Forever GI Bill, Veterans Choice Fix, Media Ignores Trump Signing Of Pro-Veteran Laws Amid Charlottesville Hysteria

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Forever GI Bill
Photo from Vice News

If you Google “President Trump” this week, you may never notice two major pro-veteran laws signed by President Donald Trump that support veterans.

News gurus following primary media sources and politics are likely well aware of the Charlottesville riots and arguments back and forth about whether President Trump condemned the fighting quick enough or sternly enough.

But they are probably not aware that President Trump just signed major bills into law creating substantial improvements to the GI Bill and providing desperately needed funding for Veterans Choice for allowing access to needed veteran health care.

If you dig past the first three pages on Google News of “President Trump” articles, you will likely not come across these major pro-veteran moves. That’s not to say some reporters have not covered it, but recent laws signed by Presentd Trump that benefit veterans in a major way are not receiving the circulation they normally would by any president.

Unfortunately, there has been some fallout due to the hysteria that has even pulled in senior journalists fixated more on the negative, even when reporting on veterans issues.

As an example, yesterday, journalist Aaron Glantz, the award-winning journalist who exposed the opioid scandal at Tomah VA, published a slam article rhetorically asking whether the president is “letting veterans down” as president.

His article fixated on hiring decisions and appointments recommendations made by Obama holdover Secretary David Shulkin that have little to do with the reforms that have occurred to this point. Those same hiring decisions would actually be impossible to resolve in the past 8 months and have plagued VA for the past two years prior to President Trump becoming president, that indicates the article was more of a strawman.

In the strawman manner, the article only highlights the Accountability program as the only major improvement initiated by Trump while complaining of a lack of hiring in Shulkin’s VA seems starkly disingenuous.

In the past seven days alone, Trump signed into law two massive bills that support dramatic improvements to veterans’ access to education and health care.

Does merely mentioning the creation of the Office Of Accountability And Whistleblower Protection serve as a mischaracterization of Trump’s reforms and improvements on VA policy in the past 8 months?

By comparison, how many reforms or improvements did President Obama make concerning VA in his first 8 months? What about the reforms made to VA under President Clinton spearheaded by Hillary Clinton in 1993 that resulted in massive outsourcing of VA’s union jobs and creation of the bonus structure at the core of the wait time scandal exposed in 2014?

My Personal Take On Supporting Any President

Personally, I support President Trump like I supported President Obama. I want and hope President Trump can clean up the mess at VA. I also wanted an hoped President Obama would do the same, but the facts do not reflect that he did enough.

That aside, I am not sure how Trump could accomplish in 7 months what President Obama could not accomplish in his first 2 years by appointing key executives to VA or hiring the 34,000 employees needed to properly staff VA in the state President Obama left the agency.

Trump wasn’t even able to get his photo on the walls of VHA until April, so I am not sure how he could have hired an impossible 34,000 health care providers since coming into office six months ago, but that is a conversation for a different day.

(I plan to write an Op-Ed on Glantz’s question later.)

Trump did select an Obama holdover, Secretary David Shulkin, MD, to run VA at the prodding of Democrats and Republicans to ensure continuity for upcoming reforms. And, there are significant movements in reforming VA, but maybe Trump is letting us down vs what happened under Obama?

New Legislation Signed By Trump In Past 7 Days

Regardless of your position on the Charlottesville riot, you may not be aware that just this week President Trump signed legislation to fund Veterans Choice and the legislation commonly referred to as the GI Bill Forever legislation.

Funding For Veterans Choice Program

During the Charlottesville riot, President Trump was at an event to sign a bill for $3.9 billion in funding for Veterans Choice to ensure the program will have the funding necessary to not shut down.

For the past six months, VA has warned Congress that Veterans Choice was underfunded. That program was created because, under President Obama, VA let its wait list fraud grow to such an enormous criminal enterprise that it killed hundreds of veterans at Phoenix VA, alone. In response, Congress and President Obama put forth legislation that purportedly fixed the legislation while not properly funding it.

President Trump fixed that problem, for now, by signing the legislation into law in the middle of the riot. It was at that time he hand wrote the now infamous tweet that supposedly did not decree the riot harshly enough.

Forever GI Bill Act Signing

On Wednesday, Trump also signed into law the Forever GI Bill Act that removed the 15-year limit on using the benefits following military service.

The new law also increases financial assistant to the National Guard and Reserve. Purple Heart recipients will now receive more funding as will veterans pursuing degrees in technical fields in science and engineering.

Veterans victimized by predatory marketing practices of sham for-profit colleges will also get their GI Bill benefits restored.

Now, all may not be peachy in this action since Congress also drafted the legislation to roll back certain Obama-era regulations. According to Vice News:

Despite Trump’s new protections for veteran students, his administration has also suspended Obama-era regulations that protected all students from fraudulent schools until further review.

Specifically, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos might end two key regulations: borrower defense repayment, which enabled student loan forgiveness if colleges misrepresent their programs, and gainful employment, which forced colleges to provide students with an education that allowed them to pay off their debt.

For-profit colleges love enrolling veterans, largely because of a provision in the Higher Education Act known as the 90/10 rule. The regulation prohibits for-profit schools from receiving more than 90 percent of their revenue from federal dollars, but in what’s often referred to as a “loophole,” financial aid given to veterans doesn’t count as part of that 90 percent.

If for-profit schools enroll enough veterans, they could essentially run entirely on federal money. And if any of those schools close because of fraud, the U.S. government would have a lot of money to pay back.

Nothing Is Perfect

All of the back and forth on President Trump and President Obama needs to be considered outside of the vacuum of hysteria as it relates to Veterans Affairs.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, formerly called the Bureau Of War Risk Insurance, is really a massive insurance company like Allstate or State Farm, that could ultimately care little about the veterans they serve at the core of their missions.

That system has been broken since its inception under President Franklin D. Roosevelt (it was previously 2 or more agencies then combined into Veterans Administration), who restructured VA policy using restrictive insurance schemes to remove funding for veterans in favor of his New Deal programs.

VA was never restructured, and it has been mired in scandal after scandal for decades.

So, is Trump letting veterans down? No less than President Obama did, and no less than any previous president did.

I plan to gather some counter-culture perspectives when writing my response to Glantz’s article. So if you have some feedback, pro or con, definitely leave your comment below.

VA was asked for comment on certain issues not addressed by Glantz but has not responded at the time of this publication.

It you want to comment on the racism issue in Virginia, please do that on a different website. Here, we focus on veteran-centric news related to Veterans Affairs and save the other wild and crazy issues for those more aptly focused on the other topics.

Sources:

https://news.vice.com/story/trumps-forever-gi-bill-wont-stop-for-profit-schools-from-preying-on-vets

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/higher-education/trump-signs-bill-expanding-college-assistance-for-veterans/2017/08/16/11c24232-82ec-11e7-9e7a-20fa8d7a0db6_story.html?utm_term=.23a2877c05ce

DISCLAIMER: Before any haters comment here to spew nonsense, please read below.

I voted for President Obama when he promised the change he later did not deliver. He failed to clean up VA, and some of the biggest scandals in VA history festered and then exposed under his Administration (million veteran claims backlog, health care wait list fraud). I only voted for him once. I also voted for President Trump when he opposed Hillary Clinton because I will never vote for Hillary Clinton. I hope Trump does a better job than Obama. And, I hope our next president does an even better job than Trump. I support any president so long as he or she reforms our out-of-control federal government.

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lily
lily

First! Trump at least isn’t cutting COLA for vets!

Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

Well, the Gulf War vets are screwed again…

MK
MK

Ben you should Consider having a limit on how much one can write on here geezz, you should give them one paragraph total and 2 responses. The amount of space some of these Regulars put on your blog is senseless.

cj
cj

@MK: Why is it LIBTARDS, are the only ones telling everyone else what they “should” do/say/think/act?

Was that short enough for ya MK? Of course, you can always start your own Blog, call it something like, oh I dunno, “MK Says”. Let’s see how many snowflakes you get. Someday, you might get enough to build an entire snowman. Hey, you never know, stranger things have happened.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Mk, many of these veterans have been posting for year’s on here and have brought a lot of information to the reader’s.

Without them the news would not get out to other veterans and the public. Censorship is not the way to go.

Yes, sometimes we ramble, when you find a post that is not interesting enough for you, just go and read another post.

Ben and other’s have given some very interesting posts. What you said sounds like something a VA employee would say.

We are looking for veterans and the public to join in on the conversations. Do you have something you would like to share.

What’s ur story !

I believe that these veterans have been instrumental in the changes, that have so far been done to better the VA for all.

We know the VA reads this site, some employees come here to troll and some employees tell stories that are criminal.

cj
cj

And quit line jumping, go to the back, just like everyone else.
Your comment has absolutely nothing to do with what Ranger11bv posted.

Oh that’s right your a LIBTARD, you think your better than everyone else.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Say MK, or should I call you Mark Swagerty, Formerly of FSF (Simple Financial Solutions)?

I’ll just call you Mark how that for now.

Although you are not a Veteran and no doubt ended up on this site to read Ben’s article “Two Companies Defrauding Veterans in Benefits Swindle Get Sued”. Maybe I can explain a few details about the comments on this site even though you are not likely going to like what I have to say. We love looking into fraudsters that have taken advantage of Veterans. Sometimes, one or two sentences, just will not do the trick when warning other Veterans about the Fraudsters.

For Example, one of my posts from the other day about a Financial Fraudster named Scott A. Kohn who was taking advantage of Veterans along with state and federal retired employees.

The Example:
***************
“He is still doing business all over. He just changes the name and continues on because no law enforcement agency will act to stop his interstate wire fraud.

He doesn’t just target Veterans he even targets retired police officers also state and federal retirees. Just think all of those AFGE benefits at retirement for Federal Employees going up in one bogus transaction.

