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President Bush 43 Loves America's Veterans . . Too Much?

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posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 12:40 PM
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How Bush “Supports” America’s Veterans

Or, How More Veterans Means Less Money! Republican Style!

You have heard it said, ‘Figures don’t lie, but Liars figure!”

Veterans Health Administration
Current VA budget, $29.1 Billion
Independent Recommendation $32.8 Billion
Bush Budget $31.8 Billion
Shortfall $ 1.0 Billion

General Operating Expenses
Current VA budget, $1.41 Billion
Independent Recommendation $1.44 Billion
Bush Budget $1.83 Billion
Shortfall $ 0.39 Billion

Grand Total VA Discretionary Budget
Current VA budget, $33.04 Billion
Independent Recommendation $35.7 Billion
Bush Budget $38.5 Billion

Shortfall $ 2 .8 Billion


Important categories:
New Construction: Current, $806 M; Bush $597 M; Recommended $1.99 B
Grants to States for Extended Care and Cemeteries
Current, $117 M; Bush, $117 M; Recommended, $187 M.

President Bush’s budget includes additional increases in co-payments required of veterans in the amount of $795 M.

This has the effect of reducing the national effort to help our veterans. I have already posted that my medicine co-pay rose from $2 under Clinton, in 2000, to $7 under Bush in 2002 and to $8 under Bush in 2005, and now Bush proposes yet another co-pay increase. Thank you Mr. President. You really do care and share our hurt. May the God of Heaven Bless you in an appropriate way.

From 'DAV Magazine' for May-June, 2006, p. 9




posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 01:36 PM
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The VA itself has to make better use of the monies that are already given to it.

I got called to my "local" VA last week for a physical exam and evaluation. It was 82 miles roundtrip. I had to leave my house at 0630 to be there by 0800 for my appointment. They made me wait until 0830 to see the doc, even though I was the first appointment of the morning. Evidently they were running 1/2 hour late first thing.

The doc called me into his exam room, asked me a total of 6 questions, banged on his computer keyboard to get it to work, never physically touched me for a physical exam, said "good luck, go get your travel pay," and I was out of the office in less than 5 minutes.

I went down to the first floor, got my $9.26 for travel and was gone by 0845.

The VA is making changes in my area by shutting down some services, consolidating other services from the VA in Marion, Indiana and moving them to Indianapolis, Indiana. They have shut many of the local clinics that veterans were allowed to use, and they are sending the money to other states like Florida and Arizona where the veterans are moving in their retirement years. If the veterans aren't moving away for retirement, they are dying off, so Indiana is getting less and less VA monies all the time. That equates to less money to treat veterans like me who stay.

It is fine to say that the VA is not being fully funded, but the organization itself has to stay sleek and lean to survive and use their existing monies smartly.

Many of my treatments and meds the VA will not pay for, so my wife has benefits through her civilian job. I can only say that I wish I had only $8.00 co-pays for my treatment. My last RX was $140.00 for one med for one month, and that was only a 10% co-pay. The civilian insurance picked up the rest.

JDub



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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^ What branch where you in sir? ....Just like to know out of curiousity...



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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The answer is not more money.

The answer is less money, and more accountability.

The same exact recipe works for education, law enforcement, corrections, social services, you name it.

I got some stupid pamphlet from my congressman today, in the mail. He's actually proud of the fact that he's secured 200k in federal money to evaluate local trails for entry into the national registry of hiking trails, or something to that effect (he was gloating about it, along with a slew of other pork production).


He should be ashamed, they should all be ashamed. The states are like dogs under the table these days, (so I guess that makes us citizens like fleas or something) and nobody gives a second thought to the fact that WE FEED AND CLOTHE AND HOUSE AND FACILIATE THE EXISTENCE OF THE MASTER WITH OUR DOLLARS AND OUR SWEAT AND OUR BLOOD.

Who in their right mind pays a premium to be disenfranchised? Well, nobody. We're not in our right mind - there is no other logical explanation.

/rant



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 02:41 PM
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posted by Latter Day
What branch where you in sir? ....Just like to know out of curiosity...



In 1949, I joined the Army National Guard, a field artillery battalion, in the headquarters battery.

In 1952, I joined the Air Force. After 4 years, I left to attend college. I was in the unorganized reserves for 4 years. Back in those days, the UMTS - Universal Military Training and Service Act - required 8 years service in varied combinations. You were vulnerable to short notice recall during that follow-on period.

In 1963, mostly due to the Cuba Missile Crisis, I reenlisted in the Air Force, but for various reasons, I was discharged (honorably) in 1964. I was at MacDill AFB the entire time. I returned to college for post-baccalaureate work. I have a service connected disability rating from the VA.



