Non-VA Emergeny Bill

Ready To Stop Bad Faith Insurance Denials Of Non-VA Emergency Bills?

Non-VA Emergeny Bill

Do you have an experience you would like to share about Veterans Affairs denying payment of your emergency room bill in a bad faith insurance denial?

We would like to hear from you if you do.

Over the weekend, I discussed stories with a press team about various veterans who were stuck with hefty emergency room bills by VA and its Non-VA Care Department. These stories include my own recent experience with the program and a bizarre denial that lacked any explanation. The news team and I intend to get to the bottom of this issue.

Frankly, my goal is to now force VA to pay millions to cover improperly denied emergency room bills. By getting this story out through my friend AJ Lagoe at KARE 11 News, we stand a great chance at making a national difference.

(email AJ at [email protected])

I think it is time we send VA a message. That message is to start using common sense when adjudicating claims of any type, including claims for Non-VA Care for a medical emergency.

Dear VA,

Your practice of wronging denying claims where the veteran is clearly entitled is fraud or bad faith insurance adjudication. Since VA possibly has government contractors or its own employees applying the wrong standards using the old Allstate “Delay, Deny, Defend” model, this practice could result in a massive class action lawsuit against the government contractor engaging in the fraudulent practice.

Stop encouraging fraud and change the practice of your employees or contractor immediately.


All Of Us

Bad Faith Insurance

Basically, at least in Minnesota, bad faith insurance laws require the insurer adjudicate claims in good faith.

Should an insurer deny a claim, the person who is insured has a cause of action against the insurer if she can prove the following:

  1. There is no reasonable basis for denying the benefits of the insurance policy, and
  2. The insurer was aware of the lack of reasonable basis for denial, or acted in reckless disregard of that fact.

VA has a department called the Chief Business Office where fee-basis claims are processed. Those claims are now called non-VA care claims, and they are generally processed by a government contractor under the umbrella of VA or VA employees directly. Nonetheless, that contractor aka vendor is an insurance company.

Presently, we know Healthnet and Triwest processes some non-VA care claims for the agency (mainly related to Veterans Choice). That said, I want to set out the following involving my own story with the hope that many of you will reach out and share your own story.

Bad faith insurance adjudication is against the law. VA’s government contractors aka vendors can be liable if they get caught engaging in fraud or bad faith insurance adjudication in many states. We do not know who adjudicated my claim, but I will find out.

It is possible Minneapolis VA adjudicated the claim in house, since that is what the letter seems to suggest. It is also possible it contracted out the responsibility and then approved the decision with its logo and stamp on the document. We shall see.

.@realDonaldTrump @DeptVetAffairs Stop Your Bad Faith Insurance Denials Of Emergency Care! Click to Tweet

Here is my own story.

My Chest Pains Experience

In February, my ex-wife died from burn pit-related pancreatic cancer. She was 36 years old and was survived by her husband and three children.

RELATED: Amie Muller, Latest Burn Pit Victim, Dies

Shortly after her untimely passing, I experienced what I reasonably believed to be symptoms of an evolving heart attack or stroke.

Technically, I experienced an acute potentially life endangering medical emergency: malignant hypertension with cardiovascular and neurovascular symptoms including chest pain, respiratory difficulties, sensorium disturbance and bowel incontinence, to name just a few.

My memory of the emergency is incomplete, but my wife recalls looking up symptoms of heart attack online at 8:30 pm, concluding I was experiencing such symptoms including chest pains, and immediately driving me to the nearest emergency department.

Our driveway is quite steep, and with the ice this winter, would not allow any ambulance or other vehicle without 4-wheel drive up.

As we all know from public service announcements about stroke and heart attack, every minute matters, and anyone experiencing a similar medical condition should immediately seek emergency care. So, we went to the nearest emergency department.

This all seems prudent to me and basically what any layperson would do in a similar situation. Luckily, the medical doctors on hand were able to resolve my malignant hypertension before a stroke or heart attack. But without the emergency care, it is probable that I would have died or suffered permanent injury.

After I returned home, and within the 72-hour window, I notified VA of the emergency for coverage by its Non-VA Care Department. I even wrote about it here to help readers file their claims for coverage.

RELATED: The Next 72 Hours – 3 Things Veterans Must Do Following Non-VA Emergency Care

The next month, I spoke with a senior VA official about the incident at the direction of VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD. They reassured me they would take care of it and that I should send my bill in to them. I was under the false impression this meant VA would pay for the ER bill.

Months later, I heard nothing from them or from Minneapolis VA to process the Non-VA Care claim, but I was sure to forward the bill once I received a copy. Two weeks ago, I heard from Minneapolis VA for the first time. The liaison informed me he had no knowledge of my claim.

So what was VA Central Office (VACO) doing with the information? I am not sure.

Why did they ask me to send the bill to VACO? Again, I was under the impression the matter would be resolved there, as there is more to the story that I will get into in a bit.

This Friday, I received the below denial wherein VA basically asserts a prudent layperson would not have sought emergency care with the medical condition I had at the time:

The above listed claim has been administrative and clinically reviewed to determine if it meets eligibility requirements for payment for service connected emergency unauthorized medical care. We regret to infom1 you that your claim does not meet the requirements of 38 U.S.C. 1728.

In order for VA to reimburse the non-VA provider on your behalf for the service connected services provided, the following eligibility criteria must be met: (1) Treatment was emergent according to the prudent layperson standard; (2) VA facilities were not feasibly available and attempt to use them beforehand would have been hazardous to life or health by prudent layperson standard. Furthermore, the emergency treatment must have been for at least one of the following: (1) An adjudicated service connected disability; (2) A non-service connected disability associated with and aggravating an adjudicated service connected disability; (3) Any disability of a veteran who has a total disability permanent in nature resulting from a service connected disability; (4) Any illness, injury or dental condition of a veteran participating in a rehabilitation program under 38 USC Ch. 31. 

This claim for VA reimbursement has been disapproved for the following reason(s):

Claim Denied – The treatment provided does not meet the Prudent Layperson definition of an emergency. 38 CFR 17.120(b).

If you do not agree with this decision, you have the right to appeal…

I think you get the gist of it. Sorry for your trouble, screw you very much, oh, and thank you for your service.

So what is a prudent layperson?

Why did VA not include an explanation of why the treatment provided did not meet this standard?

How many veterans get stuck with a bill via a vague and ambiguous denial like this?

Prudent Layperson Standard

For this, I turned to review the regulation cited using the Cornell legal database, which states for the relevant regulation concerning emergency care:

(b)In a medical emergency. Emergency treatment not previously authorized including medical services, professional services, ambulance services, ancillary care and medication (including a short course of medication related to and necessary for the treatment of the emergency condition that is provided directly to or prescribed for the patient for use after the emergency condition is stabilized and the patient is discharged) was rendered in a medical emergency of such nature that a prudent layperson would have reasonably expected that delay in seeking immediate medical attention would have been hazardous to life or health. This standard is met by an emergency medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) that a prudent layperson who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in placing the health of the individual in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Basically, it says VA will pay facilities for care provided to certain veterans when a prudent layperson (whatever that means) would reasonably expect a lack of immediate care could result in putting that veteran’s health in serious jeopardy, impairment of bodily function, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Personally, it seems reasonable to me now to believe my heart my stop due to heart attack or stroke. I assume “heart stopping” or “death” is sufficient to meet the serious dysfunction standard.

So what is the problem? Why is VA confused on my case? Further, why are countless veterans receiving denials who sought emergent medical care for heart attack or stroke symptoms?

Prudent Layperson Fact Sheet From VA

The “prudent layperson” standard originated from Medicare law in the 1980’s and was established as a standard for Medicaid effective October 1997. The standard was then adopted by VA in 2010 per the Federal Register.

Using my cyber-sleuthing techniques (ie Google within 5 seconds), I was able to dig up a VA document that explains the standard, its use in VA adjudications now, and an explanation of medical necessity. This document made me wonder how Minneapolis VA and its Non-VA Care Department could screw up my claim.

I would like to repeat one thing. It took my 5 seconds to find a sheet published by VA that explains how to assess a case and what the prudent layperson means.

Would you be surprised to learn it addresses a case exactly like mine – – and that such cases should be approved – – not denied?

DOWNLOAD: VA Prudent Layperson Fact Sheet (from Puget Sound VAMC)

And, I know, some of you may be saying, “Well, you were not diagnosed with a heart attack, so maybe VA was correct to determine your symptoms did not show a medical emergency requiring emergent care.”

I can see why you would say this, but VA’s own guidance on the subject explains this reasoning is incorrect.

Now, instead, you may be saying, “Many VA executives hate you, Ben, so why would you expect to be treated fairly?” I will get to this in a second.

In bold print, that Prudent Layperson Fact Sheet states, “A determination of a medical emergency focuses on the patient’s presenting symptoms rather than the final diagnosis.”

Prudent Layperson And Medical Necessity

The full section on medical necessity reads:

Any medical condition of recent onset manifesting itself by acute severity of symptoms, including severe pain. A determination of a medical emergency focuses on the patient’s presenting symptoms rather than the final diagnosis.  

Adjudicative decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. However, certain conditions are the leading cause to seek emergency treatment. These conditions include, but are not limited to: loss of consciousness, seizure, no recognition of one side of the body, paralysis, chest pain, shock, gangrene, coughing blood, trouble breathing, and choking.  

Cases that fall into categories that may be chronic or blatantly non-emergent generally do not fall into qualifying for immediate treatment under the prudent layperson standard. Normal follow-up of a medical condition, removal of stitches, or medication refills would generally be considered as non-emergent conditions under the prudent layperson standard.

Notice the explanation includes symptoms I experienced including chest pain and trouble breathing. Again, since I experience chest pain, and this was reported to the emergency department, how come Minneapolis VA denied my claim?

Coincidentally, Case Example A in the document addresses a similar situation as mine, where the veteran presented with a complaint of chest pain:

A patient presents to the emergency department with a complaint of chest pain. The patient is examined and evaluated and discharged with a diagnosis of mild gastric irritation. Retrospective analysis by a Fee Basis Unit may determine that gastro-intestinal upset is not an appropriate use of an emergency department and deny the claim as non-emergent. However, the patient’s initial judgment seeking emergency treatment regarding his/her chest pain, a potentially serious problem, is appropriate. This type of visit clearly falls into the category of what any prudent lay person would consider an appropriate use of an emergency department.

Seems open and shut, right? And, since VACO offered to help resolve the matter, why was my claim denied despite being on point with VA’s own guidance?

Minneapolis VA Has A Beef With Benjamin Krause?

I can only conclude this result has everything to do with an ongoing dispute between me and Minneapolis VA about policy and my work as an investigative journalist and attorney.

In the past, I was threatened by a VA employee. The threat was confirmed by VA OIG and relayed through a contact of mine at Vietnam Veterans of America.

Two years later, a social worker at Minneapolis VA told me I needed to watch my back because of how vindictive VA employees might be while seeking medical care.

A year later, I requested non-VA care on a permanent basis because I do not trust that VA can provide me with appropriate and beneficial health care given the nature of what I do.

Is my concern justified? Minneapolis VA director Patrick Kelly does not think so, but let me know what you think in this context.

