The AMA has an excellent article this month about VA healthcare and the Bush Administrations positions, towards Category 8 veterans (those without service connected medical issues, and whose income is over 28,000 a year) I will snip and clip a few of the most telling quotes
Thanks to recent advances in battlefield medicine, more servicemen and women are surviving severe injuries, CBO said. But they require more costly medical care when they return. The rapid influx of new enrollees has helped strain a system that already was under pressure from caring for the veterans of yesterday's wars. In 1995, fewer than 3 million veterans received VA health services. That number had increased to 5 million last year.
Many of the resulting access problems start at the very beginning of the enrollment process, said Donna E. Shalala, PhD, president of the University of Miami and former Dept. of Health and Human Services secretary. She co-chaired a presidential commission on care for America's "wounded warriors" that convened earlier this year after news reports exposed substandard conditions and a mass of red tape at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Although the Dept. of Defense and VA need to work together to foster a patient-centered continuum of care for each veteran, the commission found evidence that returning personnel were not experiencing a smooth transition from military health care to the veterans system, Dr. Shalala said.
then this is a memory most disabled veterans will NOT ever forget
Although Congress in recent years has kept up a steady stream of funding that has satisfied many advocates, the process has not been without missteps.Washington State Senator Patty Murray attempted twice in 2005 to get the Senate to give 2 billion dollars for healthcare and PTSD, Secretary Nicholson will be forever remember stating to the Senate VA Committee "We have plenty of money" in March 2005 at a Senate VA Hearing then in June he came back hat in hand not once but twice, once for 1 billion and the second time for 1.5 billion.
The department weathered an embarrassing episode in 2005 when then-Secretary R. James Nicholson went to Congress with a request for $2.6 billion in additional funding because it had vastly underestimated the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who would require care.
Veterans can be waitlisted or shut out as a result.
"If the VA was able to get the funding on time and was able to know beforehand what that funding level was going to be, a lot of those access problems would be solved," he said.
The department opposes mandatory funding because the process would not easily adapt to changes in clinical practice or enrollee demographics, said W. Paul Kearns III, VA chief health financial officer.
I am not the smartest person in the room, but why would the agency OPPOSE mandatory funding, similar to what Medicare gets, to ensure they have the funds to treat the nations veterans, after all that is the only reason they exist, is to care for the veterans who served this nation, they are not giving out "aid" they are paying a debt we as a nation promised these men and women who served in the military, it is what is known as the "PROMISE" remember President George W Bush's 2004 campaign slogan "A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept" well it's time to keep it.Sphere: Related Content