[edit on 6/10/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by Latter Day
^ What branch where you in sir? ....Just like to know out of curiousity...


Navy 1989 - 1994 (active)
1994 -1997 (inactive reserves)

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)

USS Nimitz (CVN-68)

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)

Wyrdeone -

I dont' know if I wish the VA to have less money, but I definitely think they can do more with the money they have currently. Hopefully that point came through in my writing above. If it didn't, I am re-stating it here.

JDub



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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posted by WyrdeOne
The answer is not more money. The answer is less money, and more accountability. This recipe works for education, law enforcement, corrections, social services, you name it.[Edited by Don W]



Sweet Jesus! Tell me more, W/O, what is this thing you call so glibly “accountability?”

Will it work for ordinary folk, or is this thing, “accountability” available only to the initiate? If “yes,” then how would one go about being initiated into this inner sanctum of wonder and wisdom? This worthy thing you have so modestly labeled “accountability.”




I got some stupid pamphlet from my congressman today. He's proud of the fact that he secured 200k in federal money to evaluate local trails for entry into the national registry of hiking trails . . He should be ashamed, they should all be ashamed. The states are like dogs under the table these days . . nobody gives a second thought to the fact WE FEED AND CLOTHE AND FACILITATE THE MASTER WITH OUR DOLLARS AND OUR SWEAT AND OUR BLOOD. [Edited by Don W]




I suppose our Founding Fathers wasted their time writing the Preamble to our Constitution? They ought to have written instead, “Be Accountable!”

You make “Accountability” sound so complete, as if it is part of the Holy Writ, the Alpha and the Omega. I hope you don’t disappoint me, W/O and fail to explain how this wonder of the ages - ‘accountability’ - can be had by all! Lay it on us, Bro.



[edit on 6/10/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 04:13 PM
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posted by BlueTileSpook



posted by Latter Day
What branch where you in sir? ....Just like to know out of curiosity...


(1) Navy 1989 - 1994 (active)1994 -1997 (inactive reserves) USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) USS Nimitz (CVN-68) USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)

Wyrdeone - (2) I don’t' know if I wish the VA to have less money, but I definitely think they can do more with the money they have currently. Hopefully that point came through in my writing above. If it didn't, I am re-stating it here. JDub [Edited by Don W]




(1) My closest experience on a supercarrier was a visit aboard the USS Saratoga when it was home based at Mayport FL. The son of a friend of mine was a aircraft mechanic PO1 on the ship and he showed me around the “public” parts during an open house. I was particularly impressed by the hangar deck. Wow!

(2) I go to the VA Outpatient Clinic’s once or twice a year. I get some medications. I have blood tests and the ubiquitous urinalysis. Recall the old days, every time you went on sick call, the receptionist gave you a bottle to fill and a thermometer jammed into your mouth. I have never hand a urinalysis outside the US Government. I wonder why that is?

The VA is patient oriented. Every person is polite and eager to be helpful. The appointments are kept timely. The referrals to specialities are relatively quick. I have had a number of out patient operations done in the private sector. The private sector is no better than the VA. It was true 10 or 20 years ago that few physicians spoke English. That did not keep them from giving quality service, however. Now, in my experience, most doctors speak English even if from India, Pakistan or the Philippines. Which brings me to remind that we are a cheap ass country that cares for no one but ourselves, to go abroad to countries already short on short of medical staff then pay them 4 X of even 10 X to come here. Selfish! Where does Dante put selfish people in his levels of Hell?

How do you think it makes a Filipino father feel when his child dies for lack of medical care because the local doctor and his nurses have quit and gone to America to get rich quick?



[edit on 6/10/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 05:01 PM
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First, thank you for the compliment about my service record.

I was a Cryptologist on all three carriers along with some time on the beach in Iraq. I used to load secure voice crypto keys onboard some of the aircraft for night missions off the carrier. I was the midwatch supe for the COMM shack, and loved every minute of my time on the deck.


Originally posted by donwhite

I have never hand a urinalysis outside the US Government. I wonder why that is?


I have had several civilian urinalysis tests since leaving active duty in 1994. Most were for monitoring levels of chemicals excreted through my kidneys, but I also had some when I was on an opiate therapy program for chronic pain. I had a contract with my doctor(s) that stipulated that I could be tested at any time to make sure I had the correct dose in my system to verify that I was not over-medicating myself nor diverting the meds to others and not taking them.

I think it is funny to overhear others in the doc's office talking about having to provide a urine specimen and how "undignified" it is. I flash back to my days of providing samples in the military where a collection rep stood right beside me and watched me fill the bottle. If he couldn't see me fill it, the collection was nullified and I had to start again in full view of him.


