I’m seeing yet another article, this time on CNN related to the VA system. Apparently, whistleblowers are being silenced.
I don’t doubt it. Then again, I think these problems are being exaggerated to some degree. You see, it’s been … what do we hate the most on this blog … Politicized.
It’s no secret one party wants the other party out. The one most destructive issue there is to any president is treatment of military veterans. You can see it, because Fox News is really beating the drum loudly on this. If CNN is also taking part, it’s bad for the current president. Meanwhile, the Washington Post is publishing op-eds from veterans (and in some cases, serving officers) saying how they are not “heroes” and deserve less in benefits than they receive. I think its pretty embarrassing to say someone else should have less benefits based on something you don’t know about … their situation. The Washington Post is pretty much anti-military anyway. If you think I’m going to crush the president on this, think again. VA care is pretty much the same as it was during the previous president’s term. And the one before him. I used the VA before I retired from the military.
I have some perspective on this. I am a 70% disabled veteran, who uses the VA system. I am also a military retiree and have health insurance called Tricare via the military. Finally, I have a regular go-to-everyday job.
A long time ago, I worked on an aircraft called the B-52.
Specifically, I loaded bombs (like the 500lbs Mk-82’s you see in the video), missiles and other weapons on that plane. One day, our crew was asked to reconfigure a plane for conventional. I was helping to install cluster racks in the bomb bay, using a jammer to support the rack. The damn thing was leaking hydraulic fluid and wouldn’t go up enough. I got underneath it and pushed up. The thing slipped down and I hurt my back. Not pain, but every time my heart beats PAIN. I could hardly move. I had to lay down in the truck bed for relief. I had always hated cluster racks but it gained a new hatred then. Anyway, every once in a while, it still flares up.
I get seen for that at the VA, and although It’s never been completely fixed, I am grateful for my care. I have a couple of conditions I’m going to need care for the rest of my life, and the VA has served me well.
I go to the VA for check ups. It’s a regular thing. They send me a thingy in the mail telling me I have to make my appointment. I have to call them between 8am and 4pm. Unfortunately, I work during those hours. I don’t have a working phone either. So I almost always get appointments that turn up 3-5 weeks after I make it. I know this. That’s why I have medical insurance. At one time, I had medical insurance through a company called Aetna. Aetna is fine, but I never used it. It was a waste of money. So I kept Tricare. If I have to see a doctor quickly, I use it. Which isn’t very often.
Tricare is a great deal for me … sort of, but a terrible deal for the taxpayer. It’s subsidized through military budgets. I think Tricare costs me $539 a year, including my wife. I don’t know what it costs you but I bet its a lot. The limits on Tricare are many. It does not pay the medical personnel well; it low balls them. Therefore, your care is weak. Every time there’s an effort to get us to pay more, there’s a howl from retiree groups. They wanted a 10% boost which would have been $3 a month. Now if I were a veteran from ‘Nam, that’s a huge deal. If you’re a post 1980 veteran, not so much. It’s affordable. Meanwhile Tricare cuts into military readiness budgets. I’d like to tell you how much Tricare costs … It’s tens of billions but it’s hard to get numbers. The current president want to make us pay more. Conservatives don’t want us to pay more, but the Tea Party is willing to cut anything. One of my colleagues, a retired military person is a Tea Partier … except for that little fact. I find it curious those Tea Partiers draw the line at their benefits.
Oh by the way, if you aren’t retired or on active duty, you can’t get Tricare. Which means you either have to get health care via you company or your self.
Lots of insurers want to take on people who got physically or mentally beat up during a war, but aren’t retired./sarcasm.