I read about 50 complaints at the Better Business Bureau and most of them came from former state employees in a number of states.

Most of them saying the same thing. A $5,000 dollar loan then approved by emailing the last page of a contract to the borrower. After the borrower receives the money and spends it and start to wonder what they got themselves into they ask for full copy of the loan agreement and find out they are required to payback $30,000 for the $5,000 loan.

A real fricken predator, this one.”

His current website is at: “http://www.lumpsum-settlement.com/” using the name of Cash Flow Investment Partners, LLc (CFIP). Operating in all 50 States.”

*******************End Example

Now Mark Swagarty I have to ask you do you think you could shrink that down to just a couple of Sentences?

So, although it is wordy, I am sure that other Veterans that come to this site do appreciate the Heads up on the Financial Fraudster named Scott A. Kohn.

Guess I will let you get back to reading up on Financial Fraud and us Veterans will get back to watching financial Fraudsters.

Oh and Mark one last thing. I recommend you do an open port scan. Also truly loved the Google phishing page SFS has set up. Nothing says Fraudster like a Phishing page.

I am certain You thought this post was also too wordy.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

You never say to much ! Some people can’t handle the truth.

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

Thissitis left, all the long time writers are legit.
The VA and the VA sponsored and paid for by VA need their citizenship revoked……

NiteWish
NiteWish

Senselessly sharing information? Nothing senseless about what we do……Read it & weep.
SAN DIEGO — Federal authorities say Southern California Marines were recruited for a scheme that bilked the government’s military health insurance provider out of $67 million.
Investigators say Marines were recruited at up to $300 a month for a so-called medical study that involved phone consultations with a doctor’s office in Cleveland, Tennessee, owned by Jimmy and Ashley Collins.
The Marines were prescribed costly compound drugs. A pharmacy in Bountiful, Utah, filled thousands of prescriptions and billed them to the insurer, TRICARE. Lawyers for the couple deny they committed fraud.
“http://www.startribune.com/feds-allege-california-marines-involved-in-67m-health-fraud/441084513/”

Sepp Dietrich
Sepp Dietrich

MK, most of the posters here are “regulars”. 99% think the same & write the same & pat each other on the back for their views & knowledge. they do want to learn they are here to justify some position they’ve developed over the years.

i don’t think it’s an accident that this blog is the way it is. Krause seems to be a smart guy, yet he promotes propaganda (like today) and caters the conversation to these regular posters.

this blog seems to be part of the Big Show to keep disabled veterans distracted and confused with “legislation” and fake news stories. rather than expose true frauds being committed, it’s top skim of the scum for the masses to ingest.

donald trump is an actor. while i don’t watch tv and never have, i know that he had tv shows, produces shows, stars in shows. another actor. another actor-promoting blog.

if you’re interested at all in frauds being exposed, watch this video:
the greatest story never told
at
thegreateststorynevertold.tv

unless you are brainwashed zombie, it will change life view. bless.
/s/ Michael Wittmann

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

What have you done to help anyone, Nazi’s will never understand. Goose stepper !

Ben us pretty smart, you not so much !

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Sepp Dietrich,

You seem to forget all that Ben has accomplished for Veterans, but hey don’t let that stand in the way of your insults and whining.

Alan
Alan

The Gulf War vets are not screwed. There are plenty of VA benefits for anyone who needs them and is dealing with an injury or illness. You can’t compare G1 with 15 years in OEF or 10 for OIF. I was in that so anyone in both gets covered by post 9/11 benefits. The “war” G1 lasted 100 hrs. I was there. As a US Marine that got out in Dec 1990 and being subject to recall on Feb 24 during Desert storm, they told us to stand down. I know many who were there for a while both before and after. The US lost 148 people across all 4 branches. Apply for your benefits, be proud you served your country, and be happy you are still here to talk about it as many are not.

Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

Another blabber..Well in case you didnt READ the small print, if you got out BEFORE 2013, YES GULF WAR VETS ARE SCREWED!!! Dont like my posts, dont read them….

namnibor
namnibor

I want to believe Pres. Trump will push for even more profound changes with the VA in coming days and months.
Throwing more $$$ on the VA is like tossing gasoline on a fire and expecting the flames to go out. The AFGE is the obvious gorilla in the room that needs removed from the VHA System. Until then, we will have people on outposts in outer star systems in future…but still have a dysfunctional VA that’s covered with lamprey leeches.
A Pres. Reagan Air Traffic Controllers type banning of the AFGE Union from Federal Workplace and nothing less is required.

On the Forever G.I. Bill- just as the VA is a systemic mess, there now exists quite a few different flavors of the G.I. Bill, depending on what era or President(s) served under. Mine for instance was called VEAP…a very restrictive and shitty G.I. Bill…what about Vet’s in which that 15 year former limit has long-since passed?
Why can’t they get the damn G.I. Bill to be done correctly first time?

Great article Benjamin. Very surreal the way the big reveal and signing of new Veteran’s Bills into Law.

Angela
Angela

@namnibor, I wanted to comment to you about the VEAP. Yes, I fell under the VEAP as well and contributed to it until it was at it’s maximum. Let me tell you this. The DOD opened up the Montgomery GI bill to the active duty and retirees who were enrolled in the VEAP and had been enrolled in the VEAP during the year 1996. Check this out all. Namnibor, the DOD denied me to convert my VEAP to the Montgomery GI Bill. So yes, I was involuntary retired and denied to convert my educational funds. So I exited without any educational funds at all. And, yes, they had opened this up for active duty and retirees who had been enrolled in the VEAP. I recently had spoken to a VA Veterans Benefits Counselor about my address change and discussed my old VEAP-Montgomery GI bill issue. I also, discussed my Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation where early on there was no way I could have participated. Early on though, they did put me in the Independent Living program; but, they have always denied me Chapter 31 Retraining. The Veteran Benefits Counselor during this conversation did not rule it out that they would 100 % strike my old options down today. I do appreciate them though at least listening to my take on the situation which is a positive change. They provided me contact numbers to check out and pursue. Benjamin, this is an improvement. And, too, the VA benefits folks now are working and are open for business way beyond 4:30pm. At One VA facility, I spoke with a VBA counselor in the later evening to which the time was almost 7pm Eastern time. And, another time, I also spoke to a VBA person beyond 4:30pm Eastern time. So Benjamin, there is much improvement so far in reference to Veteran Benefits being accessible to the Veterans for them make contact with the VBA counselors. Benjamin, getting connected to VBA used to be a disaster. A veteran used to could never get VBA on the phone. I have more to add about the OPOID situation. The VA is not 100% in the wrong with this. I am not defending the VA all the way; but, I want to point out the some of the positive efforts that are not being discussed in regards to the VA’s involvement with the medications. Yes, the VA has been reckless with medications; but, not 100% reckless. I want to illustrate where the VA really and truly has made efforts. I mean real efforts. My statements only apply to my experiences within the particular VAs where I have received treatment. I will come back a little late to express some hidden VA efforts. @Benjamin, I am still behind President Trump 100%. I could write you a book on how and why I still stand by, stand for, and stand with President Trump. And, I will stand by him until the end whenever the end may be. My statement also, applies to standing by, standing for, and standing with our great country 100%. Hope all is well.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Ever heard of VA employees abusing over time.

Have u heard the president may not be in the job for very long…

Trump did do something for veterans and could even do more, but he keeps putting his foot in his mouth.

Now that Bannon is gone, maybe he may wise up and quit tweeting and just get things done.

Maybe.?

T
T

Vice News? Is that like Vice TV? I emailed those jokers about some (very sick) programing on their TV channel. Some young girl with her photo attached, dressed like a Goth, emailed, reported that it was the intention of “Vice” to upset us old folks, old veterans, and destroy all the old American ways to make room for the new younger movemt. And pleased that some of their programming hit nerves of “border loving” patriots, haters, that must have upset me enough to contact them and it was their intentions to create havoc. We need real truth and some real media instead of what we have today.

I think we all know what the definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

I still have a VA hospital newsletter that contained the message to staff about talking “shop” and stuff at work, in public around we vets should not hear. Then union posters went up on the walls, the next visit they were taken down, replaced. Under Obummer is when the VA went to hell more, and the activism and very poor treatment increased a hundred fold. To my knowledge we are still on his domestic terrorist listing. The hate and fear of veterans increase. Hollywood doesn’t help matters. Plus, all the changes in attitudes and threats that were said to come from the “top.” When questioned the staff would say, “from the top means… from “the White House, DoD down.” “The top.”

The “Choice Card” will do no good while the VA claims, like with Dental, or something else contractors run, is not included in the mileage limits. That is when I was forced to drive to the VA in Indy to have the worse care I had ever got there. A broken jaw while having a molar pulled and Jaw with TMJ knocked out of place. Then more games began and corruption, cover-ups, trickling down to the civilian side of those ‘professionals.” What is in the fine print???

The game is to keep us angry, divided, vet against vets who have not, and bombarded with distractions like the opioid thing, wars, fear mongering, nuke threats, red-tape/bureaucracy, file flagging, tons of conflicts in care, threats for questioning, a ton of social issues, too many departments/agencies to deal with, all the “Professional Courtesies”, endless false news reporting, propaganda, etc. Meanwhile they all are still not firing or taking action against the scum at the VA, state agencies, legislators, medical boards, or all the corrupt and greedy involved in this quagmire of evil. The evil doers are still in place doing their evil disregarding thing getting higher pay grades/raises/six figure incomes and pushing agendas. Scum of the Earth MDs are still working in Indiana. ‘They’ have it to the point today we have little to no free speech, nothing private or safe, no recourse of actions for change, no legal help, and to point out any wrong doing we are labeled something then it spreads through the evil grapevines of life for retaliation. Media…totally silent on the real issues. Nobody wants offended, no one accepts responsibility, no one wants to lose their jobs, exposed for their actions. There is no stopping it, and people keep voting the corrupt and evil in, both parties. They all need exposed and dealt with, not protected and supported.