Originally posted by DonWhite

The VA is patient oriented. Every person is polite and eager to be helpful. The appointments are kept timely. The referrals to specialities are relatively quick.


I am glad that you have had good experiences with the VA during your appointments. I have not. Marion VA and Rhoudebush in Indianapolis were both sluggish to keep appointment times, my physical exams were cursory at best, the docs did not seem to be knowledgable about some of the treatments being used by my civilian Neurologists and my chronic health problems were written off to PTSD originally when no civilian, military or VA doc had ever examined me, diagnosed me or treated me for it.


Originally posted by DonWhite

I have had a number of out patient operations done in the private sector. The private sector is no better than the VA.


I have had three operations in the private sector in the last 6 years, the last being in January of this year done as an exploratory surgery to help find out why the nerves and muscles are dying in my arms and hands. Nothing was found during the surgery, baffling the Neurologist and the Neuro-surgeon about why my tests show such severe symptoms.

I have had trouble with the civilian docs about wait-times for appointments and foul-ups during my surgeries (waking up during the surgery, contaminated IV's in PRE-OP), but I was able to "push" the docs to correct both the wait-times and actually forced a change in PRE-OP procedures at the hospital where my last surgery was done. When I "pushed" the VA about why it took six months to get a visit scheduled with their Neurologist I was told that I was a borderline "problem patient" and that if I persisted to ask questions, it would only cause them to sit on my case and drag it out. "Your time will come," I was told. And now I have waited 2 1/2 years, and as of their last letter around Christmas of 2005, it will be at least another two years before a decision about my case is made.

I have been told by four separate civilian doctors in four separate specialties in four separate practices that I should be dead already according to the testing that has been done. I don't have time to wait unless they want to find out what ails me from the autopsy results.


Originally posted by DonWhite

It was true 10 or 20 years ago that few physicians spoke English.


My doc at the Marion VA the first time I went and this last time was a Dr. L. (name abbreviated for his privacy) who is Russian. He has been at the VA for about 10 years now and is in his 60's approximately. He has a heavy accent, but was quite understandable as long as he didn't talk too fast.


Originally posted by DonWhite

How do you think it makes a Filipino father feel when his child dies for lack of medical care because the local doctor and his nurses have quit and gone to America to get rich quick?


I can't honestly answer that question. I can only say that a near-experience would be the number of Indian docs that we have had here in my local area. They are usually in their 30's to early 40's, practice here for 3 - 5 years and then return to their homeland to attend to the sick there.

JDub



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 08:48 PM
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posted by BlueTileSpook

First, thank you for the compliment about my service record.
I was a Cryptologist on all three carriers along with some time on the beach in Iraq . . “ [Edited by Don W]



Is sounds very exciting and each day provides a sense of real accomplishment. That is so important to a sense of yourself and is something most young guys don’t get in civilian life.



I have had urinalysis tests since leaving active duty in 1994. Most were for monitoring levels of chemicals but I also had some when I was on an opiate therapy program for chronic pain . . “


Well, I’ve never had a serious problem like that nor any long term disabling pains. I’m definitely a pain evader. I have only had two instances in my life where I had pain sufficient that I would reveal secrets. I don’t use the 1 to 10 scale, it is either enough to make me talk or it is not. I recently had shingles and it was very discomfiting, but I would not have revealed a secret to avoid it. Serious pan #1 was when I fell and sustained a ruptured disc at L3, L4 and L5. That hurt. OTOH within 6 hours, I had my first shot of Demerol and I've never had another back pain.

My second instance of undesirable pain came at the end of a laser treatment to re-attach my retina. The surgeon put a “buckle” on my eyeball. It is 4 pieces of plastic inserted around the eyeball and snapped into a single ring to exert pressure to keep the pressure up in the eyeball so the retina will re-attach. That hurt! I would talk to avoid that pain again. In truth I insisted on general anesthesia when it was removed. No more 'locals' for me around my eye.



I am glad that you have had good experiences with the VA during your appointments. I have not. Marion VA and Rhoudebush in Indianapolis were both sluggish to keep appointment times, my physical exams were cursory at best, the docs did not seem to be knowledgeable about some of the treatments being used by my civilian Neurologists and my chronic health problems were written off to PTSD originally when no civilian, military or VA doc had ever examined me, diagnosed me or treated me for it.


