Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats blocked inclusion of key VA reforms including expansions of the Veterans Choice Program and the Caregiver Program in the Omnibus Bill.

On Tuesday, legislators and veteran organizations hoped Pelosi and other Democrats would come back to the table, but negotiations stalled blocking major reforms from inclusion in the massive Omnibus Bill, totaling over 2,200 pages and $1.3 trillion. Despite continued attempts over the past two days, key VA reforms will not be included.

Presently, the Caregiver Program provides monthly stipends, respite care and counseling to caregivers of post 9/11 veterans only. Measures to expand the program to cover all veterans have stalled for years. Lawmakers had a chance to finally expand the program by including it in the Omnibus Bill to prevent a government shutdown.

But, key Democrats like Nancy Pelosi opposed the inclusion of the VA reforms.

Democrats opposed the measure asserting that since it would presently be an unfunded mandate, that they would not pass it. Griffin Anderson, a Democratic spokesman, stated, “Yes the program would be authorized, but there would not be any money to fund this expansion.”

So instead Democrats want to hunt for a magic unicorn at another time. Anderson claims expending the benefits is a top priority but not without funding.

On Veterans Choice, Democrats say the deal did not go far enough to remove the arbitrary 30-day, 40-mile rule. Presently, veterans seeking appointments must face a wait of over 30 days to qualify for the benefit or live 40 miles from the nearest VA facility.

Key veterans organizations called the legislative moment a “historic opportunity” to pass key VA reforms at once. The inclusion of the above-listed reforms would have fast-tracked their approval.

But, again, key Democrats decided to obstruct VA reforms.

Usually, Republicans tend to balk at any expansion of VA reforms when they include increases in funding for the agency, so it’s disappointing to see Democrats turn and run when they have a chance to enact positive change for vulnerable veterans and their families, especially when veteran organizations are also onboard.

Families receiving Caregiver benefits only qualify if the veteran is severely impaired such that a caregiver or spouse is required to provide in-home care.

Likewise, veterans seeking Veterans Choice benefits are generally disabled and too poor to afford standard health insurance to use civilian facilities.

Source: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/03/22/va-reforms-removed-massive-spending-bill.html

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80 Comments

  1. Been out sleuthing and slumming the best I can. Around the local VA shit-hole, catching people out in fatigues, visiting chicken shits, and etc., to engage in some casual conversations and info gathering. The below is what I still find.

    The majority of people, active military included… don’t give a shit. Do not care about the plights and struggles of others or veterans. Do not want involved, or draw any attention to themselves. Blah blah usual crap in the sanctuary state of Indiana, supposedly colored… ‘red’ (conservative-Repukes) on the maps. Not so.

    All is peachy and perfect here in la la land.

    No good industry employment to be had… so they join the military. Some (young pups) really anxious, anticipating, and wanting to see some “real action/gore.” Blah blah bull shit. Some claim they can’t tolerate the lefty college social engineering and BS to get workable degrees other than interior design, art, or activism. “Too much bullying, too many nut-case libtard professors, plus student body to contend with.” Plus the costs but illegals get the free shit.

    Wow! All is forgiven and who cares since the military got a pay raise? I guess that is supposed to cover-up a multitude of sins and corruption. Oh, and the healthy ones not giving a hoot about others dealing with issues.

    Oh my how the VSOs wallow in their prestige, glory, nobleness, pomp, photo ops, honors, awards. Right up there with public relations firms putting up facade to make the area look perfect, push propaganda, and ignore the many real issues at hand. Right up there with all those others like the FruityMasons, charities, et al, standing by not caring…etc.

    Some claim about a twenty percent drop in area VSO posts. I wonder why. Others claim to be doing fine… and thoroughly Demoncrat or support those connected to the local regimes. Imagine that. SNAFU. The old..”Big I – little you” attitudes along with the self-service… others and the country be damned. Can’t give anything/anyone locally a bad image or speak some truth. May hurt the community, stop companies from locating here over some negativity, etc. Blah blah. They have to play politics and join the herd at all cost, and get their families into, or remain in some office (s).
    Stop.

    They seem to have plenty of money for wars, foreign aid, for their black secret budgets, billions to just lose – no explanations or investigations happening, for high salaries, separate health care plans… and “to hell with the rest.” Then some blond idiot named Heather Neuert wants us to believe perpetual long lasting wars are “good” or “does good” while ignoring veterans must be to her a “good” thing?

    And to think for how many generations now people have allowed the DC scum and others not live as we do, be ruled by wealthy connected scum-bags and idiots, or can attain and have what we can not. Dumb ass sheep. Equal my ass. The writings have been on the wall and it’s not good. Getting worse daily. We are the enemy? Circus continues.

    • T.
      YOU ARE RIGHT THE ACLU AND THE SOUTHERN POVERTY FOR LAW WOULD BE ALL OVER THIS SHIT IF THIS WERE DONE TO A MINORITY.
      OHIO VA. THE FUCKING OF INJURED VETERANS AND DISABLED FORMER SOLDIERS GOES ON WITH IMPUNITY. THE PIG OF PARMA OHIO VA THE PARMA PIG OHIO PETER M. BARACH FORENSIC FRAUD, AND FORENSIC WHORE IS HIRED OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO ENGAGE IN SUCH INAPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR.
      PETER M. BARACH NPI#1396773610 OHIO MEDICAL LICENSE NO.3280 JEWISH JEW, NON VETERAN DRAFT DODGER 1970-1973 DEFERMENT FOR MENTAL ILLNESS FROM MILIARY FLUNKED OUT OF JOHN HOPKINS UNIVESITY LIBERAL LEFT WINGER, MARXIST SOCIAL DEMOCRAT FRAUD. SHAKER HEIGHTS CLEVELAND OHIO.
      BEING HIRED OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO ENGAGE IN C AND P HATCHET JOBS, SABOTAGE INJURED VETERANS BENEFITS AND DISABLED FORMER SOLDIERS CLAIMS. PAID OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN THIS FORENSIC WHORE, AND FORSENSIC PROSTITUTE PETER M. BARACH. THE VAS BITCH AND VA LAPDOG. SUSAN M. FUEHRER MEDICAL CENTER DIRECTOR CLEVELAND OHIO VA LOUIS STOKES IS WELL AWARE OF PETER M. BARACH MEDICAL FRAUD, AND MAGICAL DIAGNOSES THAT HE MAKES UP OUT OF THIN. THE KIND OF PERSONANITY DISORDER, PETER M. BARACH. CHERRY PICKING AND CUTTING AND PASTING FROM MEDICAL NOTES, TO CREATE HIS BIZARRE DISORDER IN ORDER TO DISCREDIT THE INJURED VET AND DISABLED FORMER SOLDIERS IN OHIO. CREATING FALSE DISORDER(S) PETER M. BARACH THE PIG OF PARMA HEIGHT OHIO VA PETER M. BARACH THE PARMA PIG

      JUST MAKING SHIT UP. PETER M. BARACH. BEING PAID OVER AND OVER, AND OVER AGAIN TO ENGAGE IN FORENSIC FRAUD. KNOWING THAT IF HE COMMITS FRAUD FOR THE VA, PETER M. BARACH WILL BE PAID AGAIN AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN TO FUC-INJURED VETS AND DISABLED FORMER SOLDIERS OUT OF THEIR RIGHTFUL BENEFITS, AND VA CLAIMS. PETER M. BARACH, JEWISH JEW NON VETERAN DRAFT DODGER 1970-1973 npi#1396773610 OHIO LICENSE MEDICAL NO.3280 FLUNKED OUT OF JOHN HOPKINS UNIVESITY ENDED UP AT ANN ARBOR MAJORING IN “children”. AND THEN GOES AND SPENDS A LIFE TIME AT CASE WESTERN RESERVE COLLEGE ACROSS THE STREET FROM HIS HOUSE IN SHAKERS HEIGHTS CLEVELAND OHIO.
      THE DEVIL CERTAINLY WORKS ON SUNDAYS HERE AT THE OHIO VA. PETER M. BARACH NPI#1396773610 OHIO MEDICAL LICENSE NO.3280 AKA THE PIG OF PARMA HEIGHT OHIO VA THE PARMA PIG OHIO

    • Please realize all this that is fantasy. reporters from mainstream as I asked why never speak of VA. Because VA is considered business slab. So please forget you are a veteran, it is not about you it is about billions of dead money. Do not disguise honor with reality, it doesn’t exist except for time in military. Be real. VA belongs to corporate who take you only.

      • Well said, Xshithead. Where did corporate bankers go with the money that was supposed to pay your doctor visit.

  2. They passed additional funding for the military but, not for veterans.
    Sounds like more siblings are in the works.

  3. Forgot to mention. Pain meds. Some vets here are having no problems getting theirs and have been non-stop. No monthly or weekly tests. Nope every three months check up at their (one) specialty clinic in Indy and it’s mailed to them. Other’s getting monthly screening if then. Ones I talked to didn’t have to deal with new PCPs changing their treatments or what specialist told them to do. I (others) was not that fortunate or dealing with multiple specialty clinics and the revolving door of PCPs I had to deal with. I guess the more clinics you have to deal and all the personnel changes the worse it gets.

    None I talked to were “ordered” to attend any “new pain clinic” orientations at Roudebush lab rat center, or told to sign special contracts to continue with pain meds or VA care. They never heard of such things going on. Of course not. Yet we were told every vet on pain meds were to endure the same stuff we did and expected to sign the ‘special’ all life consuming/controlling documents. And documents I could not get through FOIA. More about the conversations had but that’s enough, I think. Then people wonder why Indiana is kept off the ‘audit’ or investigations list?? LOL. Funny too it seems I even pissed off some in the local musicians unions too. Family members work at the local CBOC.

    Also to note. Those sent to the Purple team was dealt shit after leaving the CBOC. Those who got to others like the “Gold team” are doing fine, better, worth the drive for care… so far. He too never heard of all the side orders or shit put on some of the rest of us evil questioners or challengers of the local shit system. So “collective punishments” are just for the selected ones, not across the board.