My Recent Work At VA

Most recently, I exposed a $1 billion traumatic brain injury (TBI) scandal originating out of Minneapolis VA where the facility was fraudulently selecting unqualified doctors to conduct initial TBI examinations. I worked very closely with KARE 11 News and AJ Lagoe to expose the fraud. AJ and his team executed a nationwide investigation that exposed rampant fraud negatively affecting at least 24,000 veterans dating back to 2007.

AJ and his team won the Peebody Award, IRE Top Investigation Award, and the Golden Padlock (on behalf of VA) for VA being the most secretive agency in 2016. It was a big deal, and former Secretary Bob McDonald issued the largest Equitable Relief package to date allowing affected veterans to come back in for a new assessment and an effective date back to the date of the error where an unqualified doctor was used.

It was the biggest scandal I have exposed through partnership with the press to date.

WATCH: NBC TBI Investigation Report

I also helped fund the three “VA Is Lying: Veterans Are Dying” billboards that surrounded Minneapolis VA in 2015 for one month. Its employees were so distraught that they asked Director Patrick Kelly to do something. My wife and I even helped design the signs.

Director Kelly was forced to write an email to all staff explaining that the “disparaging message about VA” was a form of protected speech, and that he could not do anything about veterans exercising our 1st Amendment Rights.

RELATED: Leaked VA Email Decries ‘VA Is Lying’ Billboards

“Like all Americans, Veterans have the right of free speech and are welcome to exercise that right even when we don’t agree with the message,” wrote Kelly. “If you are asked by your family, friends or neighbors about the billboards, assure them that Minneapolis VA is committed to providing timely, high quality healthcare to our Veterans.”

The email written by Kelly but delivered through his assistant Donna Carpenter, reads:


I want to update you on a couple issues being covered by the local media and provide a little more context.

First, there is continued coverage of the issue of initial Compensation and Pension TBI examinations for our MPLS area Veterans. As I stated in my 6 August email on this subject, we did use the wrong type of examiner as has been reported. Once we identified the problem, we acted aggressively, and in coordination with the VBA Regional Office, identified all affected Veterans and took appropriate actions to ensure they get the benefits they’re entitled to.

To ensure that we’re on the right track, we’ve reviewed our internal processes and have asked an external reviewer to assist us in making sure we’re not missing anything. One of our distinguished MN Congressmen has called for a nationwide review and we fully support this as a means to make sure we’re doing everything correctly going forward.

Second, advertising billboards in the area of HWY 62 and Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis are displaying a disparaging message about VA. One billboard is located across the street from a VA office building. Similar billboards have appeared near VA Medical Centers in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. Like all Americans, Veterans have the right of free speech and are welcome to exercise that right even when we don’t agree with the message. If you are asked by your family, friends or neighbors about the billboards, assure them that the Minneapolis VA is committed to providing timely, high quality healthcare to our Veterans. Encourage them to visit our VA, talk to Veterans and even volunteer to help us in our sacred mission. Anyone wishing to volunteer here should call 612.725.2050. The billboards have drawn the attention of several news media outlets. As a reminder, in the event that you are contacted by the press for comment about the VA, please refer them to Ralph Heussner, our Public Affairs Officer, at 612.467.3012.

You can all be incredibly proud of the work you’re doing. It’s an honor to serve with you in caring for our Veterans.


Patrick J. Kelly, FACHE

Director, Minneapolis VA Health Care System


Now, before the TBI scandal, I also exposed problems with the “as the crow flies” rule concerning the Veterans Choice Program, again through KARE 11 News and AJ Lagoe, highlighting the unfortunate case of Paul Walker, a now deceased veteran desperately seeking cancer treatment.

That coverage made the Daily Show with Jon Stewart just prior to VA changing the “as the crow flies” rule to instead using real maps.

RELATED: Jon Stewart Nails It On Veterans Choice Card

By exposing this scandal, AJ and KARE 11 won an Emmy.

And, as if this was not enough to potentially justify being at least concerned about any VA employee treating me for symtpoms of heart attack, I was just informed VA attorneys complain about me to the Department of Justice for being too zealous in my prosecution of appeals and torts on behalf of my clients.

What good news! But that news does not make me feel any safer receiving invastive, emergency health care from any VA facility anywhere.

Needless to say, I have been busy as an attorney and reporter and exposing numerous scandals through collaboration with AJ and his team. Lucky for us, VA seems never to shy away from providing topics worth exposing and we are happy to oblige.

Request For Non-VA Care

Minneapolis VA denied my request using the expired Clinical Appeals policy originally published in 2006 that literally states it expired October 31, 2011.

I informed VA that they were using an expired policy and that they should be using an updated policy for my request, which they later refused to accommodate.

When I requested a hearing, the same personal hearing any veteran is guaranteed after a denial of benefits, my hearing request was refused… approximately 5-6 times.

Instead, Minneapolis VA repeatedly restated in its repeated denials that I was in fact entitled to a hearing, but the agency failed to ever schedule the hearing despite my requests.

Finally, after one year of back and forth, VA certified my Form 9 appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals, which effectively kicked the can up the road for five years. By the time it gets remanded, it will be someone else’s problem. And, perhaps the individuals I would have subpoenaed would no longer work at VA.

Enter VACO And Why They Reached Out

So, last March VACO reached out to discuss the matter after I filed a notice of my intent to file a writ of mandamus with the Secretary.

This matter is obviously somewhat complicated because no “prudent layperson” would likely seek health care directly from a VA medical doctor given this history.

But that was not even relevant here since everyone knows you need to rush to the nearest emergency department to seek emergency care when experiencing symptoms of heart attack including chest pain.

It is now going to make the press, thanks to Minneapolis VA, yet again. But we need your support and stories to make the impact necessary.

No doubt thousands of veterans are wrongly denied each month by Non-VA Care, which is really just the new term for the Chief Business Office based in Denver.

I would like to expose this. So, please post your stories below and reach out to AJ Lagoe, at [email protected]. Please send your denial letter as a PDF to him as well.

Together, let’s send VA a message.

“When you screw with us, we will expose you by name in the press.”

.@realDonaldTrump @DeptVetAffairs Stop Your Bad Faith Insurance Denials Of Emergency Care! Click to Tweet

My $6,000 wrongly denied ER bill will turn into millions worth of denials being overturned once we get this scandal fully exposed.

These denials are due to bad faith insurance adjudication by Minneapolis VA or on behalf of Minneapolis VA. Either way, this broader matter of veterans being screwed by a fraud scheme or bad faith insurance adjudication will be exposed.

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  1. @ tommy
    Shit I wouldn’t brag too much about being combat vet with all the sexual assaualts of war that went on. Shit scandalous are we now. It’s good to hear special forces went to train Iraqis n now they kicking azz not a April ng azz. Apologize to all vets. You would been under my command if I didn’t get hurt you little biatch Your on these vets post freak and they have the watch. Get ur small bone out of look ng for I’m ur god given heroe secrets.
    Shut the FCk up my punk

  2. @91Veteran: Forget about “Not Paying” for emergency care. Even worse is when they “Bill YOU” Just received this months Medicare supplementary insurance summary. Once again, the VA is trying to bill MY supplemental insurance for service connected injuries. This last bill? over $600.00…………………..Anybody out there know of any pcp in the entire world, who is worth over $600.00 for a 15 minute visit? Total now waiting to be reversed is over $1500.00. I think it is high time for a class action suit. How many veterans part of the fiduciary program, are never told about the fraudulent billing practices the VA is engaged in? Here are the excuses used time and again:
    1. I’m sorry, there must have been a mistake.
    2. I will call your VA and let then know about this mistake.
    3. We don’t have you listed as being service connected.
    4. You should never be billed again for your service connected injuries.
    5. I don’t know why you were billed, I will look into this.
    6. I’m sorry, we at the VA are some of the most idiotic, corrupt, negligent, people that ever walked the Earth, why in the hell would you think we could do ANYTHING correct? And just so you know, it WAS intentional you dumb-ass veteran.

    Okay, that last one wasn’t real, but still accurately depicts how the VA views veterans.

    Later Gators.

    1. Cj, I think this is happening all over the country.

      Fraudulent billing of 3rd parties for any reason to maximize return to the VA.

      One of these fraudulent bills was almost $1200 for friggin labs.

      You can request a Report from the billing office which shows every appointment you have had, and whether it was coded as service connected or not. I got a Report for every appointment I had for a 2 year period, and it clearly showed they were intentionally ignoring any service connection in my records in favor of billing.

      The excuses include what you listed, but they have now settled in the excuse that the provider is coding it wrong, so they made my PCP become a trainer for other providers for how to properly code appointments so they are not billed due to service connection.

      Its a bullshit excuse given they can easily check medical records for what is service connected.

      Their default is to bill anything possible and hope the veteran doesn’t notice.

      1. @91Veteran: Agreed, 100%. Fraudulent, intentional, and due to the stress it causes, I would add, with malice.

        Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

  3. This is the right web site for anybody who wants to find out about this topic.
    You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that has been discussed for decades.
    Excellent stuff, just great!

  4. I have had over a dozen denied ER and Ambulance claims over the past few years. These are all with similar (what a prudent layperson would consider to be a life-threatening emergency as well as diagnosed by the 24-hour nurse hotline as an emergency for which I should go to the NEAREST ER.) My nearest ER is 15 miles away, opposed to the nearest VA ER, which is 45 miles away and more than an hour drive AND which no ambulance will service from my location. I always called within the 72-hour window. These claims ended up going on my credit for 6 months to 3 years, until the VA finally paid SOME of them, effectively bringing my credit score down as I’m valiantly working to raise it. This is the least heinous thing the VA has done to me over the 8+ years I’ve been seeing them; when I think about all the things, it makes me sick.

  5. I’m hearing that I should have arranged for unplanned heart attack in advance. I’m making arrangements this week. The article the other day explained that. Twice I was taken to Birmingham VA emergency. Twice, without much exam, they turned me away. Second time sent me to psych ward. The third heart attack, I had left orders to go to the closest hospital with cardiovascular surgeons on board. When it came, I was out of it for four days. Too late. I asked and was told they already began the process with Medicare. Choice/fee base got outta my service connected related bills because no one knew what or how. Veteran Friendly doesn’t work that way. I still owe lots. My surgeons told me I would have died had I gone to VA emergency room. One of the surgeons told me the VA would have most likely sent me to where I went. The Birmingham VA didn’t have a cardiovascular surgeon. So, I would have died riding around Birmingham. Point is, if they would have sent me to St. Vincent’s anyway, what difference does a day make? Whew……

  6. Off topic but fox 59 news just announced it will air the story of the VA taking away narcotic pain medication. This is what I was to be part of; however, the news decided to use the Marion VAMC. It will be on the 10pm news. I am sure the VA will have some BS reply. I will put up a link after the news if it has the video. Deanna Albritten is the reporter. I hope this is good but I am pretty sure it will not.

    1. @f8f – – – Tanks for the 411. Added to my list. Will be searching for that video as have time.

      A Hui Hou!

    2. Candy man got caught, they are afraid they would be next getting caught.

      Ok veterans you want to punish our main drug dealer fine we will retaliate and take all you pain medication away.

