Bush Administration Proposes Cut in Veteran Benefits - page 2

It seems that our President has given his blessing, no he specifically gave his approval, to cut benefits to veterans, increase the out of pocket cost some veterans pay for their meds, cut... Read More

  1. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from stevielynn
    Can you provide a link please? I'd like to read it for myself. Just a little idiosyncracy of mine.

    Thanks,

    steph
    I can't find anything on it either.
  2. by   begalli
    Quote from stevielynn
    can you provide a link please?
    "at a time when the number of veterans from the iraq war continues to grow, it's unconscionable that president bush is not thanking them for their sacrifice by fully funding veterans programs," pallone said.

    the president's budget recommendations would translate to $351 million in cuts nationwide from veterans' nursing homes, resulting in 28,000 fewer patients being served, he said. that would mean a loss of about $11 million annually for new jersey, which could force the state to shut one of its three nursing homes for veterans, said pallone aide matt montekio.

    the congressional budget office also has said the budget plan falls $762 million short of what is needed to maintain current veterans programs, pallone said. to close that gap, the bush administration has proposed a $250 annual enrollment fee for medical care and hiking prescription drug co-payments from $7 to $15. the enrollment fee would generate $1.75 million and the co-pay would raise more than $5 million from new jersey veterans, montekio said.
    http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey...7323266050.xml

    ------------------------------

    but the va would stop covering new residents of state veterans homes.

    kucinich said the budget would not keep pace with rising costs.

    and he figured that the government's five-year plan would shortchange veterans by $15 billion over five years.
    http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaind...4498220803.xml
    Last edit by begalli on Mar 23, '05
  3. by   kmchugh
    OK, I'm not only a veteran, I also qualify as a disabled veteran, with a current disability rating of 40%. You want to hear horror stories about the VA, I can tell them to you by the bucketful. But these horror stories cannot be laid at the feet of the current president. Nor can they be laid at the feet of past presidents. They are not the result of budget cuts. They are the result of an entrenched bureaucracy, with a total unwillingness to face reality. It is a bureaucracy that is trying to maintain an infrastructure that was built to support our WWI and WW II veterans when there just aren't that many veterans any longer. It has simply become too big for its purpose, and far too many dollars are spent in facilities maintanence and employee salary that could be better spent on the veterans, if the system were simply closed down and care farmed out.

    But let's go a step further. Understand, I'm not throwing any darts. I hope ther previous poster is able to get help from the VA in paying for her appy. But you must understand, the VA was not established to provide complete health care for all veterans. When I joined the military, no one promised me free health care for the rest of my life. The purpose of the VA hospitals is primarily to provide care for veterans with service connected conditions and disabilities. As a side benefit, they will sometimes provide care to veterans who need care for conditions that are not connected to military service. But they cannot provide this care for free. They provide medication, medical service and care at greatly reduced rates. But the only "free ride" ever promised to any veteran was to provide care for service connected conditions for life.

    I am a great example. Sometime in the next year or two, I will probably be in need of knee replacement surgery. Since my knee was injured while I was on duty in active service, this replacement is done at a VA hospital, at no expense to me. If something happens to my knee while I am somewhere away from the VA and need emergency surgery, they will pay for that as well. However, if tomorrow, I develop appendicitis, I can go to the VA. If there is an opening available for me, they will take care of the surgery. However, treatment of veterans with service connected conditions takes priority, and it is entirely possible that they will have to ship me to a civilian hospital for care. If so, I am responsible for my care, as my appendicitis cannot reasonably be said to be connected to my military service. After all, I left the military more than 10 years ago.

    Let me make this clear. I am a service connected disabled veteran. I have lost exactly zero benefits. I still receive free care for any conditions that are service connected. In my case, that's my right knee and primary hypertension. I receive all medications to treat these conditions for free. When surgery on my right knee is necessary, I will either have it done at the VA, or more hopefully at a civilian hospital that will be paid for by the VA. What is being looked at is a curtailment of free treatment for non-service connected conditions.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Mar 23, '05
  4. by   kmchugh
    And at least one of the articles posted by Begalli support exactly what I just said:

    "Although the proposed 2006 federal budget calls for a 1 percent increase in the overall veterans affairs allotment -- from $67.5 billion to $68.2 billion -- some programs are recommended for cuts, in part to compensate for rising disability and pension costs."

