA was his Healthcare (he has Medicare as well) and now the VA is refusing to pay for any of this. Their reason behind the refusal, he did not have a life threatening problem and “only” had the flu (in their words). It would seem that being unconscious, having a high fever, non-responsive, and the thought of having a stroke (as thought and put in the ER report by the ER Dr.) would be good enough; however, the VA being the VA said he could and should use his Medicare for this. The VA did not care one bit about his well being, they only cared about getting out of paying for something that they should have paid without a question.
    Now he is even questioning if he wants to use the VA ever again. He is considering just using his Medicare and never going back to the VA. I have told him that I would help him try and fight this; however, he is the type of person who does not want to “make waves” and fight for what is right. As a result, he now has to pay a couple of thousand dollars because of the Medicare deductible and the medicines that was prescribed to him (he did not have the medicine coverage on his Medicare so he has to pay out of pocket for any meds not prescribed by the VA). This has made my dad consider switching as well. I have had so much problem with this VA as well.
    So if the VA is going to change it is needed to be done more quickly than what is being done, which is little right now, and I don’t see any change in the near future. What choice do us vets have? Stay with the worthless VA and get treatment that is not up to some other countries medical treatment or have the actual and real chance to go outside of the VA and get our care (which would be better than the VA care). I am sure that the VA is going to find some way to screw us over again with this poll.

    • I have been there and done that and guess what? If a person has Medicare, the VA will take MONTHS to even pay THEIR part to the point you are sent to collections and by and IF the time the VA pays Medicare, the payment is rejected because it’s in damn collections and the circle starts all over again!
      I have Medicare and 100% Svc. Connected and it may cost me a bit more $$ but I cannot place a price on my very welfare let alone mental health.
      Use Medicare solely and private Dr.’s and run, do not walk, away from the VA!!!

      Watch the movie, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest”, and you see a PERFECT example of how dysfunctional the VA health services are as well as mental health services. Although the hospital depicted in movie is not the VA, it should be an introductory to “Nurse Ratchet”, whom you WILL certainly see and see MANY clones of in various forms and occupations!
      Really sorry to hear he went through all that and please advise him to get the hell out of the VA and use MODERN MEDICINE.
      If I only had the choice between a Haitian Witch Dr. with only a bag of chicken bones and zombie dust and the VA, well, you can guess I would even take the witch Dr. over the VA!
      Amazing how the VA can continue to enrage Veterans each and every day!

      • namnibor, yeah it is too bad he had to deal with the VA like that. None of us should have to deal with this. Ben has had some really good blogs on here lately and it seems as if none of us vets have anything good to say about the VA. I think a woman in VT had some good words for her treatment with her VA and I hope that continues for her. After reading all of my fellow vets comments and hearing how they have been treated by the VA or the “No Choice Card company” I am in agreement with you that we should be getting away from the VA. It is such a shame that the VA cares so little for us. It is all about how little can they spend on us and how much can they make from us.
        My dad is now seriously considering just using his other ins. and leaving the VA. I am not in a position to be able to leave the VA yet; however, when I can I will leave the VA. I am tired of dealing with these people and it appears that I am not alone on this. Many others should consider it as well. I am hopeful that one day I will be able to take the witch Dr. over the VA. That will be a great day.

  4. How does this happen in “america” ? We are told to VOTE to make our WANTS / NEEDS known to our leaders, well, all I see is our leaders doing whatever SERVES their own PERSONAL interests and preparing for the FLACK that comes from disagreeing with the “MAJORITY”.
    We have a beautiful country, but some have chose to believe the BEAUTY only belongs to a FEW. God, please help our leaders get back to the true meaning of FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY and all the essential PRINCIPLES THAT OUR GREAT NATION WAS FOUNDED UPON.

    • Well said, J. Edward. While we are praying, let us also ask that Our leaders, be given some Common Sense.

    • There is only one political party in Washington DC, and that is the re-election party. We will only get change when we remove the incumbants and prove to be a force on election day. Rhetoric is interesting at best. Actions speak.

