Bush Administration Proposes Cut in Veteran Benefits - page 6

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   kmchugh
    Guys, out of respect for the moderators and owner of this board, let's keep this debate to the issue at hand. It is a nursing activism board. The topic at hand is a debate among nurses about health care for veterans. Questions about whether or not we belong in Iraq rightfully belong in the Current Events Forum.

    In case you can't tell, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, both as a nurse and as a veteran. I'd really hate to see this thread closed down because it was hijacked into something that more properly belongs in current events.

    Kevin McHugh
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    As a citizen and a taxpayer, my interest is valid and legitimate.
    Exactly.
  3. by   kmchugh
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I am very curious what makes you think that none of the people who have posted so far have set foot in a VA as a patient. And even if that assumption is true, why you think it matters. As a citizen and a taxpayer, my interest is valid and legitimate. Thanks for the definition of irony, though. It was very helpful. (And yes, that was meant to be ironic. I'm a quick learner.)
    It matters because it is pointless to debate veteran's benefits, or what veterans face if you have never had to experience it yourself. How much credibility would I have if I started lecturing you on how you just did not understand the sexism women face every day? Or if I chose to lecture a black person on the fact that they simply did not understand what racism really was? It's a matter of perspective and experience.

    Again, the problem isn't the tiny programs being cut. It is the deeply engrained, entrenched philosophy and attitude that pervades the VA. So many of you are so concerned about the mouse in the attic but are ignoring the elephant in the living room.

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited to add for both you and Marie: I'm not saying your interest isn't legitimate. It is simply aimed in the wrong direction.
  4. by   kmchugh
    Maybe what I am really trying to say is if you want to help the veterans, perhaps it would be beneficial to both the veteran and you to find out what the veteran thinks is the biggest problem.

    KM
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from kmchugh
    Maybe what I am really trying to say is if you want to help the veterans, perhaps it would be beneficial to both the veteran and you to find out what the veteran thinks is the biggest problem.

    KM
    Wow, you know, that was an idea i came up with a few years ago when i brainstormed on how i could HELP veterans, instead of just wondering how i could, and put that plan into action.


    Not bad for someone whose interest "is simply aimed in the wrong direction".



    I'm out of here.
  6. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from kmchugh
    It matters because it is pointless to debate veteran's benefits, or what veterans face if you have never had to experience it yourself. How much credibility would I have if I started lecturing you on how you just did not understand the sexism women face every day? Or if I chose to lecture a black person on the fact that they simply did not understand what racism really was? It's a matter of perspective and experience.

    Again, the problem isn't the tiny programs being cut. It is the deeply engrained, entrenched philosophy and attitude that pervades the VA. So many of you are so concerned about the mouse in the attic but are ignoring the elephant in the living room.

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited to add for both you and Marie: I'm not saying your interest isn't legitimate. It is simply aimed in the wrong direction.
    There's that word credibility again. And your assumption that I haven't had any experiences to shape my perspective. Interesting, in a very presumptous sort of way. And as for the mouse in the attic, you know what they say about seeing one mouse. It means there are at least 15 more that you don't see. It is a heck of a lot easier to get an elephant out of your living room than it is rid your house of mice. I am sure that is one of the more clever things I have said today, if only I could figure out why...
  7. by   begalli
    How is using the term "dear" when addressing an individual in an intellectual debate and irony even remotely related? Feeling insulted because of a challenge to one's opinion and plainly talking down to a person are two completely different things and are not even comparable.

    How is primary htn service related? It has no clear pathology (idiopathic) and so shouldn't, under the way the VA's resources are suppossedly doled out, be covered. So isn't one who's treated by the VA for PH participating in the "curtailment of free treatment for non-service connected conditions." (post #16). I'm NOT saying it shouldn't be treated, but I'm just trying to understand here.

    Gosh, there is such arrogance in this thread.
  8. by   kmchugh
    Quote from begalli
    Gosh, there is such arrogance in this thread.
    You know, I had much the same thought. Particularly among those without frame of reference.

    I find it absolutely hilarious that you would find what I am saying arrogant. I am the one who must deal with the VA at least four times a year. Yet you would lecture me on what our veterans need.

    So, you keep saying I don't know what your frame of reference is. I've told you mine. What's yours? VA employee?

    KM
    Last edit by kmchugh on Mar 29, '05
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I mean no disrespect here but I think addressing people as "dear" in a debate is very condescending, irony or not. I think it's a way you put people in their place while you make your point and it really is a HUGE turn off Kevin. It does come off as arrogant. I respect your experience, and your service, but I don't want to listen to you when you come off this way, either. It makes it hard to want to GET your point.

