Skip to comments.The Lies to Veterans Continue
Posted on 11/20/2017 4:44:20 AM PST by samovar123
As a retired military veteran, it has caused great concern to me and countless others what this government had done to veterans in the area of health care. Those that are disabled and need to go to the VA are routinely ignored, or given appointments up to six months in advance, or totally ignored all together. Under President Trump it has gotten better, but still is not of the class it should be. There are now earning limits on who can use VA, with the limit at around 23,000 dollars, hardly enough to live on in todays world.
Those that who are not disabled, and retired after at least 20 years of service are routinely given more and more obstacles to the health care that we are promised. This is what todays posting is going to address. To start, a little history is required.
In 1995, Hillary Clinton was put in charge of a disastrous health care policy. The program itself was turned down by Congress, but certain parts were allowed to slip through. One part that caused great damage to veterans was the limiting of health care.
One of the lawyers that was working on this was a gentlemen by the name of Phillip Earl Jones from San Antonio who along with his partner Sean Campbell took the case to the Federal Court. Mr. Jones also discussed the challenge of trying to revive the health care that veterans were promised. In an interview with Tom Brokaw on the Fleecing of America in January of 2001. The case (Bothard,et.al vs DOD and DOJ) was scheduled to arrive at the D.C. Court of Appeals when Mr. Jones and Campbell were approached by a few senators who wanted to discuss with them Tricare for Life.
Tricare for life was to be a program that continued to make sure the veterans received the benefits that they deserve. In a handshake deal, the case was dismissed among all involved. What was not discussed was that to obtain Tricare for Life veterans were required to purchase Medicare Part B at a cost of $216.00 a month. So it still costs more money that many veterans, including myself can afford to pay.
In 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals reached an astonishing decision that military veterans have no legal standing and the U.S. Government could break the promise made to them and was not liable to provide lifetime health care.
More well known is the case brought by Colonel George Bud Day USAF, Ret. In his case, Col Day makes the argument that the decision is misguided and should not punish military veterans for budget waste that the government is responsible for.
The Department of Defense, mostly non veteran bureaucrats has willfully breached a contract with Americas veterans. Tricare for life has been tied to a mandatory payment to Medicare Part B and costs many of our older veterans up to $3,600 which they had been promised since the day they joined. Many of our older veterans, many with disabilities, have been forced to leave military hospitals and forced to rely on Medicare. This is the time line provided by classact-lawsuit.com:
Lawsuit History: July 1996: Plaintiffs file suit for monetary damages in Federal District Court in Pensacola, FL., charging age discrimination, 5th amendment taking of property and breach of contract. June 1997: District Court dismisses plaintiffs claim of age discrimination, but agrees to hear further argument on their 5th amendment taking of property and breach-of-contract theories. August 1998: District Court denies plaintiffs entire petition.
December 1998: Plaintiffs appeal to US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington, D.C.
March 2000: Federal court hears oral arguments of the parties.
February 2001: Three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington, DC overturns the district court decision. Finds that military retirees who entered service before June 7, 1956, had been promised free lifetime health care in return for a career of military service and were due compensation of up to $10,000 each for the governments failure to live up to that promise.
June 2001: Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington, DC agrees to a rehearing before the full (en banc) court.
March 6, 2002: Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington, DC hears oral argument in the case.
November 18, 2002: Current court ruling affirming the US Government position that military retirees have no legal standing to receive the medical care promised
The government had no problem admitting that the promises were made, and even in writing in the manuals provided to the Marine Corps and Navy. It was the Department of Defense that convinced the courts that the assurances were not backed up by formal law. Even the judges that ruled against the veterans were discomforted by the decision. These judges claimed we can only hope that Congress will make good on the promises made in good faith.