  5. I think it is a skewed poll of a very small segment of vets that fits the political agenda of CVA. The end goal for them is privatization of the VA. Profit through performance bonuses has done enough damage to an already broken system. Making it a revenue stream for private owners would not give us the services we need. It would only make the bottom line more important than the veteran.

    • Government control of anything is counter-intuitive. I am amazed at your trust of a government which has lied to us for over a century, and mistrust of a clear aim of veterans, which is better treatment. I can sue a company, it is difficult to sue the government, especially one that lies, destroys evidence, harasses those who question it, and confiscates your wealth, ignores your rights, and is morally bankrupt.

  6. Here is a current example of why most vets want private health care: Yesterday I went to VA Hospital at Mather Field in Sacramento, CA. I had no choice but to have the VA do the surgery procedure on my back shoulder to remove a lymphoma about the size of a golf ball or bigger. The doctor and his assistant who was an M.D. intern of some kind told me that I would not need pain medication after the procedure because “you are always in severe pain so this won’t bother you.” They then added that after the injection wears off if I have pain to use whatever it is that I use currently for pain. I could go on and on but this is plain ridiculous. I bet there are all kinds of excuses and reasons for this, but I know from experience in having similar things surgically removed by private doctors that a competent physician would not make the claims or fail to do the things that the VA did. It of course became extremely painful on the way home and even much worse last night, because they not only cut me open and cut lots of tissue out they also burned or cauterized the interior area many times and they didn’t warn me that would be part of the procedure that they briefly described before the procedure. The VA is hopelessly messed up.

  7. Besides my case and thousands more like mine, specifically here is another case that the VA has destroyed the veteran over. A veteran who goes by J.R. who may be posting here soon because I told him about Ben and this site, was on the official Marine Corps football team where he got severely injured many times in the service. A few days ago, he was arrested like has been arrested many many times in the past, and the police once again severely beat and further injured him. He has such bad brain damage and other injuries from head injuries as a star football player for the Marines that he barely realizes he is a veteran and as near as I can tell from talking with him the authorities do not even know he is a veteran. He was knocked unconscious several times in major games for the Marines, he is now blind in one eye that is clearly a “dead” eye just all messed up, he has major shoulder injuries and extreme pain from being piled on when he carried the ball as a first string half-back then became quarterback first string when the main quarterback was critically injured. He without a doubt has major brain damage, goes into wild rages that his neighbors and others hear and this and other social problems caused by these head injuries has caused him to spend a total of years in jail and prison where the authorities have flat out tortured him and treated him like the scum of the earth when in fact he was a heroic football player who personally won several key games rushing for over 400 yards a season, etc. It is beyond belief that the police would terrorize him, and now once again he has serious charges against him for whatever happened with his most recent arrest last week and the cops badly beat him and injured him further. The judges and the entire court and judicial system hate this man because he has tried to fight them all this life after this all started in 1972 where he didn’t even ask to be put on the Marine Corps football team, they in fact scouted and found him. He is without a doubt 100% service-connected disabled for major depression on top of all of this and is clearly closer to 200% but at least 160% service-connected disabled from obvious injuries incurred in the line of his professional duty as a star Marine Corps football team first string player injured many times and left permanently disabled. He has never received any benefits or medical care of any kind from the VA with the possible exception of the G.I. Bill. He lives on the brink of homelessness and is constantly in and out of prison and his health has severely deteriorated to the point that the police and criminal justice system will kill him the next time they come down on him. I am trying to help him get into care and get him help receiving compensation and I hope he posts here like I told him he needs to. I suggested to him that he try to get voc rehab and that Ben is an expert on that but somehow this vet really needs our help because the anti-American justice system and self-centered police and the VA who has thrown him under the bus as the Marines also did need to help this totally disabled veteran too. Please back him up if you see him post here any time soon. Semper Fi from another Marine that the VA has terrorized with the court system and is now attacking my wife with bogus charges to ruin our marriage as they did my first three wives and ruined their lives too, as in completely destroyed their lives, which they also did to J.R. and his wife and family. The VA is expert and conquering and dividing veteran families to make sure the vet does not ever get benefits or loses them. Back J.R. up when he posts here soon which i am trying to get him to do please.