    So, what you are seeing is a cut in services for non-service connected conditions, so that the VA can provide better care for veterans who actually became disabled while on active service.

    KM
  5. by   lpnadmin
    As a 10 year veteran, I strongly discourage anyone from joining the armed services because of stuff like this (reduction in vet benefits), not to mention misleading advertising in recruiting ads (re: college benefits, etc.)

    And if that weren't bad enough, there is a real possibility of the return of the draft.

    Read about it here:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/19/191951/450
  6. by   2ndCareerRN
    I totally agree with Kevin. I am also a service connected disbled vet. If I choose to go to the VA, they will take care of all of my service connected disabilities free of charge. If I go for a non-service connected disablility, I would expect to pay something. The VA is NOT a free health care system for people just because they did in excess of 180 days of uniformed service. It is in place to take care of vets who become disabled as a direct result of their service.

    As far as buying their own food. Some probably are. The military gives people who live off base, or in certain jobs BAS (basic allowence for subsistence). That means the service member gets a set amount of money to purchase food with every paycheck (it is also tax free). If the servicemember decides to eat at government facilities they have to pay for the meal, because they have received money for not eating there. Some service members would rather to continue to receive the money, and pay for their meals, than lose the small amount of money out of their check. During my career the only time I did not receive BAS was when I was assigned to an aircraft carrier. For the remaining 18 years I was flying, and I received BAS. If I had to eat at any services military facility I was charged for it.

    While on active duty I was hospitalized for shoulder surgery, I payed for my meals. I was also ambulatory so I could have gone to the galley if I wanted. I think I lived on McDonalds shakes during that 3 day period, and the 2 times later I was hospitalized for my shoulder. When I checked out of the hospital, my bill was 0.00. Had I used the galley, it would have been a tiny bit more.

    Any service member that is not receiving BAS eats for free, at every meal they choose to eat. They receive a "meal card" that is shown to the cashier and they sign a sheet of paper. There is no money involved.

    Now, if you don't want to believe me, and would rather act outraged, fine. I suggest you do a google search on Commuted rations, military. Or a search for basic allowence for subsistence. It can answer your questions. You will probably end up in a military pay and allowences manual.

    bob
    Last edit by 2ndCareerRN on Mar 23, '05
  7. by   Katmease
    Thanks Kevin & Bob for clearing things up.
    Thank you both for your service to our country!
  8. by   CseMgr1
    The VA System is already an atrocity..how much worse can it get?? During the years I worked in Home Health, I listened (and saw) one horror story after the other, including patients who had to wait for hours to be seen for an appointment (or never got seen at all), botched prescriptions and sending home extremely unstable (or suicidal) people who were no where even close to being candidates for home care. My sister cannot even think about getting a job to supplement my brother-in-law's VA benefits. If she does, then his benefits will be cut. In the meantime they are literally going hungry, as they wait...and wait and wait for the VA to pay him the $1,500 in medical expenses that Medicare would not cover for 2004. They call and call and call the VA, trying to get through, to find out when he is going to be paid...and when they finally do, they are told: "We're backed up". (CLICK).
    And just last week, a co-worker of mine was turned away from a badly needed rehab appointment....because her VA doctor wrote the wrong prescription. She came into work the next day and announced, disgusted that she was going to have to see a civilian doctor...if she had any hope of being treated.

    If anything needs to be cut, it is Bush's JOB. :angryfire
  9. by   kristylee
    Yes, you said it, so many people were blinded by Bush including myself!

    I've really started to educate myself on what's really going on in the world specifically the war in Iraq. I have come to find out that Bush has taken us to a war for no reason - he said that the justification was that terriorists' in Iraq had WMD's and now recently the White House has informed us that their search for WMD's is over and we found NOTHING!! Well, according to what I have gathered, Bush used 9/11 for an excuse to go to Iraq, mainly to get their oil. Actually, there are and never were terriorists' in Iraq, they are in Saudi Arabia and Bush knows it, but the Saudi's have made Bush and the Bush family so much money from oil and whatever else that he wouldn't dare turn his back on them, he would instead have our soldiers go to a war and die for reasons that only applied to him - this is hard to believe, but it is true. The media doesn't show us so much, but there are other ways of finding out what's really happening and the saddest part is that a good % of us don't have a clue. And he says that we're at war to give the Iraqis their freedom...blah blah blah...yeah let's worry about our own freakin country when we have enough problems of our own and these other countries who we help in time of need wouldn't care if we were wiped off the planet. We are in the worst economy of any US President! He is one big lie after another. oh well, at least he can't escape his own Karma and if I were him I would be teriffied...