Now, how can any president fix things, change things, when some states, medical boards, the long time establishments, others, are dead set on profits, facade, ego, power, globalism, agendas, over care or real change? The “deep state’ (like local deep corruption) will stay in power regardless (both sides). The same corrupt medical/corporate/corrupt union complexes will remain in power. The negative sides of capitalism too. Or whatever you want to call it. And we all are just another brick in the wall, test subjects, lab rats, revenue sources, targets, pawns, totally expendable, fresh meat, big money for all including the funeral parlors, forgotten. I think it’s clear that the globalist, Obummer, many before him, Hillary, anti-American agents, the un-enlightened, colleges, activist, VA, have done their work well and led to the swamp/muck we’re in today.

Unions/governments/media that protect the most worthless workers and staff out there and have no business working around health care patients who are facing the many obstacles and pain. With good bed-side manner a thing of the past. Then we are told to be considerate of the over-loaded VA staff and their burn-out. Oh, while we are being abused, lied to, and intentionally harmed. Yet, they still keep hiring the worse of the worse to appease certain agendas or groups. Meanwhile local Democrats and Neocons want to do away with “Right to work laws” that do not want to force people to join unions to work in any shop or place. That includes the VA and all health care, etc. So we end up fighting large entities who protect filth, with plenty of legal aid, public relations firms, like the AFGE and others. And against other vets concerned about self and making some money in this screwed up nation that have to stand with their own to fit in. Most of us standing up against the walls or dealing with others evils or needs have…zip. Most of us can not afford legal aid or their thousands down for lawyer’s retainer fees with no guarantees for anything. Plenty of blame to go around.

For me there is no going back or trusting anybody any longer. The stuff I have seen over the years and dealt with there is no doubt in my mind the VA can kill during surgery, do great harm and get by with it. Same with today’s civilian care modeled by the socialist styled VA care that covers-up for others while destroying our quality of life… or deaths. There is too much for them to lose to worry about us, and too many people will toe the line to stay in good standing with the corrupt, self-preservation and family above all, I guess, even murder or intentional harm. The silent majority will stay silent and professionals will support their frat brothers, sisters, and local cliques.

For vets still depending on and using VA care. Force doctors and others to accept the pay amounts from a “Choice Card” instead of their higher rates or treat them like they are doing over writing pain prescriptions for us. Take away their greedy self-serving license and censor them on record. Give vets the ability to go anywhere for care, period. Give them provisions for second opinion care or over-sight too cause you can’t trust anyone today and MDs, PCPs the wealthy, connected, are not Gods or all knowing, or competent. Medical care and mistakes are still a very high rated killer in America today… but let’s blame pain meds.

Change the entire medical system (won’t happen) and do away with PCPs which is nonsense and useless, another useless expense, more travel, but more money for them.

Make public, and local listings of all those VA staff, employees, who have been fired and why. Until I see or hear of mass firing here in Indiana, drastic changes in our state’s medical boards, I am not going back to the VA system of incompetence/corruption/harm/death. Especially those in IT doing the Secure Messaging deletions of medical info/communications, scum threatening PAs I talked to, Golla and those at the Purple Team working there a couple years ago, to now I guess.

Have had dog-tags made up since the VA is in my files..to never send me or my body to the VA, and “Do not trust the VA, staff, or their reports.” Seems everyone wants us to go back to the VA for care or to continue the game of trying to talk to patient advocates who don’t care and are just front people/facade. When any trust is lost, it’s gone. Just three people in my family used VA care. Father, uncle, others, refused to go there and heard too many horror stories from many years ago. I know why today.

Marine Forever
Marine Forever

Well written. I applaud you.

T
T

Thank you! All I can do is try and do it… express myself, and piss people off. I’m not going down silent or without a fight.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I guess we’re going to have to wait and see how Secretary of VA, Shulkin, implementes these new laws President Trump signed recently!?
So far, Shulkin hasn’t impressed me one bit!
He’s already proven to lie to cover-up (some) egregious acts against veterans by VHA & VBA employees!
The [$25 million dollar per year] “VA Public Relations Firm” is trying their best, in my opinion, to “side with the VA over veterans!”

Lastly, the “squandering of taxpayers monies” by the “most corrupt federal government agency” has been known for decades!
Therefore, I believe someone needs to oversee the taxpayers monies President Trump just gave VA [for the Choice Program and GI Bill] to insure that is what it’s used for!!!!!!!!!!!
IF it’s paid out to individuals, NOT affiliated with those programs, criminal charges should follow! ie: As one commenter on here disclosed a few days ago. Taxpayers monies were/had been siphoned off to help representatives win elections! The commenter stated that occurred back in the 1970’s! IS IT STILL OCCURRING?
These egregious acts against veterans, stealing taxpayers monies, should NOT go unpunished!

That’s my opinion, this fine Thursday morning!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

P.S.
I wanted to add something about how VA upper management, possibly in Washington D.C., have took monies from the Choice Program, and used it for other purposes! I believe it came out on Ben’s Blogs last year about how Obama took monies and used it for the refugees!
When it was discovered, there was a lot of veterans pissed off. Because BEFORE that was allowed, Congress was to approve it! And, that was NOT done!

That being said, I guess y’all have figured out I didn’t NOT vote for Obama either time. NOR would I even consider voting for that lying piece of pig crap – Hillary Clinton! Especially after she said that the bad things happening at VA was a “Right Wing Conspiracy Theory!”

Rant out for NOW!

Tom
Tom

$3.5 billion was taken from Choice to pay for Hepatitis meds for Vietnam War-era vets. That’s it.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

“Tom”,
No! Money was diverted from “Choice” to help refugees acclimate into our society!
There were articles about this in “military.com/daily news” either in 2015 or 2016!
Look it up!

VA IS LYING INC
VA IS LYING INC

VA DC HQ ONE BIG BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET THE MAFIA IS CHUMP CHANGE TO VA DC HQ VA BUDGET FOR 2018 186 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VA DC HQ ARE DOGS IN HEAT FOR ALL THE BILLIONS OF @$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

WTF!?!?! You again?????

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Got to disagree with you on this one VA IS LYING INC. You see the Mafia is just one of the VA’s minor subsidiaries. Just another department within the VA.

T
T

There is no end in sight against idiots and those at the ‘top’ ruining our country. Those at the top just don’t care to the point, like Facebook, and others out there exposing any of us who may disagree with the demise or corruption in government or with the law makers/activist with their own anti-American agendas, etc. Information or ‘data’ being known of or leaked is about the wrong people. WE are supposed to live in a nation with some security and privacy.. not today. We are also supposed to have access for legal protection and against corruption… again, though, not today. Not in our present social structure.

Vets I have spoken with locally have done their best to keep their info private and secure. Yet the government and others want to hand it all out for the public to see and be used illegally, or for some hate group to know all about us, or to get credit cards or U.S. residency to ‘practice’ some protected corrupt profession to do more harm to the country and courts than they already have. Heads need to roll from the top down.

Well, YES.
“Rick Weidman: Is the Pentagon putting service members’ sensitive data at risk?”
“https://federalnewsradio.com/federal-drive/2017/08/1511191/”

“American Bar Association Wants to Let Undocumented Immigrants Practice Law
by Alberto Luperon | 6:09 pm, August 14th, 2017”
“https://lawnewz.com/uncategorized/bar-association-wants-trump-to-let-undocumented-immigrants-practice-law/”

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I can see it now!
“Undocumented immigrants practicing law” to help “Undocumented immigrants” claim “veteran status” to receive VHA AND VBA healthcare and educational benefits!

Think I’m out of line with that statement? Well, guess what, there’s already been “Undocumented immigrants” receiving benefits from VA – AND GETTING CAUGHT!
I believe the last one was in Texas!

Question: How did that “illegal immigrant get past ALL the checks and balances set down by VA to prove ones veterans’ status?”
Who in VA helped him? Was anyone, other than the illegal immigrant, arrested over that?

Lots of questions, NOT enough answers!

T
T

The BAR article is just another example of those groups/professions in America who do not, can not, keep watch over their own, or willing to expose oath violations, rule or law bending, or expose the criminal or anti-American elements in their ranks or professions from the bottom on up to the SCOTUS varmints we have up there now. So again the attacks on the nation came to this illegal thing being thrown in our faces to boot. Some wanting the illegals to get all schooling for free! It is sad and very telling about this country today. It’s the same with every so-called group called “professionals.” Depends on the individual but for most like these modern MDs it’s all about power, ego, prestige, luxury, mo money mo money and being far away from doctors or general physicians of old we’ll never see again. Not like we see on TV.

Cspan also had Trump on there with a bunch of doctors as he signed approval for increased TeleHealth programs using the net or cell phones. Some see it as one of the positives and some do like that high techy stuff, I don’t and it’s not reliable. Hell, they’ll be able to run through “(see) many more patients faster”…yeah faster than a cattle check and ear tattoo. At what cost to veterans.

I think the whole mess in the US needs halted. Have moratoriums and large televised convention to duke things conflicts, history, with activist, the United Nations, the Fed, lobbyist, unregistered foreign groups operating here, etc. All of it. Authorities with muscle delegated to fix an issue one at a time until it’s done. Instead the DC crowd and heads of state just jump from one thing to another, have a false flag attack, rumors of war, throwing money away on foreign nations, then having to come back again and again to fix the same old issues. Or allow new POTUS’ and other assorted idiots to make things crash and burn worse than before. But no, too many distractions, activist, filth, anti-Americans, etc., have to keep pressure up to destroy whatever they can to prevent any progress. And all the while the majority of people hate change, especially if they are going to have to sacrifice a bit and others get offended, or maybe envious, or feel left out. Tough. I am still hoping to see, and for, America to be first, second, and third again. Before anything else including war or conflicts Veterans to be put at the top of their to-do list, period. If folks see something wrong with that, then maybe they should do what I am told all the time….move.

cj
cj

@T: T are you signed into the wire?

cj
cj

@T: T, I have you added as a contact, when is the best time of day to get in touch? We are in the same time zone.