  8. As of December 2013, the Buffalo DVA did not deny my health issues; The Buffalo DVA denied my claims because: The Buffalo DVA claimed that it could not find of government records, to include The Buffalo DVA’s own INtraNET , my service in Vietnam exposed to herbicides (agent orange). However, I found : DVA January 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) provides Information on Vietnam Naval Operations… provides the presumption of exposure to herbicides… to the crew of ships that operated in “rivers” and “deltas”… without further development The history of the USS Newport News CA-148 includes operations in the Vinh Binh Province in the Mekong “DELTA” December 1968. And, The June 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) provides ADDITIONAL Information on Vietnam Naval Operations…ships list…Received by The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs…LISTS the USS Newport News for operations(s): Cua Viet “RIVER” April 1969. Of early 2013, I also sent The Buffalo DVA a list of ships that operated in the Mekong “DELTA” and The Cua Viet “RIVER” infers that their ship list was not up to date. The July 2013 ships list finally included the USS Newport News for operations Mekong “DELTA” December 1968, ONLY. The (so-called) up-to date 2015 SHIPS LIST is also still lacking USS Newport News operation(s): Cua Viet “RIVER” April 1969. What’s up with the omissions ? Likewise, The Buffalo DVA’s December 2013 is an un -excusable TORT . Now the Buffalo DVA rates my diabetes as controlled when Medical Records from private doctors and labs states: Uncontrolled. The Buffalo DVA has yet to rate my aneurysms: one upper large artery; one lower large artery. The Buffalo DVA assigns my erectile dysfunction secondary to diabetes, only. However, I have ischemic heart disease; secondary is erectile dysfunction and impotence ( see Nehmer Training Class March 2010). The Buffalo DVA Decision of June 05, 2014 clearly indicates The Buffalo DVA Examiner diagnosed of my Medical Records, The Buffalo DVA’s Examiner diagnosed my ischemic heart disease to as early as 2000. The Nehmer Court Order ( The Nehmer Training Guide 2011 Feb. Revised) clearly gives The Buffalo DVA to pay RETRO COMPENSATION … within 21 days, has not done so. Hence, I’ve written to DVA Attn: Nehmer Working Group (211A) Washingto DC 3 times. I have not received a direct reply from them. However, I infer The Buffalo DVA and /or The Nehmer Working Group further defy the Nehmer Court Order to non-payment of RETRO COMPENSATION: my claim was sent to The Board of Veterans Appeal (board); back-logged to 2012. Yet, the Nehmer Court Order gives priority to Nehmer Claims. However, The Board of Veterans Appeal (board) representative (over the telephone) indicates that my claim is not listed as a Nehmer claim. Nonetheless, My appeal on Board of Veterans Appeal Form 9 is to have my claim processed to The Nehmer Court Order: The Nehmer Training Guide (211A) February 2011 Revised. Hence, I also informed the DVA Attn: Nehmer Working Group (211A) Washington DC , that I call upon Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions ( by law clerk Nichols October 2010 / yes, October 2010)…to have my claim(s) processed. Wow! I haven’t received any of the 3 “PAID FOR” Return Receipt(s) Requested from POST OFFICE Zip Code 20420. Such is how The DVA has treated This “VETERAN” (see Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions …for definition of “CLAIMANT” and “VETERAN” ). The (so-called) Choice Card, I gave copy to my primary doctor and my heart doctor. My doctors ( and hospital all ) are less than 5 minutes away. Bath VA hospital is over 40 miles way. It is self-evident that The DVA has created the worst kind of PTSD for Veterans: I was poisoned by my own country and abandoned…so that those of the Buffalo DVA / DVA Attn: Nehmer Working Group(211A) / Veterans Board of Appeals Board HAVE JOBS and get incentives and bonuses…year to year. I salute them all with both hands; middle finger extended. The Nehmer Court Order states that VA compensates class counsel for it’s work on Nehmer claims. I wish that I could find a lawyer to sue them all / sanction them all, for all the “TORTS” : $3500+ a month RETRO to July 3, 1969, when I got released from active duty (see Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions: incubation periods). Such would send a definite message to all Regional DVA’s !