    • Copied directly from the Executive summary of the July 31, 2017 VAOIG report:
      “https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-17-01846-316.pdf”
      We determined that with the expansion of community partnerships, a significant risk exists for patients who are prescribed opioid prescriptions outside of VA. Patients suffering from chronic pain and mental health illness who receive opioid prescriptions from non-VA clinical settings where opioid prescribing and monitoring guidelines conflict with the guidelines in place within VA may be especially at risk.
      Moreover, the risk is exacerbated when information about opioid prescriptions is not shared between VA and non-VA providers. Because of identified challenges related to health information sharing between VA and community providers, we noted that non-VA providers do not consistently have access to critical health care information regarding veterans they are treating. For example, access to an up-to-date list of medications and a relevant past medical history is important for any provider when caring for a patient, but particularly with high-risk veterans such as those with chronic pain and mental health illness. However, this information is not consistently included in the authorization and consult documentation for VA purchased care.
      1 A controlled substance is a drug whose manufacturing, dispensing, and possession are regulated by the government. Drugs considered to be controlled substances are divided into and regulated according to five schedules: I,II,III,IV, and V. Substances are placed in schedules based on whether they have an accepted medical treatment use, abuse potential, and likelihood of causing dependence when abused.

      • Apologies for not breaking down paragraphs above.
        My take away: If you are diagnosed with a mental illness, you will be bullied over pain med care.

  4. Here we go with another “We got to pass it, in order to read it!” scenario!
    Rep. Rand Paul was correct, “Congress is broken!”
    “Military.com” has more than a couple of articles on the bill this morning.
    Here’s their headliner;
    “Congress OK’s $1.3 Trillion Budget, Averting Another Shutdown”
    By: The “Associated Press”
    Dated: 23 Mar 2018
    By: Alan Fram and Lisa Mascaro.

    You’re gonna have to read some of the B/S that was in the bill to believe it!

    On a side note, I’m having to agree with the Dems over one aspect – that “30 days or 40 mile rule” has got to go!
    For y’all who know me, it’s heartbreaking for me to have to agree with any democrat!
    Lastly, it would seem there’s way too many in Congress, who believe they have a “Hereditary Right to Rule” for as long as they want!
    And, Because of this bill passing, I fear the Republican party will lose many seats in the 2018 midterm elections! Thereby, causing chaos in America!

  5. I’m going out on a limb here but I postulate that had the VA Reforms also had an inclusion that increased VA AFGE Nonperformance Bonuses based upon Choice Program Performance Metrics, you can bet your camouflaged collective asses that Bill would have passed with much oinking and happy shitty Choice Contractors and…all their collectively oinking investors which happen to be congress critter’s mutual fund portfolios.
    Maybe in September, when *this* spending bill runs out, we can shoot for a $Zillion. Has a nice ring to it at this point of tossing the wormdirt back on top of ourselves….
    How much $$$ do we still owe China?

    • namnibor,
      Watch the video “The Last Days of Julius Caesar” on utube. It’s 44+ minutes long. But, you only have to watch the first -20 minutes to see how our Congress is almost the same as they were!

      Who’s gonna be the first to “Cross the Rubicon”?

  6. Can’t stand SecVA Shulkin, BUT if the clowns in the Congress don’t fund the fizes then he shouldn’t be held accountable for the failures of that program!

    He does need to go however BUT not because of this!

    If they don’t want to provide quality and timely health care – QUIT SENDING US INTO BATTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Assholes – the lot of them!

  7. You people really believe you are going to fix the VA??? Seriously?
    I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.
    Your grandchildren will be old and gray before ANYTHING changes. Too many third parties (VSOs, politicians, lobbyists) making money off of the status quo.
    CLOSE THE VA. Move the budget to Social Security, give Veterans SS Benefit Accounts based on ratings, ratings done by private sector doctors, and let us all get our care from QUALITY medical people, just like the rest of society.
    STOP TRYING TO PUSH WATER UPHILL. YOU’RE BACKING THE WRONG IDEA. CONGRESS AND POTUS WILL N-E-V-E-R PASS THE BENEFITS WE HAVE EARNED.
    Get a clue and stop being afraid to do something different.

    • CWV, it won’t be fixed when our grandchildren are old and grey, lol.

      No one can fix the system if you aren’t going to follow and enforce the governing documents and hold leadership and employees accountable. Look at Shulkin for instance, he was wrong and committed fraud with the travel. He knew when he didn’t have to reach into his wallet to pay for his wife he was committing fraud. It doesn’t matter if he has done good or not when this occurred. He should have been fired. We let people retire or we move them to other locations. It’s best to close the doors, give us insurance (Medicare, Tricare or other) and start educating our youth on the reasons not to join our military especially our daughters (sexual harassment, assaults and rapes). I would do it for my son too as just as many males suffer the same.

      It doesn’t matter how much money or how many programs are passed as the VA is so dysfunctional it cannot handle anything else thrown at it. They need to fix what’s broken first before they pass anything else. They need to hole people accountable and enforce the current laws.

      Just my two cents. I totally agree with you.

  8. Disappointing to see Democrats turn and run?

    C’mon Ben! You can do much better than that when smarmy politicians are blatantly lying to your face.

    I commented here long ago about politicians pulling excuses out of their ass when it came time for them to step up and fund veterans health care properly.

    Both sides came up with BS excuses, and often cited PAYGO rules as a reason they just couldn’t find the money for veterans.

    It was a fucking infuriating lie then and its a fucking infuriating lie now that this is an unfunded mandate.

    It became a funded mandate when these bastards voted to send us to war. It became a mandate when they allowed the current war to go on for 17 years now, which they always managed to fund.

    We have just watched $11 Trillion added to the debt over 8 years. This current bill is over 2200 pages spending $1.7 billion for 6 months, but its disappointing that politicians turn and run over some unfunded mandate?

    Schumer and Pelosi shut down government over illegal aliens. Now they ignore that unfunded mandate put on communities all across the US while claiming funding veteran health care reforms is some unfunded mandate?

    • I have no problem throwing Pelosi under a bus. But, in this instance it rings rather hollow to blame the Dems when the GOP controlled House, Senate, and Executive could have include the programs and the funding. THEY didn’t. THEY played a game with the DEMS at veterans’ expense. The DEMS merely stooped to the GOP level – this time. Soon enough we’ll be in another war and the sheeple will offer up their young for another lie. Gets me all flag wavy n’shit.

      • A very concise, accurate summary. Should Bolton become National Security Adviser, we’ll be in that war much sooner than anyone thinks!

        Mr. “We MUST invade Iraq because Saddam has Nuclear weapons” Bolton now says “even though there were no WMD’s invading Iraq was the right decision”.

        Yup. Committing this country to the longest, costliest war in its’ history based upon a lie – – – was absolutely the right decision.

        I think NOT. Of course, loudmouth Chickenshit Bolton makes for a great “War Hawk”.

        Bolton attended Yale University, earning a B.A., graduating summa cum laude in 1970. He was a member of the Yale Political Union. He earned a J.D. in 1974 at Yale Law School, where he shared classes with his friend Clarence Thomas and was a contemporary of Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham.[23]

        During the 1969 Vietnam War draft lottery, Bolton drew number 185. (Draft numbers corresponded to birth dates.) As a result of the Johnson and Nixon administrations’ decisions to rely largely on the draft rather than on the reserve forces, joining a Guard or Reserve unit became a way to avoid service in the Vietnam War. Bolton enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard in 1970 rather than wait to find out if his draft number would be called. (The highest number called to military service was 195.)

        After serving in the National Guard for four years, he served in the United States Army Reserve until the end of his enlistment two years later. He wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.”

        In an interview, Bolton discussed his comment in the reunion book, explaining that he decided to avoid service in Vietnam because “by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from.

        Fucker should have gone to Canada. I would have had more respect for him. But no worries. He will have us in a war or two within a year.

        America has got to be the dumbest nation on earth.

      • Couldn’t agree more James. The majority of Americans are so brain-dead, brain-washed, socially engineered from birth, CONTROLLED, spied on, lied to, fed crap – pure lies – re-written history, in academia, established accepted religions, propagandized by media, intentionally divided, generationally, traditionally, in every avenue of life, etc., it’s beyond belief. There is plenty of proof out there too. Censoring, banned books, no real media, questioning of certain events or history is forbidden or makes us some kind of enemy, targets for mob rule. Can’t question much from authority figures, the corrupt or the VA. We are heading the way of Europe or Canada to be imprisoned over what we read, preach, say, or think. And most people think that way is a good way, bow to the masters and tyrants. Don’t let the kiddies read about Smedley Butler and many others. Let’s just destroy history, facts, replace it all with PC-ness and BS. Why is beyond me. Hubris, false pride, intention, ignorance even into old age, complacency, laziness and need spoon-fed info, ingrained knee-jerk reactions to words or issues, whatever.

        Been listening to a poem at the start of this broadcast: “https://www.republicbroadcastingarchives.org/the-national-intel-report-with-john-stadtmiller-march-23-2018-hour-2/”

        I voted for the least of the usual two evils out of our corrupt system. Knew the minute he picked Pence as a vice this country was in deep shit. Just a slower death than Hillary would provide. Then like others he used nepotism, then on to call in and use deep-state and old swamp monsters to play in his game. Including Marx-Fems to blondes from Faux News or from the Huckabee fam. Plus all the sabre rattling. And on it went, and goes. Him signing this new bill that few even read tells the complete story even the brain dead should be able to understand. The Demoncrats beaming with joy over his signing this ridiculous paper stack of crap and wasted tax dollars. Then we vets to so-called ‘patriots’ or Constitutionalist are considered to be enemies if we don’t bow to official narratives or authoritarian demands. If we are for peace and America being numba one… we are the enemy. All clear as clear can be.

      • @T – “Then we vets to so-called ‘patriots’ or Constitutionalist are considered to be enemies if we don’t bow to official narratives or authoritarian demands. If we are for peace and America being numba one… we are the enemy. All clear as clear can be.”

        Gold, Brother. Pure Gold.

        You stated in your reply to me PRECISELY the reason I voted for Trump. Should America survive his first term, I will most likely NOT be voting for him again.

        Is Trump guilty of colluding with Russia? I honestly do not know. I DO know that “fake witch hunts” do not lead to real indictments and guilty pleas – – – some of which we have already seen.