T
T

Howdy CJ. I am home again now and up. For now. May have to sit bedside and home sit for a couple of people on and off dealing with some bad stuff.

If you are on I’ll try it now while I wait for a call from their family.

Mostly I am just online when I can sit long enough and make it worth it, and when I can’t sleep nights if I can stay at my computer desk. I don’t have or can use a lap top, or lay down and try to use one like many do. I can’t twist and roll around like that, or hold have it in my lap, neck bent.

Good news! My email client is messing with me bad. ISP says it’s the lefty email client. But when the server tech is called to help the pc runs fast as hell. When he leaves, about six hours later, always, it stalls and slows. So go figure.

As of tonight I guess I have been banned and prevented from using or logging into YouTube and Google. No requests for help coming back and usual log-ins can’t be found and are not being accepted. Must be becuase of my usual civil comments that are disagreed with since I haven’t tried videos in years. Years ago the locals kept having me shut down and censored because of too much truth and negativity about the state and town. So I don’t know how this is going to play out. I abhor censoring as much as I do all the commies and those like Google, Micro suck, Youtube, FB, and the rest that only the left to be heard. So now I gotta Jack around with that chapter from the tards.

Unusual traffic around the house and countless phone calls and hang-ups. Hmmmm, didn’t take 24 hours of receipt here to the judge over my comments and FOIA for some local info, then all hell breaks loose all around. Oh what fun for us poor old hated “baby boomer” vets that Vice TV and others hate so much. It’s all our fault, all of it, everything, even a stubbed toe I reckon. Kinda reminds of the older days, but I there were no computers around then. Just the old fashion stuff like phone taps, transmitters, bugs, etc. lol

NiteWish
NiteWish

The wait list scandal was still going on in 2015, I was on a list for more than 7mos & they got away with it.
This is the VA wait time scandal of 2014 by state:
“http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/texas-news/see-the-results-of-va-waittime-probes-in-your-state_/124981834”

T
T

I did, and hope others take note… that Indiana is rarely mentioned whenever any states are listed for corruption, VA issues, illegal alien issues, who the state’s most wealthy or connected are, etc. Here/that link is another for various reasons my state is so screwed up and many things censored or swept under the carpet. I have lived through some history here that will never be known to the world or media will report. It’s also why I tell people living in Indiana is akin to living in China, N. Korea, Bolshevik Soviet Union, or U.S.A.’s own Gaza Strip. Literally. We have it all in Indiana and literally just as bad in college towns under their leftist controls. Also why I don’t put anything past the corrupt scum in this state who brag to having their lobbyist of all sorts, and or connections to DC. Including retaliation murders, set ups, or intentional harm by the VA, mafia families, syndicates, cliques, or from the other assorted corrupt/evils here. The majority goes along with it or totally ignorant of it and can’t or won’t believe some of it.

Now I wonder how and why Pence, Coats, and others have been picked and placed in high positions. Especially when ‘they’ never gave a real damn about the many issues here and didn’t, don’t, really care about veteran issues or the corruption in their own state or offices.

Dan
Dan

The only way to make the “Choice” program better or workable is to fix the bloody thing. Right on the card it says you have to call in 5 days BEFORE you use it or the VA wont pay for it. Now how in the heck am I suppose to call in 5 days before a stroke or a broken bone or a flare up of my SCI (service connected injuries)? If I knew when this was going to happen I would take steps to make sure that I was actually AT the VA hospital. And when you do call in, the idiot on the other end of the line tells you that this is not a health insurance card. Oh really? Isnt that the VA medical is supposed to be used for? I mean they treat people for sugar and other things that are not service connected so what else are we suppose to call it? And the final thing that just burns the snot out of me is that the idiot on the other end of the line tells you that this is NOT associated or affiliated with the VA. Ok then why in the bloody heck does it have the VA symbol all over the car and mentions VA more then six times on a 3×2 card?

I think they should just start over and have this run BY Vets FOR Vets

Lem
Lem

Re: Trump and Obama, I’m on the same page you are Ben. But I voted for Obama twice but with a lot less enthusiasm the second time. I voted for Trump hoping things would be better but I’m not seeing it. He shot himself in the foot is the reason he can’t get anything done including getting that money to the field. And the reason nothing positive is hitting the press. His fault and no one else’s. His racism is on full display. He is not the first racist president since the civil war, just the worst.

Black skin and white skin both bleed red and it mixes on the battle field. Glorification of the side that wanted to make black skin bleed more than white isn’t in any way appropriate. We do need to remember the history but in museums not on glorified pedestals designated for honor unless the pedestal and depiction clearly recognize the history as it was not as some would rewrite it.

My authorized Choice appointments are finished and it looks like at least two months to get another authorization.

I’ve been over 60 days waiting for a PTSD mental health appointment via tele-video medicine. I’ll call when I finish this to see if Choice can get me seen. So nothing is really happening positive. Until it filters down to the veteran a law signed is worthless until it is in CFR and actually implemented.

I was not going to stay on this board yesterday. Your last paragraph will keep me if you delete any post that references the Nazi comment of “snowflake” in a demeaning way of referencing other posting human beings.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I made reference that Ben’s blog was for the use pertaining to disabled veterans. That’s when the G-spot was in full bloom. Remember? All the denouncing of this and that. And the remarks of what those are if they didn’t denounce the things the Ms. Gee Gee stated. And Lem, no offense, but you’re going to see someone use the “snowflake” word in a different context besides what you believe. There’s many things that tick me off, but I’m not asking for special circumstances or conditions. And, I’m not a racist either. But the word “snowflake” isn’t a hate crime as well. Other words, yes. Get a java, smoke one, and hug your wife. IMO – – – Nutter.

Lem
Lem

If you are not a racist why insist on using vulgar racist epitaphs? Why use dog whistles if you are not? And although I look very white and my black blood is very thin why direct that vulgarity at me?

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Dog whistles. Were you on a new handle the other day? G used the same phrase? No I’m not a racist, or we would’ve already been arguing by now, BIG TIME! And, racist only has one meaning, where snowflake has many. Supports my whole point. End of story on my end. No offense, and being serious, if this continues to bother you, you may need to visit the VA for a benzo to calm down a bit. And, if you do go, and don’t want them, give them to me, for the VA don’t prescribe benzo’s to those already prescribed pain medication. I need a cocktail (kidding, I’m only kidding) – – – Nutter.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

“https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/the-less-lovely-side-of-snowflake”

“http://college.usatoday.com/2017/02/01/the-origin-of-the-term-snowflake-may-surprise-you/”

Lem
Lem

So why call me something derogatorily that clearly I’m not unless you want to indicate a reverse meaning? Clearly the posts using the term have had a different meaning here. But none the less a “name calling” derogatorily.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I haven’t called you a “snowflake.” And, from my understanding of reading the past posts about in what context that “snowflake” has been used, it has been used because of being too sensitive (according to others understanding) of an issue or topic. When the word has been used in the past, it wasn’t used in the context relating to the “white specks” in the air, that flowed down during the time of the holocaust. And personally, I don’t relate the word to this as well. I have hardly ever used the word myself. The other thing, is that the word, in my opinion, has been used to sort of get you all frazzled and razzed up. And, in all reality, there may not be a solution or understanding of the use of the word. I can’t do much more than what I wrote about the word. Did you at least get your coffee? – – – Nutter.

T
T

Labels and names… funny stuff. Allow me to share:

I was called a “snow-flake,” “honky,’ “cracker,” “white bread,” “white-devils,” “white trash,” “whitey,” and other assorted names from the 7th grade on till I quit school in my junior year which I could have graduated later on in, but joined the military to get away from the public school scene and town BS. And here I liked some good ol’ Mo town and Sly and Family Stone, and Blues. Ha.

Some crackers were harassed, bullied, beat, jumped, mugged, robbed, girls messed with on a daily basis and the teachers, school boards, PTA, media, etc., did nothing but play cover-up to appease. Some of it was bad too with knives, sharpened cake breakers they stuck in their afros, while we were watched and searched for such items. This was every day at school, in the halls, before school, after school, on the bus, no getting away from it all. Today they all claim we have never had racial issue here, but it’s all more facade and lies to appease. Any trouble ever started it was us crackers inciting trouble or making the first moves, not the other way around.

WE all have our own stories and experiences. We are all slaves or indebted servants to something.

MLK spoke it all got worse and far from “peaceful.” That was on TV, not here. Some of the history here that will never be in the books.

Odd thing. I get in the military then it’s a Black man and his buddies literally saved my life from White dudes of all ranks, different Mil branches, syndicate style, selling stuff underground or in the black market, untaxed smokes, etc. Stuff that was being shipped in from over-seas and from military supply. New on base and couldn’t afford stuff when asked so I was considered a informer for the OSI by a couple of – SPs, MPs and whatever the MAs are or were, as called, and was to be taken out and exposed of in the swamps with gators. Long story short, Ross was his name, heard the beating, fighting, about broke the door down, got me out of there away from crooks, taken to the hospital looking like hamburger, and more games to begin in that episode or chapter. Just an odd twist of things I was accustomed to. Not to say we didn’t have those white bullies and cliques in school either we had plenty of them to deal with also.

We can be products of our environment, then grow up, but then due to social disturbances/crisis/corruption have to draw some lines or be door-mats for all others. Being moderate or neutral doesn’t help either cause everybody wants pleased, on their band -wagon or want you just gone or dead. “I went to a garden party” la la la… “so you got to … please your self.”