    But that is only my opinion, I know, and probably of little value since I don't use VA services myself. (just military hospitals). After all, who am I? Just a healthy veteran of 10 years' service myself---- and a wife of a veteran who probably WILL need these services due to two blown knees himself---- thanks to the AF requiring him to run on them for 20 years, not to mention partial hearing loss in both ears due to years of work on noisy flightlines. Hey, What right do I have to speak up anyhow huh????!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 29, '05
  10. by   redshiloh
    OK, am not a vet, but I work with spinal cord injury vets. Due to cuts that are coming to our home care service, we are going to have to reduce the amount of care some veterans receive that makes it POSSIBLE for them to remain at home. These folks, some very young, will HAVE to go into a nursing home as a result. The cost of care for these vets will INCREASE, and there will definitely not be any savings for the federal government.
    I just don't get it...does congress even really look at a situation before they make these decisions? Or is it all basically a party play.
    We can argue all we want on these boards, but the bottom line is vets, who have been receiving services necessary to their survival is being cut.
    Vets have to fight this in Washington.
  11. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from redshiloh
    OK, am not a vet, but I work with spinal cord injury vets. Due to cuts that are coming to our home care service, we are going to have to reduce the amount of care some veterans receive that makes it POSSIBLE for them to remain at home. These folks, some very young, will HAVE to go into a nursing home as a result. The cost of care for these vets will INCREASE, and there will definitely not be any savings for the federal government.
    I just don't get it...does congress even really look at a situation before they make these decisions? Or is it all basically a party play.
    We can argue all we want on these boards, but the bottom line is vets, who have been receiving services necessary to their survival is being cut.
    Vets have to fight this in Washington.
    This same situation is happening among folks with disabilities who receive IHSS or Community Based or Nursing Home Waivers. Penny wise and pound foolish. It makes you wonder.
  12. by   kmchugh
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I mean no disrespect here but I think addressing people as "dear" in a debate is very condescending, irony or not. I think it's a way you put people in their place while you make your point and it really is a HUGE turn off Kevin. It does come off as arrogant.
    Deb, I'm sorry, I really am. But how much more condescending can it be than to tell me that even though I live in the system you all are discussing, I don't know what I'm talking about. Now, if you had lived through an experience wherein you were the victim of severe sexual harrassment, and I told you to quit whining, you just didn't understand the male psyche, then we might be approaching the level of condescension I've put up with.

    So much of what has so many of you all upset is veterans wanting treatment for non-service connected conditions. Go back and look at the posts from MedicalMT1, which had you up in arms. Boiled down, what happened to her was a result of the choices she made. She chose to go to a VA and put up with substandard treatment. When the appendix flared back up, she chose not to go back to the VA. She went to a civilian hospital, got the problem taken care of, but now thinks that somehow the government should pay for it based solely on the fact that she was a veteran. Her condition was in no way connected to her military service. And when I pointed out her own culpability in her having such high health care bills, her response was to take a swipe at how I ended up with a service connected condition. That's wasn't condescending? I trumped her, though, and since then she seems to have slunk away with nothing more to say. Where were your accusations about HER "putting people in their place?" You didn't seem to be quite so turned off then. Why is that, I wonder?

    But that is only my opinion, I know, and probably of little value since I don't use VA services myself. (just military hospitals). After all, who am I? Just a healthy veteran of 10 years' service myself---- and a wife of a veteran who probably WILL need these services due to two blown knees himself---- thanks to the AF requiring him to run on them for 20 years, not to mention partial hearing loss in both ears due to years of work on noisy flightlines. Hey, What right do I have to speak up anyhow huh????!
    Buckle up and prepare yourself, Deb. Going to military hospitals in no way prepares you for the outright abuse your husband is going to endure at the VA. Perhaps he'll get lucky, and end up being treated at one of those "good" VA's I keep hearing about, but never seem to be able to find.

    Wait till he comes home in a funk because for the third time, his needs "fell through the cracks." I waited six months for assignment to a primary care provider here in Memphis, a process that was supposed to take two weeks, because my paperwork kept "falling through the cracks." I waited two months for delivery of a knee brace I was supposed to have again in two weeks because they "forgot to put the order in. You just fell through the cracks." There are so many damn cracks in this VA, I keep waiting for it to just collapse.

    Wait until you see him in tears because of his frustration in dealing with a system that clearly doesn't care, because they don't have to! Or because an RN closes a door in his face (literally) after he's already waited four hours, just because she wants to talk to a friend on the phone. Come to me then and tell me about condescension. Tell me about how bad you feel for those veterans trying to take money out of the system for non-service connected conditions. And tell me how quickly you would like to see the whole VA health care system tossed in the can and the care farmed out to private providers.

    Kevin McHugh
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Kevin said: Deb, I'm sorry, I really am. But how much more condescending can it be than to tell me that even though I live in the system you all are discussing, I don't know what I'm talking about. Now, if you had lived through an experience wherein you were the victim of severe sexual harrassment, and I told you to quit whining, you just didn't understand the male psyche, then we might be approaching the level of condescension I've put up with.

    I never said once you don't know what you are talking about. I have never disrespected you in any way. I just hate being condesended to in order for you to make a point. Your points get lost when you do that. That was what I was trying to point out. And we do have the right to our opinion and expression of our concern, don't we? You don't have the "lock" on all the info regarding the entire VA system and its treatment of every vet in it do you? Just as I don't regarding all matters of active duty service. I do agree with you: It's a big system and people ARE falling through the cracks. There are other vets I know personally who got lousy treatment.