        Seeing as how the Russians now have the capability to shut down our electrical grid (and other vital services) they most certainly have “Societal Impact Weapons of Mass Destruction” available to them.

        I have very little doubt based upon a thousand plus data point timeline dating back to June 2013. Russia is far deeper into our society than most Americans would suspect or fathom.

        Trump is playing exactly into what the Kremlin wants while apparently refusing to understand Putin’s goals.

        George W. Bush and Barack Obama got Putin wrong, and inadvertently helped the Russian president expand his power. But on some level, they also understood the strategic threat Putin posed—something I don’t think Trump grasps. You can lose the war even if you have [an] overwhelming advantage—militarily, economically, technologically—if you don’t recognize you are at war.

        Trump operates in really a short-term environment. T]he way he communicates with the world definitely shows lack of any strategical calculations.

        The best way to understand the Russian president is to read Mario Puzo’s “Godfather” trilogy, with Putin as Don Vito Corleone.

        Instead of the mafia don’s gambling and bootlegging, Russia’s dictatorial petro-state runs on oil, money and power.

        Stay tuned, indeed. Within the next few months, things will get very interesting . . .

        In this context, interesting does not necessarily bode well for America.

      • @T – The poem you referenced is “A Visitor from the Past” by Thelen Paulk, copyright 1986. One of my favorite contemporary works. If our “leaders” and general populace chose to, they could learn a lot from these words:

        I had a dream the other night, I didn’t understand.
        A figure walking through the mist, with flintlock in his hand.
        His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed.
        He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low, he said:

        “We fought a revolution, to secure our liberty.
        We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny.
        For future generations, this legacy we gave.
        In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

        “The freedom we secured for you, we hoped you’d always keep.
        But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep.
        Your freedom gone, your courage lost, you’re no more than a slave.
        In this, the land of the free and home of the brave.

        “You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
        Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
        On land that you believe you own, you pay a yearly rent.
        Although you have no voice in choosing, how the money’s spent.

        “Your children must attend a school that doesn’t educate.
        Your Christian values can’t be taught, according to the state.
        You read about the current news, in a regulated press.
        You pay a tax you do not owe, to please the I.R.S.

        “Your money is no longer made of Silver or of Gold.
        You trade your wealth for paper, so your life can be controlled.
        You pay for crimes that make our Nation, turn from God in shame.
        You’ve taken Satan’s number, as you’ve traded in your name.

        “You’ve given government control, to those who do you harm,
        So they can padlock churches, and steal the family farm,
        And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
        Harass your fellow countrymen, while corrupted courts prevail.

        “Your public servants don’t uphold the solemn oath they’ve sworn.
        Your daughters visit doctors, so their children won’t be born.
        Your leaders ship artillery, and guns to foreign shores,
        And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people’s wars.

        “Can you regain the freedom for which we fought and died?
        Or don’t you have the courage, or the faith to stand with pride?
        Are there no more values for which you’ll fight to save?
        Or do you wish your children, to live in fear and be a slave?

        “People of the Republic, arise and take a stand!
        Defend the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land!
        Preserve our Great Republic, and GOD-Given Right!
        And pray to GOD, to keep the torch of Freedom burning bright!”

        As I awoke he vanished, in the mist from whence he came.
        His words were true, we are not Free, we have ourselves to blame.
        For even now as tyrants, trample each GOD-Given Right,
        We only watch and tremble, too afraid to stand and fight.

        If he stood by your bedside, in a dream, while you’re asleep,
        And wonders what remains of our Rights he fought to keep,
        What would be your answer, if he called out from the grave:
        “IS THIS STILL THE LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE???”

      • Thanks James!! For the info, find, and posting of that poem. I tried to find it but couldn’t fast enough, misspelling the name too. I can only do even the simplest of things in small increments of time. Then have to cease activities and hit the bunk, gear-up/pillow pack, for maybe hours/days until the body falls back into place, distracting pains, and issues slack off. That includes sitting at a purpose designed pc desk to simply washing a few dishes at times. And of course having to spend better times dealing with the load of other …. activist, the corrupt, commies, and BS.

        That poem tops “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain along with some others.

        Perhaps some able & willing souls will send both of them to the Trumpster and filth in Congress/Senate/etc.

      • @T – – – “I can only do even the simplest of things in small increments of time. Then have to cease activities and hit the bunk, gear-up/pillow pack, for maybe hours/days until the body falls back into place, distracting pains, and issues slack off.”

        Understood. Have those periods myself. While my body appears whole to those who visually observe me, it is far from it. I joined a fitness club late last year – – – and the benefits (to me) have been enormous. Especially since I have weaned myself off all medication from the VA (as they would maybe help with one problem but cause new ones I had not had before) except for the occasional 800mg Ibuprofen. CBD in my vape helps to alleviate my chronic pain enough so that I can get a few things done here and there. Very grateful for that. Hopefully with time, the benefits will continue. Just have to stick to my workouts as best I can. Honolulu VA has really never done anything for me, except waste my time. So I avoid them like the plague if at all possible.

        Welcome for the posting of the poem. As it turns out, when I posted that poem as a facebook item – – it brought an old shipmate out of the woodwork with some interesting background information on the author. Apparently, they grew up together in Watervliet, Michigan. I, of course, was delighted to have the info he shared. He was amazed that I had seen that poem. I first read it in 1987. All I had to do was hear the first two lines of the link you posted – – – and I knew straightaway who it was.

        This was my (partial) response to him: “His book was entitled “Poems for Patriots, Pilgrims & Pioneers” The entire book was copyrighted 1988 and he would have been 29 that year. I still have a copy in storage, will scan some day into .pdf.

        It was the female LCdr that gave me the copy of “A Visitor from the Past” to read in 1987. When the entire book came out the following year, I bought two copies. Gifted one. Retained one.”

        If you are interested in his works, you may obtain a copy of the book through Amazon.

        Hope this finds you well.

      • @James Clement. Found the book and is ordered. I have a long list of books to get but that hit the get it now book before it gets banned too like others I’ve collected. Haven’t been playing much on FakeBook but going to post that on there too. Among other stuff must to piss off all the local censors, tyrants, activist, and brain-dead.

        CBD is only for certain people with issues and pain isn’t one of them. I can’t do the Ibuprofen or over the counter dope cause it messes with my liver enzymes, etc. The excercise I get is what I can do in the yard or house/chores. Tried classes like Tai Chi for Arthritis but couldn’t get through that easy moving, simple, hour long class either and told to stop and do it at home the best I could without the usual pain meds or nerve desensitizers. lol Had a MD train a few of us here years ago to use accupuncture in easy four spot applications, with a electric pen to find the exact spots. But… accu needles are illegal to buy here too. Anything that may work, could be tried, or help is illegal here. They just want many of us here on SSRIs and Gabapentin, or Tylenol, and that’s it. Especially if we are enemies of the state and established orders of tyrants. Even with sinus meds that work I have to sign papers each time, show my ID, get put into DHS and LEO systems cause what works and doesn’t lay me down contains pseudoephedrine. Such is life in a global communist village called Indiana.

        My Murphy’s Law living. If I move wrong not being mindful of it I tore a rotator cuff, ripped muscle, just lifting up a roll of toilet tissue for a piece of townie/hick styled Kleenex use. VA thought that was a really funny one and nothing much to do about it and too old for surgeries. Same stuff when I seen a civy clinic over it, but did get some therapy for it. But I can still drop a commie for mommy if need be, no problem, to hell with the consequences or injury. In our positions and ages we just have to ensure that the idiots go down and stay down fast. No giving them the first punch for a smile in the old days.

        Next book to order will be: “Drain The Swamp” By Congressman Buck. Like with the “Serco” group this guy is another wake up call about how DC functions or refuses to. Then we wonder why vets are and have been shit on for years unless connected in some way, or why we aren’t supposed to question or challenge their incompetence or games.

        Only place I have heard it again so far and is here: Sheryl Attkisson interview with Buck.
        “https://www.republicbroadcastingarchives.org/”

        At the nine minute mark for fast-forwarding.
        The American Awakening with Michael Herzog radio program of 3.26.18 Hour 1

        Yucktube has dumped videos of this, or the links I had for it.

        If people/vets continue to learn or know of this crap going on and keep allowing it to continue, both parties, for all the distractions, censoring, brain-washing, to eat their brain’s lunch, I don’t know what is left but to watch this country totally collapse with idiots, DC gangs, locally corrupt, and young commies to run rampant in the streets while taking over.

      • @T – – – Glad you will be getting a copy. Just ordered “Russian Roulette” and “Drain the Swamp” myself. Should make for some interesting reads . . .

      • James. Yep, so many books to read… so little time. Now I get to make an appointment and see what’s happening to my eyesight since the cataract surgeries. Friggin’ Murphy’s Law and living in Satan’s Sin City of Doom and Gloom. lol

        Oh oh. Don’t know if this went through or not. Getting host errors from Ben’s site timing out.

  9. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    Obama pissed in the snow “fuck veterans” and it was in Pelosi’s handwriting.

    • Damned cj. Cracked me up like my jaw and other parts needed that today. Worth the pain. Dang funny one right up there with G. Carlin. Now I just wish I could get that and a collage of other evil images that created out of my freaking head. With Pelosi along with some others singing Kumbaya or mumbling something resembling Satanic chants.

      Is that why we see all in DC or media shaking hands instead of fist bumps? Sharing the love even by proxy regardless of the filth they spread all around. I noticed for years all the hand shaking, or Biden touching little girls all over and none of them use hand sanitizer between it all. Oh those images. Hope I don’t dream about that in my short sleep sessions.