The dissenting judges were even more forthright: Our veterans were told, if you disrupt your family, work for low pay, endanger your life and limb, we will in turn guarantee lifetime health care. There is no doubt the government made the offer. Tricare for Life,was first incorporated in 2001 into part the Managed Care Support Contracts in 2001. It was enacted by Congress to complaints to assist in the payment of rising out of pocket costs to veterans and did not require retirees to pay for Medicare. The small clause that is not discussed by Congress, once again is the mandatory purchase of Medicare Part B to be eligible for Tricare for Life. So although there is not cost for Tricare for Life there is a cost involved.
Changes have been made to the US Code that covers military health care. The U.S. Code used to read shall provide authorized and established free health care. In December 1956, the wording was changed to may provide heath care.
In 1966, congress created CHAMPUS while changing the law to keep veterans from using active duty Military Treatment Facilities. It was in 1994 that Congress, with John McCain a leading proponent, established Tricare and cancelled all health care for retirees over 65, forcing them to spend money many of them do not have on Medicare Major Commands, recruiters, Unit Commands and from the Secretary of Defense on down all made promises that they have broken to veterans that have given a major portion of their lives to the country. The promise of never having to worry about health care costs for a lifetime was a selling point for reenlistments and career choices. Today, there is a deep resentment of this government by veterans to those who have spent years lying to those who protect our country. The low wages that active duty were paid was dismissed as something they must endure to get the free health care they were promised, a promise that those who have never served broke for budget purposes without thinking of the damage done to the veterans involved.
Doctors are opting out of Medicare and Tricare because once again the government has cut the payments to doctors to the point where they lose money by assisting veterans. Once again, the government also wants to raise co-pays and enrollment fees that military veterans pay. There is more, but lets see what the candidates have to say.
The question is, how can veterans have any faith in a government that lied to them. The numbers of those willing to join the military will dwindle as word gets out further that this government does not stand by its military retirees, but will spend billions of giving illegal aliens everything they need to live well. It will be interesting to see if the President will address this debacle. I will be waiting for an answer.
All veterans: I have discussed this Mr. Phillip Earl Jones who along with Bud Day filed court proceeding in Texas about 15 years ago. This false promise to our veterans can not be allowed to stand. Sign this petition and let veterans know that we have their back
your mistake was trusting washington - they always lie to you. and they use you and they couldnt care less.
There is no such thing as a contract when dealing with Congress. If one Congress can promise something a later one can take it all away.
Thats well established law. See Fleming v Nestor.
Never believe ANY politician who promises you something later if you do something now. Ever.
In early 90s Hillary care did away with fee basis in the VA system. Forcing vets in rural areas to drive hours and hours for their healthcare. In my case, 3 hours to nearest VA Hospital. And 3 hours back. She was able to delete hundreds of vets from VA system. I was one of them. Thus reduced patient load. Bitch!
not just with congress or DC, but with any business or personal relationship, nothing is a given forever, unless both sides choose to keep affirming that agreement.
We all get our trust trampled on at times. I do believe and support medical help and other services for vets, but I don’t see where it has to be for life of each and every one. Just as battered women escaping with children or various other segments of society orchard working country supporting jobs people do, exposing them to chemicals and severely dangerous conditions, are they all to have some sort of coverages for life? even our ridiculous policy of covering govt leaders with lifetime healthcare or perks of sorts.
It’s just not practical, biblical or commonsense to think it should be so.
Help people as need be but help them in ways they don’t need help for long, except in a small amount of situations where truly completely disabled and cannot contribute to society in any way to afford for themselves. And where is the family unit/relatives around people going thru crisis of short or long duration? isn’t it common sense and God’s best for us to chip in, helping hand support our own best we can and get assistance when that is not enough?