  9. I’m always sceptical of polls like this. Who conducted this poll? ”

    “The Tarrance Group is one of the most widely respected and successful Republican strategic research and polling firms in the nation.”

    Where did they find the Veterans, what is there demographics, how was the question asked, what questions were asked before the key polling question? It’s pretty easy to manipulate a small sample poll to say anything you want.

    I don’t believe the VA should pull the plug on the program however. I think it’s too soon. I think they need to really step up the education outreach.

    • I’m far from being a Republican. I’m also a full supporter of universal health care, as it would eliminate my problems because I would have more CHOICE to go to whatever provider I want, rather than be restricted to the VA. Universal healthcare means government health INSURANCE, not necessarily government health CARE. The VA is government healthcare that moonlights as insurance when it’s overwhelmed.

      I can’t say whether or not this poll was conducted with some political agenda biased to favor Republican demands, but as a left-leaner, I can say that VA healthcare is worthless. VA hospitals should be shut down and vets given VA health insurance instead, so they can choose their providers. I’ve been nothing but mistreated by my VA hospitals and doctors, so much so that I will never go back to another VA facility again. It’s ridiculous that I have dish out a small fortune to go to a doctor who will actually diagnose and treat me, and my only recourse at this point is to file for VA disability in the hopes that I get enough compensation to cover private care expenses. Unfortunately, my first claim was denied after 2 years of processing, and my appeal was denied after another 2 years of processing, despite having severe and well-documented injuries that occurred during and as a direct result of my service and which impair my employability. I guess the VA is just garbage all around.

  10. What we need to do and I suggest Ben spearhead this as an attorney is to take to a world court our plights as veterans of civil rights violations regarding the care of veterans by the VA and federal government I guarantee you that the US government congress , senate would do something about the quality of care and allow us veterans to seek and pay for private care

    We need to take a p[age out of the many civil rights complaints with the world court, United Nations and have Ben start to attack the VA and US government in such a world platform I guarantee you the government would give us private care What do you think Ben??

    Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
    US Navy – Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
    [email protected]

    • Lee, we do need to do something about the VA and it would have to be something big as you are suggesting to try and get something done. Reading what other vets have to say about the VA from just this site is very concerning. Almost all of us have nothing good to say about the VA. We all seem to be in agreement that the VA needs something done and that we are not happy with it. One of the biggest problems with this system is that we can’t just change our healthcare, we have to use the VA. A private HealthCare system (for example) would allow you to change your provider and insurance. We can change providers but we still have to use the same VA HealthCare if we want to stay in the VA system. It is not right on so many levels.

      • Ben

        Will you petition with documentation of such cases on your site, etc the world court or UN for civil rights violations that this government has made promise of and for quality medical care to its veterans ???

        We believe that we can only get this in such a forum and from UN or World Court civil rights violations by the VA and the US government We will never ever get justice or change in the US judicial system or courts against the VA /federal government who have not kept nor honored their promise for quality healthcare for all veterans !!

        Thank you

        Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
        US Navy Veteran , Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
        Veteran and disabled veteran advocate and civil rights advocate

      • I hope Ben will reply and summit a brief and evidence on civil rights violations fro all of us to the United Nations Commision on civil rights and the world court The US has promised us the finest of care yet they have given veterans the worst of death and disablement via malpractice , negligence, the use of untold unsupervised interns at the VAMC such as Philadelphia, Pa, Wilimington VAMC, etc

        The facts are when 88% or the majority of veterans say the same things about the VA and want private health care why isn’t congress making it happen. Its about the money invested in the VA and all the political patronage of congressmen, senators and the President be it Democrat or Republican !!

        This issue has been fought for 50+ years and its ow time to take it to the world court and the UN Commision on Human Rights and see then how the US government, VA and our politicians act !!

        We have been writing and trying to communicate with our Congressmen Jospeh PittsR-Pa-Berks County Pa a former Vietnam veteran about sponsoring legislation Yet we cant even talk to his legislative staff or anyone.. Veterans are put off. Its interesting since his Chief of Staff told me that not one veteran is even employed on his staff!!!! …Nor can a veteran or anyone be on his staff except college interns ( he chooses) with experience volunteer to be in a position on his staff helping fellow veterans or older adults be on his staff to help fellow veterans ,.older adults or persons with disabilities

        When asked to sponsor a law allowing volunteers with experience to be staff in Congressmen or Senators offices or in Washington DC the congressmen and senators along with Pitts will not do so !!