      • T.
        1. I do have to agree with you T. You know if a private company had done. what the VA does to injured vets, and disabled former soldiers. My god. you have the U.S. Attorney general, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty for Law Center all over the private company. BUT the VA Ohio. is allowed to do what it want to injured vets and disabled former soldiers. Senator Sherrod Brown D OHio. Rep. Tim Ryan D Ohio

        2. For exampled FORENSIC WHORE AND VA’S FORENSIC PROSTITUTE The Parma Pig Aka THE PIG OF PARMA HEIGHTS OHIO VA PETER M. BARACH NPI#1396773610 Ohio Medical License No.3280 Jewish JEW, non veteran draft dodger 1970-1973 Liberal Social democrat left winger maxist flunked out of john hopkin univeristy ended up at ANN ARBOR MI majoring in “CHILDREN” c and p hatchet man, sabotaging injured veterans and disabled former soldiers benefits at the VA OHIO. Is paid over and over and over again to come. CHERRY PICK, Cut and paste medical notes, and create these FRANKENSTEIN LIKE C and P exam reports on injured veterans and disabled former soldiers.

        3. WHERE PETER M. BARACH CREATES MAGICALLY OUT OF THIN AIR PERSONALITY DISORDER (OR DELUSIONAL DISORDER). KNOWING THE INJURED VET, OR DISABLED FORMER SOLDIERS HAS EVENTS IN-SERVICE, OR STRESSOR THAT ARE PTSD RELATED. PETER M. BARACH. THE VAS LAPDOG, AND VAS BITCH.

        4. Just to discredit the vulnerable veteran. SUSAN M. FUEHRER Medical center Director VA Louis Stokes Cleveland Ohio ASST. JEFF MCPEAKS PHONE NO.216-791-3800 EX.4070 is well aware of what peter m barach aka the parma pig, or THE PIG OF PARMA HEIGHTS VA OHIO HAS DONE. PHONE NO. 216-739-7000 EX. 2102 MARK BELL EMPLOYEE VA PARMA HEIGHT OHIO C AND P SCHEDULER IS THE ONE FIXING THIS SHIT UP WITH PETER M. BARACH
        PETER M. BARACH DID MAN, THE DEVIL CERTAINLY WORKS ON SUNDAY AT THE VA OHIO, PETER M. BARACH NPI#1396773610 OHIO MEDICAL LICENSE NO.3280 JEWISH JEW, NON VETERAN DRAFT DODGER 1970-1973, DRAFT DEFERMENT FOR MENTAL ILLNESS FROM MILITARY. JOHN HOPKINS U FLUNK OUT, AND ENDED UP AT ANN ARBOR MI MAJORING IN “children”

        5. PETER M. BARACH THE VAS PAID BITCH. THEN GOES BACK HOME, MOMMY AND DADDY GET “what me pull a rabbit out of my hat” PETER M. BARACH, INTO THE CASE WESTERN RESERVE COLLEGE WHETER PETER M. BARACH SPENDS A LIFE, ACADEMIC INCEST. BUT PETER M. BARACH HAS NO TIES TO THE VA WHAT-SO-EVER AND HE IS OBJECTIVE. BUT YET HIS FAMILY WORKS AT THE VA LOUIS STOKES ACROSS THE STREET FROM WHERE PETER M. BARACH GREW UP AT. HE HAS THREE SUPERVISOR. A PHONE NUMBER AT THE VA. FAMILY WORKS IN THE SAME DEPT. HIS OWN OFFICE, AND PETER M BARACH HAS HIS OWN COMPUTER FOR C AND P EXAM HATCHET JOBS, SO TO SAVE THE U.S. GOVT MONEY WHILE HE GET PAID, LIKE PROSTITUTE TO FUCK THE INJURED VETS AND DISABLED FORMER SOLDIERS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN…

  10. when are veterans going to insist that the political whores stop playing appropriation games with the lives of veterans and have a march on DC

  11. I agree with the decision on the omnibus. Doesn’t make sense to keep on throwing money at a program that isn’t working like it should.

    Yes, some veterans were relying on a continuation of the program, but why throw more money at it when it needs to be thrown away?

    Ok, if the VSOs give a hoot, then fork over all those tax-exempt donations and take a pay cut from their $200K – $300 salaries and help out veterans until we can snag that “magical unicorn”?

    BTW, I don’t believe this is so complex that we need to resolve it by finding Rainbow Bright’s magical unicorn. Problem is, everyone wants to use the VA (and other government agencies) to make their own quick buck….the union wants union dues and the VSOs want donations (hence their “pro VA positions”), and the White House wants CHOICE so their special interest groups and buddies can get their contracts in and return the favor to lawmakers via campaign contributions and perks.

    All the flipping greed needs to stop and the magical unicorn will appear (like some Asian thing as ‘When the student is ready, the Master/Instructor will appear’).

    ***drops mic and exits stage***

  12. ‘OR’ must be a magic changing word because VISN21 has changed it to ‘AND’ to deny Choice appointments. According to them you must face a wait of over 30 days AND live 40 miles from the nearest VA facility. How do you argue with them over the meaning of a word. You don’t because they won’t listen. FUVA

  13. At 70, living alone, with my main VA over 65 miles away, I was really hoping the Choice Program and Pre 9/11 care would be expanded.

    It is no wonder, there are so many vets who are depressed, angry and suicidal.

    I have Medicare A and B, why can’t they make it simple for me and just pay my co-insurance and deductibles? I would forego beneficiary travel if they did as I could receive most of my care two miles from my house.

    • Dan,
      As I’ve said before to many on here and elsewhere, your asking for VA to use common sense!
      Ain’t gonna happen!

  14. What good is look nice legislation? Without funding it is Choice that doesn’t pay providers hence providers dry up and it is useless look nice legislation. The majority in congress isn’t going to fund entitlements period. They are trying to take away and/or reduce SS and Medicare entitlements because of the blooming debt brought on by wealthy big dollar tax cuts while the middle class pay check may see a few pennies.

    Have you seen your tax cut yet? I haven’t. What I have seen is a Choice provider cutting service because of not being paid. What good is Choice expansion if the current Choice Program is way under funded?

  15. I’ve been using the VA for over forty years. Today the VA is the biggest clusterfuck in government. Congress has it’s head up it’s ass. For years now, it seems Veterans are going in circles. I have been screwed over so many times, and if things keep going back wards, I will hold someone accountable. Tired of waiting for the VA to do their job. God Bless the Veterans and their families.

  16. Off topic but, Vets.gov has a new section now to check on your claim in process.Where it’s at,where it’s headed,and when to expect a decision. I have my 3rd claim in now and checked it.(It works so far).

    • Is your Choice Health Net or Tri Care? I believe Tri Care is paying the providers. Health Net isn’t. But it may be neither has been funded to pay their bills. And that is what the Democrats are complaining about. They want the Choice Program funded. No faking it by passing unfunded extension in a funding bill. Thus cutting entitlements by cutting funding while you are saying you are extending them.

      I have to go back to the VA for mental health except that isn’t funded either. There are no therapists available for PTSD in Cheyenne, WY probably because there are too many in need.

      • Lem,
        Can’t remember where I read that Tricare is going to drop lots of vets.
        Might want to try and see if you can find it!

  17. BTW,
    Congress just got one hell-of-a-raise today;
    I can’t wait to see exactly what was in those 2,232 pages President Trump signed today!
    Gotta sneaky suspicion there’s gonna be some real unadulterated bullshit – like maybe “saving a tree in upper Idaho!” for one!

    • Elf, a lot of it will make you ill.
      “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gUrP9CDI4Q&feature=em-lbcastemail”

      They’ve been on a while but been going item by item. That’s the above, and will probably post the thing over again if needed or wanted.

      “https://www.dailysignal.com/2010/12/15/senate-omnibus-bill-nearly-2000-pages-of-runaway-spending-and-pork/”

      Really disgusting. Plus the big marches this weekend by the left and kiddies to disarm American. No-one will march over corruption or for veterans.

      • “https://republicbroadcasting.org/listen-live/”

        Being discussed now and it’s all sicker than I thought.

  18. Investigation launched into how Shulkin staffer got top VA hospital job

    By Sara Ganim
    CNN
    Fri March 23, 2018

    “(CNN) — At least one investigation has been launched into how a senior adviser to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin hired on a temporary basis ended up with a coveted job leading a Washington, DC, veterans hospital, CNN has learned.

    The VA’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection has opened an investigation into the issue, the agency said.

    In addition, a memo obtained by CNN shows the Office of Personnel Management has referred the case to the Office of Special Counsel.

    The revelations of the VA probe come after CNN obtained a memo suggesting that Lawrence B. Connell was acting as the shadow director of the Washington VA medical center while he was in a political senior adviser position during the presidential transition, and that multiple protocols were violated in officially appointing him to acting director months later.

    “We cannot conclude this selection was free from political influence or other impropriety,” the March 19 memo states.

    This is the latest in a string of problems plaguing Shulkin, who has been on thin ice with President Donald Trump for weeks, starting with an inspector general report that said he used taxpayer dollars to pay for part of a personal trip. Things only got worse when internal turmoil over how to run the VA spilled over to news reports that Shulkin wasn’t speaking to key senior staff, who were actively lobbying to oust him.

    When reached for comment on Friday, Connell, who served over 30 years as an Army medical service officer, told CNN he “had no clue” that the hiring process might have not been properly followed.

    “All I know is I applied for the job, I was the best-qualified candidate and that’s all. Now they’re saying Secretary Shulkin had undue influence — he had nothing to do with it,” Connell said. “I don’t know what happened behind the scenes with HR. This came as a bit of a shock.”

    Roger French, who is a former personnel officer for the VA and worked there for more than 25 years, said the way Connell got the job was unfair.

    “They had 17 top-notch people who have worked their way up through the positions, and they were passed over for Dr. Shulkin’s special adviser,” French said. “You have top leadership in the VA subverting competitive principles.””

    Full Article At: “https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/23/politics/va-shulkin-hospital/index.html”

    • Report: Senior White House Aides Planned on Collective Departure for McMaster, Carson, and Shulkin

      SAM DORMAN
      Independent Journal Review
      MAR 23, 2018

      “Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump he tweeted on Thursday that he would replace McMaster with former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, a new report indicates that he may have gotten ahead of other planned White House departures.

      Top White House aides were reportedly waiting for a series of reports from the Inspector General before releasing a statement announcing the collective departure of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and other White House officials.

      Trump, however, announced McMaster’s resignation on Twitter:

      According to Politico, the president’s announcement surprised some of his staff who thought a single statement would help them manage the optics of the firings.

