Healthcare and our Veterans

United States
May 27, 2009 8:31am CST
It is really shameful how our governments takes care of our veterans. IF anyone has been in a VA hospital or had to deal with it will know. My dad serve this country for 28 years. A year and a half ago he was dignoised with cancer. The VA told him they were "out of money" and could not treat him. That he would have to wait til next year to see if they could fit him in the budget. Well dad could not wait (it would have been a death sentence)so he got his needed treatment in the private medical sector. THank goodness they had regular insurance and were not just dependant on the VA. But my parents still had a lot of out of pocket exspenses. Especially for all the precriptions. Well I just found out my dad's cancer is back. ANd guess what. He is once again going to have to seek treatment in the private medical sector if he wants treatment anytime soon. My dad is not the only one this is happening to. A lot of veterans are finding that the VA either can't help them or has substandard care. This is one of reasons I am against government run healthcare. Look at how htey run the veterans hospitals. Why would I think they would run the rest of our healthcare any better. What do you think of the way the VA hospitals are run?
2 people like this
5 responses
@spalladino (17922)
• United States
27 May 09
First of all, lil, can your father switch his care to another, possibly larger V.A. hospital? Is he being seen at a small one? Does he have a disability rating or is he retired only? Secondly, and more important if he can't go somewhere else, your dad and every other adult in your family needs to contact the Dept. of Veteran's Affairs and get some help for him through them. I believe they have veteran's advocates there and also see if there is one locally. Check the VFW, they will know. My husband has been involved in the V.A. healthcare system for over six years now so we have experience with Baltimore, West Palm Beach & Miami. I have not heard one complaint from anyone at any of those facilities but the one thing they all have in common is that they're large and I'm assuming very well funded. He's had many specialized procedures, been hospitalized in WPB and will eventually receive eye surgery in Miami when he decides to have it done. Although these a very large facilities we never have a long wait to be seen, he has been squeezed in without an appointment when something has come up at the last minute, and he is always treated with dignity and respect. Due to his many health issues, including cardiac, mental health, arthritis, intestinal, glaucoma, high blood pressure he's seen by a doctor every couple of months. Because of his disability rating (100%) they're required to get him in within 30 days of requesting an appointment and sooner if he has an active health problem but maybe he's receiving better treatment because of his disability than those who aren't disabled or rated as high.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 09
My dad is just retired so your husbands disability rating maybe getting him better service and treatment.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17922)
• United States
27 May 09
You're probably right, lil...especially since my husband's rating is due to PTSD so his primary issue is mental health. I did take him out of the system when his carotid artery last showed 80%+ clogged because they wanted to wait until he was 90% and we weren't comfortable with that. We used my insurance from work, the vascular surgeon said he operated at 80% and did the surgery. We had out of pocket expenses, too, but it was worth it since my husband had a real risk of having a stroke during the wait time the V.A. wanted and that was unacceptable to me. As I said, Lil, contact the Dept of Veteran's Affairs and find a local V.A. rep for your dad. The reps are there to help vets and they usually know what strings to pull to get help for a veteran who needs it. Make some noise...you, your dad and anyone else in your family who is willing to make some calls...and see if you can get him treatment in another center. Go all the way up to the Director of Veteran's Affairs in your state if you have to. Your dad deserves to be treated fairly and it sounds like he's not. Also, I believe that you can take a prescription from an outside doctor to your primary care doctor at the V.A. medical center and have the V.A. doctor write the same script so that it's covered.
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
27 May 09
I worked at at VA clinic a while back. One of my responsibilities was to make appointment for the vets registered with our clinic. It wasn't my job to call the vet and set an appointment with them, in fact, I was specifically told I couldn't. My job was to get on a computer and plug names into open time slots, then print out and send a letter informing the vets when their appointments were. If they couldn't be in town that day, or at that time, it was THEIR responsibility to get the appointment changed. That's what passed for "respecting" the vets at the VA. As a patient, I got a letter informing me of my appointment for Xrays. It also informed me that my appointment wasn't at the Milwaukee VA an hour away... the appointment was at the Madison VA, 3 hours away... When I got there, I found out I wasn't going to get the full work up for my review of my disability rating. I sat there for two hours to get my wrists Xrayed. I actually heard co-workers complain, "why do they think they deserve to be treated special, they're only veterans!" Us vets would be much better off if they just closed down the most of the VA medical system and paid for our treatment with our regular, local doctors.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 09
That is what we are going to do again this time. Get his medical care in the private sector. Last time they did surgury. But this time they said it is not an option and that he will do chemo. "why do they think they deserve to be treated special, they're only veterans!" Well ya they do deserve special treatment. My dad and all the other vets spent their lives serving this country. PUtting thier life at risk for this country and a lot of time away from their family? Talk about people being unapprective of the scarfices others make for this country. It makes me wonder about people you know. If putting your life at risk for 28 years (1 wars and a few "conflicts") for the sake of your country is something we as a nation no longer respect than we have a messed up view on things.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 09
The VA's budget has been hit very hard by the wars in Afghansitan, and Iraq, and with baby boomers who served our country getting older. The problem with programs like this is that they are not very flashy, or stylish. We all know that the VA is in trouble, but no one in charge of funding will ever have to visit one because they have the best health care in the world. I am sure that is you required congress to use the VA hospitals for their own medical needs you would see things change.
• United States
28 May 09
I agree. If they had to use them you would see a differnce. IT is a shame and it is wrong. THey need to do something about it. VA has been in trouble and underfunded BEFORE the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But they have definately made the already overtaxed system worse.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 09
LIL, and the sad part is that no one cares about the problem. Democrats who claim to be for the little guy won't step up and help a system that is really made up of little guys. And, the republican party that claims to be the part that supports our troops, only supports them when they are healthy. You are correct that something has to change, the problem is finding someone who will make it happen.
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
9 Jun 09
Hi lilwonders...I know absolutely nothing about VA hospitals but I'll tell you I believe that our healthcare system is better left alone and not nationalized. Everything that the government "takes care of" suddenly becomes much worse. I will keep your dad in my thoughts and prayers that he has a full and speedy recovery from his cancer.
@Mr_Lyons (25)
• United States
28 May 09
I agree that it is unacceptable how our healcare system provides for Veterans. Im sad to hear about your father lilwonders456 but he is sadly one of "many". Does that it is right?. 100% definetly not. A big factor of this is well for one our economy is in the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. The motor industries have recieved powerful blows and the banks have recieved nothing less. Though the banks have recieved bail out money, they are scared to use it. If i told you to use money when the economy was bad would you trust your judgement or mine?. If we are to ever get out of this situation we must stimulate by buying American products. The banks need to spend the bail out money which was given to them in order to give out loans. Keep in mind this will be a long and arduous process, possibly outlasting present President Obamas term limit. These are really tough and difficult times. This all just goes to show that this government does not care for its veterans. The sad ironic truth is that these men train intensely in order to gain the strength which is needed to protect the citizens of America, however this government doesnt expect these soldiers to live, thus removing any financial obligation. Though this problem must change, the problem lies in how to fix it? We cannot downsize our armed forces in order to provide better for veterans at this time. But we cannot leave veterans in the horrible situations they are in. Find the answer to that and you could have my respect and admiration, that and many others. Not that you would need those to be happy in life :).