Now I think people can understand where this “old snowflake” is coming from, not lefty or SJW, and where that label or name calling sends me back to. And still been called names like that in these college towns, from the activist kiddies, to the big city. Besides “townie hick,” or a “big growly Polar Bear” when leaving the Purple team one day to my back, I turn just smile and kept on walking, and wasn’t growling at all really, just asking questions that weren’t being answered. Sticks and stones.

Have a good day out there or try to. Hope you didn’t mind my sharing. Or in exposing some military life many don’t realize is/was happening.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@T – – – You proved my point that the word “snowflake” has many meanings, to other people. Not just a singular meaning. – – – Nutter.

cj
cj

The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.
by Dinesh D’Souza

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Lem you are nothing but a racist. You had to come back and bring your racism back up just to insult all the Veterans who follow and post on this website. Fuck You Lem!!

namnibor
namnibor

A newer addition to term liberal butthurt SNOWFLAKE on Wiki: “I’m going to leave this site if I do not get my way”. (while wanting to control grammar, everything, censorship…fuck you also, Lem)

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I agree!
“Lem” is nothing more than a racist asswipe. Wanting all on here, and more likely than NOT, other sites to bend to his will!
So, FUCK YOU LEM!

Dennis
Dennis

Ben,

Let me offer for almost free some literary corrective suggestions.

Your sentence, ‘If you dig past the first three pages on Google News of “President Trump” articles, you will likely not come across these major pro-veteran moves.’, can use refinement.

I suggest, almost free, the following ammendment,

“If you dig past the first three pages on Google News (written by news artists of) ‘President Trump’ (delete -articles- ) you will likely not come across these major pro-veteran moves.”

I offer this as a possible clarification of historical fact, and if we can come to some sort of blanket purchase agreement then I will assign all rights, sort of, to you.

Semper Fi

91Veteran
91Veteran

Has Trump let veterans down? In my opinion, it’s still too early to tell given how recently the Acountability legislation was signed.

I believe I commented here months ago just after Trump was elected that for his first 6 months, his administration will be chaos with the media and politicians trying to score blood any way they could get it. I believed based on past history, that would settle down after 6 months.

I was wrong.

I did not count on the media going batshit crazy. I did not count on many Republicans in the House and Senate obstructing the new administration.

That obstruction and chaos created is suffocating the proper function of government in many areas…including reforming it where needed like at the VA.

Too early? Yes. We will see how the case of Hawkins is handled. If he is fired again and it sticks, then things might start changing. If he keeps his job, then either VA management is still too incompetent to handle firing, or the Congress is still hoping to keep the swamp full by refusing to conduct proper oversight.

If proper oversight of that accountability law occurred and people started losing their jobs, then one might see things turn around.

If proper confirmation of appointees was occurring along with that oversight, then perhaps we might get a functioning DOJ that would have time to prosecute VA criminals.

Instead, we have chaos with Nazis everywhere and anarchists getting a free pass to rip apart this country.

…but the Russian thing seems to have quieted down a little.

Finally, I don’t see much of this changing until the elections of 2018…or something major happening. The elections might get some to wake up, but that’s doubtful. Something major happening might cause a refocus, but that depends on whether whatever happens being blamed on someone to score political points.

Dennis
Dennis

I was mistaken about Sec. Shulkin resigning the other day. I misread the news commentator on that. I don’t believe that any President is going to fix the VA on account of losing votes. AFGE is a major voting bloc. I believe that government corruption has gone on too long for anyone to want to do much of anything about it. As a consequence, the USA is on the fast track to becoming another banana republic.

Windguy
Windguy

Wasn’t a big Trump fan – didn’t go all FOX-hate on him either. Never be a Trump fan – something about unrestrained bellicose self-adulation that seems a tad off-putting.

As for today’s revelation, I’ll adopt a cynical wait and see attitude. If something good comes out of it I’ll do my best to credit the real person responsible. Maybe it was Jake Leinenkugel or another appointee. Keeping in mind that many of Trump’s staff have become disappointees .. or is that disappointers… hep me wit my Engish Dennis

Jo3n
Jo3n

I don’t see Shulkin as being on Trump’s, or Veterans team. He has his own agenda. It’s a battle up there. Like others have said, wait and see. I do know that the four billion dollars that was in the Choice account recently disappeared fairly quickly. Last billion went into thin air. Frustrating is what it is. Great job Ben, I agree with all you said.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Donald trump has done things that will help veterans. I’m afraid if he is going to do more, he better do it soon.

So much talk about president trump, will be president much longer. If he should be forced out. Will the next person that becomes president roll back what has been done so far.

I see a lot has to be done, the VA is the main problem, but their are so many different agencies besides the VA that they must go after !

OIG, Mspb and other agencies that are redundant. You contact one agency and they tell you, you contacted the wrong agency.

They give you the agency that handles you problem, you call and you get the same story, wrong agency.

To many people taking a piece of the pie and are not needed. Its not my Job !

Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

gotta love how the posts quickly went about the GI Bill to race baiting and political BS remarks…. How low can we go…..

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Ranger11bv – – – Only some past issues that hopefully were cleared up. Thanks. – – Nutter.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

With the VA 6 feet under. !

91Veteran
91Veteran

On another note, I observed some things recently that don’t give me a warm fuzzy about the VA being reformed simply because management of the VA is so thoroughly corrupt.

I believe the good people of the VA are bailing out any way they can because management is so corrupt, and I believe their management is becoming even more corrupt by trying to keep employees scared shitless to prevent them from possibly using any new accountability measures.

I saw 4 current or former VA employees looking to find new jobs somewhere else. All seemed to be good employees, trying to be as competent as the VA would allow them to be. All clearly wanted off the stinking, sinking ship.

One stood out. It was as if she had severe PTSD dealing with a shitty supervisor.

The VA will never get a handle on their problems unless their supervision and management problems are fixed.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@91Veteran – – – An employee can get PTSD from being bullied or mobbed by harassing and intimidating employees. This happened to my wife. It took her almost 3 years to gain notable traction in life. When she would walk into the door, she looked like she was beat up. When I was able to get around (thank you VA for your incompetence), I wanted to go ride over to that State Department workplace and tune their asses up, more than a tad.

91Veteran
91Veteran

ANuttervet, I am well aware of how corrupt, incompetent, worthless bastard co-workers can make life a living hell for others.

That situation results when the manager or supervisor of the worthless bastard sees it knows what is going on, but refuses to do anything about it.

I worked with a guy like that. At the end of one particular bad day, I thought I was having a heart attack from what had gone on. I went outside between a couple buildings because I refused to give the bastards the satisfaction of having killed me inside.

I was lucky in being able to get away from that situation.

Probably why it was so easily recognizable in this other person.

Also why I absolutely despise incompetent lying bureaucrats.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

When the VA does something to make the veterans feel lucky to get out alive, makes you have a weard feeling in their stomach.

What the hell just happened, did it really happen. Aughfull feeling !

Lily
Lily

My last two jobs had a bad boss who used a supervisor to abuse and fire employees. The boss one morning fainted while driving to work and crashed into a tree. He lost an eye, broke his arm and ribs. He was let go. The supervisor had a fit one day for not getting her way and walked off the job. It’s been a much better job since that day.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Ya, chalk one up for the good guy’s. Wish about 350 VA employees would quit.

John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones

Ben –
I certainly agree with one or more of the themes in your article, to wit: the problems at the VA have been long-term, and it is of very little value to blame Trump/Obama, or before them Bush/Clinton, depending on your political outlook, although I don’t think it stretches as far back as Roosevelt, since those who fought in World War II received a far better homecoming than those of subsequent wars. I DO believe that the VA is “fixable,” and accountability can become a reality.

In terms of background, I was drafted, and spent a year in the field, in the Central Highlands and Binh Dinh province, as a Medical Corpsman, 1968-69, with the 1/69th Armor, 4th Infantry Division. I was not wounded, nor did I contract malaria, as one in four in our unit did. For 4-5 months I was in an area heavily defoliated with Agent Orange, though I claim no deleterious effects. I remain in good health. I came home, got on with my life, and held senior level administrative positions in the health care field for almost three decades.

Perhaps some of the following points could be useful for your op-ed article:

1. Dwight H. Johnson, a member of the 1/69th Armor, won the Medal of Honor. What is not at Wikipedia nor on the Medal of Honor citation website is what I was told occurred when those five tanks were ambushed on the road to Dak To. He was the only one not killed or wounded. Dr. Robert Jay Lifton is the psychiatrist who formulated and had approved the official clinical diagnosis “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” In Dr. Lifton’s book, “Home from the War,” he essentially states that his clinical work with Johnson was the impetus for him to formulate that diagnosis. I prefer to also remember him as his mother does, per the NYT article on him: “Sometimes I wonder if Skip tired of this life and needed someone else to pull the trigger.” I continue to believe that one of the best “treatments” for PTSD is meaningful work. I also believe that the VA FAILED to address his fully justifiable psychiatric needs – just as it does today with many other veterans.

2. Irv Harper was a fellow medic, and also a member of the 1/69th Armor. He was one of the “one in four” who contracted malaria. In his case, two weeks after arrival in Vietnam. He spent 30 days at the 6th CC in Cam Ranh Bay, before returning to duty. He also survived the war, unwounded. He also “got on with his life,” become a licensed physician’s assistant in Bemidji, MN. He did have vivax malaria, which would reoccur yearly, during the hot weather. He went to the VA for treatment, and was told that: “the Army has lost your medical records and you will have to PROVE that you contracted malaria in Vietnam.” Like where else, right, living in northern Minnesota? He never went back, which, no doubt, was the whole idea. Instead, he “self-medicated,” at times with too much gin and tonic. He pulled the trigger with his own hand, in Whitehorse, the Yukon, in 2009. The VA also FAILED him.

