Moderator: Nicole Marie
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance, but was told by lawmakers that it would be "dead on arrival" if sent to Congress...
...No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama opposing the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration. The groups also noticed an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal—something they said could only be achieved if the VA started billing for service-related injuries.
Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."
"A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said...
piqaboo wrote:Dear God. That's an appalling thought, to charge for treatment of service-related conditions.
I could understand, if not approve of, charges for regular health care (ex, a neighbor Army Vet who had a triple bypass and two hip replacements some 50 years after his service). But to charge for service-incurred problems? Disgraceful.
jamiebk wrote:Seems like everyone has criticized a lot of the care that GI's have gotten through the VA...and rightfully so. I wonder if the government could privitize this and let private insurance plans cover these things. The government could pay the premiums to the plans and let private enterprise take over. If private enterpirse is as efficient as everyone says, this might actually improve care and decrease cost. (And please note that I am NOT advocating charging the GI's for their care here).
The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization says he is “deeply disappointed and concerned” after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.
“It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”
The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, “This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ‘ to care for him who shall have borne the battle’ given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm’s way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America’s veterans!”
Commander Rehbein was among a group of senior officials from veterans service organizations joining the President, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The group’s early afternoon conversation at The White House was precipitated by a letter of protest presented to the President earlier this month. The letter, co-signed by Commander Rehbein and the heads of ten colleague organizations, read, in part, ” There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran’s personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable.”
We all know that the sacred trust does not end when the uniform comes off. That’s why it’s time to build a 21st-century VA. No more red tape. It’s time to give every service member electronic copies of their medical records and service records upon discharge so that they can immediately get the services that they’ve earned. No more shortfalls. We’ll fully fund VA health care. No more delays. We’ll pass on-time budgets. No more means testing. It’s time to allow every veteran into the VA system.
The White House on Wednesday backed off a controversial plan that would have dramatically altered the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles insurance claims, after veterans groups staged an all-out fight against such a proposal.
President Obama will not pursue a proposal that would have allowed the VA to charge private insurance companies for the treatment of veterans with service- and war-related injuries. The proposal raised the ire of prominent Democrats on the House and Senate Veterans Affairs panels. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the first to publicly announce Wednesday afternoon that the president won’t pursue such proposal.
For a second time in a week, representatives from prominent veterans’ organization went to the White House on Wednesday to meet with the White House chief-of-staff on VA budget issues. On Monday, they met with the president, but that meeting led to a public outcry over what veterans perceived as a move by the president to still consider the proposal despite opposition.
Haggis@wk wrote: ... Either this administration has a problem with its intelligence or with its soul.
piqaboo wrote:Does this mean you, h and ot are extremists? Oh what fun!
Shapley wrote:... I've been branded 'extremist' ever since my "Youth for Nixon" days. I'm sure the FBI has a pretty thick file on me...
Shapley wrote:Napolitano Apologizes To Veterans For Remarks Regarding 'Extremism'
It appears the DHS is doing some profiling of 'extremists', and being a veteran is among the potential warning signs, as is being a Ron Paul supporter or NRA member. Her apology was a bit weak, IMHO.
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