      “Trump upends whatever he wants to upend,” a White House official commented.

      Carson and Shulkin both caught heightened attention after they allegedly misused taxpayer money.

      The news appeared to contradict White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s assurance last week that no personnel changes would occur at the time.

      Amid reports that Trump would replace McMaster, Sanders also tweeted about Trump saying no changes would occur with the National Security Council:

      ________________________

      Carson, Shulkin next out the door?

      Ed Morrissey
      Hot Air
      March 23, 2018

      “That may have surprised John Kelly most of all. According to Politico, Trump’s chief of staff had prepared an action plan to jettison three top-ranking officials at the same time, in part to keep any one move from becoming a media focus, but Trump surprised Kelly by moving on his own: “President Donald Trump’s decision to abruptly fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster surprised senior White House aides who had been preparing a single statement announcing the departure of multiple top Trump officials, according to two senior administration officials.

      White House chief of staff John Kelly and other top aides were waiting for inspector general reports that they believed would deliver devastating verdicts on Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who have both been accused of racking up extravagant expenses. They were also debating whether several senior White House aides, including McMaster, should go with them.

      It’s unclear which other West Wing officials were possibly set to depart with McMaster, but the two senior administration officials said they believed it would be easier to manage the optics if multiple firings were made public in a single statement instead of drawn out. The announcement, though, was not expected for at least another week.

      Trump, however, upended those plans late Thursday, firing McMaster and offering his job to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton in a move that surprised not only his top advisers — but also Bolton himself.”

      “That still leaves Shulkin and Carson on the chopping block. Why not just pull the trigger now, and offer even more distraction to other, ahem, narratives that threaten to overshadow the weekend news cycle? The VA IG supposedly has another report coming out about Shulkin’s use of his security detail for personal business, but the IG has issued two other reports about Shulkin and his performance at the VA, including a damning one about his use of government funds for personal travel and then conducted a clumsy cover-up of it. Shulkin then lied to the White House about it; Trump hardly needs more of an excuse than that.”

      Full article At: “https://hotair.com/archives/2018/03/23/carson-shulkin-next-door/”

    • You can’t have it both ways Seymore. DC VA has been a problem for years. Changes coming up through the ranks haven’t worked. Time to get away from the lobbyist trained and bribed 17 “top notch” people who worked their way up through the dysfunctional ranks. This was obviously lobbyist instigated and I hope, after experiencing the DC VA, the lobbyists don’t get their way.

      • WTF???

        Invest in a screw driver LEM and lay off the wingnuts your lose screws are showing. They are bad for your health no matter what your VA nurse says.

  19. I can’t say I’m surprised about failure of the expansion proposal for the VA Caregiver Support Program (CSP). For those who are unaware, the CSP is divided into two programs. One, the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, which comes with a monetary stipend, ChampVA health coverage, travel and lodging reimbursement for caregivers, training, mental health treatment at the VA for caregivers, respite care, and other services. There are three tiers for stipends related to this particular service, each of which are dependent on locale, and could range upwards of $2,000 per month, tax free. The second, the Program of General Caregiver Support Services, comes only with training. That’s it. The latter program covers veterans of all eras while the former applies only to post-9/11 veterans with certain injuries and illnesses that require a clinically-indicated need for care based on activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and provision of safety/security.

    It’s fairly easy to see which of these two CSP programs is more desirable. Expansion for the General program therefore isn’t the issue. The Comprehensive program is the one I believe most people are concerned with, and rightfully so. There is a common misconception relating to caregivers by which people often believe only the geriatric population requires caregiving services. Ask yourself this, however, have you ever experienced a situation when perhaps you’ve been in public, endured a panic attack, and needed the support of a familiar person (i.e., friend, spouse, etc.) in order to help you overcome the event? Whoever it is that assisted you successfully performed an element of caregiving services (e.g., safety/security). It doesn’t matter your age, what color you are, what your sex or gender is, where you were born, what combat theater you served in, whether or not you even deployed to an imminent danger/hostile fire zone, or other arbitrary identity element of your service. What matters is you are a veteran who may require caregiver assistance.

    However…

    The Omnibus that authorizes the current CSP has budgeted Comprehensive services only for post-9/11 veterans. Did you serve in Korea, Vietnam, or Panama, and you discharged before September 11, 2001? Apparently your caregiving needs aren’t as significant as those who happened to serve after 9/11.

    Or…

    You actually have needs that could be met on a routine basis by a qualified caregiver and your needs weren’t factored into the budget. That is the crux of the matter. I find it interesting that we have an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission established to prevent discrimination in the workplace based on age, disability, and other protected classes, yet at a federal level there are currently veterans who are unable to qualify for the Comprehensive program based solely on a discretionary time scale and related budget. If one is to believe the definition of discrimination relates to unjust and prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, then it remains clear as to what failure to pass expansion of the Comprehensive program represents.

  20. McMaster firing upends plan to oust other top Trump officials

    Chief of staff John Kelly had been weighing a single announcement on the departure of Shulkin, McMaster and possibly other officials, including Carson.

    By ELIANA JOHNSON
    Politico
    Updated 03/23/2018

    “President Donald Trump’s decision to abruptly fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster surprised senior White House aides who had been preparing a single statement announcing the departure of multiple top Trump officials, according to two senior administration officials.

    White House chief of staff John Kelly and other top aides were waiting for inspector general reports that they believed would deliver devastating verdicts on Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who have both been accused of racking up extravagant expenses. They were also debating whether several senior White House aides, including McMaster, should go with them.

    It’s unclear which other West Wing officials were possibly set to depart with McMaster, but the two senior administration officials said they believed it would be easier to manage the optics if multiple firings were made public in a single statement instead of drawn out. The announcement, though, was not expected for at least another week.”

    The ouster of McMaster also throws into disarray the still-forming plans to oust multiple top officials in one swoop. Shulkin has long been viewed negatively by senior West Wing aides because he has repeatedly said he has been given the blessing of the White House to purge insolent VA staffers, even though he’s been given no such approval, according to one administration official. Carson, meanwhile, has been seen as largely ineffective at running a large federal agency, but senior administration officials and others close to the White House say Trump aides harbor reservations about ousting him because he is the only black Cabinet member.

    Both have been accused of excessive spending, with Shulkin facing accusations of racking up extravagant travel expenses with his wife during government trips and Carson defending the decision to install a $31,000 dining room set in his office.

    A representative for Carson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shulkin said in a statement, “It would be highly inaccurate to report that I have had extravagant travel expenses — that’s simply inaccurate. My wife’s ethics [sic] approved coach airfare for an official invite (as was the situation with previous VA secretaries), was the sole government expense (not a single per diem or other expense) and we repaid every penny.”

    Representatives for Shulkin and Carson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    “Several people over there that did not want this to happen before they were ready to do the others,” said a separate senior administration official. “There was definitely a consensus view in the building that they were going to do all these at once.” ”

    Full Article At: “https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/22/mcmaster-firing-trump-officials-cabinet-482165”

    __________________________

    Hey Shulkin, now you have something to sulk about. Bet you can’t wait to get that pink slip!

  21. I know a certain way to relieve the patient load at VA.

    I am certain that a VAST majority of VA healthcare folks who also qualify for Medicare, like myself, would leave VA care in droves if we made a simple policy change. We allow a vet to opt out of VA care in return for Medicare paid for drugs.

    Even with a Medicare co pay which is a pittance really (my co pay for a $102,000 surgery bill from a motorcycle wreck was $1200) the real draw of VA healthcare is VERY simple; free medication. I would opt out in less than a heartbeat if my Medicare coverage paid for prescriptions. I would give up dental and vision and counseling, all provided by world class medical technicians at VA, but frankly I would rather stare at the Sun with binoculars than let a VA dentist at my choppers. no fucking way am I gonna let a VA dentist near my teeth so what do I lose? VA prescribed me crutches for years. each pair broke within two weeks. After pair six I got real ones off Amazon for about $70. Those pairs lasted six to nine months each.

    Shulkin was correct a while back when he said the problem is basically that we as a nation are making VA such a good choice it is loading the system up. I say we alter the Choice program to this; for Medicare patients the choice would be to leave VA healthcare in return for what VA already gives – paid for drugs. It represents a win for VA because they don’t have all the other shit to do for you and a win for vets with Medicare that already have insured doctor access but not paid prescriptions via Medicare.

    I would opt for that immediately. I cannot think of an argument on both sides of the isle that would object.

    • @Dennis- I too, love your proposal of true “Choice”. *IF* the VA were to take this to task and perhaps form a few hundred committees and think tanks to evaluate, after of course, the VA clamors to congress again for say, oh I don’t know but am guessing $2.1 Billion MORE for **enhanced** IT **fixes** in order for the hundreds of committees and think tanks to communicate effectively with better cups connected with better strings.
      The of course, RAND recommends an additional $2.1 Billion for enhanced communication IT Fixes so the VA can study whether they really want to freely communicate with Social Security and Medicare offices…this may take decades of studies and by then the DoD still will not have been able to share records because those IT Fixes got fixed into some new color changing office furniture and a huge meditation rock garden, sparing no expense.
      I say the *only* real *FIX* is demolishing the VA entirely, every bit of it and any citizen wanting to become a future Veteran will have a second/ancillary SSA Account, one for SSA earning and SSDI vestment, and other Veteran Vestment Account.
      The VA has shown it’s not only unable to share data but it’s outright unwilling to do so and that obstinate attitude and behavior is not going anywhere soon so best to nuke from orbit to be sure….

      • Nothing can fix Choice except the Speaker of the House allowing a funding bill to get to the floor and the Senate also doing the same thing for a straight majority vote.

        So long as providers aren’t getting paid even the minimum payment authorized for Medicare there will be no providers. With no providers, Choice is a meaningless look nice bill. It is saying if you can get a physician to give you care pro bono (for free) you have Choice. Otherwise your Choice comes out of your pocket.

        My 25 visits, 2 paid come to approximately $1,500.00 out of my pocket or watch my credit score tank for refusing to pay. No way to sue the government for it. Cost of suing will be greater than the amount owed.

        The “Choice”, pay up or go without care.