3. My case is more current. Please recall that I remain in good health. Please also recall that during the war we thought Agent Orange was a great idea, since it lessened the chances for ambush, like Johnson experienced, and is also so very graphically depicted in the opening scene of “We were soldiers,” staring Mel Gibson, which showed the annihilation of French Groupe Mobile 100, on June 25, 1954. It was precisely in the same area, where LZ Schueller was located, that I was stationed for 4-5 months. During my three return trips to Vietnam, once in each year, 1994-95-96, the damage to the landscape in this area was still overwhelmingly apparent. Due to the late-in-life effects of AO, which was reinforced by the death of Col. Hackworth, in 2005, from bladder cancer, I decided to get into the “VA system.” It was a six-month battle. I was told lies that a five-year-old child would not believe. And I do believe they spent five to ten times the money trying to deny me a medical appointment as opposed to simply giving me one. Finally, with much persistence, I received a 45-minute medical exam by a competent physician’s assistant. We agreed I remain in good health. They had absolutely NO interest in AO itself, my experience, and why it impacted some people and not others. The Albuquerque VA is ranked as one of the ten worst in the nation, ranked by the VA itself. For most of those six months I was on one of those “secret” waiting lists, the numbers of which were twice that of the infamous Phoenix VA.

4. The corruption at the VA extends beyond that entity into the Court systems. One of the most corrupt aspects of which is the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), which has not functioned now for eight months due to a lack of a quorum. When Secretary McDonald disciplined three senior level VA employees, one by firing, two by demotions, the MSPB reversed all three actions. The legal “logic”? One that your traffic cop would not buy: “But officer, all those other people ran through a red light, why can’t I”? Yes, perhaps not difficult to believe, but the MSPB “judges” cited “disparate treatment,” as in, you haven’t punished all the other wrong-doers, so why punish these three! Then THIS month Vice Chair Robbins gave the administrator of the DC VA his job back (at least for 45 days), and this rightly angered Secretary Shulkin, who said that judges should not be determining medical care. I agree.

5. It also extends to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, whose former Chief Judge, Randall Rader, was finally forced to resign for “ethical lapses.” That has not stopped the current court from ruling that the “constitutional rights” of the infamous administrator of the Phoenix VA, Sharon Helman, had been “violated”! Absolutely no mention of the fact that the “constitutional” as well as human rights of the veterans who died for lack of care – per the VA itself – had been violated by being denied that care.

6. Government v. Private Sector Care. Another false dichotomy, like Trump/Obama. I have experienced excellent government-provided medical care in three very different countries: Saudi Arabia, Finland and France. The Private Sector can also provide excellent care. The real litmus test to either method is ACCOUNTABLITY. The senior leaders of our society need to be willing to punish those who do not properly perform their jobs. And that is what is lacking. At one level, it is the easiest problem to solve. Find the leaders who have the ethics that will ensure that accountability. Perhaps only 100-400 of the senior VA leadership would have to be fired, and the many thousands of others would get the message: the veteran/patient first, the administrator’s “bonus” ONLY if they actually earned it. It should never be considered a right.

7. Charlottesville! Yes, you said not to mention it, and I will not discuss the merits of the recent event there, other than to underscore that racism takes many forms. Please recall that I have almost three decades of senior level administrative experience in health care, including two decades at the premier hospital in Saudi Arabia. I applied for a position at the VA. I was told that I lacked “one year of qualifying experience.”!! (I wish my draft board had told me that.) I took them to Court. In official court documents, VA attorney Jeffrey James Hatch called me a “goat herder” and a “garbage collector.” I have been neither. It was a deliberate effort to ridicule my senior level experience working in Saudi Arabia. “Goat herder,” like “camel jockey,” is a deliberate anti-Arab racial slur. The use of racial slurs in official court proceedings was fully approved by the Merit System Protection Board, and its use was “affirmed” by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit which noted that I was not “satisfied” with that description, but it was really OK to do that. The next time the news runs a photo of some thug waving the Nazi flag, perhaps they should also have one of a judge who sees nothing wrong with calling people “goat herders” in court proceedings.

As usual, there is more, but I hope some of the above is useful in your op-ed.
JPJ

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

“JPJ”,
Very well said!
I also would like to say, no matter what “title” has been given to the VA over the past 200+ years, corruption has always permeated throughout it!
My favorite “incident of corruption” was during the early 1920’s. When President Hoover caught his “poker buddy”, he placed at the head of the agency, making a, quote: “…100 year contract with a major floor wax company…”! President Hoover called him to “The People’s House”, Hoover was caught “…choking him…” In the Oval Office!

There’s been news of the corruption at VA for those 200+ years!

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

I can tell by your writing that you have administrative talent. Sometimes we need to count our blessings. God work’s in mysterious ways.

Maybe just maybe he saved you from Hell !

If they treated you this way before, just think what they would have done to you if they were forced to hire you.

Too bad they missed out on a qualified person. One must remember that the VA has had decade’s to stack the deck.

Hire friend’s, family and will kill to keep it that way. Mspb and many other agencies will pass the buck, your speaking to the wrong agency.

Have to many agencies doing the same job, as another agency.

Management is the main problem, but the union has to be given some credit. VA employees still think, I can not be fired, so kiss my butt.

I don’t work for veterans and they don’t pay me, so kiss my butt.

The VA state’s they can not release employees name’s that are fired, VA employees name’s are posted everyday by some news outlet.

You want VA employees to do their job’s ! Let them see name’s of employees fired, if not they won’t get the message.

Thanks for sharing your story.

John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones

Thanks to both “Crazy Elf” and James Gallegos for their comments.

I had to chuckle about Gallegos’ comment about being saved from Hell! Quite possibly, all too true. With some ambivalence, I once ran for a school board election, and I won! If not Hell, it was two years of profound unpleasantness, when I had so many other more pleasant things I could have been doing. Yet, I felt, if I wanted my two children to have a better education, I had to “put some skin in the game,” as the expression has it.

As for the VA, ditto. I am alive, Johnson and Harper are not. Another former medic from the Vietnam War who lives here in Albuquerque served with the First Infantry Division. Three weeks after arrival in Vietnam, he took a bullet to part of his brain. He has been in a wheelchair since 1969, and I think of how many places I have walked since that year of yore. He is still most pleasant, never bitter, blessed with a good wife who stuck with him, and still tries to make a positive difference. An example that I can only hope to live up to.

And so, I continue to try to make a positive difference, even though there are so many other pleasures in life, like camping in the wondrous land of New Mexico.
Before “Charlottesville,” in 2014, there was Jeffrey James Hatch, VA attorney, calling me a “goat herder” and a “garbage collector.” (with the full approval of two Courts). More than three years later, on August 02, 2017, Ms. Meghan Flanz, Interim General Counsel, VA wrote me saying that racism had no place at the Veterans Administration, and that Jeffrey James Hatch no longer works for the Office of the General Counsel. On August 05, 2017, I wrote her back, seeking to clarify the bit of equivocation: But does Mr. Hatch work for the VA in any capacity? Then I asked her what about Mr. Hatch’s bosses’ boss, Mr. Daniel Ratney, VA Regional Counsel, who fully approved of Mr. Hatch’s actions in his letter to me of July 22, 2014. In my letter to Ms. Flanz, of August 05, I said in part:

“I am specifically requesting that you open an investigation into the misconduct of Mr. Rattray, whereby he approved of the use of racist terms to describe me, thereby encouraging Mr. Hatch to do it again, which he did. If minor government officials can be removed from government service for using racist terms in their private Facebook accounts, as they have been, then surely Mr. Rattray should be removed from Federal Service for permitting and encouraging the use of racist terms in his official working capacity.”

To date there has been no response from Ms. Flanz. On August 16, VA Secretary Shulkin said in part, concerning the events in Charlottesville: “It is a dishonor to our country’s veterans to allow the Nazis and the white supremacists to go unchallenged,” “And I am strongly against them, and I believe that we have to all speak up as Americans.” I strongly agree with Secretary Shulkin’s sentiments, and his willingness to speak up, in an unequivocal way. Today I am sending him a letter following up on my request of August 05 to Ms. Flanz (after all, how long does it take to state that racism is wrong?). I am specifically asking him to promptly terminate Mr. Daniel Ratney for his tolerance of, and encouragement of, racism, in one of his employees. To paraphrase an expression from the ‘60’s: “No Vietnamese ever called me a ‘goat herder’.”

The ball, as they say in tennis, will now be Secretary Shulkin’s court. “By their deeds you shall know them.”

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

I feel very fortunate that I an not in a wheel chair or dead after being shot in the head while on active duty.

I am assuming that you friend was able to get treatment after he obtain the head injury.

Many veterans with ptsd and traumatic brain injury were denied treatment and that set’s Rhode veterans up for failure.

Jail, divorce, lost family and friend’s and lastly their own lives. Once I obtained my disability and received treatment, I have become a different person.

Been called a success story ! The treating team at the ptsd program, told me ” James once your done with the program, your 🌎 is going to be turned up side down and you will think everyone else is crazy !

I now believe them, still does not help seeing the truth and nothing is being done to fix it, so veterans can live somewhat of a normal life.

God, has saved me many time’s and I believe he did so, so that I can stand up for veterans that are still going through what I hand been through, just because the VA wanted to save their bonus money.

Dirty shame ! God help us all !

Tom
Tom

I feel like maybe even Ben is overlooking a major story this week: The flop by Trump/V.A., with weak rollout, now delayed, Trump “White House Veterans Complaint Hotline”. It has fallen far short of what it was promised to be & I know of even more issues with hotline & the way V.A. is handling, than was reported! POTUS creates a distraction away from positive & negative Veterans news.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

The same thing has happened at the VA. When people see disfunction, they will join in.
They figure since no one cares why should I !

