New Pro-Class Action Bill For Veterans Misses The Mark

Class Action

Benjamin KrauseReps. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and David Jolly (R-FL) proposed legislation that will let disabled veterans band together for class action lawsuits against the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The proposed legislative fix will reduce duplicative litigations and increase salaries of current justices.

“Too often we hear that our nation’s heroes, after fighting for our country, come home only to have to fight to get the care, support, and respect they so deserve,” Murphy said. “We must make sure that the brave men and women who have risked everything for our country are never forgotten or ignored, that we fight for them as they have fought for us.”

Will this be the forever-elusive silver bullet to help veterans get justice? Or, will it further enshrine an Article I court that has yet to fully address due process violations propagated by anti-veteran policy and staff? If we could trust VA to be truthful but make occasional mistakes, then this would probably fix the problem.

Much of this comes back to the recent Veterans For Common Sense loss in the 9th Circuit where judged concluded veterans could not avail themselves to traditional courts for justice like every other American. That is correct. The only Americans who do not get justice are the same ones who sacrificed to ensure every other American, immigrant and illegal immigrant can get theirs.

Instead, veterans claims against VA within its benefits adjudication system are stuck in a sinister block and tack mess that resembles a game of football more than a legal system. Moreover, veterans will still have no recourse against negligence and intention misconduct of VA employees in Veterans Benefits Administration that have been shown to be at the root of the problem, time and again.

Congress would do better to repeal 38 USC § 511. That is the statute that declares the VA Secretary to have exclusive oversight rights to the process and all decisions within it without any interference from traditional federal courts.

Veterans instead are forced to endure years of injustice while waiting for the benefits they deserve, justice be damned. It is a travesty for Congress to continue to ignore the plight of veterans while placating to this broken bureaucratic mess we call the Department of Veterans Affairs. Perhaps this new proposal is a step in the right direction, but more could be done

Like the flood of Noah, maybe it is time America wash away this mess of an adjudicatory system that harms and kills veterans, year after year.

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  1. If you are 100% P&T, and you don’t have any qualms about losing your health, by all means use the VAMCs. 90 miles for a “free” hospital? They pay travel at .41/mile. In Washington state, gas is about $4.00/gallon and it doesn’t pay enough. I used them for an operation and ended up in the hospital for a year. They finally got it right after operation #4. I now use Medicare and the difference is night and day.I wait about two days to see my PCP instead of ten. He’s 8 miles away-not 40. He knows me and remembers me. It’s the same doctor every time-not a new one every six months. If I ask for a test re my Hepatitis C viral load, the VA says it costs a bundle and really doesn’t tell them much. My doc orders it w/o a fuss. I asked VA for the new $1000 a day pill to cure HCV as I’m stage 4 in cirrhosis. VA says maybe in June of 2015. They only have 14 slots for it and I’m not sick enough. I only have spider angioma on my chest which is ‘minor’ cirrhosis. Meanwhile, they have ample funds for bonuses for the doctors and employees. The surgeon who screwed me up twice, Dr. Laurie Langdale, makes $303K a year. I wore a colostomy bag for a year because her vacation was more important than my small bowel resection.

    I say we 86 the whole VHA shooting match and hire more civilian doctors to cover the Vets. They can write nexus letters without retribution. IMOs will be more “independent”. If you like your doctor, you get to keep your doctor. Make VAMCs into PT and occupational therapy centers for the war’s injured.
    VA’s denial rate has remained static at 85% for over five decades-even in war. That tells me one thing. This system is rigged. There are only X number of slots for Vets-be it for compensation or medical care on a timely basis. VA insists on controlling the whole process from end to end but is so hopelessly backlogged that they cannot catch up. If 65% of all claims at the CAVC are reversed, vacated or remanded for other actions (read error), then VA USB Hickey’s protestations of 89% accuracy and rapid resolution with the new VBMS ring hollow. But Rep. Miller pointed that out, didn’t he?