        The game: GOP says they put up Choice for a vote. Dems say yes but they didn’t fund it so we didn’t vote for it.

        The solution. The Dems should have voted for Choice and then filed a class action suit in Federal Court under Section 4 of the 14th Amendment on behalf of the providers. The Dems should do this anyway for the 2017 unfunded but authorized Choice. Section 4 guarantees the debt of the U S including debt to veterans if they were not rebels or armed felons. (armed felons is an interpretation of the Court allowing the government to take away your VA compensation or military pension if you commit armed robbery.)

  22. I cannot speak about the Choice Program as I don’t know much or use it. But, I’m sure just like the rest of the programs VA is in charge to run is broke too.

    I do want to speak on the Caregiver Support one of the caregiver support programs, Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). We, my caregiver and I, attended the February 2018 congressional hearing on it. There are so many issues with this program that needs to get fixed first before they expand it. I don’t say this lightly and without info and knowledge of the actually problems. Shulkin and Kabat want to make the eligibility stricter but claim the current enrollees wouldn’t be affected…BS. Every 3 months reviews are being done to keep or remove people so those under the less strict criteria as they claim it to be will be removed once the stricter rules come into effect. But, first lets actually discuss what is currently going on in this one caregiver support program, PCAFC.

    First, there are 2 separate and independent responsibilities to the PCAFC. 1) Clinical Responsibilities = Primary Care Team (PCT) which are the doctors who provide treatment/care for the Veteran and the team is led by the Veterans primary care provider (PCP). 2) Caregiver Support Responsibilities = Caregiver Support Coordinator (CSC) who’s responsible for sitting in her/his office waiting for caregivers to call or come to her/his office asking for assistance or support such as where to file travel reimbursement, what office to go to for CHAMPVA enrollment, handing out literature, educating caregivers on their benefits, helping them locate a support group or which office to go to for filing of benefits.

    The Caregiver Support is like the military’s Family Support Group. The Caregiver Support Coordinator (CSC) is like the Family Support Group Leader (FSGL). In this situation the Veteran’s PCT is their CoC and the CSC is the FSGL. In the military to get into a military program your CoC is responsible and for a family member to receive support and assistance navigating the military and learning of the various military benefits for family members, etc they attend the Family Support Group meetings if they want to (not mandatory). Same for the Caregiver Support as each VAMC is required one (1) CSC.

    What is happening is the CS is: (Note: some processes and procedures vary slightly from one VISN to another)
    1. The medical department is not managing the clinical responsibilities and the PCT is not performing their required clinical responsibilities (application, clinical assessments/evaluations, tier determinations, treatment plan, home visits, reassessments, revocations, etc)
    2. The social worker department is managing the clinical responsibilities to include writing the directive, creating the application, administrative and clinical assessments, making medical decisions and performing medical/clinical responsibilities of a licensed medical and mental health doctor, performing reassessments, revocations, appeals, etc.
    3. The social worker department is only responsible for providing the caregivers of both caregiver support programs assistance and support if requested by eligible caregivers of both caregiver support programs.
    4. The social worker department is intentionally omitting the Veteran’s PCT from all clinical responsibilities so the CSC has total control over all clinical/medical decisions, processes and procedures.
    5. The social worker department is NOT providing treatment plans (requirement of the program).
    6. The social worker department wrote the directive to intentional omit the words ‘primary care team’, authorized by the individual’s primary care team and/or ‘clinical determination is authorized by the individual’s primary care team’ in most areas; omitted the PCT definition from the definition section; omitted PCT responsibilities from the responsibilities section; reassigned PCT clinical responsibilities to the CSC, CS multidisciplinary teams or individual provider (not authorized by law and regulation); etc.
    7. The social worker department is committing fraud, waste, abuse, gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, etc such as hiring additional CSC (reassign social workers hired for other positions), hire clinicians and support clerks costing the tax payer an estimated $78 million dollars so they can omit the Veteran’s PCT so they can control it and make medical/clinical decisions they aren’t licensed to make, etc.
    8. The social worker department national director/chief consultant uses verbal directives so it doesn’t matter what the laws, statue, regulation and even her directives states to run the PCAFC.
    9. The social worker department uses verbal processes and procedures for application, reassessments, revocations and appeals.
    10. The social worker department created the CS Administrative Eligibility Screening Tool to hide it’s true contents – clinical edibility. This allows the CSC to initial approve or disapprove an applicant and the Veteran. He/she fills this out once he/she receives the application and then reviews the Veteran’s medical record and psychotherapy notes to make a medical decision/determination to approve or disapprove. This is for physical and mental health injuries. (Social worker isn’t a medical doctor who is qualified or licensed to make a medical decision/determination and interpret medical records for physical injuries.) If approved, the CSC determines what evaluations regardless of need (most do an occupational and mental health). Most of the clinical questions on this tool is on the Caregiver Program Clinical Eligibility Assessment that’s filled out later by the mental health evaluation or a nurse or some other provider. The definitions for the ADLs and Supervision/Protection are altered from the regulation. They also included unlawful eligibility criteria questions.
    11. The CSC tells Veterans the home visits are to inspect every room in their house. Here’s the excerpt from the regulation – you decide. 38 CFR 71 (e) Initial home-care assessment. No later than 10 business days after VA certifies completion of caregiver education and training, or should an eligible veteran be hospitalized during this process, no later than 10 days from the date the eligible veteran returns home, a VA clinician or a clinical team will visit the eligible veteran’s home to assess the caregiver’s completion of training and competence to provide personal care services at the eligible veteran’s home, and to measure the eligible veteran’s well being.
    12. The social worker department has developed a verbal appeals process and procedure used at the local and VISN instead of using the mandated Appeals for VHA Clinical Decisions, VHA Directive 1041. The CSC prepares the appeals packet to include what medical records and psychotherapy notes are included. She/he then gives it to their predesignated CS Appeals Team. Yes, the CSC has the ability to influence the decision at both levels of appeals. So much for a fair and impartial but in order for them to control all aspects and to prevent unwanted questions that might uncover their lies they have to control it all.
    13. The social worker department has developed a verbal appeals process and procedure for reassessment request for tier adjustments. The CSC prepares the packet then boards it with an unspecified number of other social workers at your VA during a Social Worker Board. Mine consisted of 8 included the CSC. The CSC discusses your request, your medical records and your psychotherapy notes to all members for them to make a decision to approve or disapprove. The board meets for physical and/or mental health injuries and yes, they aren’t licensed medical or mental health doctors who are making these medical decisions.

    These are just some of the issues. Oh, the CSCs and other social workers will tell you they do not need your written authorization to access your psychotherapy notes but according to HIPAA, Privacy and VA Privacy it requires a patient’s written authorization before a person is granted accesses. So, yes, the CSC and anyone other than the author of those psychotherapy notes need a written authorization. Another thing the VA doesn’t want you to know, they have integrated your medical record, mental health record and your psychotherapy notes into one integrated electronic medical/health record and classified it open which is noncompliant with HIPAA and Privacy laws, and VA Privacy. Our records are unmonitored, untracked, unprotected, etc. No oversight. Every VA employee nationwide can access, DoD and other entities the VA has granted access to our records. This is how the CSCs and other social workers are accessing them. You can submit a written request to your local privacy officer requesting her/him to mark your integrated electronic medical/health record sensitive for tracking purposes only (VA automatically does it for VA employees but Veteran’s have to ask for it). Once it is marked you can start submitting written requests for a SPAR (sensitive patient access record) to your privacy officer anytime you want to find out who accessed your record. You can also file HIPAA and Privacy violations with the Health and Human Services for any violations. Speak to your elected officials. So, until VA separates our integrated record everyone needs a written authorization from the patient for access because your psychotherapy notes are in your integrated record.

    I hope you understand why I believe the program needs to get fix before thousands more start applying. I feel really bad because I know they need this program just as much as the post 9/11 and it wasn’t right not to include them in the first place. For those who aren’t aware there is another caregiver support program for pre-9/11 Veterans, Program of General Caregiver Support Services. It doesn’t require an application, clinical evaluation or home visits. Your caregiver doesn’t receive the stipend but does receive benefits.

    • @thebrowmoose As a former Caregiver Support Coordinator (CSC), I have to say that I’m quite impressed with your summation of the Caregiver Support Program (CSP). When working, I didn’t find that too many of the clients on my caseload were as knowledgeable about the CSP as you have clearly indicated you are. While I detected some slight inaccuracies in your narrative concerning my subjective experience with the Program–mainly because, as you effectively indicated, the CSP is managed differently depending on what Veterans Integrated Service Network one is assigned to–I certainly couldn’t propose your experience is invalid. The majority of what you’ve outlined here is, in my humble opinion, worthy of consideration.

      I think it’s important to highlight that not all CSCs are symmetrical in their ability to serve veterans and caregivers, just as not all veterans retain equal experiences from our service. Take for instance the example of a fast food employee who accidentally gives you onion rings instead of french fries, forgets to give you the catsup you asked for, or hands you the wrong soft drink. If one were to have this experience several times in a row at different fast food establishments, it would be easy to therefore conclude that all fast food employees are incompetent. However, when thinking critically of this conclusion one may also conclude that for two out of every ten times the drive-thru was visited, an unsatisfactory exchange only occurred twice. That means that there plausibly could’ve been eight out of ten times that service was satisfactorily administered. Even if we were to suppose that only two out of ten visits were to your liking, that’s still two fast food employees who did their job.

      What’s my point?

      Not all CSCs miserably failed the veterans and caregivers we served. In fact, I worked with some outstanding social workers who I’d vouch for any day of the week. Likewise, not every military member I served with performed in an exemplary manner. All the same, I encountered some social workers who adequately met the description of employees you’ve presented here. There were some seriously flawed interactions that took place. Admitting that, the focus then shifts to me. What did I do when I realized corruption, misappropriation of government funds, and maltreatment were occurring? I did what any reasonable, prudent, and appropriately-ethical individual would have done. I began gathering evidence to justify an official complaint.

      The result of my efforts?