      Damb the Secretary needs to take appropriate action and fire a bunch of bad employees.

      National emergency. ! National security will be in jeopardy, who wants to defend a country who will not care of soilders once they get hurt.

      Come home, then some VA employees pore salt into the wound. Show many say, it’s your fault for joining the military.

      People that have not served, have no idea what soilders go through. Being ready to be deployed at anytime, them sent off to fight and can not tell anyone.

      This should be a requirement for VA employees, if the draft should be needed VA employees who have not served will be the first to go.

      No ifs ands or buts ! Loaded up on a bus and off to boot camp. No crying allowed, no I have a disability, no I’m frightened. No I refuse to kill someone.

      No excuses, if they should get hurt, send them denial letters.

      1. @James Gallegos – – – Now THAT is a Good and FAIR plan. And it certainly would convey the proper “tone” to the nation were it implemented . . .

        A Hui Hou!

    3. Here is the link to the story. Not much of a story for what it should have been. Nothing about the outside doctor, Dr. Palmer MacKie who looked at our medical records. I was not impressed with the story as it will not help at all.

  7. @ anuttervet
    Thank you, I appreciate your response to my question and your advice. I will be a voice for the underserved veteran community. I am in no way qualified to recognize grammar mistakes – we’re paddling the same canoe.
    We’re all struggling, frustrated and tired (each in our own way), don’t let them get you down.
    I wish you well!

    1. @callmeBob – – – Thanks Brother. Yeah, keep posting. And don’t forget, there’s a lot of Veterans participating on Ben’s blog, and their good people. I think? LOL Only joking and razzing. – – – Thanks, Nutter.

  8. I went to my local ER two days after surgery at my not local VA Hospital. Firstly the surgery was scheduled for 11:00 am nut was performed at 7:00pm so when I woke up in PACU there was me a nurse and my wife. The surgeon had prescribed a pain medicine that I’m allergic to and after my wife told him I was allergic to it and to ask the 12 people that confirmed my allergies was told to just take Benadryl with it (seriously) so after two days I could barely breathe because of the pain medicine I was in dire pain because I was taking barely any of it in fear of dying in my sleep. So my wife said let’s go to the ER….My wife called the VA surgical clinic and told them what we were doing and asked them to approve it…the canned response of we can’t do that come in in a week and we’ll take care of it (really). So, they then said to call choice and we did and they said we don’t deal with this type issue. Anyway, we went to the local emergency room and the Doc there said he was angry and disgusted that a surgeon would knowingly prescribe a drug that I was allergic to. Gave me a less narcotic more appropriate pain medicine. So I called the VA to make sure they new I was in the ER. Well, the ER didn’t get any response from the VA on billing so they used my tricare insurance instead and I had to pay the copay of course. That visit was totally their fault and they just kicked me to the curb.

    1. SadSapper, depending on when this happened, you should contact the billing office at your VA, after you go to release of information and get all the records of your surgery and prescriptions.

      Tell the billing office you want Tricare reimbursed and your co-pay returned. They likely won’t do it, but put it in writing anyway.

      Then go to the Patient Advocate and tell them to submit a Report of Contact and that you are requesting a meeting with the Chief of Patient Safety, Chief of Staff or Chief of Nursing to report a serious safety violation where you were knowingly given medicine you are allergic to, and what happened as a result of you taking it.

      Your next step should be to find out that doctors full name, find out which state he is licensed in, and file a complaint with them.

      It sounds like he’s a lazy bastard who just didn’t care to find a different medicine for you.

  9. California VA paid my local emergency room bill, paid the Behavioral Health 72hr hold bill, they did not pay the ambulance ride from the hospital around the block to the 51/50 hold, they did not pay the doctors bill. I took my own stitches out.

    VA paid my son’s 3day stay for local emergency treatment for non service connected condition Crohn’s disease, they did not pay the doctors bill.

    I have faith you can demonstrate you have been retaliated against for your exposure of the unlawful activities & I hope you have more than 1 or 2 Vets from the many followers willing to expose this because something as important as this you got little to no respect on the blog for the subject matter. Shameful.

    1. @NiteWish – – – Hwy Brother, a short comment about your post. I was trying to figure out who you’re referring to with part of your statement, “you got little to no respect on the blog for the subject matter.”

      If you mean Veterans adding their comments about the ER bill payment issue, for me I’m sitting back collecting information from others who went or are going this asinine bullshit. NW, I’m in an emergency situation because I don’t know when I’ll have to go to a Private Sector ER in case of an emergency. I have some Charity Care Coverage, due to me proving that the VA provides improper medical care, and because of the financial burdens with the costs of changing diets, purchasing supplements, care and maintenance for a K9 Service Dog, etc..

      So I guess that I’ll post my original comment related to this issue. – – – Ben and his associates are doing an excellent maneuver (that’s my opinioin). By gathering information to present to the powers-at-be that the VA should be held accountable to pay for emergency visits to the ER. Now think about this for a moment, and I may be wrong, but if Ben succeeds in forcing the VA to be completely or has increased the accountability level of the VA to pay for ER visits and related costs, that this may be a way of opening the door to present other important circumstances in which the VA should be accountable in paying the bill. That’s how I see it.

      So in the meantime folks, if you have an issue about non-payment by the VA for ER visits, please by all means post your situation. Veterans can use your experience just in case that they are at their wits end with the VA, and are in fear of their health, recovery, and life by being treated by the VA. Thanks for posting your current or past situations pertaining to your ER bill. – – – Thanks, Nutter.

      ** VA Veteran Care Terrorism ** – the intentional infliction of emotional stress, physiological stressors, and incomplete medical assistance for the proper health care for Veterans, and the improper streaming process of Veterans claims for compensation and pension, that directly puts a Veteran in fear of losing their health, recovery, family and friend components, livelihood, and the Veteran’s life. (Revised- May 23, 2017) – – – Thanks, Nutter.

  10. Here’s the latest on the Veteran who drove his car, killing a teenage girl, in Times Square.
    From: “ News
    dated: 22 May 2017
    via: Associated Press
    “Times Square Driver Says He Sought Mental Help at Veteran’s Center”

    The vet has apologized for what he did. Yet, this kind of “publicity” is what we don’t need!
    The publicity we do need is how these agencies, whether VA or not, are failing to help veterans with their mental health problems!
    I’ll also bet he tried, unsuccessfully, to receive mental health help at his local VHA! Of course, we won’t be told anything about that!
    The article is short!

    1. In all due respect, that driver was bat-shit-crazy back 3-4 years ago when he spent last few months of his Navy time in the brig then got discharged immediately afterward. No overseas deployment to speak of nor war zones. Just bat-shit-crazy.

      1. namnibor,
        The article never mentioned that. Thanks for the update.

        Seems the Associated Press, nor “ News”, also never mentioned it as well.
        I wonder if he was “Bat-Shit Crazy” BEFORE he entered the military? If he was, then it might be safe to say, the recruiter was anxious to fill his “quota” for the month!

        I still say we don’t need this kind of publicity!

      2. Crazy Elf, In one of the early articles I read shortly after or the same day he did this, his history was mentioned.

        I may have posted a link to the article, but I don’t recall definitively.

        Most articles mentioned his service. Only 1 mentioned his history in any detail, such as his 1 term stateside hitch, being in the brig before getting booted, under Honorable if I remember right.

        I think he also had some history before he ever joined.

  11. Is it true that in order to have the cost of an emergency room visit be paid by the VA that you /me (the veteran) has to have been seen by his/her primary care provider in the previous 12 months?
    Thought I had read that somewhere recently.

    1. @callmeBob – – – Hey Bob, welcome to unit of confronting Veterans against the unaccountable VA. I need to keep this short due to new mysterious medical issues. After reading your post, I think the VA uses the criteria of not seeing a Veteran in 12 months or more, to be the cause of not paying an ER visits bill. If its an Emergency and has been deemed as life threating by the Private Sector ER Physicians, then I see no problem why the VA shouldn’t pay the ER bill. In the future, and to cut down on the legal beagle stuffs from the VA, its best to try to keep up and at least see your VA PCP during a 12 month time frame. But if you’re homebound or a shut-in Veteran due to medical reasons, then this is a different situation. The dam Rat Bastards.

      Bob, thanks for posting, and keep on following up with Ben’s blog. Ben is involved with some issues, and he is trying to ‘open the door’ to force the VA to be accountable. Ben is also grouping up with additional support with other individuals that are interested as well in the accountability aspect. – – – Thanks. Nutter

      1. Sorry for the grammar mistakes. Been struggling, frustrated, and tired of how the VA has affected me. – – – Thanks. Nutter.

  12. I have the VA secretary in court for my THIRD writ of mandamus-Vet. App. No. 16-3929 WRIT. I am 100% VA disabled and went to a non-VA emergency room three times because its closer than the hour drive to the VA. They refused to pay for no reason so I made them give a reason in Court. First, they told the Judge they had no paperwork from me, even though I did send it in. So, the Judge ordered them to look for it and they now claim they found the medical records for the visits but I didn’t send it to them. Ok, this isn’t really an excuse, because it doesn’t matter how they got it. They got it and did nothing. They damn sure didn’t get it on their own so either its what I sent them or the hospital sent them and again, it doesn’t matter, but that’s their only excuse and their sticking to it. They are so lazy and incompetent and ignorant, so that this stupid excuse is all they could think of. If it wasn’t so pitiful, it would be funny. Anyway, we’ll see what the Judge says and see if the Court buys this ridiculous excuse that wouldn’t float in a toilet full of turds.

  13. @Disgruntled Veteran: I hope you either hear soon how your wife is doing, or you can get a ride to see her. 7 mile walk doesn’t sound very pleasant at all. Catch you on the flipside. goodnight.

  14. @Disgruntled Veteran,@Ex va: Fellas, I need to get some rest. DV I hope your sweetheart get well soon. Goodnight, and God Bless you and your families.

  15. Now I can’t find any reference to “the rise of a Great General in the midwest”

    1. @cj, i haven’t heard of this prophetic prediction. Where is this coming from?

      1. @Ex va: I am not quite sure, it could of been something I read, or it could have been a Nostradamus prediction.My mind plays tricks on me………..I am thinking it was indeed a Nostradamus prediction.

      2. @cj, @ Disgruntled Veteran, i think somethings are going to change in our government. I want to be optimistic and say that there will be positive changes because of all the negativity and corruption. It has to get better. It is time that it changes for the good.

        It has been years since i read Nostradamus. I will have to look that up now, i am curious.

        George Washington was a surveyor and farmer. He knew this land. I think that helped him have the advantage over Britain.

      3. @Ex va – – – I would like to be optimistic as well, but frankly I am all out of optimism for today.

      4. @Disgruntled Veteran, i understand, i have to force myself into optimism sometimes. It is so hard to find today in our society.

      5. @Ex va – – – It truly is. You really have to look quite hard. My internet seems slow tonight.

  16. @Disgruntled Veteran: DV, I tell you what I don’t get. I put in a FOIA request for my C file. It will be almost a year when they finally get it to me. I called Mr. Peck, and he printed it out, and sent it to me in just days. Exactly what the fuck is up with the VA, and its inability to follow the law? Unbelievable!!!!

