Do our Vets REALLY matter to this administration?

Submitted by Cecil on 2/27/05 at 11:12 AM. ( ) 64.184.33.219

http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=26504&archive=true

The photo ops and lip service looks good but our vets are getting the shaft.

Here's the real kicker:

...."Jones pointed to the $1 billion, four-year program passed last year to pay health-care costs of illegal aliens."

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Cecil, how many times do I got to tell you

This response submitted by George on 2/27/05 at 11:38 AM. ( georoof@aol.com ) 152.163.100.135

Stay away from issues you don't have a clue about.

To compare the money spent on illegal aliens versus veterans, maybe YOU should contact your Congressmen and let them know that the Veterans Benefits continually have to be drawn from the military appropriations bill. Once that becomes COMPLETELY separated and goes COMPLETELY to Health and Human Services, then the Pentagon won't have to bastardize a system to accomodate both active and retired/disabled veterans at the same time.

Next, lets discuss the various programs at work here. Individual retires in "good" health. He or she has the opportunity to enroll in Tricare Prime OR Tricare. Tricare Prime is just like an HMO with military doctors providing general practitioner services and referrals to off base professionals. That service COSTS. The price it costs is exceptionally lower than a private health insurance pays and the only drawback is you MUST be referred to only Tricare approved facilities who will accept Tricare's equitable cost figures. In other words, you many not get the very best care, but it won't cost you any more. Prescription drugs are absolutely free if they are carried by the servicing base or post medical clinic. Those that aren't carried can also be mail ordered and cost nothing. Any drugs NOT in that purview can be gotten at local pharmacies with a cost share basis.

Next comes guys like me who don't like the HMO concept. I am enrolled in Tricare. I have a private insurer that I pay about $400 a month to which allows me to seek any services I desire without any referrals from anyone. Once I go to that physician of my choice, my private insurance pays. The balance of that payment, if any, is then sent to Tricare who determines if the provider has already been paid sufficiently or whether additional payment is required. They will pay up to what they determine as a "fair and equitable fee for service". If I have not met my co-pay options for that fiscal year yet, I MAY be billed for a small portion of the provider's fee. If not, that provider is bound to federal law and may NOT bill me any extra.

Now when I reach 62, I MAY file for Medicare part "B" which is for in-hospital stays. That costs me. Since I have a private insurer, I won't even bother

When I reach 65, I am no longer eligible for Tricare, and now must be enrolled in Tricare For Life. At that point, I can terminate my private insurance as the federal government covers 100% of my medical care. I am enrolled in Medicare "A" and "B" which will cost me from my retirement. Once Medicare has paid all it intends to pay, Tricare for life kicks in and determines how much extra should be paid to the provider. I pay nothing other than my monthly Medicare deduction.

During all these phases of aging, my medications can still be acquired locally or by mail. Costs for non-generic drugs could get expensive at this point just like they do for every other American.

Now I can't address disabled veterans, Reservists, or Guard, but from my perspective, the government, even under President Bush is doing a pretty fair job of caring for me. Sure you'll hear lots of veterans piss and moan, but they don't have to live the lives of those outside that government umbrella or they'd know what tough really is. We'd all love to have a fraction of what losers like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton will get for the rest of their lives when they've done nothing all their lives but leech of the public sector.

BTW, when I reach 65, if I ever do, I'll be eligible for Social Security as well as my retirement. I won't get FULL Social Security, but it will offset the additional Medicare charges I'm assessed.


Looks like you read as much of the article from

This response submitted by Ceciil on 2/27/05 at 11:43 AM. ( ) 64.184.33.194

as I did of your post. Which is nil. George you'd defend Sadam Hussein if he was your president wouldn't you? LOL


That's what military men do, Cecil

This response submitted by George on 2/27/05 at 11:46 AM. ( ) 152.163.100.135

But of course, you never had that experience so how could YOU know?


Excuse me?

This response submitted by Cecil on 2/27/05 at 2:38 PM. ( ) 64.184.33.107

Never had what experience? I went to the same basic training you did. Lackland right?


OK here is another point from my side.

This response submitted by John C on 2/27/05 at 3:15 PM. ( ) 70.178.74.104

Active duty Army are short changed. Most of the time they have to live off post and dont recieve the proper BAQ (housing allowance)

They go to the field and and it honsetly is costing them money.

Wartime stipends for danger,jump and family seperation they almost break even.

Now who would not love to go to Bagdad for an extra $225.00.

The most Junior Butter bar 2nd Luie earns more his first month than a 10 veteran Staff Sgt E-6. Then its up to an E-6 or E-7 to teach the Butterbar how to handle his job.