      My employment was abruptly brought to an end, which is a much lengthier story than the current reply will permit. I was fired. Essentially, one CSC had been denying veterans and caregivers entry into the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers without proper review. She simply sat in her office and denied, denied, denied. Astonishingly, a number of her denial letters were dated on weekends and government holidays when our CSC team wasn’t even at work! When my employment was terminated the VA seized my government computer that had all the evidence contained on it. What did I do then? I pursued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission route for my termination, and contacted the VA Office of Inspector General, declared the egregious events to a number of Veterans Service Organizations, reached out to media sources, and even emailed Benjamin Krause–June 13, 2016, to be exact–in hopes of advocacy for veterans and caregivers. The latter simply declined to investigate or report the matter and advised me to contact legal counsel–even though he was the legal counsel I was contacting. The other aforementioned entities either completely ignored me or declined to pursue the matter.

      So really, what’s my point?

      Those fast food workers who diligently perform their duties in an appropriate manner do in fact exist, even if in low numbers. CSCs who actually care for veterans and caregivers do, as well. I couldn’t speculate as to how many decent employees exist within an overall corrupt, tyrannically bureaucratic, and malevolent organization. I can however attest to the fact that there are some. It pains me to hear your account, as it did when I discovered the ethically and legally questionable behavior of my former colleague (who remained employee after my termination, by the way). I remain uncertain as to how Omnibus policy will remedy the injurious organization that has been allowed the opportunity for disease in the form of depravity to fester for as long as it has.

      While my reply may give you no solace, I do hope it in some way validates your frustration. You are not alone. Some of us actually handed the customer plenty of condiments, got their orders right, and provided service to the best of our abilities.

      • Just Passing Through,

        Wow. Thank you so much. I’m glad you are one of the good ones who tried to do the right thing. It’s sad to see the ethical and professionalism is rewarded with terminations.

        Sorry to hear you lost your job over it. Thanks for standing up and doing the right thing.

        How did your location before you were let go handle the processing? We have over 340 caregivers enrolled at my VAMC and the SW Supervisor told me none of them were given a treatment plan. She also told me she doesn’t understand what my issues are about them accessing my medical records and psychotherapy notes. Really??? They refuse for my doctors to do anything but the point is, the CSC aren’t authorized to perform any clinical responsibilities to get someone approved or retained in the program. The CSC is to only provide support and assistance to caregivers of both caregiver support programs. The CSCs at SW Supervisor went to the primary care providers to inform them the program changed and they no longer had a role or responsibilities which is a lie. Even our patient advocate was on our side but refused to push the issue but after reading your story I can know understand why but I still don’t agree with her decisions.

        I do understand there are slight variations from one VISN to another. I’ve heard some VAMCs are not considering any applications for mental illness, another told me they are processing for any ADLs, etc. But the overall consensus is the Veterans primary care doctors are not involved and being excluded on purpose and any attempt to involve them is meet with threats or intimidation of revocation. Also, the CSCs are involved in the clinical responsibilities and making medical determinations they aren’t licensed or qualified to make (not medical doctors).

        I really appreciate you sharing your story and encouragement. I’m proud of you for taking a stand. Again, thank you.

  23. It aint me, it aint me.
    I aint no Senators son.
    It aint me, it aint me.
    I aint no fortunate one.

  24. Question- Can anyone list any links that directly states where Lt. Cmdr. John McCain had something to do with the USS Forrestal Fire, or that he broke any Navy regulations during his time of service? Had a discussion with someone, and I didn’t make any accusations, and told them that I’d post to ask. Thanks, and I’ll owe you a doobie of some sweet Hawaiian Sativa.

    • “Nutter”,
      Google this;
      “Navy releases McCain’s Records!”
      It should take you to the link your asking about!

  25. To everyone!
    Relax! Relax!
    This was NOT a “Budget”! It is a “6 Month Omnibus Spending Bill”!
    The President has the authority to use the money on anything he so desires! Or, NOT use it at all!
    Obama, on the other hand, during his eight years, “…never had a budget signed into law!” His were only Omnibus Spending Bills! Therefore, that’s why “We the People” never knew where the fucking monies went!
    President Trump just fucked the Congress, both the House and Senate, big fucking time!
    Do your research! Since 1974 the laws are for the President. He has the final say on where the monies go!
    He can order the IRS to “slow walk” the monies to anyone he wants. Or, he can tell the IRS not to spend it on bullshit!

    Think about it! Research it! And RELAX!!!!!!!

    • You are so right. Omnibus Bill allows Trump to fund whatever he wants. VA have been using Choice Program and the Caregiver Program as Slush Funds. I have been writing to Trump to let him know this on Twitter and to the White House. He finally has been listening. He had a meeting to discuss what to do about it. Those who really need the Program is refused by the V.A. why? Because they want the money for their Bonuses. V.A. want all Vietnam Veterans dead. They don’t want to give out funds to the Spouses. So they try everything they can to stop the funds.
      He’ll they had my husband as no boots on ground in Vietnam. They had him and I single in 2014. Then they change my address and divorced us. When we got that straighten out they moved my husband to our old address. All of this in a period of 1 year.
      Trump is swear of what Obama did with the Omnibus Bill of trillions of dollars. How elso did someone walk in as a POTUS with $2mil to his name walk out with $18mil.? His wife walked in with $2mil and walked out with $16mil. His two bratts walked out with $12mil and $14mil. You think investing with mabeline stock gave them that much. Yeah. Plus they paid for their own Vacations. Yeah right. Plus all of the Speeches they gave at $500,000 each twice a year.
      What about giving all of our enemies money. Yes that was ran some money Obama was paying.
      Trump isn’t Obama. Trump has been listening to us and others about what we are tired of.
      Planned Parenthood is gone. How many blank pages were in ObamaCare?
      How many blank pages are is this Omnibus bill of Trumps?
      He screwed the Democrats. DACA is past due so it’s null and Voided.

    • Elf, Kat, the ‘relaxed.’ I don’t know what that word is, like being pain free. No such words in my daily living.

      As usual, typical, how are we to know about any ‘blank pages’ or loop-hole leaving legalese? Why all the ambiguity or leads to more suspicions. Not much set in ‘hydraulic concrete’ (to prevent being pissed away or on like our Constitution, VA care, having a true representative government, or Bill of Rights, etc.). Are we supposed to trust Trump now…. or still? Annnnd the fool still uses the word…”Democracy?” Not I said the little red hen.

      Play the same game of semantics, budgets or spending bill, to wait n’ see or what we will be available for ‘public consumption’ from our freak leaders? To keep playing the personality games. Play the usual, traditional, expected, demanded, right/left paradigm game. Not I said the little red hen.

      Kat must be getting private emails or something cause I’ve seen no change in much. Kat says ‘he is listening to us.” Kat, ya got a mouse in your pocket because Trumpster, Congress, nor any admin is listening to ‘us’ all or the worse off. Certainly not in states that are totally corrupted and can be easily proven. Plus he hasn’t actually kept his promises. We could have a healthy debate or tit-for-tat on that. Oh and Planned Parenthood has NOT been ‘de-funded’ either. More possible misleading ambiguity. No denying that at all, is there???

      Just like the VA the industrial/military complex has some huge budgets, secret budgets, the war machine budget largest in the world, and we are to believe it needs more… for our safety/freedom of course. More of the usual BS. So to blind-side the GIs and others he throws in a feel good raise and bumps up the budgets for the war economics of the bankers, war lovers, foreigner war monger allies, and contractors? Cough cough … censoring on the increase so is the flood of illegal and poor poor refugees that hate us and want the free stuff? And media gives more air time to little scum like Davy Hogg, baldy Emma Gonzales, and the kiddies to appease the commies and far left. Good job Faux News. Vets are not given that much time or exposure over the many issues. Much is made clear and where Trump stands too. Another bill passed mostly …. unread by all.

      People should also check into dear Trumpster’s allowing the many visas to be used, EB-5 for example and so on. Allowing foreign tech companies to his buddies to take over things here, build, buy, hook up with Googley/others/government, and bring in their own countries of source workers only to be used, to be allowed to stay after probably. And here no-one is being “Iced.” The few Trumpster’s admin is booting out is nothing compared to those still flooding in… another great lie and propaganda.

      Like Boosh, Bolton, Haley, Neurt, Huckboo, Pence, many others. and his goon war mongering, war loving cabinet he is building is nothing more than another deep-state war monger, and shadow government tool and puppet in my eyes. The things many have warned us about including Smedley Butler and Eisenhower about the all powerful, all encompassing war machine. Homeland Security shows just how ‘all encompassing’ it is, and how they hover over our health care and the VA too.

      Most people fear change, don’t want any form of change.

      My mind is still stuck on … how many vets died during this ‘bill passing’ fiasco? Watching those stupid kiddies spouting on TV about life or living, or threats/safety, they know very little of. Where are their ignorant parents that should be telling them to shut up instead of playing activist they learn in lefty schools.

      Did those people doing suicide to expose the VA and government die in vain? Guess so since the game and Circus Maximus continues and strengthens, drawing in more of the public to watch the games in the governments and citizens ‘sport’ arenas for gaming. More money going to the war machine instead of for veterans or America…. being first, second, and third. The liar.

      Wish I could sit and rant more but can’t.
      Have a nice day.

  26. Did you know that Health Net has done such a bang up job with the Veterans Choice program they are now the new administrators of Tricare West? Although they did lose their role as providers to Tricare North. Which is now part of Tricare East and managed by Humana.

    That is as of January 1st of this year 2018.

    On their website Health net boast the following:

    “Health Net Federal Services, LLC (HNFS) is the TRICARE West Region contractor for the next iteration of TRICARE, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. We welcome the opportunity to support our service members and their families in the TRICARE West Region and invite you to join our provider network as we carry on the vital mission of the TRICARE program. Together, we can continue to provide health care excellence for our nation’s best.”

    “The HNFS Network

    Health Net Federal Services currently completes processing of clean claims for our TRICARE North Region providers in less than five days and offers online self-service tools to streamline your TRICARE transactions. Our TRICARE network providers agree to use Web-based tools to check beneficiary eligibility, validate whether a service requires prior authorization, submit prior authorization and referral requests, and submit claims electronically.

    We are offering providers the opportunity to join our network at 100 percent of the TRICARE maximum allowable reimbursement rate.”
    _______________________

    So basically Tricare has just been tanked and no one will be able to rely on them for medical Care in the future.