    1. @cj, that shows you the difference of an va employee that actually works and the other one who doesn’t do their job whatsoever.

      1. @Ex va: Mr. Peck works for the county, to assist veterans, the VA hates him, so he must be doing a good job lol.

      2. @cj, LOL!! Those bastards would hate him because he is doing his job. I hate those afge piggies who want to do nothing all day and complain about someone who is doing their job.

    2. @cj – – – Easy Answer. People like Little Cox and Shithead Shulkin have deemed the AFGE/VA conglomerate to be above the law.

      Just like General Michael Flynn. The military has changed since the days us older guys were in. Not the same sense of honor, duty, and discipline exists anymore.

      In my day, the best CO I ever served with (Adm. Henry Howard “Hammerin’ Hank” Mauz jr.) would have thrown Mickey Flynn overboard for pulling this “lawyering up” bullshit. I personally think that General Flynn should be courts-martialed, and his retirement benefits pulled.

      This opinion formed from what I see and read from many varied sources. I really would love to see a WikiLeaks e-mail dump of General Flynn’s and his executive assistant’s computer. That would be some fascinating reading.

      1. @Disgruntled Veteran: Makes sense them thinking they are above the law, and apparently they are. I haven’t been keeping up with what is going on in DC. Can’t stand the constant drama, while the country goes to hell in a hand bag. priorities are all out of whack.

      2. @cj – – – Priorities all out of whack is precisely what is wrong with this country. It is the thing that is going to cause the obliteration of the nation within the next ten years. People cannot look ahead to the future and plan today for it. When tomorrow arrives, it will be such a shock to these fools. Then they will say we need a plan. Too little, too late.

      3. @Disgruntled Veteran: So true, I hope I am still around to contribute to the battle, I would rather die fighting for our freedom, then from some kinda cancer. They say a great General will rise from the Midwest to defeat the government. I have seen speculations it would be a farmer from Iowa.

      4. @cj – – – Could be true. Farmers have been known to become great generals.

      5. @Disgruntled Veteran; It wouldn’t surprise me, of all the people I have run into, farmers hold veterans in great regard. I was looking to rent a plot of land to grow some food for veterans in need, and when a local farmer found out what I wanted to grow for, he would take no money, because it was to feed veterans. These hard working families are some of the most patriotic segment of our society. That has been my experience at least.

      6. @cj – – – I disagree not at all. Most farmers are really patriotic, not PR Firm patriotic. When I was on the mainland, before I got stuck over here – – – some of the best experiences of my life were had with farmers and ranchers.

        What my granny would have termed “salt of the earth” people. Always kindly, Always generous, Always willing to help.

        The way America OUGHT to be.

      7. @Disgruntled Veteran: True again. Really down to earth people, and very hard working. Nothing but respect for our farmers. Even though I once got shot in the ass with a load of rock salt. Us teens new ahead of time, it could happen lol.

      8. @cj – – – My “Seat of Wisdom” was no stranger to the “Salt of Education” when I was a teenager back in the ’60’s. Uncle Jim Benson had an old L. C. Smith shotgun . . .

      9. @Disgrunteld Veteran: LOL It sure was common place back then, I look at those days as my character building days hahaha.

      10. @cj – – – LOTS of Missouri Boys know about that subject. Never took more than once. Twice if you were real SSSLLLOOOOOOOOOWW . . .

      11. @Disgruntled Veteran: you know that is true. I remember when pops found out, he took me to the farmer, and asked him to put me to work for the rest of the week. I learned real quick, and the farmer was more than pleased to teach. LoL

      12. @cj – – – I sure wish Mama would call. Her condition is quite serious. Tried to call the hospital desk. Bounced from one robot voice to the other. Such bullshit. They need human beings to talk to other human beings 24?7 at major hospitals.

        Left voicemail on mama’s phone a few hours ago. She had phone turned off. If no contact by midnight, I am taking a 7 mile hike along the freeway . . .

      13. @Disgruntled Veteran: Oh that would be stressful not know what is going on DV. And the phone being turned off. yikes. Nobody there that can give you a ride? I would, but my flotation tires are shot.

      14. @cj – – – Got an Old Marine Solution to the problem – – – Two Feet. Left – Right – Left. It will get done. Called the Nurses station for her floor. Bounced to a robot.

      15. @Disgruntled Veteran: I hear you, sometimes it’s the only way. Godspeed. and goodnight…………..I really mean it this time.

      16. @Disgruntled Veteran, so sorry to hear of your dear one on having troubles. It is so sad. I hope they find the answer quick and she goes back to her normal state. My meds are being increased and i need to go to sleep if i can. It is making me dizzy right now and tired. Lol. God Bless you and your wife and i pray for healing and a spiritual lifting.

        God Bless yours and a goodnight. I hope you can get a restful sleep.

      17. @Ex va – – – Missed this one. So Sorry. Thank You. No sleep for me tonight, I ‘m afraid. Not much different than any other. Out the door at midnight. 7 miles to the hospital. Should be there by 02:15. Hopefully, just a breakdown in comms, and nothing more serious than that. I have this bad feeling though.

        We shall see . . .

      18. @cj, i don’t think DC wants to work. They are all being looked at and being criticized because of their lack of work. They are getting fired.

      19. @cj, I believe it is the government in DC the workers, the politicians. It has been a struggle everyone is unhappy and it is like nothing is getting done. I think they need to just go ahead and shut down the government until they can actually get things done. Everything is taking longer to get done. IRS slow this year. It feels like everyone is just dragging their feet.

      20. @Ex va: Agreed, DC is only concerned with party politics, and could care less about the nation, non stop bickering, endless bs, from both sides. Except when it come to voting themselves another pay raise, or better retirement, or better health care, or more power, then they magically all get along. Time to start erecting public gallows poles.

      21. @Ex va – – – I REALLY LIKE the idea of Public Gallows . . .

      22. I think when this witch hunt is over with Trump and the Rooskies, Every single democrat that wasted the taxpayers money on this made up bs, and have put the country into turmoil because they lost the election. Should all be held accountable, first impeached, then stripped of all retirement, and then hung for treason, for making the United States look like crap in the eyes of the world. Instead of doing what they are being payed to do. I am sick of all this political bullshit.

      23. @cj – – – If that is how it turns out, then I would agree with you. No matter which side is wrong and wasteful, they should be stripped of power and benefits.

        I am completely non-partisan with my politics. I see corruption, wastefulness, and lying on both sides.

        Every few years, we see the “vote ’em all out” e-mails circulating the internet. If only the American Public actually had the discipline and integrity to do it. Just once.

        It would change the world . . .

      24. @Disgruntled Veteran: I feel the same way, I don’t care what side of the isle they are on, if they are dirty? fry them. Okay……..lets build public electric chairs as well. lol

      25. @cj – – – or we could just put the VA in charge of lethal injections across the US. I see how humane it is for the prisoners that they use it on. Sheer torture. Ought to be humane enough to use on our politicos . . .

      26. @Disgruntled Veteran, you are right farmers are salt of the earth people. My grandmother was like that too. Americans are good people and we are generous and i think that is a strength. We care. It is the government boobs that waste our tax dollars.

      1. ┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈?????????????

  17. @Ex va: Not feeling better, just don’t let it get me down. Can barely move my fingers, I think arthritis is getting real bad. Need an xray, then maybe think about joint replacement. I sure hope your doctors can find something that works for you pain, you need a damn break.

    1. @cj, i didn’t know your fingers were bad. Sorry to hear this. They can do joint replacement in New Mexico i believe i research it a while back. It is like knee replacement, they can make deformed fingers look normal. I am trying to ignore the pain. This ra is thru my body. Pain is just a symptom wish i could get in some kinda of remission. They increased some of my meds.

      You are right you need to get an x-ray so the doctors know how much damage and your options. I will get joint replacements if i need them too. Winter time is better to get surgeries less to do around house.

      1. @cj, lol! I googled it finger joint replacements and they are suppose to be one of the best in the country. I will have to look it up again.

      2. @Ex va: You scared my for a second, I thought you were sending me to some unfamiliar VA facility, hell, I might of come back with the wrong joint replaced and have robot kids from now on.

      3. @cj, i wouldn’t send anyone to a va facility. Not even my dogs or someone else’s dog for that matter.

      4. @Ex va: LOL, I told my VA pcp, “I wouldn’t make an appointment for roadkill, in this place”

      5. @cj, ROFL!!! Maybe that is what he is use to eatin’. He has two brothers named Darrell and Darrell. LOL!

    2. @cj, “” i believe it is the one with state of art finger joint surgeries.

      1. @Ex va: That’s okay Ex, can’t control Mother nature. That Tommy is a special kind of fucked up.

        How are you tonight?

      2. @cj, ROFL!!! Tommy is special alright. Dipshit! LOL!!!

        Everyday or night getting some kind of small rain or storm. We are still getting inches of rain. Losing my regular wi-if and the 4g isn’t working right either for some reason.

      3. @Ex va: Finally got a break from the rain up here. Got my onions and potatoes planted, and the remote plot all prepped. Tomorrow I will finally get the tomatoes all planted. 16 different varieties, and 80 plants.

      4. @cj, i hope you wil have some help during harvest time. That is a lot of varieties. You are going to make a lot of people happy this summer with all the fresh vegetables.

      5. @Ex va: I enjoy growing different stuff, and veterans love eating all those tomatoes. It is an honor to grow for them.

      6. @cj, that is a lot of tomatoes. Are you going to have them grow in cages or poles??

      7. @Ex va: Neither, think of a clothes line over each row stretched between two posts, then a string hanging down over each plant, to train it to climb. The rows are raised, so they heat up easier, and stay well drained of rain. I put a mixture of purple cow compost, lime, and epsom salt in the hole before the plant goes in. The purple cow feeds the plant, the epsom salt has magnesium in it that helps with calcium absorption, and the lime prevents blossom end rot.

      8. @cj, that is a good idea, you will not get diseases from the soil with them climbing on the rope. Raised rows are good. I think it is blight that comes from the soil that hurts plants. Do you ever use oyster shells for calcium? I did when i grew tomatoes. It helped a lot.

      9. @Ex va: You mean like crushed oyster shells? Where do you get something like that?

      10. @cj, feed store usually sells them. We would give them to chickens for calcium for egg production. You can get a whole bag cheap and it is good for the garden. Somewhere they sell chicken feed and animal feed.

      11. @cj, they are crushed to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. They were thin, wafer pieces of oyster shells. I tilled in garden they would slowly dissolve over time. Plants like them.

      12. @Ex va: Thanks Ex, I will see if they carry it at the feed store, they have all kinds of stuff for gardens. I wish I could find micro nutrients, like rock dust.

    1. @cj, Ben, has been going thru some bad stuff lately. Hate to hear about that.

      It sounds like you been super busy. Doctors changed my meds again. Have to see another one tomorrow. Have you been feeling better?

      1. @Ex va: The VA is good at wasting money, just not on veterans, or their er bills. I really believe if there were no veterans left on Earth, the VA would still exist, still complain that they need more doctors, etc. and still hand out bonuses. They would also still be on a worldly quest, to hire incompetent union line towing hacks.