  2. Can you believe there are people out there – I’m talking about American citizens – that don’t even know about the scandal going on with the Veterans Administration? They have no idea whatsoever about any of it. They haven’t “heard”. These are the Federal taxpayers of the United States – regular men and women who have no idea about anything at all. Don’t tell me the folks who run things in D.C. don’t know that. Who are the stupid ones?

  3. It does appear that if you want an article written and slanted your way,contract a company that has behind the scene DoD ties linked to its financial stability and offer them an opportunity to assist in a cover up of unmitigated proportions/with a potential for future contracts,and then see how the PUPPET dances. The company I am referring to is A.L. Young Consultants Inc.

  4. What say you of SC-disabled veterans opting-out of the VA and instead opt-into Obamacare?

    A benefit would be that the frustration of having to use VA doctors, who obviously could care less about you as a veteran, would be eliminated.

    Better yet, Medicaid doctors or other Exchange In-Network doctors, I presume, would be more amenable to writing up letters-of-nexus because they would not be governed by VA threats or bonuses that restrict the veteran from proving their claim with ‘more likely than not’ medical documentation.

    Asknod has some insight into this:

    1. Opting out of VA care for Obama Care is not just jumping from the frying pan into the fire, it is more like jumping into the spent rod cooling pool of a fully operational nuclear power plant. Put another way, it is the equivalent of suicide versus being executed for being a loyal American veteran.

      1. The only way to beat these pieces of crap is to go at them nose to nose. One can’t fear they’re reprisals and as long as a veteran fulfills the required proof of service, place of engagement, place of injury and type of injury …you fight! Just as you fought through the toughest days of deployments, engagements and even training. I have been very naive in my younger years as a veteran in the VA system deals trying to get the help I needed to survive the after service fight and had the VA really gave a shit I should have not been screwed out of atleast a half million dollars in VA SERVICE CONNECTED BENEFITS! So I fight. Pissed off every step of the way. There isn’t one person I trust in the entire VA SYSTEM to include our political leaders
        So I fight!

  5. The sad part is, It`s WORSE than Most Veterans Know. EVERYBODY (SAYS) They want the Best for Veterans. BS, They are only saying this in front of the camera. For their OWN personal Gain. IF IT WERE TRUE We would`nt have a thing to complain about. I watched the V.A. Hearings on Bonuses. Some of “OUR” V.A. Public Servants, High up Execs Get ( $60.000.00 Bonuses) ON TOP OF THEIR PAY, For doing such a great job. Really?
    They Write their OWN “Program” on What they will do, And If they meet Their Own Standards they are REWARDED With a “FAT” Bonus. That`s like Writing your OWN “Efficiency Report” That to me is like a “References” I don`t put much stock in Ref. You only Put down the ones you know will “HELP YOU” Only a fool would list EVERYONE Including the ones you fell short on.
    ALSO, This, “I`ll have to take that for the record” is a Delay so it will hopefully Disappear. Or be put off “Until the “Next”, And there will be a “Next” Hearing.
    TALK & NUMBERS, That IS WHAT VETERANS ARE TO THESE “PROFESSIONALS” Until they start looking at us as HUMAN BEINGS, Nothing will EVER CHANGE.
    More oversight, More Hearings, Etc, Etc, They stay Rich, We Go Hungry. Always has Always Will.