    As Health Net strives to bring their total undeniable level of incompetence to the Tricare System they are now Generating new headlines. Her is an example of where they are bring there VA Choice Program management system to Tricare.

    “Up to 45,000 Tricare Users Could Soon Be Dropped”
    Military.com |22 Mar 2018 |By Amy Bushatz

    “As many as 45,000 Tricare households or beneficiaries could be disenrolled from coverage because their payment information was not updated when the agency changed regional contractors early this year.”

    Full Article At: “https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/03/22/45000-tricare-users-could-soon-be-dropped.html”

    • For anyone with Tricare and are wondering if they are covered by Humana or Health Net. A map of the areas covered is at the following link. The poor folks in the west are the losers who now have Health Net and their BS providers network. The folks in the East are now covered by Humana.

      “https://www.hnfs.com/content/hnfs/home/tn/bene.html”

      Sorry Ben Minnesota is considered part of the West on the map.

      • Humana like others going way back has had horrible track records for health care and insurance. They have been the worse for the elderly I have known using their plans and such.

        Humana is over the local CBOC. Oh, all female admin. Having issues with clinic care or their VA trained BS? You, well me, being a slimy male I guess couldn’t get audience, even on the phone, with their administrator and boss. Never, not once. They couldn’t keep a X-ray machine going, giving out bad/wrong/misleading heart tests to not knowing how to do blood testing for freaking gout… and much more. We had to try to explain some of this stuff to specialty clinics at the VA hospital over such stupidity or incompetence, then get the looks and snipes from CBOC staff later on due to some secret communications going on. On top of the rest. Like it was all our/my fault for even mentioning this stuff when asked ‘why’ from our MDs for having to drive a couple hundred miles just for gout test, or X-ray.

        When my Healthy E -Vet Messaging was totally being messed with and finally wiped clean I caught the arguments and attitudes from both the VA and “highly trained VA Humana IT staff.” And never could get past the chain of command, secretaries, to see anyone in admin to answer all that was going on. I wonder how much the VA is paying such kinds of Humana administrators or chiefs.

      • Very confusing. It appears Health Net is no longer responsible for my care as of Nov 2017. Could explain the failure of payment because billing should have gone to TriWest.

      • Lem,

        You really need to buy that screw driver and tight up those loose screws that you are showing. Nothing in my post says anything about TriWest. My post is not about the Veterans Choice program. It is about Health Net taking over as administrator of a major portion of Tricare Services.

        But just for shits and giggles lets kick it up another notch for all those AFGE members out their. Health Net, with it’s dual headquarters located in St. Louis, Missouri and Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. Is also a contractor now taking over in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).

        Links to a few articles and a U.S. Office of Personal Management OIG report about Health Net’s involvement with the FEHBP are listed below. Given Health Net is responsible for the 3rd largest Data Breach when 8 hard drives where stolen containing millions of records of Government Employees private Health Care and personal information. Did I mention that the disks were not encrypted as required so who ever took the disks has free an open access to the information on those disks.

        Apparently even thought Health Net who maintains records on Veterans enrolled in the choice program, Veterans and active duty service members covered by Tricare and Government Employees enrolled in FEHBP. Has decided this year to flip off the Office of Personal Management’s Inspector General’s Office.

        this year it told the OPMIGO that it can go fuck itself and will not submit to a required Data Security Audit.

        So for anyone out there who relies on Veterans Choice, Tricare, or the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Your private Medical records, personal information and Credit Card info is likely already sitting on servers maintained by foreign security services around the world.

        __________________

        Feds blast Health Net for refusing to comply with vulnerability testing

        While the insurer complied with the initial rounds of audits, Office of Personnel Management officials said it soon became clear Health Net didn’t intend to fully comply.

        By Jessica Davis
        February 23, 2018

        At: “https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/feds-blast-health-net-refusing-comply-vulnerability-testing”

        ______

        Federal watchdog slams Health Net for ‘unprecedented’ refusal to comply with vulnerability testing

        As part of its contract as a member of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), Health Net is required to submit to audits at OPM’s request. Calling the unwillingness to cooperate “unprecedented,” the report said the obstruction of the audit puts Health Net in breach of contract.

        by Evan Sweeney | Feb 22, 2018

        At: “https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payer/opm-health-net-vulnerability-testing”

        ________

        OPMOIG report Titled: Obstruction by Health Net of California
        Date published: Feb 12, 2018

        “On September 17, 2017, as is our normal procedure, we issued an IT audit notification letter to Health Net of California (Health Net). From October 2017 through January 2018, we engaged in pre-audit discussions and planning with Health Net, and two site visits were scheduled for this IT audit. The first site visit was January 22 – 26, 2018, and consisted of multiple interviews with subject matter experts at Health Net to discuss their IT security controls. The second site visit was scheduled for February 12 – 16, 2018, to conduct appropriate tests of those controls.

        Although we completed the audit interviews during the first site visit, it subsequently became apparent that Health Net did not intend to cooperate with our planned testing. During our audit planning, we issued 13 data requests for supporting documentation that were discussed in the audit interviews, with due dates between January 22 and February 1, 2018. As of February 6, not a single document had been provided to us. Furthermore, Health Net refused to confirm that it would deliver the requested items or let us perform critical vulnerability and configuration management testing.

        We became increasingly concerned that Health Net’s delaying tactics and lack of cooperation regarding our testing would negatively impact not only this audit engagement, but also our oversight of other FEHBP carriers and of OPM itself.

        Accordingly, we issued a formal memorandum on February 6, 2018 to Health Net requesting that they state in writing whether they intended to comply with our audit. On February 7, 2018, we received an e-mail from Heath Net stating that the company did NOT intend to comply with our requests. Specifically, the response stated:

        1. Health Net will not allow the OIG to conduct vulnerability and configuration
        management testing.

        2. Health Net will not provide the OIG with the documentation required to perform testing related to Health Net’s ability to effectively remove information system access to terminated employees and contractors.

        Health Net’s actions are in direct violation of the company’s contract with OPM, and also disregard the statutory authority of the OIG. Of greater concern, however, is that the auditors cannot evaluate Health Net’s IT security controls in the above two critical areas – which are discussed further in this report. As a result, we are unable to attest whether Health Net is acting as a responsible custodian of critically sensitive PHI and PII of FEHBP members.”

        Full OIG’s report at: “https://www.opm.gov/our-inspector-general/reports/2018/obstruction-by-health-net-of-california.pdf”

      • “https://www.triwest.com/”
        Did you look at the map on your link, Seymore. That large area in the west is now a TriWest Choice contract while Humana as Choice East.

        Although I can’t find anything saying so, it appears TriWest has a big portion of what used to be Health Net and probably took over Health Net. A couple of years ago there was Choice North and South with Health Net headquartered in Phoenix where TriWest is now headquartered having south. I suspect Health Net lost the contract and with senatorial help reinvented itself by a merger with a smaller company changing its name to the smaller company. Very confusing history of TriWest.

        “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TriWest_Healthcare_Alliance”

        “In September 2017, VA Inspector General Michael Missal issued a memorandum that listed four major “errors” that had resulted in excess payments to TriWest. These were: Duplicate Errors–Payments for medical claims that have been paid more than once; Other Health Insurance8 (OHI) Errors–Payments that were not adjusted for the amount OHI was responsible to pay the provider; Pass-Through Errors–Payments to reimburse the TPA that were more than the TPA paid the provider and; Rate Errors–Payments that did not use the appropriate Medicare or contract adjusted rate. Missal stated in his memorandum that duplicate payments alone racked up almost $40 million in overpayments to TriWest[9]”

      • The solution is simple. Let them get hacked and then sue them into oblivion for criminal negligence.

      • Hey Lem,

        Really invest in that screw driver and also you might want to tighten those wing nuts holding down the cables on your ECT device.

        The map I provided the link to is titled “TRICARE North for Beneficiaries”. That map has nothing to do with Veterans Choice at all. Humana is not an administrator of the Veterans Choice program.

        Check the link again and read the title just above the map.

        At: “https://www.hnfs.com/content/hnfs/home/tn/bene.html”

        That map is for Tricare Services and has nothing to do with Veterans Choice!

  27. Trump plans to oust Shulkin as Veterans Affairs secretary, sources say

    Hope Yen and Ken Thomas
    Associated Press
    March 25, 2018, 4:17 PM

    “President Donald Trump is planning to oust embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin amid an extraordinary rebellion at the agency and damaging government investigations into his alleged spending abuses, three administration officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.

    Two officials said an announcement on Shulkin could happen this week, subject to Trump’s final decision as the White House hones in on possible replacements to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. One of the officials rated Shulkin’s chances of being pushed out in the next day or two at “50-50.” The three officials demanded anonymity to discuss a sensitive personnel matter.

    Trump, who spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate, told associates that he would keep two other administration officials who had been under fire: White House chief of staff John F. Kelly and Housing Secretary Ben Carson.

    “He did say that he’s expecting to make one or two major changes,” said Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, a Trump confidant who spoke with the president over the weekend, on ABC’s “This Week.””

    Full Article At: “https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-trump-white-house-staff-changes-20180325-story.html”

    • Trump to fire Shulkin: report

      By Julia Manchester
      The Hill
      03/25/18 05:05 PM EDT

      “President Trump is preparing to fire Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin, according to a report from The Associated Press.

      A source told the outlet that there is a 50-50 chance the president will oust Shulkin within the next two days.

      Another source told the AP that the White House was considering around six replacements for Shulkin, including the former CEO of the conservative organization Concerned Veterans for America and “Fox and Friends” contributor Pete Hegeseth, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg and former president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic Toby Cosgrove.

      The Hill has reached out to the White House and the VA for comment.”

      Full Article At: “https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/380211-trump-to-fire-shulkin-report”

      • Was just reading this. The swamp has formed a massive whirlpool in the center of the D.C. Swamp and many in past year have swirled, bobbed, floated, and have disappeared into the center of the whirlpool’s maelstrom.

        Remember the golden turd award’s inscription: “One Turd Always Leads To Another”.

        ~~*flush*~~

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