      2. @cj, you are correct. They have millions to blow on contractors probably with some kickbacks or favors. Now when it comes to paying bills for direct Veteran care they want to delay payment or not pay at all although they are legally responsible for the bill. BS!!!!

  18. @Ben Krause, you were experiencing heart attack symptoms you sought help at an e.r. This is not your fault or financial responsibility, it is the va responsibility. I thank God you went to get help for your life. I feel like this question should not even be asked or decided it should be paid by the va period.

    This whole thing may stop someone from getting life saving care because they are worried about an expensive bill. That is a crime. There are so many European countries and other countries in the world where their citizens get free healthcare and are not dying on lists created by a corrupted agency waiting for life saving assistance.

    Thank you for your sincerity and truthfulness about your health issues and family. I am consistently amazed at your stories about the va and the exposure of the truth. Some Va employees are good at the threats and i have been in your shoes and they can make your life a living hell. You are probably have made many enemies in the va and they have no right to make you their target because you expose their crimes and lies. A person would think that an government agency would be appreciative to the exposure of criminal acts going on inside it and that would result in justice. I do not see much justice and i think your harassment from these individuals should be looked at as being criminal. Maybe that is why they are refusing to pay and are influencing the decision to pay your bill timely.

    I am sorry you and your family having been going thru these trials and i will be praying for you and your family. I do thank God for the work you are doing and continue to do on behalf of the Veterans. You are saving Veterans lives by exposing the crimes against them and teaching them the dangers within the va system.

  19. I wilken jones,jr ,they (va) refuse to pay a hospital bill ($6,000.00 +) at Opelousas General Hospital,Opelousas,la. dated back to 2010. please tell me what must I do? Tell me by email.

    1. @Wilken jones, jr – – – You should send Ben an email. This can be done on this site. – – – Thanks, Nutter.

  20. Off Topic – Please read and comment about this post by @Tommy Distefano on May 22, 2017 at 2:42 pm. I posted Tommy’s wonderful welfare notice because Ben published a new article, and many of us switched over to today’s new story. Please post your thoughts about Tommy’s negative comments towards Ben and the rest of us. Thanks. – – – Nutter.

    It looks like everything will get better now that Big Daddy is in the White House. Nice that he is spending time with the Saudis and the Israelis. These are the two countries that have absolutely no interest at all on our survival as a nation. I know Ben is a big fan of draining the swamp and Big daddy, but it is time to admit that the cause is lost and the theories are not conspiracies. Everybody got cucked and now the swamp is infested with people who have the best interest of Israel and the rich in mind. I know it was a while since I wrote but I have had the pleasure of spending some quality time with NYC’s Boldest. That is over and I am victorious. Ben, the last entry you wrote regarding me you had stated that I was bitter. Bitter is someone who has the government drop 1/4 of a million dollar on their education only to have that person do a 180 and then make it a life mission to criticize and attack on the proverbial hand that fed you. There is no need for bitterness when you have accepted your situation. What you see as bitterness is actually awareness and eyes wide open. It’s cute to read what these professional veterans have to say all day, cute to see Ben pretends to be a lawyer fighting the good fight. You found your niche and you are going to ride bike until the wheels fall off. Meanwhile, real people with real problem are getting holocausted by all these wind talkers spending their days cucking instead of opening your eyes. Quit following that six point master plan and realize you’ve been had. Big daddy ain’t your savior and this is simply a forum that people complain about the government welfare they are receiving.

    Wow, what about this post by Tommy being emotionally effected by the penetration of NYC’s Boldest. Please post your thoughts about Tommy’s remarks. – – – Thanks again, Nutter.

    1. My thoughts? I think someone is a little bitter or jealous that Ben made the system work.

      In addition to being angry at having a little pecker.

    2. In response to Tommy, he is in left field. As far as big daddy, the allegations are conspiracies. Tommy needs to consider the fact that our country is in an unrest and declining state due to Democrat policies and Liberals. As far as draining the swamp, it is not a lost cause. The battle will never be over until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, President Trump will try to restore this world and this country to an environment where it is somewhat bearable to continue to live in until such a time occurs. Tommy is like all the rest. A child who sees a another child with a toy that he does not have and he wants that toy too. Tommy wants it all so it appears. Having this attitude is what leads to jealousy and bitterness. If Tommy had what Benjamin has such as a Juris Doctor which allows Benjamin to practice as an attorney for a wonderful cause which is to stand by and follow the law, Tommy would not present himself with such a disrespectful attitude towards others. When one adheres to the law, it reflects principles of accountability, ethicality, and humaneness. Tommy, I would remind you that if the VA stood by these principles no matter who retrained Benjamin for his profession, Benjamin would not be calling out the VA for their unethical practices towards veterans. If the VA was really offering over the top healthcare to veterans and retraining veterans to their ultimate potential, Benjamin would not be having to tackle them as he would be promoting the VA to it’s utmost. When law and order does not exist, there can be no world order anywhere. As for you calling the President the name “Big Daddy” instead of President Trump, hey, I am glad he is not a namby pamby little daddy. At least he has some big balls which is what you guys call it. And, at least he has not been in the middle east apologizing for America. President Trump is in Saudi Arabia and rest of the middle east standing up for the America, and life itself. NOT DEATH. America is a great country. In the past, America used to be a even a greater country where it was leading in a dimension beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. I remember the success and prosperity that used to be prominent. I remember when interest rates were 8 and 9 percent. Now, the interest rates are .01 etc. the lowest ever. As for the welfare term that you used, VA compensation is not welfare. This is why it is not. Many veterans have compensation payments due to injury or illness that occurred while on active duty. Tommy, many veterans have fought for this country with ultimately losing their lives. Then too, many did not lose their lives because God decided that it was not their time to leave this world. The veterans who were injured on active duty should be compensated for what they have had to endure and are having to endure. Yes, some people who see veterans drawing compensation only see the money and are quick to judge. If they are asked the question or suggest to them why don’t you go fight for our great country and endure what the veteran has had to deal with, the person quickly changes their mind. Hey, Tommy, what about the veterans who have not yet been compensated by the VA and the VA continues to deny their claims. What about the veterans who have no healthcare at all and who are homeless. Hey, don’t you believe they worked above and beyond their call to duty? They have life threatening illnesses and have loss of limbs. So Tommy, can you please explain to the veterans why you would call this welfare? Tremendous work by veterans has most definitely occurred. The work required by a military member on active duty is most definitely to a far greater degree than most civilians. So where is your evidence to call the VA compensation the name “WELFARE?”

  21. I was not denied… yet. I fell 12 ft. off a ladder last June. I went to the local ER because the local VA urgent care was closed. My fiancé drove me there, as I didn’t want to incur an ambulance bill. So I am in a tremendous amount of pain, told the nurse I had fallen 12 ft. off a ladder and I was in extreme pain and bleeding. After 15 minutes of them laughing and having a good ole time they finally called me back. I told them I was a veteran and I believe that to be a mistake. I was treated like a pos for the remainder of my stay (a total of 2 hours=$6k). I received a bill in the mail about a month later for just over $4k. Not too long after, I received another for over $800 for x-rays and then another from the providers office for $1100(different location than the ER???). I called and left 6 messages on the number provided that supposedly took care of these bills at the VA. After a 2 month wait, I went in person, found the people I was trying to reach, and due to fear of them “losing my paperwork”, I kept my cool and told them the scenario (minus me wanting to ring their necks for not returning my calls). To date, I have received statements saying the VA has made a payment of something over $100 toward my visit. The letters are vague at best, and the total amount definitely has not summed up the total of $6k yet. So, I sit here on a daily basis hoping I don’t start getting pegged by the hospital and provider that treated me less than human that evening. We give everything for some of these pathetic people… while they sit back, get fat and depressed because of some spilt milk or because they don’t have the newest phone. Give me a break. I hope my story helps in the fight for those of us who put our life on the line for freedom.

  22. I cut my thumb bad, down to the bone, cut a tendon. Called the VA explained it and they said take an ambulance to the ER as it was bleeding bad. I asked can someone authorize it and she said no, but she would enter in the records that she directed me to go there, but that it wouldn’t guarantee payment, although “it should”. I made the 100 mile round trip with a tee shirt wrapped around my hand, then wrapped duct tape around that which made it almost the size of a bowling ball. I actually got berated for NOT following their instructions to take an ambulance and go to the ER (cause it was “possible” I could have fainted driving), when I walked in dripping blood. I just said I didn’t believe the VA would pay for anything and I couldn’t afford a small bill well enough a huge ER bill. I guess the point is, this probably happens a lot, Vets not going to the ER when the VA says to because it will probably not get paid. About 5 years ago I called my PCP and said I was getting weird chest pains, she said same thing-Call an ambulance and go to the ER. I called my dad and he drove me up to the VA cause I was too worried about them not paying the bill, I ended up having a stent put in my heart the next day. I just don’t think it’s right how they tell you to go to the ER, but you have to live with all the anxiety of them even paying the bill.

  23. Hi , I am on 60 percent service connected disability thru the V A , should be 100 percent but I’m just a pea on. I’ve been on Social Security Disability 100 percent for years . The V A said so what ,we don’t except what the Social Security does or the way there process works because there federal and were V A . YEP YOU READ IT RIGHT, LETS SEE NOW , If social security is federal and the V A isn’t than who and what are they and where and who in the hell are the people the V A goes CRYING to asking for more money, I may be wrong here but isn’t it called the HOUSE OF CONGRESS WHERE THE U S CONGRESS VOTES AND DECIDES WHAT THE V A GETS ? ALSO I DO THINK THE U S CONGRESS DECIDES ON THE COLA PAY RAISE THAT SOCIAL SECURITY GETS AND THERE FOR USE THAT DECISION TO GAUGE WHAT THE MILITARY AND V A GETS AS THERE COLA RAISE. Let’s see here ,I’ve been a admitted hospital patient 38 times in 7 years , 2 heart attacks , 3 pace makers with devibulator, diabetes , lung issues from pulling off and installing LOTS OF ASBESTOS on the military base and old navy ship . I served my country for 6 years , I paid into social security for 38 years , I was bred and born here in the U S A . The VA will not except any of my outside doctor or hospital bills and they are suppose to . I’m getting older I’m tired and the fight I’ve had with the V A just makes me have the shakes . It’s not worth it any more. Thats what they want anyway so why not concede to them. It’s not cowardly it’s just a realistic FACT. R L.

  24. @Anutter
    Thanks for the encouragement. I did file with hhs a few years ago and quickly found out the va is the largest hippa violator in the nation and is not held accountable. Most of the corrective action taken is repeated from previous incidents involving the va.

    After 5 years of bitching I finally got vaco proof from the the privacy office that the executive did violate federal law. I’m now strongly considering contacting dept of justice and ask for a criminal investigation. Administrative actions are meaningless to the va.

    1. @Underwater basket weaver specialist – – – Good, and I want to encourage you further to go ahead and file with the DOJ. As long as it is feasible, and it doesn’t add additional stress to cause more health problems. Don’t forget to keep all paper trails, and GOOD LUCK. Keep us all updated. – – – Thanks. Nutter.

    2. You can make the request at DOJ, but will they do anything? Or will they allow the VA to claim some BS excuse to avoid accountability?