  6. This comment is rated R, which means it Requires an open mind, and it should be open to Ridicule since it is Rather Ridiculous, though it is Rather serious in nature: We don’t need to change the VA as much as we need to change the military. What we need in today’s modern warfare that is so often unconventional in nature with special purpose forces required is a total gutting of our military systems. We can use the French Foreign Legion as a model, where we outsource our wars and even our domestic defense to foreign nationals who we train and deploy but have no accountability for what they do or what happens to them. This does not mean there will be no veterans benefits, it means they will come in a totally different form from an outsourced source, as in private corporations and shell quasi- government institutions. As with the FFL model, the self-referred volunteer recruit starts with a 4 year commitment, that starts with absolute hell in basic, then advanced training. We need to find a worse environment than the permanent FFL base in the central American jungle which in itself is hell. If you complete the first four years, you then must complete a second four year extension. At the end of 8 years you retire, but not to France as with the FFL, but anywhere you want to. You have full medical/dental/vision benefits, an upper middle class guaranteed annually increased income, tax exemptions from any tax of any kind from any source, educational benefits that far surpass any other military kind, paid life insurance premiums, survivor’s benefits that surpass all others, etc. If you have any dreams of joining the FFL now, you should forget it as a realistic option. All recruits are classified as unmarried with no next of kin, you are less than a person, and the training that is followed by real world missions that are actually more rigorous and demanding than the most ridiculously extreme krap you might see in movies or video games, made possible for successful completion is because things are well-planned out and you actually have the training to do your mission — all still leads to an attrition by death or maiming rate much higher than the Marines, SEALs, and other airborne units. No one cares if you live or die or suffer the worst injuries in training, and you can expect to be shot when you are caught if you decide to desert before completing your contracts and obligations. Think of the most sadistic thing that anyone could do to a human or animal then multiply that by a million, and that is what you will see during your first four months, and it will never end. In a sense this is what many of our vets have gone through because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a very few have even literally had the FFL experience due to going through copy cat training camps and real world missions. Point is, in a contradiction to everything I just said above, what many vets from our military have gone through is very similar and even equivalent, and in the case of some really messed up Marine AIT covert units, and the insanity that SEAL Team 8 dishes out in their “Maladjusted” program, some of our vets have already been through the FFL and beyond experience of unimaginable hell which I have not even attempted to describe here. Cross-overs are the only ones that could ever explain any of this to where it makes complete sense, because they were in our military and spend some time in a tag-along capacity with the FFL. The final point is, care for our veterans, delivery of their benefist, whether medical or educational or whatever form, is never going to work right, because our military has totally lost touch with the real world of what is really needed in modern warfare and ongoing and future wars. As long as “slimey” civilians are in the equation of benefits delivery or care of any kind it is not going to work right. Outside care and benefits administration is required, and it doesn’t matter if Jesus became Secretary of the VA it still would not work well. No one liked his programs when he walked the earth with men on a daily basis, and they don’t want it now either. As it stands now America has a good chance of being on the wrong side when the tanks roll out onto the plains of Megiddo as Napoleon foresaw centuries ago as the perfect place full the ultimate battle, which the bible calls Armageddon. There are people high up in the Pentagon who fully believe and plan for this kind of thing, and the smartest of the wise ones there know what I have said here about the VA and the military and society in general by inference, that it is true and obvious. America cannot win a conventional war, nor a nuke war, or any kind of war, because our military is hopelessly complex and out of touch with reality in modern warfare scenarios. We mess up everything from Benghazi to, going back a few decades, Vietnam and Korea, we do not have the will to win or the guts to do what it takes, and we sure don’t have it when it comes to caring for those who have borne the battle and our vets. The VA should change their motto to “To exploit those foolish enough to fight for America” and be done with it. That is their motto whether they admit it or not. Realistically, for now, think “privatization” of VA systems and benefits at every level, phase the VA out to oblivion over a ten year plan where everything is done by private providers, with full accountability, no unions that will only protect the evil corruption that destroys their own workers in the end, and get on with it. Aside from all of this, the only ones who will get anything from class action suits against the VA will be giant corporation law firms that collect countless $100’s of billions while vets will be lucky to get a check for $27.32 as their part of the settlement which always happens with class actions.


  8. SOS different day…SOS different decade. Congress and Senate are politically tied to this mess and even though we hear and see some politicians seriously upset over what is happening in the VA they will to not get overly involved. This seems to be the best VETERANS get. Im still not giving up, though. But acceptance is the key to moving on. When a group can’t get together as one irregardless of political interest to fight for a small common cause it fails in our system of government. Too many fools not serious about a fight that is sick and disgusting at it core. At this point Im hoping the system for VETERANS goes away and a new system takes its place.

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