I understand military was mandatory for a time, but that has not been the case for a while now. people volunteer as they do for any job or volunteer service of any kind that is not compensated.
it’s a wonder our country ever started with such selfless people and to see now so many segments now expecting much in many ways from the govt. it was never meant to help in so many ways and it should not if our country is to remain.
people need to think outside the box and stop waiting for long term disability when they have ability to work in any way, waiting for medical care when some is induced but their own behavior/actions, waiting for all sorts of handouts when they have a good brain and some level of physical ability to remedy their situation some, waiting for govt help instead of reconnecting with family or friends, relatives, seeking help from church or such but that would make them feel shame or have to be the bigger person. God allows hardship in our lives to help us grow, not just stay stuck by the physical or mental or emotional situation and get cranky, throw our hands up or bury ourselves under covers or in some other form of habit.
I’m giving thanks for my problems of the past and current ones because God in time helps me come thru them all and prosper in some small way or another. I am determined to continue daily to a stand strong against the enemies coming at me from all methods of attack - spiritual, mind (self) and body.
May God be with you all in your circumstances too. Happy Thanksgiving everyday.
Personally, I am not in favor everything often asked of healthcare benefits for Veterans.
Personally, I think there is a difference to how far that “lifetime” commitment ought to be, and I think it should be relative to (a) service related health issues most of all, (b) continuation of “Tricare” to those who made a lifetime commitment to military service (”lifers”), followed in priority by all others and to them benefits related to income situation.
Yes, I do not think a military stint of 2-3 years with no service related issues and income in the median income range or greater, for persons their age, deserves the same military and/or VA health commitment as those who did 20 years and/or have service related issues.
As a combat disabled vet, I strongly believe the VA needs to be kept up and running. What it needs is fixing. The VA specializes in combat related mental disorders, prosthetics and other wartime disorders. There is no such thing as sending a PTSD’d vet down to the local shrink and have him treated solely for depression when the problem is much worse.
oh8eleven wrote: “Solution - discontinue h/c coverage for all veterans who do not have a service connected disability.”
Obtaining the VA admission of a service connected disability can be far too difficult. It’s almost as if when one walks in for the interview that the VA has a “gotcha” attitude where they are looking for the slightest reason to deny any service connection.
At age 60, I became eligible for TRICARE. Covered all my medical expenses at no cost. At age 65, I became eligible for MEDICARE. TRICARE became TRICARE for Life and I had to pay for MEDICARE Part B. I’m grateful for the TRICARE coverage but it seems strange that veterans have to pay for MEDICARE part B.
I visit the VA at least every few weeks for lab work and tests to monitor my heart after open-heart surgery 6 years ago. I always get timely treatment and seldom run into a caregiver who is not pleasant and motivated.
Maybe we are just lucky to get our medical care from the Malcom Randall VA hospital in Gainesville, Florida but they do a great job. No complaints from either of us.
Reading about the problems in the VA system is not the same story we experience at our facility.
“The U.S. Code used to read shall provide authorized and established free health care”
You forgot to add the words, on a space available basis, which is in there. This is one of the reasons military hospitals set up their appointment times for active military and their dependents, and a much smaller amount to retirees. If you’re a retiree, and prime, you can get an appointment if one is available or you can walk into the military hospital emergency room and get help. And you will get it.
The VA is not there to fix a cold. It is there to assist government recognized military related injuries and injuries related to them. I have received emergency assistance there, but they generally do not have time for the common cold unless in my case I have a 100% lung disability and it can cause problems. People have been treated there if they have a PCM, but only as a favor and there is time. This, of course, will also be effected by facility size and patient amounts.
Champus was a ripoff to the taxpayer. The insurance company that got the bid paid 80% of the allowable of money awarded to them by Uncle Sugar. You got the other 20% and incidentals the provider wouldn’t pay for. And understand, the insurer determined what was allowable, so they got picky. And at the end of the year they were allowed to retain any of the funds not used. Hence the picky.
Tricare for life was put in to cover pieces of the bill medicare didn’t cover. You always paid for Tricare prime so you could have a provider on the military reservation. Medicare is no different than paying for Tricare, just more expensive. Tricare for Life doesn’t cost a thing.