91Veteran
91Veteran

I think the best way to figure out how Trumps veterans hotline is working or not working and why is to read comments of veterans who actually called the hotline, and what the results were.

In reading these comments, I saw that for about the first 30 days, the hotline worked as advertised. Vets would call, they could speak to a human, the vet would get a call back within 14 days, and the problem would get resolved fast.

Roughly 30 days after the hotline started, I noticed a significant drop off in veterans saying they had a positive result from calling the hotline. Their callbacks were starting to get longer….16 days, 20 days, not at all. I also noticed the problems they called about in the first place were not being resolved completely, or not at all.

I can only guess, but I believe the hotline is being overwhelmed with calls because the VA is so thoroughly bad throughout the country. I also believe once the call is made, those within the VA who are called to fix the problem are finding out they can just continue to ignore the problem, because there is no consequence to ignoring a problem reported on a hotline call.

This goes back to oversight and accountability. If there is no oversight of how effective the hotline is, and if there is no accountability for a VA manager ignoring a problem reported on the hotline, then it will get buried under the same indifferent bureaucracy we have always faced.

At one time, we could call the VARO 800 number to get answers or resolve a problem, until VA bureaucrats discovered those calls could be ignored with no consequences. The exact same thing happened with contacting VAHQ or the VAIG. Bureaucrats discovered they could ignore those contacts and suffer no consequences.

The exact same thing now happens when you try contact your Representative, Senator or the House and Senate VA committee. Your contact can be ignored because there is no consequences.

No consequences. No accountability. No oversight.

cj
cj

@91Veteran: 91, I don’t know any other way to say this, Your input is needed on an issue, that cannot be posted in a public forum like this blog. Would you be willing to discuss this using the ‘Wire’ app? Not today, or this weekend, but during the week? It is a point to point encrypted app with no middle servers,

91Veteran
91Veteran

Cj, sure. Can you give me the details on using it?

So I just download it? I assume I would have to know how to connect with you guys.

cj
cj

@91Veteran: 91 hit the pluss sign and add cj59 and I can add you to my contacts

cj
cj

@91Veteran: Sorry, I should have been more clear. Once you have the program installed, you will have to chose a public name, careful on this one, you will have a place for your name, and another for your handle. make sure the name you want showing is the one you want showing, your account is setup. After that you can either enter a search for a user name, or enter a persons user name, by clicking on the + sign at the bottom.
That is where you can enter cj59, you will know you have the right one when you see the diamond formation of t-34’s.

T
T

I enjoy the Wire chat thing. Seems safe, no cookies, no tracking, can delete the conversation at the end, no strings. Very easy to use, no pc issues, no large download stuff or programs either. Had fun on there last night with CJ. Had a nice session. Would be nice for networking with the serious minded regulars out here, with our real info or not.

After contacting Mozilla about their joining Soros and his clan, Vice TV about their sick stuff and pure hatred for Veteran baby boomers draining the system when foreigners need it, and others too before us, then with Google that seems to have placed their automatic “updates” and cookies on my machine I never agreed to or put on it, plus the email client lefty games and sending lefty videos and playing slow down games… all hell is breaking loose on my end. So I guess the noose is tightening. Plus finding stuff on the pc like Zenmate that I can’t get rid of and never clicked on anywhere. It’s on my machine but can’t locate it at all. Just a small icon to make it hide and that’s it.

I can’t imagine the hell Ben must be going through, or somebody, for have a platform he has, and exposing the VA and all the corrupt comrades they have. This country is upside down and sick as hell. DC, silicone valley, the Google, Micro suck giant types should be getting sued and charged with treason, as hate groups, monopolies, violations of free speech laws, or whatever. Totally getting out of hand and dangerous.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Once government employees see disfunction they will start or stop caring.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Our Politicians can act faster. In light of my visiting Nurse being canceled by the VA, without every letting me know why or what is going on, the VA would rather have me talk to a voice recorder, and share my fuzzy feelings too. Wow, so humane.

Every time the VA does something, I’m not infirmed of all the details, and much of my input is non-existent. There’s no team work or a understandable medical care treatment plan. There’s not a written plan for myself to focus on, or in case of an emergency, for a non-VA Physician to start from. The VA didn’t even communicate with my visiting Nurse, only one way, to receive her weekly Progress Report(s) of me. Even when I started receiving the Third-Party Outside medical Services (PT and visiting Nurse), there was no plan. I complained about this all of the time, of course to no avail.

Let me remind you, about 5-years ago is when I first walked into the VA Medical Center in Wilmington, Delaware. I could wash and wax our car, train my K9 PTSD-Alerting Service Dog, take my wife out to dinner, and then go dancing at a nice place that plays jumping rock-and-roll music.

I’m also a Biologist, with many Directed Research Credits to my name. I focused and broke the record of a Organic Chemistry Contest by half the time. The previous record held for 21 years. I say this because even though I’m not a Physician, like everyone else, if things are explained to a person correctly, they can understand almost anything. But no, not with the Evidence / Experience Based Medicine (EBM) VA. They know it all, except, my current medical status. The VA is missing the mark on me as clear as a sunny cloudless day. Really, I’m not exaggerating. Plus, in the past 9 months, not one VA Licensed (or illegal unlicensed Physician) has evaluated and observed me to write any medical notes. Strange.

Patient Advocate is a damn joke. He’s a Retired Navy Veteran, and hasn’t responded to any of my at least 6 emails that I sent to him. Worthless. Veterans who work at the VA, and who won’t stick up for other disabled Veterans, should be met outside in the VA’s Parking Lot, so that there can be more enjoyment than eating ice scream (no you scream).

This has been going on for almost two years. No stable medical treatment for me. Its like, I’d be better off in not getting medical care from anyone. I’ve never let myself go like I’ve lately. I feel beat up, same old shit, no changes, no trust, just waiting for someone to make a stupid mistake, so that I can grab them by the head, thrush my thumbs into their eye sockets, and then scratch their frontal cortex to try and get their attention.

Do you folks think, that since I’ve been complaining to the extreme lately, that the VA wants to remove all 3rd Party contact from me, because they don’t want nothing negative on my record or theirs? Just thinking. We all know how the VA operates. I’ve never seen an Agency that covers their ass as much as these peeps do.

Still fully pursuing in getting Private Sector medical care, that has at least been challenging. But still working on it as of this writing. – – -Nutter.

Tom
Tom

I had a very similar experience with the Patient Advocate at the nearest VAMC. For 3 years I dealt with mediocre attempts at communication by every level of the V.A., the worst being the Patient Advocate. Finally, I met with a Chief of OC’s who literally told me the P.A. was useless. To just stop trying to get his help, as too many Vets were complaining.

The Advocate finally left earlier this year, only to get a job with a state Vets organization. You can’t make this stuff up!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

move’em around like cattle on the grazing field, only feeding on Veterans. – – – Nutter.

91Veteran
91Veteran

All of the patient advocates at my VA are/were worthless bastards and liars.

At one time, they had at least 3. 2 patient advocate flunkies, and 1 guy in charge of them who also doubled as the hospital PR person.

The one female PA left to go to another job. The other male PA is still there, as is the PR flunky.

Even the veterans representative in my local congressional office said that the remaining male PA is a liar.

The other guy in charge of them is more concerned with covering the asses of the director and other hospital management.

ANuttetVet
ANuttetVet

@91Veteran – – – At my local VAMC, there has always been a high rate of turnover for Patient Advocates. And many Veterans, spouses, care takers, relatives, or friends of Veterans, wishes that the Patient Advocated would just do their job. What’s the use of having them, if they don’t perform? How measures or monitors the Patient Advocates?

91Veteran
91Veteran

ANuttervet, you should find out who the Privacy Officer is at your VA and what their email address is. Shouldn’t be hard to get.

Once you get it, send to FOIA requests to them.

1. Request the 6 emails you sent on each of those dates, and any documentation, email, telephone log, report of contact or any other record of what action was taken by the Patient Advocate after receiving each of those emails.

2. This second request would be for all notes, records or progress reports submitted to the VA by your in home nurse or any other in home medical provider for the past year, along with a copy of any medical record showing what action the VA took based on those medical reports submitted by your in home providers.

With the first request, you should get your emails at a minimum, maybe copies of Reports of Contact if the Patient Advocate did their job, or emails from the Patient Advocate to other VA staff.

The second request should get you any records submitted by your providers, and any record showing what action the VA took based on those reports.

I think both would be eye-opening to you.

If you get little or no response to your FOIA requests, you can email them to your VISN Privacy Officer, or to the VAHQ Privacy Officer.

If you email your request to a higher level, contact your congressman and tell them you want your congressman to make a formal inquiry to the VA requesting the same records.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@91Veteran – – – Thanks for the guidance, cut and pasted to file. There is so much to do, I really could use a Medical Receptionist on my staff. I think that due to the complexity of my care (made by the VA, not me), and by not acting in making any medical changes, per even with the Progress Reports from my now ex-Visiting Nurse. Yes, the only PTSD services that the VA is offering me, is completing a 5 day a week synopsis on how I feel, and what I’m experience.

It isn’t known how much human contact over the phone, or in person, that there’ll be between the VA’s Coordinator of this PTSD Program, and myself. Funny how the VA doesn’t inform you of all the details. My ex-Visiting Nurse told me to keep her updated, and that she will work, and I believe the In-Home Medical Service Provider, will back me on with recommendations. As far that I know, no one has tried to deter me from what I’m doing. Only encouragement on my end. That’s because I’ll need it. LoL Thanks again 91, I’ll post updates as we move along into the abyss of the VA’s stanky bowels. Phew wee.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I’m going to say this again!