      I believe HHS has a procedure for filing a HIPAA complaint. I am not sure of the success.

      I recall reading some time ago that the VA has a separate system to report HIPAA violations. Ben may have written a column on it, but I know I read about it somewhere…possibly a USA Today article Ben wrote about. The VA claimed they encouraged employees to report even problems which may not be actual violations in order to improve their systems. When you reviewed the reports on that system, which was available for every VA hospital in the country, it was clear what was reported were clear HIPAA violations…not just minor problems where the VA could improve their processes.

  25. Off Topic – Important for All – @Namnibor, @James Gallegos, – – – Nam thank you so very much for posting the information about the drug epidemic that our Country has been facing in the last 15-20 years, compared to what the Main Stream Media [MSM] stating that the problem started about 10 years ago.

    The public has been mislead about the increase of the misuse of pain medications, when it started, and by whom. The American public has been informed, that the use of illegal drugs or prescribed pain medications has only been a severe problem in the last 10 years or so. The American public doesn’t know when the increase of the use of pain medications started, and many media resources will always tie this in with the VA treating Veterans. Trying to pin the drug problem only on the VA is a factor of fallacious information. The purpose is to mislead the public, and to have them to perceive, that the fault for the current drug epidemic in our Country is because of the drug issues pertaining to Veterans.

    In my opinion, the main reason for the opiate [opioid] and pain medication epidemic in our Country is mainly due to these factors; [1] a major advertising and PR campaign of opiate medications by Pharmaceutical Companies, [2] over prescribing of opiates [opioids] by Physicians in the Private Sector, influenced by Pharmaceutical Companies, [3] over prescribing of opiates by VA Physicians, due to the lack of implementing the latest Pain Management Practices, and 21st sentry’s new technologies to treat Veterans with pain issues, and [3] the cost reduction to produce illegal street drugs, and its availability in the United States because of complex drug transportation practices used by smugglers.

    There is no clear cut knowledge or determination that the Veterans Administration [VA] is responsible for the current drug addiction and overdose epidemic that is occurring United States. This is a myth that the VA is the culprit that created the current drug problem that we are facing, even though the VA has contributed to the problem by severely effecting our Veteran population.

    Even the slightest hint that can be pointed at the VA for causing the drug epidemic, gives Veterans a bad name or rap. This causes law enforcement, the public, and family and friends to be on edge when they are dealing with, or exposed to a love one that is a Veteran, and the Veteran is having problems with medications that are prescribed by VA Physicians. I understand this situation first hand.

    Namnibor your description of how stores are adding security equipment in their facility’s bathrooms [restrooms], to deter individuals from using this area for shooting up drugs is right on. It is quite revealing for those who aren’t on the front lines of the drug problem, or have not been exposed to individuals with drug addictions whether in public or not. They may hear about it, but their not exposed to it.

    Blue Light has been used to deter drug use since 2000 or even prior [paper by Professor Margret Hamilton, entitled, ‘Blue Lights in Public Toilets,’ published in ANTA Alcohol & Other
    Drugs Toolbox, Articles, ANTA 2000- link to long to post, Google it], and by Kevin Flemen’s February 2003 paper on ‘Blue Lights’; [”].

    Blue Light makes it harder for a drug user to detect or locate a vein or artery for shooting up. And, Blue Light not only is used in bathrooms, but we have been technologically exposed to Blue Light by using everyday electronics, and by natural sources produced from sunrays [“”].

    @Namnibor, the reason that I posted additional information pertaining to who is responsible for the opiate epidemic, drug addiction, the use of Blue Lights in the bathrooms of retail stores, is to let everyone know that all this information isn’t new. No offense to you or anyone else, but I’m really glad that you posted the information on the use of Blue Lights. Because of the drug epidemic retailers are forced to add extra layers of protection for their employees, customers, bottom-line [sales cash flow], and the retailers property.

    Most American’s are NOT aware of the information that is in Namnibor’s post. And, I believe that our Government and the Main Stream Media [MSM] are to blame for not keeping the public aware of the current drug epidemic in full format. And, to consistently keep the public updated on the matter, and any progress that may be occurring in trying to solve this major health care issue

    Our Government, Veterans Administration [VA], and MSM has completely failed the American Public on the issue of drug abuse, addiction, and suicide. As always, they are too late, need to increase contributions to keep up with the problem, and they need to supply 21st sentry medical and pain management modalities.

    Lets not forget how many times that the powers-at-be always tries to link certain problems, that misleads the public to think that the current drug epidemic was caused by Veterans. Research indicates that most Veterans with drug problems are because of’;

    [1] Multiple Deployments- causing extreme anxiety, compounding and reinforcing PTSD symptoms, and the disruption of the solder’s family unit.

    [2] Combat Exposure- being vulnerable from hazardous and intense life threatening situations that forces the solder to be in a state of different levels of protective mode.

    [3] Non-Combat Injuries- behind-the-lines accidents related to military services that supports the front line of battle.

    [4] Exposure to Mobbing, Bullying, Hazing, and Sexual Abuse (Peer Related)- these types of actions, behaviors, and incidents have been a major problem for active duty military personnel for a long time. And, it is an embarrassing label for the military powers-at-be. Recently military leaders admitted that this was a problem. In the past, these types of incidents were kept in the closet, or swept under the rug. Therefore creating a hesitation for active duty military personnel, to come forward to make a complaint due to these types of behavioral violations, but many times solders were deterred from filing a complaint against the perpetrator.

    [5] Matters Caused by Abuse of Power (Abuse by Leadership)- deviant and misconduct behaviors by Superior Officers committed against lower ranking members of the military. A large majority of these types of incidents start when a victim is on active duty. And like abuse by peers, there has been hesitation in filing complaints against there Superior Officers because of their offenses.

    The above lists the main issues that has created the greater risk for Veterans and active duty military personnel to develop substance abuse problems. Keep in mind, that as the FDA, DEA, and VA have implemented new guidelines for prescribing addictive medications. These include pain medications, muscle relaxers, benzodiazepines, and anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant drugs (some known to be addictive, and less reported by the Main Stream Media (MSM) compared to the reporting on opiate drugs).

    This is my next to the last long post that I’ll be submitting to Ben’s blog, in order to participate in helping my fellow Veteran’s by submitting pertinent information, ranting to get relief from anger, forms of humor, and off-the-wall posts that sometimes doesn’t make any sense.

    The VA has caused me to become too dysfunctional in life. I’ve been requesting and demanding help for well over a year. Recently the VA provided Physical Therapy (PT), but I lost a lot of muscle tissue because of being sedentary for a long period of time.

    Remember, there are three [3] types of muscle in the human body; skeletal (skeletal muscles attach to and move bones by contracting and relaxing in response to voluntary messages from the nervous system), cardiac (cardiac muscle is found only in the myocardium, that contracts in response to signals from the cardiac conduction system to make the heart beat), and smooth (smooth muscle is found in the walls of hollow organs; urinary bladder, digestive tract, eyes, and arteries – veins throughout the body).

    My whole muscular system has been effected, and not properly addressed by the VA. Due to being on powerful pain medications for a long time, these medications have also had a negative effect on my body’s hormones (a regulatory substance produced in an organism and transported in tissue fluids such as blood to stimulate specific cells or tissues into action). This has caused lack of sleep, a slower stimulation of digestive peristaltic action, anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, brain fog, irritability, confusion, and anger.

    I realize that this is a long post and I apologize. But I wanted to let y’all know what is going on so that you’re not held in suspense. There is a long road up ahead for me, and I plan on changing pain management treatments hopefully for better results and recovery from the dangerous medical care that is currently being provided by the VA.

    My last long post will be on the alternative treatment of using Medical Marijuana for many of the symptoms that I’m experiencing. Current pain management practices have failed me, and is now being less effective in relieving my symptoms. And the VA, well they want to give me additional medication that has been reported to cause more symptoms. A vicious cycle of Western and Evidence / Experienced – Based Medical practices.

    Stay well, and I want to encourage all of you to continue the fight against the corruption that is continually happening with the VA. I will be following posts, and will most likely only make short comments to important matters that concern me. Even though the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus are no longer performing shows, the circus still continues at the VA. Watch your six (6).

    20-22 Veterans commit suicide every day, and I don’t want to be one of them.

    ** VA Veteran Care Terrorism ** – the intentional emotional, psychological, and detrimental assault on Veterans proper medical care, and claims processing for compensation and pension, that directly puts a Veteran in fear of losing their health, and fear of losing their life. – – – Nutter.

  26. I wish you the very best of luck on this Ben but I realize that you’re up against a formidable foe with the VA. I fought my battles with that agency to where I just wanted to give up numerous times. They dragged me through the mud, told lies,etc.etc. I have no love for those people. It just ticks me off that other vets have to put up with their crap also.

  27. Meanwhile, Tommy ” The Butthurt Snowflake” Distefano, just left a butthurt comment against Ben, under (VA awards 19mil) must suck to be Tommy. How’s it feel Tommy? To go through life so jelous of someone you could never be?

    Poor Tommy, does it hurt and have a temperature? You lost snowflake, deal with it, better yet, you ball-less wonder, go drink some draino, cleaning the swamp can start right in your own home.

    1. Are you stupider in real life than you are online. When have I ever mentioned any like for Clinton or any mainstream Cuck politician? Jealous over what? Read what I wrote; Israel is in control. Our government needs to be completely and totally overhauled and not by some draft dodging, Israel loving ,bankrupt business man. I would support David Duke for office…you see where I am going? I am saying trump fooled us all. You calling me a snowflake but spend all day online complaining how the VA fucks over people. I am a disabled combat infantry vet, been fucked over too, been there and done that. But I moved on. A lot of people sit here all day sucking up government money but complain when others do it. You already commented on what I wrote yesterday on that thread; even though my comments were neither directed to or about you. Now you call me out? Go bow down and support the six point master plan you ZOG degenerate. You drew first blood. I am exercising my rights to free speech, your being a cuck. Complaining about what the government “Owes” you make you no different than the rats hanging outside the SNAP office. If you are white, you are a disgrace to your race.

      1. @Tommy Distefano, @cj, @Disgruntled Veteran, @Ex va, @Namnibor, @91Veteran – – – Let me put a clear sharp bead on this. Tommy, I’m glad that you moved on. Your fantastic, yes, your better than others that see things differently, or may have other beliefs because of what they know. They read and interpret the VA policies, and know their BENEFICIAL rights. Do you know what BENEFICIAL means Tommy? Let me tell you.

        A Veteran that is seeking Compensation or Pension from the VA, is not only entitled, but they have a God given right to do so. Why? Because it is morally ok to follow the Guidelines of an Agency (Even if your a God fearing man, its written in the good book. Oops, sorry, it was inspired and written by some Jewish people).

        Oh, and Tommy, what about the Veterans that the VA gave them Compensation and Pension for Service Connected ailments, and then for no good reason, but only taking things out of context and twisting things, then the VA reneged on their approvals. What about these Veterans? How do they survive? Especially if it is impossible to maintain on the outside. What crawl under a boardwalk blank, dry up to a crust, and die?

        And also, now listen Tommy, the VA will use the words customer or client to refer to you for serving our Country. But Tommy, all Veterans are beneficiary’s of the VA. There’s a big difference Tommy. Its not a hand out. Its survival for some, maybe many.