I’ve had four heart procedure done in the last 6 years. The last one was done downtown because the military hospital was not set up to do it. The last one was going to cost over a quarter million to do. It cost me nothing. None of them cost me a thing.
I believe in health insurance just like life. If it to be used, it’s worth every cent. If you use your head, it will cost you just the basic fee. Everyone else pays for medicare,and they have to also pay for that company to cover the other 20%. If you’re over 65, you don’t.
Back in the 50’s when uncle sugar made the call to assist retirees with medical care, they never thought it was going to be this big especially with patients living longer than before. It is not a business as it is today with troops going for 20 years and retiring in these numbers. And with the economy walking on the edge, they are panicking wondering where the money is going to come from. Trust me it’s going to get worse before better.
..is the best healthcare we've ever had.
Same here. The San Diego VA is awesome.
The weakness in the VA is in there administartion. I've been fighting with them over service connection since 2009.
Their appeals process is BROKE.
That is how the system originally worked when I entered service in 1980.
...I do not think a military stint of 2-3 years with no service related issues and income in the median income range or greater, for persons their age, deserves the same military and/or VA health commitment as those who did 20 years and/or have service related issues.
I still like my Dad’s answer to the VA when they asked him how much money he made.
“I didn’t see anybody standing on the goddamn dock asking us how much money we made when they loaded us on the troopship for Korea.”
Yes it does. Eligibility for VA benefits themselves is not so much income dependent nor length of service dependent, nor dependent on service related issues. Someone with only the minimum 2-3 year stint is till eligible for VA healthcare, regardless. Income in such a case for the most part only determines what the co-pay, either the individual & or the individual and/or medicare or supplemental insurance will have to pay. It does not mean they cannot go to a VA center to get that care.
They don’t get same military and/or VA health commitment as those who did 20 years.
You are fighting VA? Sounds like you are damn fortunate to have a decent VA as MD’s have told me to get away from my VAMC. My wife has CHAMPVA and Vanderbilt has saved her life 8 times. The Nashville VAMC is a damn joke. Let’s look back as the VA required 50% disability plus to even get in the door from the Korean War to the late 1980’s. I had to have 50% or more in 89-90 to go to any DR or clinic. Slowly the VA went to hell by giving anyone who ever served a free ride. This is not the VA that takes care of the combat wounded. No PH get the hell out.
Slightly off topic.
However, there’s a VA benefit that some on at FR may not know about.
It’s a Pension Benefit called “Aid and Attendance”
They will pay;
$1153 per month for a Surviving Spouse
$1794 per month for a Veteran
$2127 per month for a couple
They also pay a retroactive lump sum to when the application was filed to the VA. It can take the VA 6 months to a year to be approved.
Eligibility Requirements, generally speaking (there are a few details)
1. Service member having served at least 90 days of Active Duty with at least one day during a time of War,(there are specific dates)and anything other than a Dishonorable Discharge.
2. The Recipient of the Benefit MUST have a NEED for help with certain Activities of Daily Living, ADL’s, Bathing, Dressing, Meals, Toileting Mental heath etc..
3. Their Income MUST be insufficient to cover the cost of the care AND they must be receiving/paying for that care (It’s a catch-22)
4. Liquid assets of under $80,000. There may be the ability to do some “Pre-Planning” unlike medicaid’s five year look back.
This benefit is usually introduced to a family/Vet when they visit an Assisted Living Community as they are trying to figure out how to pay. It is also available for “In-Home” Care.
I strongly recommend using an Accredited VA Agent when pursuing this Benefit as opposed to talking to folks that work at the VA. I’m NOT a VA Agent.
I literally talk to a dozen families and Vet’s everyday about this and the challenges they may encounter. I’ve talked to Families/Vets that were denied for stupid reasons. Families that say “Talking to the VA directly about this Benefit was like calling the IRS for tax help”. Families that waited two weeks for an appointment only to hear the VA employee tell them “There’s no such thing”.
My two cents
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