Will there be someone, other than those affiliated with VA, to insure the taxpayers monies GOES FOR WHAT IT WAS INTENDED; ie: the “Choice Program” and “GI Forever Bill”?

In the past;
Taxpayers monies have/has just gone missing from VA’s financial books! Where did it go?
Or;
Taxpayers monies have been used for other projects/programs: ie; refugees and illegal immigrants comes to mind! Maybe even financing a politician’s campaign? (This is a federal violation, only Congress can divert monies from one place to another!)
Or;
Taxpayers monies being used to purchase items NOT connected with VA whatsoever; ie: To purchase large ticket items on properties NOT owned by VA! ie; a beautiful fence down here at the Lake Baldwin VHA clinic in Orlando Fl. the city of Orlando now owns!
Or;
Y’all can fill in more blanks!

Guess I’m NOT a nice person, [or racist], for
re-addressing corruption, waste, fraud and abuse within VA.
Especially when VA management, from Washington D.C. on down, are caught spending taxpayers monies recklessly.

Or, when VA management, from Washington D.C. on down, are CAUGHT RED-HANDED, spending monies on a “population of people” who are in the United States of America ILLEGALLY!
Remember this one thing, brothers and sisters, those BILLIONS of taxpayers monies was “earmarked” for the Choice Program – NOT for anything/anyone else!

That’s my opinion. Anyone who cannot accept truth about it, well ——

Thomas
Thomas

Elf, we actually agree on almost everything about V.A. corruption, so I’m not disagreeing with your “the V.A. took from Choice Act to give to refugees” opinion, simply with an opposing point of view opinion, I’ll also provide the factual documentation. I honestly want Vets & Military families like my own, to be better aware of how funds are diverted so it stops happening!

Here are the facts on V.A. budgets & re-assigning funds like V.A. Choice Act $$. The original bill was written and passed into law specifically stating that the only way funds could be taken from the Choice budget of $10 Billion would be by way of a bill being written, voted on by Congress, & signed into law by POTUS. Also, there was a clear stipulation stating that if a bill like that were to become law, the only type of program the money could be used for was for V.A. specific initiatives. I know this because I fought for the original Choice Act to be passed in 2012 & fought only one year later against the $3+ billion that Sec. McDonald wanted to take & use for the V.A. Care in Community budget. I fought against it due to the shortsightedness(an all too common V.A. budgeting flaw) of taking away 1/3 of the Choice Act’s original budget after only 1 year. I felt it was inevitable that the Choice Act would run out of money because it was obvious that V.A. Healthcare was resistant towards approving Vets & dependents to non-V.A. medical providers. Heck, after the Choice Act was signed into law, it took the vast majority of VAMC’s & outpatient clinics a minimum of 6-8 months to even consider approving anyone to use the program! Of course the program looked underutilized, it was due to V.A. Health’s opposition, not veteran’s reluctance. I’ve even documented a VAMC manipulating patient appointments, just so that the Vet would not qualify for surgery via the Choice Act. So, guess what happened? Sec. Shulkin announced earlier this year that the Choice Act budget was in good shape, then surprise-surprise, this Summer it was suddenly out of money & in need of emergency funding! That’s what was finally voted on in July & signed into law last week. Oh, by the way, the bill was held up for 2 weeks & re-written so that V.A. Health could also add funding for construction of 10 new facilities.

If you ever read or hear of stories that claim V.A. budget cuts are happening, *call* your local representative in the District you live in. They all have a specific congressional aide assigned to V.A. issues. If you don’t get an answer, contact one or both of your Senators, as they too have staff assigned to Veterans issues. Finally, if for some reason you don’t find your state politicians responsive or able to provide you with what you feel is reliable info., contact the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs directly at 202 – 225 – 9756. Anything to do with Veterans Affairs laws & budgets, they have oversight on. When anyone says, “I heard…” or “Well, I read this”, about Vets issues, but tells you that they don’t know where? Question it, absolutely! Unless someone can provide you with a direct link to the information they are giving you, treat it as gossip until verified. As for info. about Choice Act budget cuts & separate funds used since 2012 to aid refugee assistance programs, it can be found here with 15 links to cited sources: factcheck.org/2016/04/va-funds-and-syrian-refugees/

As Veterans & Military families, all we can do is rely on one another to be our biggest allies. Take care.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Thomas,
Thanks for the sites! Guess I was wrong on that one issue!

I’d like to see VA be audited by a “non-VA reputable auditing team”! Maybe then we would see how and where taxpayers monies go!

Question, It seems, back in 2015 (?), $2.8+/- billion, went missing from Choice! No where is it recorded within VA’s financial books. Where did that taxpayers monies go?

Tom
Tom

Elf, I have been asking for 4 years what will it take to have an independent & non-partisan outside group audit Veterans Affairs, specifically the VA Healthcare system. Seems like no one wants to deal with the results that would surely follow. The closest we may get is that the Senate has requested a full review today of Choice Act expenditures & a detailed explanation from HealthNet & TriCare West of their policies & procedures in accordance with Choice Act & Accountability Law.

cj
cj

-!¡¡!-

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Personally I can sum up VA healthcare system and the Veterans Choice program in one word.

Both are FUBAR (fucked up beyond all/any recognition/ repair/ reason/ redemption).

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Seymore Klearly – – – I’d like to use this on my unfinished FB page. Permission? – – – Nutter.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Ok with me.

Jo3n
Jo3n

Again, I feel like we spinning our wheels. Until we see accountability, until the VA actually follows these laws, nothing will change(for the better). How now do I find out how the Choice will work for me this time, when I wasn’t allowed Choice before? I was, after whomever took the last billion. Are we back to PC recommend? I’ve gone private, and bankrupt, and alive. Just the thought of looking at this fake Dr and pleading for Choice makes me sick. In Alabama, Veterans rarely get to use Federal resources. Not without going through hell. AG Sessions and all the politicians here spend what they need to, to keep 75% of the people ignorant of All Federal Benefits. For myself, things are changing…

cj
cj

@Jo3n: Jon, when your wheels keep spinning, time for some swamp buggy tires. Oops, pardon the irony.

Thomas
Thomas

Jo3n, could not agree with you more. I’ve been doing physical therapy post-op for major knee surgery this year & needed a request for additional services completed to continue treatment. It was sent on July 28th. After giving them a full 7 business days, 12 days total, to receive and process a 1 page form for approval, I called to get an update for how best to proceed with scheduling of needed care. I was told it was received, but still pending being processed. HealthNet admitted this was unusual & would forward it to their Scheduling Dept. For expedited review. I was also told they could not give me an estimate on how long it would take, which was never the case prior to this. I gave them one full week & called back. I was told, 1. it had been received & 2. it had not been processed by HealthNet until…guess when? Aug. 9th, after I had called. HealthNet said they had no explanation for the delay, no explanation why no one had contacted me, & worst of all, it was now up to V.A. Health to review & process on their end, plus have a provider do a consult and return to it to HealthNet. Again, absolutely no ability to provide a timetable, as well as another new one to me, “there’s no requirement for the Veteran to be given an estimate as to when they will receive care.”.

I was pretty sure that last part was false & certainly not in the spirit of the Choice Act Law. I asked around and was told that, unofficially, V.A. Health & HealthNet had come to an agreement to intentionally stall the process of Requests for Additional Care unless marked as “Urgent”. Even in that case, there were to be no definitive estimates(“it will be no more than 5 business days”) given to Veterans on a timetable to expect approval for care. That means they are unwilling to even tell us how long it will be until they can tell us when to expect an appointment! The reasoning for the intentionally stalling of the process? Both V.A. & Health Net had to ensure that care would be continued with proper funding. This was despite the fact that V.A. Health had assured Vets that no one’s care would be interrupted.

What all this should tell Veterans is that even if you are deemed worthy of “choice” in your healthcare, the V.A. will determine the timing of every step of it. There is no such thing as an equal partnership btwn. the patient

91Veteran
91Veteran

Been there, done that. It took 57 days of phone calls AFTER being referred and a congressional inquiry before I had a Choice appointment.

I too was told by Healthnet they would expedite things. Repeatedly.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“Tucson VA’s record request denial overruled after Star appeal”

Emily Bregel Arizona Daily Star Aug 18, 2017 Updated 23 min ago
“http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-va-s-record-request-denial-overruled-after-star-appeal/article_ee4e5eef-a2dc-5c21-ad60-58d313346be8.html”

“Legal counsel for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has determined the Tucson VA wrongly denied the Arizona Daily Star’s public records request seeking the names of the hospital’s current dermatologists.

After the Tucson VA’s privacy office refused to release the names of the hospital’s current specialty staff, citing privacy concerns, the Star filed a formal appeal with the national VA system in May.

This month, general counsel for the national VA granted the Star’s appeal “in full,” stating the Tucson VA must release the names of those providers, which the Tucson VA did on Aug. 2.

“While we find that the dermatologists have a personal privacy interest in their identities, there is a countervailing public interest in knowing that VA employs qualified individuals,” wrote VA Acting Chief Counsel Kenyatta McLeod-Poole in the decision letter. “As such, we find that public interest outweighs the privacy interests of the providers in this case.”

Tucson VA privacy officer Donna Wilson had initially released a list of the hospital’s four dermatology specialists, with all four names redacted. She argued that revealing their identities would violate the providers’ privacy.”

NiteWish
NiteWish

Provider database for all the VA’s are out of date. Good Job Arizona Daily Star I hope this happens to all the VA’s & they get them all updated with accurate information.
Another really Good article thankx Seymore!

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

The VA is making their own rules about VA employees name’s being published, if that was the case, the employee in the news their right’s are being violated and those news agencies could or would have been suied !..

This is nothing more than a lie !

Secretary Shulkin is a VA employee and he is all over the news. And many other’s.

VA employees will never get the message, until they see for themselves the name’s of fired employees.

Transparent Not !