Army vet billed $3,000 for war wounds, Obama's plan in action

@Taskr36 (13925)
United States
March 28, 2009 11:27am CST
I don't think anyone with anything resembling a conscience would condone such an act, but this is exactly what Obama wants. Erik Roberts, a veteran of Iraq had a lump in his leg where he had been injured in Iraq. He went to the VA hospital and was told not to worry about it. When it flared up again he was told the leg may need to be amputated. His mother contacted the surgeon who had saved his life after the initial injury in Iraq and was referred to another doctor. The doctor he was referred to performed the surgery and saved the leg. This hero's private insurance covered roughly $90,000 of the cost of the antibiotics he'd had to take for six weeks and he was billed $3,000. Keep in mind, that's just for the antibiotics and did not include the cost of surgery. Fortunately his mother contacted CNN, who subsequently contacted Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Roberts' home state of Ohio who serves on the Senate's VA committee. Within 24 hours the whole mess was straightened out and Erik Roberts won't pay a penny. Sherrod Brown did a great thing and it's nice to see a politician do this for one of our heroes. The problem is, THIS is what Obama wants. He wants the private insurance companies to foot the bill for our veteran's medical care. Can anyone back Obama up on this ridiculous idea? Erik Roberts was lucky. He had a good private insurance company and the connections necessary to get things fixed. If this had been a homeless veteran, the poor guy would have lost his leg or possibly died due to inadequate care and insufficient resources.
1 person likes this
4 responses
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
28 Mar 09
It is happening everyday to Vietnam vets. They are still the lost vets as well as the Korean vets. These are the mass homeless vets. At least most of the folks coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan had jobs and insurance when they left and still do when they get home. The Vietnam vets were kids with no education and just lost it and are still lost. Some of it is their own fault, but some of it isn't. Someone needs to fight for all Vets! They all gave for this country and still are giving. And will continue to do so as long as there are people out there destroying other people. Shalom~Adoniah
• United States
28 Mar 09
I have news for you, most of our soldiers in action right now did not have good jobs and insurance when they left this country. They are in their mid twenties. But it is still wrong that they are being treated this way, that all verterans have been treated this way, when all they do is what the country asks of them.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
28 Mar 09
I'm with Okki. Statistics have shown that the vast majority of those currently enlisting in our armed services come from poorer economic backgrounds. That is largely irrelevant though as once you put on that uniform you are a soldier defending this nation and nobody cares what your income used to be. We need to treat these people with the proper respect and dignity that they deserve. If I get injured on the job my employer is responsible and that should be tenfold if someone is injured defending our country.
2 people like this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
31 Mar 09
You may be right. It is just that the vets I know are National Guard folks and they are Police Officers, Postal workers, and other folks like that. Some are even ex military that stayed in the reserves or joined the Guard when they got out. A lot of the Vets that I know who have been killed in Iraq are Warrent Officers and E7s and E8s. These are not kids. Shalom
• United States
28 Mar 09
I do my best to not be negative about any president until he has been on the job for at least a year, but this takes the cake. We ask these men and women to fight knowing that they may not come home and then when they do make it home, President Obama wants them to pay the medical bills that the United States caused the veteran to have. This is pure BS. He is taking money from the people who need and work for it and giving it to multimillion and billion dollar corporations that do not even care about their employees. I think it is horrible and I thank God that my friend that came home last month after fighting since almost the beginning has only his mind to heal.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 09
i heard the complete opasite i read everywhere that he want to garentee insurence for all vets and the insurence is supose to cover all expences and not just some.
• United States
29 Mar 09
I hope that you are right because I have other friends in the military that are still over there and they might not come back whole. I have only heard and read about this version but it is possible that I am listening to a biased source. It really depends on who you ask as to what "facts" are given to the media.
@spalladino (17926)
• United States
28 Mar 09
I think there's a little bit of a misconception here about veterans, insurance and the V.A. From what you posted, I'm assuming that Erik went outside of the V.A. for this medical care. I can't tell from the information you provided whether he was already rated as disabled but it sounds to me that there wasn't a reason for him to be prior to the amputation. So, misconception #1 is that all veterans are automatically entitled to free medical care. This is just not true and never has been. There are two main classifications of disabilities at the V.A., service connected and non-service connected. There is a ratings system for each class from 0% to 100%. My husband is 100% service connected. His father was 20% service connected. We have a friend who is 50% non-service connected. MY husband's father also had private insurance and the V.A. was required to bill his insurance company for services rendered at their facility, while they covered a percentage based on that 20% disability. Non-service connected injuries and illnesses are also "share of cost" with private insurance based on the percentage of the disability. Misconception #2 is that the V.A. should pay regardless of where you receive your medical care. They will cover emergency treatments at outside facilities but are not required to pay for a veteran's choice to seek treatment elsewhere, and especially if that veteran has private insurance. When I took my husband outside of the V.A. medical system for his carotid artery problems (because they wanted to wait 6 months to recheck and we didn't), we used the private insurance I had through my job. Because of that decision *our* insurance was the primary and the V.A. was the secondary. We were required to pay all copays but the V.A. did pick up a percentage. Keep in mind that we're talking about a 100% totally and permanently service connected disabled vet. If my husband had had the surgery at the V.A. Medical Center it would not have cost us a dime. I do agree that every man and woman who serves this country should be taken care of for any injury or illness that they received while in the service, however, compassion needs to be combined with common sense. If you broke your toe in combat you're not nearly as disabled as someone who came home missing a limb. If you're able to work, have private insurance and choose to use that, the V.A. should be allowed to determine the percentage it will contribute towards the cost of your care based on your disability rating. What Sen. Brown most likely did was to speed up the process of having Erik's disability rated by the V.A. He was most likely rated at 100% service connected due to the amputation, which entitles him to have all of his medical expenses covered. If Erik had been a homeless veteran, by the way, he would have been treated for free at a V.A. Medical Center, just as Erik would have been had he gone there.
@Fortunata (1136)
• United States
29 Mar 09
Wow, a CNN reporter did this? He's a rarity! Glad he helped out the Iraqi vet. Nice to know somebody over at CNN has a heart.