    Quote from barefootlady
    Maria,
    First I want to thank you for serving this nation. Secondly, I wish you well in your pursuit of your nursing degree. Lastly, I have prayed that this board finds in favor for you and will pay the bill for your care.

    :angryfire !!!!No I did not know injured service men and women have to pay for their own meals. What are we thinking and allowing? We send food, medicine, equiptment all over the world to nations that would gladly see us wiped off the face of the globe and we expect our injured soldiers to pay for meals. I knew about the body armour, have signed many a petition to have it supplied by our government, but FOOD!

    So many people were blinded by Bush. I hope and pray we have a real choice in 2008. Please don't say Frist. Oh, my politics are showing. I better stop while I am ahead.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    to re-coin a phrase MUCH used on Kerry.

    Big ole Flip-flopper.

    What a liar.
  11. by   kmchugh
    To repeat myself: Actual dollars spent on veterans is going up, not down, by over half a billion dollars. How do I know?

    I am a disabled veteran. I have lost zero benefits!

    What is happening is that where the money is being spent is being altered to better meet the needs of the current crop of veterans.

    Kevin McHugh
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The numbers of disabled vets is GOING UP TOO as well as COSTS to TREAT them, Kevin, so it only makes sense, spending dollars MUST GO UP just to KEEP UP with these increases. But are current increases enough to care for all our vets properly? That is the question. It seems, Obviously not. Frankly, stories like the one told firsthand by the vet here concern me! *NOT ONE VETERAN* ought be able to tell such a tale. **NOT ONE**. :angryfire

    Any proposals to cut any benefits to veterans is a slap in the face to today's military men/women, as well------All of this being proposed by the administration of a man who professes his deep appreciation for these same people who have lost so much in their service abroad through years of involvement in overseas conflicts and wars

    Ah, but, I guess they are not much use once they have fought and become severely disabled physically or emotionally/psychologically---- and now medically dependent ----they are not much use to our government, are they. You are lucky, Kevin; you can move on and build a new career despite the disability you have. I am glad for you, honestly. But don't discount the experiences of others not so fortunate. Cause they are many. What of them???
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 25, '05
  13. by   MedicalMT1
    Kevin, you stated in a previous post..."However if tomorrow I develop appendicitis I can go to the VA". How simple you make that sound. June 2003,I went to the VA with a c/c of vomiting, high temp, severe abd pain RLQ, as a prior medic I had an idea what was going on here. CT scan revealed infected appendix(who can argue with a CT scan). I was admitted and the surgeon decided to put me on I.V. antibiotics and if my white count went down they werent going to operate. White count went down and they sent me home. July 2004, devoloped abd pain after eating, no other symptoms as before, 6p.m. experienced severe shooting pain across lower abd area, my sister called 911, off to the hospital. Cat scan revealed "the appendix is not identified". Surgeon comes in and says we need to go to the O.R. immediately. Dx: ruptured appendix with a perotineal abcess". Surgeon asked me if I had a problem with my apprendix before and I informed him about my visit to the VA the year previous. He was disgusted and told me they should have taken my appendix out then, I agreed.

    The VA created "Fee Basis" for veterans who have to have "not preauthorized care" aka, vets that have to have emergency surgeries etc etc. I did not create this law they did. Therefore yes, veterans experiencing emergency care are entitled.

    In reference to your knee problem, I am very curious as to how you sustained this problem. The reason I am asking is because I know a veteran (worked with him on 2 assignments) who is also getting disability. He had bilateral knee surgery and a right ankle repair, which occured on active duty, "service related"...let me tell you what happened....he busted his knees playing basketball, and his ankle playing softball!!!!!!!!! while on active duty. His statements, not mine. Isnt that wonderful?

    By the way, I have a dx of post traumatic stress disorder, shouldnt I be getting disability?

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