Many times its left to a Senior E-4 or E-5 has to train the BB LT in his specific job if the Luie is in a Combat arms unit.

So yes the higher archy of the Army has no fricken clue with how the Enlisted are really treated.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

No Tricare is changing to Humana Heatlh Care. I dont have to deal with that end, but as George mentioned there are some good points.


I deal with the VA, mostly the Little Rock AR. Hospital. I can say they have been very very good about taking care of my needs.

I also go to an outpatient clinic for the normal things.

Sometimes I end up in Fayetteville AR at the VA, I can say they are so fricken confused, maybe its because they are severly overloaded. Its very unorganized.

One of the main problems I see with the VA is not the health care itself its the system.

You miss an appoinment for any reason and you drop down in the system. Many older Vets dont understand that, but its based on the needs verse the demands.

So they need and appoinment, its scheduled and they dont pay attention to date or time, miss the apoinment and then their personal demand level has been lowered.
They then fall to the bottom of the list, once clinic may service several states.

So now they are being reshceduled and have 200 people ahead of them so it may be 2 weeks or longer.

The Clinics are very good about sending out letters telling you when the appoinment is.

The Vet can call a toll free number and check their appoinmant schedule.

One proplem I have ran into is Little Rock is a 3 hour drive, so my day is totally shot for one appointment. Sometimes I will have 2 or 3 appoinmants in the same week and most of the time the appoinments are on different days!

Thats $150.00 in gas for the truck.

The in two weeks you have the followup appoinments.
The VA pays a whole 11 cents per mile for you to travel.

Then you have that 8:00AM appoinment, means you are leaving the house at 5:00AM.

Then on of the appointments will be at 4:00PM, well then you are getting back and 8:00PM.

Traffic and wrecks on the twisted curves in one 40 mile section of road will cause me to miss the appointment. Yep it has happened several time, the only way around is an extra 60 miles.

That section of road was closed a couple weeks back and Propane truck turned over and it took 3 days for the leak to burn off.

I missed an appointment, so you know what happened.

Some veterans have to pay a copay at the VA, this varies with the class the Vet is in.


George is right the Armed Services bill funds the VA.

That is not right this has caused some vets. to be reclassified into lesser need classes.

www.va.gov can tell you more.

One thing recently happened.

If you retired or took and early out, and were classified 100% within a year of leaving the service you can draw your retirement pay from the service and full VA.

Previously the Mil. Service retirement pay was taken away form those classed 100%.

Not really fair was it? They fixed it!

BUt what is not right is this.

Some service personel have been offered an early out. They get to draw their retirement and even get a bonus for ($20,000. sometimes) taking this EARLY OUT. Well they too get get their full retirement pay if they are rated 100% within a year of getting out of the service.

Now the VA nad Mil. are being faced with many people being MEDICALLY RETIRED. For health reasons they can nolonger perform their job and be WORLD WIDE DEPLOYABLE.

Yes his service dont mater, unless they are over 20 year.

Well take a soldier who is medically retired, he can draw his retirment pay. Then he gets rated 100% by the VA great he gets VA Disability Compensation.

BUT HE LOOSES HIS MIL. RETIREMENT PAY! Is that fair?

Many soldiers were well one their way to retirement and because they get wounded and draw 100% VADC they cannot draw their retirement pay.

Somehow this needs to be fixed.

Tahke someone in a normal job, you retire you can draw your retirement pay from the company, and your VADC. Or even Social Security Disability and your retirement pay.

Many of you dont understand and cannot. But many Veterans that have been medically retired have health problems, Gulf War Syndrome, muscles shredded by lot of hard work, physical training, injured on manuvers or just doing their job!These injuries prevent them from having a normal life.

Why does the VA have to fight with the Dept of Defense for funding.

Lots of young kids coming back from Iraq missing arms and legs, plus PTSD aka Shell shocked. They deserve the money and benefits too.

Now of you are a fulltime taxidermist your probabley not going to be able to retire.

You will HAVE Social Security and what you can make doing taxidermy.

What happens if you get hurt and loose taxidermy?


Why bother Cecil?

This response submitted by Hogger on 2/28/05 at 3:19 AM. ( ) 4.7.218.224

GW won AGAIN and can't run once more. Live with it and let it go! You just might get your Hillary in 08'.


George

This response submitted by DaveT on 3/1/05 at 12:26 PM. ( ) 205.201.66.143

Why do you persist in trying to educate someone who wants to sit in his playbox, pick his nose and whine? He does not get it, never has and probably never will.

DaveT


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