Warning Signs to Disabled Vets from McCain.


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Post removed.... Obama won.

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I can see how this would be beneficial if you did not live anywhere close to a VA facility. You could just go to a civilian doc and have the bill sent to the govt. That way if you did live way out in the sticks, you wouldn't have to drive for hours to get to the VA.
Not that I think his stated plan is the best idea, it just needs some improvements.
One improvement would be make those Vouchers paid by the V.A. @ the co-pay or free if 100% rated V.A. rate. The V.A. has to make the math work right. If the non-V.A. hospital charges more than the rate the V.A. will pay at a civilian facility the Vet ends up with more charges or full rate owed to that hosptal. Outsourcing has been tried and still is in certain cases, it works but only if the VA does not limit the Vet to a expensive treatment hospital (where the million $ machine exists to peform the procedure) or the cheapest one they can find in your area to compensate for lack of appointment availability for routine care. Been outsourced twice in the last 5 years; a dentist was far better than V.A. dental, a bone-scan was more like assault & battery by 2 BIG goons who broke a bone in my spine twisting me into their expensive scanner.


Having worked at the VA for 20+ years in psychiatry I can tell you that if a patient had to be hospitalized, and there was no bed space available, he or she would be sent to a local civilian hospital for treatment until a bed was open. We had two contract hospitals on call for us (and a third for backup) at all times. One hospital was selected based on if the patient also required medical care, the other was strictly for Psychiatry. I can really understand both sides of this argument.

For many years if you developed a psychiatric condition in boot camp you were given a D/C and treated for life at a VA; usually along with 100% SC. I had entire groups that never got past the first 6 weeks of Boot Camp. Schizophrenia is a mental Illness that usually presents about the time you either leave home for college, or go into the military. We have literally thousands of these patients (along with similar illnesses) that are treated in our VA's, and most receive almost $3000 per month for life. I am not saying they should not be treated, but in most VA's across the country if you have PTSD from combat, or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) from a roadside bomb, you are lucky to get an appointment (for outpatient psychiatry or medial care for non-psych.) 2 or 3 times per year.

I am SC'ed for 100%, but if you add up all the areas of my disability (all from combat) it comes out over 200%. I am 100% just for PTSD. I have been seen by my personal psychiatrist twice this year. In Primary Care (for medical care) I have had a different medical doctor my last three visits. I requested just last week to have my blood work repeated in 30 days and I was told 3 months. I'll be lucky if that is not canceled.

I have Blue Cross as a retired federal employee so I will be looking for a local MD to fill in the gaps, most are not that lucky. My guess is we could spend the next month talking about how to 'fix' the VA and not come up with a solution, but vouchers (especially for rural veterans), may be one way to begin the process.

Now today things are a little different. If you developed a mental illness (or most medical conditions) during the first 180 days (I think that is now even a larger period) you would be D/C'ed for "The Good of the Service." You might get to collect SSI from Social Security, but you would not be treated at a VA. Just like the military (especially under Carter and Clinton) the VA budget has never been large enough to treat all the patients who come through the door. Clinton made anyone who had ever seen a John Wayne movie eligible for the VA (well, almost).

My greatest fear is that under Obama all of the VA's may become part of his "Universal Health Care plan and will open the VA doors to anyone who walks by. He has already suggested that during the Primaries as he believes if we all have insurance (paid by the government) there will be no need for a separate plan for veterans. Time will tell. Sorry for rambling on, I think I got a little off point.

One thing I've found trying to help new/younger Vets get into the V.A. BHS, Behavioral Health Services, (psych) even for an intake is many are still compensating with alcohol, some with dope or both, and they will not touch a wet/high PTSD-ed out Vet, so I have to tell some Vets 1/2 my age that they have to clean-up, when for many that's the only way they have left to blank it out. Then they get a trip thru Drug & Alcohol rehab maybe if V.A. beds & O.P. apts are available, most ain't so make 'X' many civilian AA/NA meetings, show no booze or dope in a blood-tox screen (stay that way 4 good) and just maybe they'll get a 15-30 min intake followed by regular follow-ups. How do you tell anyone about 3+ years of carnage hell in 30 mins, try 30 years and most still would be talking about it. I hear about WW-II, Korea, Vietnam or GW-1 with every visit, no big, so I listen and share what I can. Trying to do my bit I cut out all of my q-3 month routine apts freeing up a few hours a year and show up @ urgent care only when I'm too sick to even drive myself c/o a taxi ride or a friend's car.
Bringing in more Vets is going to happen, getting good care, well a lot of that depends on your local V.A. set-up, a VAMC hospital or a V.A. out-patient clinic, for many a long drive for rural living Vets. The DAV shuttle is free for urban/suburban living Vets but that's normally an all day van ride around your city for a 30 min apt. Vouchers was a McCain promise/threat, not one I've heard yet from Obama. If he pulls them maybe they will help for less critically injured/sick Vets. :confused: I'll let you know if I get out-sourced for routine care I've had in V.A. facilities for the last decade. I go in-patient for longer than a month and festus takes this social group over per his kind request to, and Luke's OK to do so. I may fade away but this s/g stays! :yes4:

Went to the VA one time,for an agent orange screening,sat for 5hrs and never saw anyone lost patients and cool used mouth a lot and left, have never been back....

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