        And that includes me, as I’m writing from my hospital bed (located in my living room), while I’m getting pain relief from sublingually ingesting pure isolated CBD crystals, because the VA meds are ineffective. You should give me credit for doing CBD. No expense on the backs of the VA. Oh, and my K9 PTSD Service Dog is nudging me for his treats.

        By the way Tommy, where did I see in your posts that you’re willing to help a Veteran Brother or Sister if they need a helping hand? Your to dam stern, selfish, and pissed off at others. Tommy, your missing the point. It really shows, believe me. But, it is all well even if you don’t believe me.

        Remember, there are between 20-22 Veterans that commit suicide daily. No mention in your posts about it. And how the VA is lacking in this area to help protect Veterans. But all that you want or care about is your free speech? Hmm. And how others are sucking up monies from the Gubmint to make ends meet. Hmmm.

        Oh, by the way, I’m a highly educated disabled 1/4 black, 1/4 Chicano, 1/4 Latino, and 1/4 Jewish man. So what does that make me? Am I in there? Do I fit in? I love my mixed raced fellow Veterans. And I don’t forget about the lovely curvatures of a women too. Umm, I love my sweet thing.

        Enough already. Git out of here you white supremacist !!! Shit.

      2. Not to mention those benefits are guaranteed in Sec 4(d) of the 14th Amendment. And to listen to Trump in the campaign, now guaranteed by POTUS? Where is it?

      3. @Tommy DiStefano – – – I agree with you that our government needs to be completely and totally overhauled. Washington D.C. has no effective, guiding moral principles for leading this country. The whole damn government is corrupt beyond belief.

        That is the ONLY thing you and I agree on.

        My skin is “white” on the outside. I was raised in a family that included Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Argentineans, Chileans, Africans, Americans of African descent, Scots, Irish, Germans, Native people and many others.

        ALL of them had a profound effect upon the shaping of America, and my thinking. We have heterosexuals, gays, and bisexuals in my family. And we are scattered all over the world – – – those of us who are still alive.

        I am sorry for you that you see David Ernest Duke, who is an American white nationalist, politician, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, convicted felon, and former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan as a viable candidate to straighten out our country. If Hitler were alive today – – – I have no doubt you would “vote” for him.

        Every veteran who reads or posts upon Ben’s Blog has EARNED their right to do so. There can be ZERO doubt that this nation has broken the promises it has made to veterans who served honorably.

        And every veteran that is struggling with the VA, IS ENTITLED to receive their benefits in a timely manner. Those benefits were PRE-EARNED and PRE-Paid by their sacrifice while serving.

        Ben is doing the most ethical thing that a human-being possibly could with his education and training. What this nation sorely needs is another million Ben’s.

        You say you have moved on. Really? Not what I see . . .

      4. @Tommy Distefano: Try again shit for brains, I receive zero from the government, that’s $00.00. Read your post again you illiterate piece of cow dung. You slammed every single veteran on this blog, and you don’t know Jack shit about me. Yes, that’s right, you did. Now who’s the all assuming asswipe?

        You will also notice, I mainly comment late at night, although I will make this one exception, because most days, I am too busy working my fucking ass off. Would you like to make a few more moronic assumptions about people you know nothing about?

        And you have the balls to call me a disgrace to my race? Look in the mirror. My comment was targeted directly at you, that is how real men roll. Your comment was directed at everyone, like a suicide bomber, that is not how men roll.

        Get your head out of your ass, and think, before you excersize your right to free speech. When civil war does break out in this country, you need to be smarter than your enemy. Sai cosa intendo?

      5. One more thing Tommy, your name would suggest your part Italian, the likes of Duke would like you better at the end of a rope, be very careful who you align yourself with. Duke would love to use you for his dirty work, then turn on you, and strike like the snake he is.

  28. I had an incident where a va executive was snooping thru my veteran medical records. I was a va employee and interviewing for a va job at the exact time the va executive accessed my medical records. In the real world, that would be a slam dunk case on my part.

    Well the director did everything in his power to cover for the executive.

    Long story short, I got va approved treatment in the private sector. However even though I had authorized care outside the va at the va’s exspense, they did not pay one penny. My account got turned over to collections. Then the executive walked right out the door with full retirement

    1. @Underwater basket weaver specialist – – – You may still be able to file a complaint under HIPAA Act. Both the Executive and Director are involved according to what’s in you post. Maybe you can find the Director to hold him accountable [ignored word for the VA], depending how long ago the incident happened, and if you have any direct proof that documents the incident. UBWS, sorry these sneaker RAT BASTARDS put you through this illegal shit. Next time if this happens, stop them for going through your files, file a complaint ASAP, and tell those MF’s to F off. Good luck Brother, and keep posting. – – – Nutter.

  29. I live in the Philippines and they will NOT pay for my chiropractic therapy, because the Philippine government does not recognize chiropractic therapy. WHAT? What does the Philippine government have to do with the VA. I filed a complaint with my Congressman to no avail.

    1. @Edward Sieczka – – – You’re right what does the Philippine Government have to do with the VA. You’d think that as long as the Chiropractic Provider is a licensed practitioner and will accept payment from the VA, what is the problem? Wow! This is interesting. At one time when living in Hawaii, I was offered a position to teach in Guam. At first I was attracted to it, but then after finding out that the climate is a lot more humid than Hawaii, I was interested. Thanks for sharing, and keep coming back to read comments, and post when you want to. – – – Nutter.

    2. Edward, you should ask the VA to put in writing that they will not pay for your care because some foreign government does not recognize a procedure.

      Tell them you need it in writing in order to take the next step of appealing their decision.

      I bet once you ask them to put it in writing that their story changes. Why should veterans of the US military be held hostage to the backwards thinking of some other country?

      Think of how many cures for disease or care procedures may not have been recognized in foreign countries until the US proved it worked through research and application.

  30. Ben have you been Red Flagged as of today.

    VA terminology is what ever they say they want to say. Green is black don’t believe me ask a VA employee…

    They may correct me and say it’s in between…

    Its the same thing going on with the disruptive reporting and confirmed by the OIG.

    VA can not define what constitutes disruptive behavior and they use what ever is handy at the time…

    The VA is dangerous. !

  31. Good for you Ben. Your actions can only help many other vets being bent over by the VA repeatedly.

    My comment may be long, so please bear with me.

    I don’t know what pisses me off more, worthless VA bureaucrats, crooked insurance companies, or crooked insurance companies working as contractors for the VA.

    Are those contractors getting a bonus? Say a percentage of every dollar they prevent being paid out?

    That seems that way to me in dealing with my own problem of the VA billling my insurance for service connected care. The only difference is that I did not go to a civilian ER, but actually went to the VA where they had access to my medical records to see what is service connected. The records were ignored in favor of billing my insurance fraudulently.

    So, what prudent layperson calls the VA, hears their phone answering machine that says, “If this is a medical emergency, hang up and dial 911” thinks, “shit, now I have to get a PhD in cardio-vascular diseases to determine if this really is an emergency.”

    The whole reason people dial 911 or go to the ER is because they believe they have an emergency requiring immediate medical attention.

    Could the VA have provided you better care for your emergency Ben? Could you have driven the distance to the VA in icy weather? Would they have anyone on staff capable of providing the care you needed?

    Does anyone having a medical emergency have time to determine all that?

    Why would these worthless bureaucrats think someone experiencing a medical emergency is in the proper frame of mind to make those determinations?

    One goes to the ER because one believes there is a need.

    Using the VA logic on this, why do they have attorneys for legal advice? Why not use the “prudent layperson” model to answer their own legal questions.

    I, as a “PRUDENT LAYPERSON”, strongly believe Rubens and Graves should be fired. Why did they take their case to the MSPB?

    I, as a “PRUDENT LAYPERSON” believe the VA should be held accountable by allowing veterans to file complaints with state oversight boards regarding malpractice and insurance fraud.

    Ben, I think your claim was rubber stamped denied like many veterans, and very likely in retaliation for your exposure of their illegal actions.

    Their denial suggests you have a crystal ball you can gaze into that tells you whether you are actually having a heart attack. The VA just used their Magic 8 ball to deny your claim.

    One thing to remember Ben, and the VA may still have these, but there used to be signs up in many VAMCs that said, “If you are experiencing chest pains, please inform the nurse”.

    It did not matter what clinic you were in, they had these signs. I have not seen these in some time.

    I was checking in to an appointment once at the Madison VA some years ago. I was having chest pains at the time. I reported it to the intake nurse as the sign said. It was kinda treated as an emergency in that I was not allowed to check into that appointment, but was required to go to the VA ER. On my own. Where I was treated as a scamming liar for reporting chest pains.

    I will flop on the friggin floor before I ever do that again.

    Why did/does the VA treat chest pains as an emergency (kinda) when you are in their hospital, but not at home?

    If you were at the VA Ben for an annual checkup and you reported chest pains, would they treat that as an emergency?

    Why not call your local VA, inform whatever humanoid picks up the phone that you are having chest pains, and see what their response is? Do they tell you to drive in? Or do they tell you to dial 911?

    Given your history with the VA Ben, I too would not trust them for care. If you went for an in grown toenail you can be sure they would amputate at the hip.

    Kelly is a friggin clueless weasel.

    “Once we identified”? You didn’t identify shit. Your shoddy practices were exposed in the media identifying using unqualified hacks was common practice at many VAs. That exposure was by a veteran, not ANY trained quack at your hospital.

    The irony is he claims they are committed to delivering high quality care in the same email in which he acknowledges they were not delivering high quality care.

    Dumb ass.

    So the VA whined to the DOJ that you provide a vigorous representation of your clients?

    Seriously? The DOJ should slap those damn fools with strict training requirements on attorney ethics and providing a proper representation as you are paid to do.

    As an attorney, I believe you can be sanctioned for providing ineffective counsel.

    Would those same lazy hacks whine about an ACLU attorney providing a vigorous representation of their clients?

    I wonder if the CBO in Denver is the same bunch of crooks that gave Ron Nessler such a hard time with benefits he was entitled to.

    Good luck Ben. I am happy to see you and AJ on this. I suspect insurance fraud in the VA is as widespread as TBI fraud.

    If not more so.

  32. My father is dead because of his fear of an uncovered emergency room bill. Ben, you know the story. I received threats from VA employees and harassment and extremely harsh criticism from people in my community – telling me if I had taken him to the ER he would still be alive. And they are probably correct. But he was afraid, and like a fool, he trusted the VA to care for him.

    1. @Candice Delis: Candice, sorry for your loss. Sad your father was made to feel as he did. You won’t find any veterans here, that will lay blame at your feet. We all know how corrupt, and criminal the VA is. Always sad to hear of another veteran, who’s time was cut short, especially when the VA is involved.

    2. @Candice Delis – – – I’m so sorry for the loss of your father. When I lost mine, it was crushing to say the least. Especially since I found both of my parents dead. Not at the same time, and in different geographical locations. All that I can say, is that you’re welcome to post your thoughts, findings, humor, anger, or what ever on Ben’s blog. There are many good Veterans on Ben’s blog that help out each other if they can. God bless you Candice, so that you’re able to overcome any arrows sent by the stupidity of others foolish remarks. Keep posting, there may be other Veterans that can be blessed by your participation. – – – Nutter.

