For Veterans Day, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Government (yes, they are separate, kind of) contacted me about veterans issues and the veterans disabilities backlog. Their goal... to find out the real deal on veterans disability and the disability claims backlog.
They wanted to know if the Dept of Veterans Affairs is really doing all it says it is able to do to help disabled veterans. My answer was, "No."
And I told it like it is, "... the VA is functioning as an insurance company and trying to make the cost of war as cheap as possible."
Mainly, Bloomberg TV interview focused on the disability backlog and related veterans disability issues. This included the Supreme Court suit against the Veterans Affairs on the disability backlog. Their emphasis was to show that the problem with the Dept of Veterans Affairs is not money related.
I'd waste your time writing much more about the Bloomberg interview. It was flattering, but there are many men and women out there who have it much worse than I do. My goal was to paint the right picture about veterans disability compensation and the gaggle that the Dept of Veterans Affairs has made of it.
Here is the main quote from the written portion on Bloomberg's website. The video footage below are comments from the interview and outtakes. I recorded the interview myself because, like always, I'm concerned about the "spin factor." This way, you and everyone else can see what they asked and my unedited responses.
Here is the piece, click on the title to read it in its entirety. Below that are the video clips:
Benjamin Krause, a 36-year-old law school student and Air Force veteran, says stories of delayed or nonexistent mental health care led a coalition of veterans from two nonprofit groups, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth, to sue for a forced overhaul of the VA’s operations.
A panel of U.S. Court of Appeals judges in San Francisco last year accused the VA of “unchecked incompetence” and ordered the agency to change how it operates. The Obama administration fought the decision, which was later reversed by a larger group of judges from the same appellate court.
The veterans groups have asked the Supreme Court to take the case, Krause said.
“Going into the system, you assume the VA is looking out for you,” Krause, who lives in Minneapolis and serves as Veterans for Common Sense’s assistant director for policy advocacy, said in a phone interview. “Then you realize the VA itself is functioning as an insurance company and trying to make sure the cost of war is as cheap as possible.”
Here is what Bloomberg TV left out on Veterans Issues
Bloomberg TV came to interview me for their Veterans Day tribute.
Since I just won my 10-year disability claim with the Dept of Veterans Affairs, the network thought I'd be a good veteran to talk with about the backlog and what it means to veterans getting screwed every day. Some of what I had to say did not make the cut for prime time, but a few snips on the Dept of Veterans Affairs made it.
The Bloomberg interviewer here tried to pin me in on money. The question dealt with funding and implied that the Dept of Veterans Affairs has enough of it. The implication is that we should feel "lucky" for being excluded by the sequestration, etc. Here is my response, focusing on corrupt VA spending practices to government contractors and the like.
The claims backlog for disability veterans is ridiculous There is no excuse, but the interviewer asked if the Dept of Veterans Affairs was correct in claiming that Agent Orange claims are the problem. It is not the problem.
Here is the background about the DisabledVeterans.org website and an explanation of why I created it.
This segment is about the Veterans For Common Sense lawsuit against the Dept of Veterans Affairs for their incompetent treatment of PTSD and related issues. The disability claims backlog is the most pressing issue facing returning veterans today. Even if VCS does not win the suit, it shows the VA that veterans are not going to take it lying down anymore.