    However, If the VA hospitals suck as badly as you say, (and I have heard quite the opposite from some people so I think it varies by facility)---- why would it be reasonable for Bush and Co to even discuss CUTS of any sort in the future????? What kind of sense does that make? How can we make any cuts and not further compromise vet care in the future? I am glad you are "getting yours" in some way, but there are many who follow you (and some current ones) that are NOT getting served. If things are bad now, how much better will they get if budget cuts are made? How about fixing what is broken instead of tossing it and then trying to figure out how to pay for it? That makes no sense to me.


    Kevin said: So much of what has so many of you all upset is veterans wanting treatment for non-service connected conditions. Go back and look at the posts from MedicalMT1, which had you up in arms. Boiled down, what happened to her was a result of the choices she made. She chose to go to a VA and put up with substandard treatment. When the appendix flared back up, she chose not to go back to the VA. She went to a civilian hospital, got the problem taken care of, but now thinks that somehow the government should pay for it based solely on the fact that she was a veteran. Her condition was in no way connected to her military service. And when I pointed out her own culpability in her having such high health care bills, her response was to take a swipe at how I ended up with a service connected condition. That's wasn't condescending? I trumped her, though, and since then she seems to have slunk away with nothing more to say. Where were your accusations about HER "putting people in their place?" You didn't seem to be quite so turned off then. Why is that, I wonder?

    You "trumped" her? And that is not condescending? I am quite frankly disgusted that anyone feels they have to "trump" anyone else in such a sensitive and important issue. It's a debate, not a poker game.

    I give you yours, however, Kevin and I agree on this too; it was TOTALLY OUT OF LINE for anyone to swipe at you regarding your service-connected injury. I have always thanked you and respected your service to our country. Again, ONE person did this, why not take it PM w/her and address the rest of us respectfully instead of trying to "trump" us? The whole tone of your posts has to this point, been extremely condescending and arrogant, at least to me.


    Kevin says:Buckle up and prepare yourself, Deb. Going to military hospitals in no way prepares you for the outright abuse your husband is going to endure at the VA. Perhaps he'll get lucky, and end up being treated at one of those "good" VA's I keep hearing about, but never seem to be able to find.

    So what do you suggest? Again, cuts are not gonna make this situation a helluva lot better are they???? And who will fund privitization? Who WILL take care of his service-related injuries/hearing loss then? Hopefully, we will have other insurance, cause I do agree w/you on this count. VA care is severely lacking in both compassion and resources in many ways. It will remain to be seen how we do when he retires.


    Kevin says:Wait till he comes home in a funk because for the third time, his needs "fell through the cracks." I waited six months for assignment to a primary care provider here in Memphis, a process that was supposed to take two weeks, because my paperwork kept "falling through the cracks." I waited two months for delivery of a knee brace I was supposed to have again in two weeks because they "forgot to put the order in. You just fell through the cracks." There are so many damn cracks in this VA, I keep waiting for it to just collapse.

    Wait until you see him in tears because of his frustration in dealing with a system that clearly doesn't care, because they don't have to! Or because an RN closes a door in his face (literally) after he's already waited four hours, just because she wants to talk to a friend on the phone. Come to me then and tell me about condescension. Tell me about how bad you feel for those veterans trying to take money out of the system for non-service connected conditions. And tell me how quickly you would like to see the whole VA health care system tossed in the can and the care farmed out to private providers
    .

    I hear you...I am not unfamiliar w/this situation as my dh's uncle "fell through the cracks"------he went through it as a Vietnam vet who developed a rare form of spinal cancer (presumably from his exposure to chemicals over in 'Nam). Sadly, they misdiagnosed and mistreated him and by the time he went for additional opinions and treatment, it was too late and he was dead inside one year under age 60. He would have LIVED had it been diagnosed and treated sooner but they were remiss, so he is dead. It just sucks, doesn't it? I am in NO way saying this system is not broken. But it should be fixed!

    And, Kevin please, don't be so sure I am not aware of how "falling through the cracks" can be, being cared for in military hospitals systems. You presume a lot.

    2 years ago, an ectopic pregnancy was misdiagnosed in me (by military doctors in a military facility), until I was 8 weeks' along and bleeding, despite constant complaint, my very clear expression of worry and my risk status to the doctors. They pretty much blew me off until I presented in ED one day and ONE doctor who had a brain in her head decided to investigate it further. Next thing I knew, I woke up in a recovery room minus a fallopian tube and the 4 cm diameter pregnancy, which ruptured the minute they cut me. I think I know a thing or two about falling through the cracks, too.

    Anyhow , I digress. Privitization will save us? Maybe......but How do we get there???? Yes, it would be desireable for us all to be able to access better physicians and facilities. BUT----If this comes to pass, Just *who* will pay for it, when already the system is overburdened and out of money? If this or any administration is already discussing cutting funds or even doing away w/the VA system, what will replace it, will it be any good, and WHO WILL FUND IT? Most vets can't afford to pay more as it is. The public, I doubt, will want to fund this either. Honestly, I have seen no truly definitive answers yet in what you have said, despite all your passion and first- hand knowledge---- you have no real answers. Just "dump it". Ok....but still, I really want to know. Does ANYone have these answers?
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 29, '05

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