    3. @Candice Delis – – – I am sorry for your loss. The VA kills many good veterans, including your father. I hope you find something of value in the postings of those here. All of them are survivors of VA Veteran Care Terrorism. Welcome Aboard.

  33. @Ben, same standard of proof should apply to emergency care, as well as fear of loss of life. Just because an officer of the law, didn’t lose his/her, life​, doesn’t mean they couldn’t have. Just because you didn’t lose your life, doesn’t mean you couldn’t have. Should I stop making sense? I agree, wrongful and intentional, denial of benefits, with malice.

    We have no money for you GI Joe, we have apps to buy, and useless kiosks to purchase, and bad art to hang, and more bonuses to pay for denying your claim. Your job is to make a claim, so we can get bonuses for saying “DENIED”
    Didn’t you get the memo?

    1. Ohhhhhh shit! You didn’t get the memo.

      Had to make another comment, cause I forgot to check the notify me button. What a wing ding I is.

      1. Ben, fire at will.

        ░░░░░░███████ ]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▃==========O>——-(+)V.A.B.S.

  34. Not exactly but. I called for an “urgent care problem.” Turned out to be a yeast infection. To save the VA money, I went to the local walk in clinic rather than the ER. I was over 150 miles from my assigned VA and over 80 miles from the nearest VA. There was a VA clinic 30 miles away that had refused to see me for chest pain because I wasn’t assigned to it.

    I was without a driver and not able to drive because of being in a “stuporous state”, part of my TBI symptoms plus winter driving conditions. I ended up paying $150.00 plus $35.00 medication.

    As a result because of my complaint to my Congresswoman, I was able to get assigned to Choice. Now I can go to the same clinic. And now that the BVA has made me 100% TDIU I don’t expect any repeat experience. Plus I have learned to go to the ER if I don’t have a Choice authorization because the VA emergency call center won’t authorize urgent care even when there is a transportation problem to your assigned VA Medical Care Facility.

    1. @Lem – – – Glad that you gotten some control with the yeast issue. We talked about Candida months ago. Here are some medical conditions that are misdiagnosed, mistreated even when antifungals are used, and controversial. They conditions are;

      [1] Candida albicans – Yeast Infection

      [2] Microbial Dysbiosis – overload of bad microbes that have taken over good micro organisms in your digestive tract.

      [3] Leaky Gut Syndrome – where there is an opening of the lining of the digestive tract.

      [4] Lazy Colon or No Peristalsis – this is the lack of movement of the contents in the digestive tract.

      All of the above ailments can occur if from the damage that opiates [pain medications] can have on the body. Most Physicians will not admit this, or know how to properly treat it, nor will they inform a patient about them before prescribing pain medications. GO FIGURE. Thanks. – – – Nutter.

    2. don’t expect any repeat experience ?
      Same thing that happened in California
      has now happened to Me in Fl.
      “.. 25 Years later “

  35. I had just the opposite experience at my local hospital emergency room visit in southern nj for a breathing problem. This was close to 10 years ago. VA paid the Emergency bill from the hospital with no problems. They were the good old days…

  36. I’ve always been afraid to use the non-VA emergency room! Mainly because I don’t want to be stuck with the Bill!
    My health is deteriorating, because I’m NOT receiving proper medical care by a PCP I believe hasn’t passed the proper medical exams in America! She went to a medical school in Poland. When I asked her “Where did you go to medical school?”
    She answered; “Atlanta!”
    If she’s truly a medical doctor, why wasn’t she being truthful?
    This comes down to the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on me!” “Fool me twice, shame on you!”

    Plus, My credit score isn’t that bad. I just feel the VA will screw me over, as they have MANY veterans in the past!

    (Ben, the “comments section” says “4 comments!” Yet, it only has/had 2 when I posted. What’s up?)

    1. Crazy isn’t it
      Have had Issues since Dec 2015 when I started mentioning things
      since then I’m now on 3rd PCP who last Visit when asked about TBI
      by Me ; She responded that doesn’t even know what that is .
      Problem was being told TBI – I didn’t have it .. but was Diagnosed
      with it in 1983 How could it change ? and recently learned that I now have CTE but still no TBI well that’s what causes CTE . CTE is TBI

      1. All it takes for a TBI is a bell ringer. Walking into a door or a low hanging limb. Plenty of places on a ship to ring your bell. It is not so much the strength of the blow by where and from which direction it landed.

        And not remembering is part of some TBIs.

    1. Benjamin, I guess it never ends. Americans with including veterans are stuck to no end. Congress, the Senate, and the VA just do not get it or have any insight at all. The situations with the American citizens with including the veterans all lead directly back to the Congress and the Senate even the VA with their Socialistic agenda. Benjamin, people are stuck due to being stepped on, slammed, and discriminated against due to disabilities or whatever the circumstances happen to be. My breakdown in the Navy was directly a result of being strangled and controlled by the Navy who used me as their guinea pig. Benjamin, the Cryptologic Community revoked my security clearance for whatever reason. Benjamin, a clearance is not supposed to be revoked due to a mental disability or mental health issues. Benjamin, they slammed me again when they did not allow me to convert my VEAP to the Montgomery GI BILL. So I was really demolished by the Navy. It was the Navy Medical Command that retired me and even initiated the SSDI. It was the DAV that initiated my compensation. They reviewed my records before I even transitioned off active duty. Benjamin, it was the Navy Medical Command who initiated my accommodations many moons ago. Benjamin, during that time frame, I was very sick. And, I am still disabled today but I have stabilized and and I am managing everything. In the more recent years, the VA has denied Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation forever and the list goes on with the sabatoge agenda. Benjamin, without Medicare and Tricare, I really do not have dependable and accountable healthcare. I have been trying to get back into the workforce but there has to be some type of healthcare because with employment the SSDI goes as well as Medicare. I can’t try to work with holding a job because all the healthcare that will be the VA which is not flexible, dependable, or accountable for one to be able to hold a job. Benjamin, I can provide you many experiences where the healthcare conflicts with school and would conflict with employment. Benjamin, the tuition is overpriced which is really the lead into substantive employment that would offer healthcare benefits. In regards to the healthcare, I have many factual experiences where the VA does not even follow their own regulations. To get one issue resolved, I had to seek a state government veterans service officer to get it resolved. A few years ago. Benjamin, I was brought in on an ambulance and the VA refused to pay the bills. I was psychotic with experiencing hallucinations, voices and delusions. I do not know who even called the ambulance. No recall of how it all occurred because I was totally out of reality. And Benjamin, this is my service connected disability. My Navy service connected disability is a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. The VA changed it to Major Depression with Psychotic Features. My story really goes on and on. The bottom line is people who are on whatever government assistance that they are on is due to circumstances that have put them there. Congress and Senate and the VA though always blame the people who are on the assistance with not a reform of the bureaucratic regulations to assist a person to transition back into the workforce if possible. It is the bureaucracy that never accepts blame where some of the blame is due. The government officials blame people for being on assistance when it ultimately is mostly due to their own legislative policies. It is the bureaucracy who have been pushing socialism and outsourcing jobs. It is government who enables the over priced tuition. It is government and even our society who are discriminatory and biased towards people who have disabilities. Benjamin, I have come a long way considering the way the Navy retired me. When the Navy retired me, I could not hardly speak and even function. Other people managed my life. So Benjamin, I am still disabled but have worked very hard. Developed compensatory measures and use academic accommodations today to remain in school. Can only take a class or two due to the cost. Can’t afford graduate work, or even upper level classes due to the overpriced tuition. Soon to take Calculus 1 this semester and meeting with an Electrical Engineering advisor and an Electrical Engineering Technology program advisor to see about some certifications to add to my college degree from 1984 prior to joining the Navy. Many companies such as Lockeed Martin have career fairs for students who are disabled to be hired into the companies.
      But has the VA assisted me in anyway to try to get back into the workforce. Hell, no. I have even had to pay a private psychologist to keep my academic accommodations updated. Benjamin, when I speak about workforce, I mean substantive employment not damn house keeping in the VA where veterans who get hired there get stuck to eternity. Yes, I have a beef with the VA and the federal government from the past administrations. I can say only one area the VA has really been accountable with me about is keeping me from becoming homeless. One other entity is the mental health dual diagnosis program that the VA once had which included intensive therapy with minimal medications. All these providers who were in this program are no longer in the VA. Because anything that is good and healthy for the veterans to promote recovery is within no time eliminated.
      So I could go on. Congress and the Senate and the VA with their over regulations contribute to many Americans being stuck but yet the bureaucracy blames the people for being on government assistance when it is the federal government that has most of the time caused it. I am speaking about military vets who get medicated to death and pushed aside. Or even people who are on Medicare or even Medicaid. It all points mainly back to the Democrat policies who have almost wiped out the American citizens. Got to go. I have lots to speak about. And I bet Congress and the VA would love to burn me but it is their regulations and poor governing that have led to the unrest and dependence within society. REFORM the 38 USC and the CFR. Then, the VA and the government might see some positive growth in the VA and this country.

      1. Adding to my comments. I am speaking about the VA healthcare. The system does not allow for enough dependability, flexibility, and accountability for one to be able to try to hold a job or even be in school. Benjamin, the professors and the companies will not wait on the VA. Benjamin, the misuse of time in the VA conflicts with a veteran’s outside schedule. When I went to the VA, I never knew if I would get out of there today or tomorrow. I am speaking about primary care. The mental health clinic most of the time was punctual with me. The optometry clinic I disagree with you about. I have a long story about this area of care. I need to get on my computer for this topic. Will do that tomorrow. I have been planning to get back on my computer to dive into all these topics but I get sidetracked with my responsibilities that need to be done. I have factual documentation on why I moved my care out of the VA. This is where the private doctors had to see me because I did not have the time or energy to fight with the VA in order to be seen. Benjamin, on top of this, if I had left my life up to the VA, I would probably not be existing today or have had any medical procedures completed. As for Republicans or Democrats, Benjamin, most really do not have any insight to what they are even doing in their legislation because they are not connected to every day Americans with even including the ones who are own disability compensation. Benjamin, these Congressional types will screw me in a heartbeat. They really do not give a shit but it is their polices and it is them who have contributed to my being stuck and also their biased and discriminatory attitudes. More later. I pray for change one day but it may never even be acknowledged. Probably continue to crap on us vets and crap on us some more.

    2. Just to show how bad emergency room care is, I was seen at a VA CBOC and they decided to send me to a local emergency room, Not only did they deny the payment at the ER, they also denied payment to the ambulance they insisted I take to the Hospital. If the VA PCP is unable to determine if an Emergency Room visit is required, who must approve it.

      1. Get a copy of your cboc visit, that has to show your visit and it should show that they refered you to the E R.

        Send that back to the people who denied it. DoD you call the nurse hotline number within 72 hours.

        What was the reason for denial. When did this happen. It was posted where the VA was given money to pay for emergency room visits for non service connected conditions.

        The VA was caught not using this money for this reason. Veteran’s should sending all their Bill’s again and again ask them to pay it.

        Hope that helps

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