        They talk the talk publicly but are not willing to cut federal defects by cutting paid positions with experienced older well trained volunteers who are retired Yet they talk about age discrimination, veterans discrimination, etc etc but these congressmen and senators are the biggest hypocrites there are. When it comes to them it is something else

        When you ask them to sponsor a bill as DAV and other organizations have that would make all congressmen and staff, senators and staff and the president and staff they wont seven draft the legislation If they think the health care the VA provides is so good as they and the VA claim then let them experience such anonymously

        I and others have lost total respect for Congressmen such as Joseph Pitts-R-Pa-Berks County who talks the talk publicly but has not provided adequate legislation for his own Vietnam veterans and veterans of all eras. He has failed to investigate nor hold hearings for veterans served by the Philadelphia VAMC !! In fact he is not even a ember of VVA – Vietnam Veterans of America . Its clear he has left his own severely disabled vietnam veterans and other pre 911 veterans out of the legislation he passed and approved to provide only $2500 and free health care for post 911 veterans wives and families caring for severely disabled veterans and providing attendant care and homemaker services

        Berks County. Lancaster County and Chester County veterans have lost any confidence in such a Congressman such as Joseph Pitts-Pa-R-Berks County- Lancaster County- CVhester County !!

        Its why veterans must take this case to the world court and to the UN Commision on Human Rights as congressman such as Jospeh Pitts and our senators and others have left us behind and do not care. They are in bed with the VA via employee patronage and political favors.

        Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
        US Navy, Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
        Veterans advocate and civil rights advocate
        [email protected]

  11. I do not trust the VA Medical at all! I have not read other comments about this subject and I agree with the 88% who would prefer outside medical care. I do use it and have for the last ten year’s. The Veterans Choice is kind of misleading at face value because the VA has say over the treatment that your doctor of choice recommends, you know deny, deny until you die! I say, no way VA your not controlling my medical care in anyway! I have found from the Hearings on the VA that the VA Medical is a accident that already happened and just in the last few months realized that a doctor’s and administrator’s along with the VSO’s and NSO’s are working to keep the AMERICAN VETERAN as close to the grave as possible. Last in their class medical people who want that BONUS over administering quality medical treatment and administrators that can quote regulation after regulation saying the same in the end, “VA can do that it’s in regulation 86 of the bend over hand book! I was wounded as hundreds of thousands of other Veteran’s were and the VA has to take care of those service connections…they don’t at least at the Martinez, California Medical Clinic. Everything is FUBAR in the VA and the only saving grace out of this carnage is death!

  12. After speaking with the Director of Policy and Legislation for VVA -Vietnam Veterans of america which all VVA members should be told, that the organization is basically against doing away with the VA and the move to a free choice of privatization services !!

    What this means is that the traditional VA organizations want to keep the status quo despite the votes that veterans want to be seen privately. Basically their philosophy is one that you cant throw the baby , the VA, out with the bathwater !!

    They also criticize the study claiming 88% of all veterans want private care claiming its a “republican” politically move backed by the ” Cook: brothers who want to privatize all health serves for veterans in order to make money Well it seems to me thats good as the privet sector does a much better job Just look at medicare, medicaid, the VA, obamacare all screwed up by the federal government and costing much more then what the private sector can do it for !!

    All veterans should be telling their service organizations you only want health care by a private doctor and not by the VA If not then join “Concerned Veterans of America” only as they want privatization!! It seems that the political hierarchy of the veteran organizations are putting words in their members mouths without conducting a full survey of their opinions !!

    Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
    US Navy Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
    [email protected]

  13. I am shocked at such poll results. But if they want to go elsewhere, it’s fine with me. It will plainly eliminate some overcrowding. I like the feel of one hospital with everything contained therein. Get an inexpensive meal. Get a copy of mymedical records or see a service rep to file a claim. There is the fellowship of being with other vets and seeing friends there. Maybe I am the exception, but I have good primary care and have never had to wait an uunreasonable amount of time for an appointment. I refill my meds online, message my doctors if I have an issue and always receive a prompt reply. Some vets elect to get travel pay or take advantage of the DAV Transportation Network to and from appointments. I won’t have to travel to another part of town for a MRI or outpatient surgery. There are occasional issues but I have always been able to resolve them.

    It is true family members cannot use the VA healthcare system and not all vets are eligible for all types of treatment needed. If you aren’t service connected (and most vets are NOT) you are obviously limited Iin what you can get and the copay you must pay. But, VA hospital system was created to aaccommodate the BLOODY BANDAGE, not handle a myriad of issues of those not disabled by military service. It has changed over the years, to address the needs of virtually all vets, contributing heavly to the backlogs and other systemic problems. Regardless, I prefer to use the VA as it exists over the private sector.

      • For Really,

        If you have had good treatment from the VA then that is good but there maybe a time when you ahem a very serious problem or there is negligence and incompetence in which you wish you could have had a clear choice of outside treatment or a second opinion

        I am a former psychologist-psycho-therpaist/veterans counselor/vocational-educational counselor, program, assistant and executive director working with veterans, disabled veterans ,older adults, and persons with disabilities… so I know the system very well and have received from the VA i.e. Philadelphia VAMC and Wilmington VAMC both gross negligence which almost killed me and gross malpractice

        1. You are aware in the VA system one cant get a second or third opinion nor walk away from their doctor and get another one Try to do so in the VA system !!

        2. Even federal employees get better health acre and alternatives in their medical insurance As an example a federal employee at the VA can get laser surgery of his knee or green light laser treatment of an enl;raged prostate Not in the VA Medical system For years one could not get acupuncture and ben that is limited from VA to VA The VA is the last ones years behind the private sector in the latest medicines and procedures and surgeries and equipment/procedures !!

        3. For years and years the only drugs lets say for impotence excuse me was a needle in one penis before sex or yohumbe root while the private sector and medicare -medicaid had viagra and ciallis !! The only drug in which we are in the process of suing the VA in a large class action and the drug manufacturer for enlarged prostate in the VA pharmacy is finasetride which has huge amounts of lawsuits See the dangers and lawsuits of finasteride on the internet the uriologistsof the VA aren’t telling vets about and telling them there are no side effects – a lie !!

        4. The VA pharmacy drugs are limited compared to outside and the latest life saving medication of the private sector.

        5. Maybe since and if your lucky you may have a good honest and competent physician . But you better watch out as you may wind up with an incompetent one or one who is negligent in the VAMC system

        6. As an example at Wilmington VAMC and Philadelphia VAMC there are two unsupervised interns who are allowed to call themselves doctors in the deferral system in the emergency room !! Or they have at Coasteville VAMC two physician assistants in the emergency room . Then we have unsupervised interns calling themselves doctors and allowed to do so in the VA and federal hospital system seeing you in all the clinics eye clinic, ears nose and throat. skin clinic i.e. agent orange etc,

        So if your lucky not to get an unsupervised intern working on you training on you making diagnosis on you and doing treatment on you you may wound up in a VAMC in outpatient surgery with a few unsupervised interns and a nurse and not one licensed doctor around

        7. Then you ahem physicians who are doctors who have no licensing from some foreign college working on you or you have pyhyssicans who lost their license or also have been sued fro medical malpractice and negligence in some state or numerous malpractice or negignec claims reported with the state board of licensers in the US They come to the VA because they dont need medical malpractice insurance and they slip and come to do their negligence and malpractice on vets

        These are facts ladies and gentleman are:
        The next time you go to the VA know the credentials of the people working on you because if they are state licensed you can go to such licensing authority If they have no license like the interns or doctors having no license nor loosing their state license you only have the VA to go after . When you ask – ask if they are a licensed physician in the state you are in??. ( you can check them out in any state they say) The interns will claim they are doctors as the VA says they are doctors Make sure to ask are you licensed in this state If not your an intern or lost your license to practice

        The VA doesn’t care as the VA is nothing more then a training ground of interns and others to practice on veterans like guinea pigs Your playing with your life if its anything serious and I mean it !! If your on medicare or medicaid use it and with medicare try to get supplemental insurance Then you have choice!!

        Ben will verify much of what I am telling you Its like taking red or balck on a roulette wheel with care at the VAMC !!

        PS Two of my own former licensed psychiatrists told me privately to seek any physical care outside of the VA What does that tell you !!! Perhaps we need to pass a bill that makes it mandatory for all VA employees to se the VA and their families as well as our congressmen, senators , etc and their staffs use the VA if they think its that great of care !!

        Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
        US Navy , disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
        Veteran advocate/ Veteran’s Civil rights Advocate
        [email protected]

      • Lee,
        I appreciate the time spent and thought given while writing your comment. I wish I could agree with you more than I do, but my experiences have been uniformly positive with the care I have received since 1970.

        I don’t think that 2nd opinions are not an option. The Chief of Orthopedics at the San Francisco and Charleston SC. VAMC’s
        told me 2nd opinions were always an option within the VAMC and from an outside provider not at VA expense. It’s been a long time (15 years) since I looked at any VA regs or operations manuals so I cannot be certain what they say now about 2nd opinions.

        Some of the negative things you bring up I agree with but those problems are not limited to the VA. Let’s be fair when passing judgment. In a forum such as this just about all the comments are negative. One comment reinforces those preceding it and on and on. I distrust feedback that appears too large in scope, whether negative or positive, which is one reason I don’t trust the accuracy of 88% of us prefering to go elsewhere. It is also why I cannot believe all of your criticisms.

        I think I must be the only vet who can spend 5 hours going through different clinics, waiting for meds and almost never talk to anyone who is unhappy with care received. Just where are the 88%ers? Am I destined to meet only us 12%ers? Of course not. Maybe treatment at the Columbia South Carolina VAMC is so superior to others? I doubt it. I doubt the veracity of the 88%. Some people look for a reason to blame the VA for unhappiness (I am not alluding to you). It will likely be that way for perpetuity. The VAMC is the place vets go to get healed, but also is the source of medical evidence to prove the condition has worsened, supporting the claim for increased evaluation and compensation. It is a difficult job.

  14. 02/19/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Bob’s letter went out today dated 02/18/2015—the letter hitting several areas—Drugs [their production & availability/supply], Contractors, the Hospital Departments ability to preform their given tasks, and the 336 Buildings that are targeted for possible closure, and the “other problems.”

    Bob is the Tip of the Iceberg and the Iceberg has been afloat for some time and the currents are pushing it along.

    Most Vets would agree if the VA became what it says it wants to do—they would be all in; however, there are corporations (250) that have different agendas [like Fedbid].
    Thankful we had an American Col. Freye who knew better [than those Senators who gave him hell].

    From Bob’s letter:

    If you have not gave recognition to Col. Jan Freye— please do so after the —- “‘storm the castle,’ use a ‘heavy-handed- puncher,’ to ‘rally the troops up on the Hill,’ have ‘enough top cover to overwhelm,’ to ‘unleash the hounds,’ to ‘assassinate [Mr. Frye’s] character and discredit him,’ and to keep ‘close hold’ of nonpublic information.’” That is one American you should be proud of!

    To find out that 88% or even a 100% does not change the fact the VA will change one way or the other. The damage has been done and the people are awakening to the disaster—it has been Six months and Bob had no problem reminding Rep. Coffman of the work that has been accomplished and the work that needs to be accomplished.

    Cool heads get to the finish-line—and disaster/murder is all around us.

    The Author of “Wake Up America” died 02/15/2015—Karlheinz A. Halter after a long battle with our Government over a F-16 Radar Component Factory[Slidematic]/ 3 Bicycle/Moped Stores[Puch International]/ and another Business called Precision Components.

    As the unaware states on his Facebook—life is unfair to some…..

    After 30 years of American Delinquency—should we not spend more time on Corrective Actions? The answer is yes!

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  15. I’m a veteran. When I first completed my military service, I thought my VA care was going to be great. I was able to walk-in to the VA hospital and get seen the same day, usually within 2 hours. The care was free, which made it more accessible than any private healthcare. Prescriptions were filled within 30 minutes. Everything seemed great. However, over the years I’ve come to realize that VA healthcare is a facade. The doctors are incompetent, the treatment is nonexistent, and the facilities are dumps. I’ve visited 3 separate VA hospitals dozens of times per year over the past 5 years, some for minor ailments, and some for 3 major ailments. Not one good thing has ever come from my VA hospital. When I went in with symptoms of a UTI, the gynecologist told me to “live with it” and refused to prescribe the antibiotic, which I had to get at a free clinic instead. When I went in for chronic sciatica that flares up so bad that I can’t walk about 25% of the time, resulting from a vehicle accident, they dismissed it as a strain and prescribed Ibuprofen. When I went in seeking therapy for a sexual trauma, they diagnosed me as depressed, had me strip-searched by four men, and had me involuntarily committed to the most run-down dingy and disgusting psych hospital on the face of the earth, where night staff quiet noisy patients via anally administered sedatives. The VA doctors never examined anything (at least not more than a 20 second visual exam and 3 or 4 questions), they never diagnosed anything, and they never treated anything. I’ve demanded referrals to outside providers, but they refuse. Now I’m stuck waiting years to save up enough money to be able to afford private care. VA healthcare is garbage.

  16. Rarely have I read so many comments so outrageously negative about the VA healthcare system. But by and large, most people commenting will have an axe to grind. That is why you are here after all.

    Some stories are truly unbelievable. Seriously. You think the entire VA system intentionally provides lousy care so vets will go elsewhere? You are insulted because you cannot get carte Blanche care for everything although you came out of the military without any disabilities? There is systemic murder committed by VA? VA healthcare is evil and should be demolished? etc. ad nauseam………

    I found in the decades of work as a DAV NSO that vets who had the most complaints about the VA knew the least about the law and were frequently difficult clients. They of course knew better than I what they should be service connected for and the correct evaluation. They complained about not getting treated for something but refused to abide by the rules governing treatment. While I agree there are some bad employees in the VA, that is characteristic of any company or agency.

    I have used the VA mostly from 1971 to the present and I have had a few wrinkles in getting the care I sought. But, I had a part in those instances too. I have always taken the time to be courteous to all at the VA, recognizing they probably ran into a few angry, unpleasant, demanding or abusive patients along the way that day. If VA cannot get me in right away I will go to a private clinic instead. Those of us as category one patients (100% SC) get the widest rang of treatment on a priority basis over all others.

    If you are not service connected then you are a lower priority vet for healthcare purposes. That is reality. Live with it and you will not get so angry at the VA. Over and over I saw it repeated: the vets complaining the loudest about the VA wrongly denying their claim were also frequently complaining the loudest about VA medical care. And, with rare exceptions, their complaints and accusations were groundless. They were angry unsatisfied people. We are responsible for our own lives and, as veterans, will fare better when approaching the VA with respect and appreciation. If we do get bad care, or are treated rudely, then we should complain, but without castigating the entire VA system in the process. If you take offense to my comment, well that is on you.

  17. I have only been in the V.A. Med system around 4 years and i say to you it started out ok for the first year and as i started moving into other areas of need, it started to go down hill i mean bad. The latest thing that has got me down is mental health . i had a Dr. i was working with for several months and the next thing i know that Dr. went to another unit and i had to take what they could give me. Well my new Dr. and i never could connect in my treatment for various reasons im sure he would say its me, and i will say its him. So i requested to see another MD in mental health and there sending me to a psychiatrist nest week. One might ask well when did it start going down for you and i will say it started going down when i mentioned that i was going to file a claim for PTSD. It was like Oh no ! we dont want to get involved in that.For that reason of suspicion that they were reluctant to go there i would vote for privatizing the V.A. Medical part. Its gotten into a trust thing for me. But i do respect others view.

    • I’m going to make this short and sweet I am 100% disabled veteran with post medic stress I moved here approximately 3 1/2 years ago I was given an interview mather mental health two weeks later I got a phone call the lady on the other and told me I was too unstable and they could not help me ever since then it’s been up-and-down and I have gotten no help

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