My other big deals were a “nose job” by a plastic surgeon, no pain, but the aroma of burning flesh made me think of a barbcue; an infected thumb nail excised; and over the years, a half dozen skin cancers removed, most in the office, 2 by a plastic surgeon, one requiring a skin graft. No overnights. So, as I said above, I have had only minor problems and no chronic. So, actually, your experience and my experience are not comparable. I hope your VA service gets better. And, that you will need less of it.



[edit on 6/10/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 11:02 AM
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donwhite
Thanks alot dude, my sarcasm meter exploded and sprayed battery acid all over my cat. You owe me a tabby!


Here's some interesting reading, I hope you'll make the most of it, and then maybe we can have a discussion that's a little more in depth - as to the specifics of holding institutions accountable.

Stupid in America - Education
Government Waste -Government
Military Waste - Military
ACCOUNTABILITY=EXPOSURE

It's definitely not the fault of the government, well, it is and it isn't (mostly isn't). Parents who leave their children unattended and surrounded by a mulittude of temptations are asking for trouble. The citizens are responsible for insuring accountability on the part of the government, and they've completely dropped the ball.

You don't build a Frankenstein's monster as big as this one, and leave it to its own devices.

Awareness facilitates accountability, and I think we all know just how aware the average American is, hence, practically zero accountability.


Am I making myself clearer this time around? Or are you still confuzzled? Do you have RATS access? There's a wonderful thread in there about contract fraud, and it illustrates perfectly the danger this country faces. Corporations have no national loyalty, money is money. Most mega-corps fleecing the government could care less whether this place is a toxic ghetto in ten years, they can take all the money they've pilfered and move somewhere nice and up-scale, like Switzerland.

It's the responsibility of the citizens to look out for their own well-being, to hold public servants accountable for waste and fraud.



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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posted by WyrdeOne

Thanks a lot dude, my sarcasm meter exploded and sprayed battery acid all over my cat. You owe me a tabby! There's a wonderful thread about contract fraud . . it illustrates perfectly the danger this country faces. Corporations have no national loyalty, money is money.

Most mega-corp’s fleecing the government could care less whether this place is a toxic ghetto in ten years, they can take all the money they've pilfered and move somewhere nice and up-scale, like Switzerland.

It's the responsibility of the citizens to look out for their own well-being, to hold public servants accountable for waste and fraud.
[Edited by Don W]



“Accountability” is a code word used by the Far Right Wing types get the public’s attention away from the disasters we are bringing on ourselves. It is the mantra for the privatization of our government at all levels. Aside from the very urgent issues of who is in control, and how much liability will be shared for wrong moves or missteps taken by contractors and Heaven forbid, sub-sub-contractors, we are entering into an area (era?) almost totally without public debate. Let me recite three examples.

Example One. The Department of Energy website says the department employs 18,000 workers. At another place on the same website, it says there are 110,000 workers on contract with the Department. So what’s this? How many people really work for the Department? I mean, how many people is the department paying the wages of or for? Our leaders boast how they are reducing the numbers of government workers as if that was the only test. Just what is the "new" definition of a government employee? If an undocumented worker from south of the border is cutting the grass at an Air Force Base, is he not a "government employee?"

We have also seen the reports that Blackwater Security - DoD revolting door types - have lured away from the US military trained personnel who are then employed by Blackwater, and sent back to do the same job but on contract. We do not know how much the Pentagon pays Blackwater because that is “classified’ information. We do know Blackwater is paying $10,000 a month to the former Federal employees. So what‘s happening here? Who speaks for the taxpayers? Why is this allowed to happen? I smell fraud here.

Example Two. “Accountability” as used in the public education sphere is in reality a union busting tactic. The large teachers union - the NEA - has done more than any single group to raise the quality of public education in the United States. Right Wingers think teachers are ‘subverting’ their children. Hey, kids want to save the environment! Hey, kids want to be kind to animals and to other children! Hey, kids want to feed the 27,000 starving children who die every day. This kind of “love your neighbor” philosophy does not sit well with Right Wingers. Where are we going to get our future soldiers and marines if our kids give up on war?

Illegal (undocumented) workers and legal foreign workers hired by the VA and other Federal and state agencies also serve a secondary purpose, to keep wages low in the United States. Any program - whatever you call it - that accomplishes both union busting and keeping wages low is highly suspect to me! And it ought to be to any publicly spirited citizen.

Example Three. Just how can a citizen keep a lookout for fraud and deceit? Most of us are not accounting majors and hardly any of us are C.P.A.s. in fact, we have learned from Arthur Anderson and so on that CPAs are more likely to be aiding and abetting fraud then in pointing it out. While challenges to be or become an alert citizenry is no doubt well intended, it falls on both hollow and deaf ears. This reminds me all too much of the WPA man resting on the shovel stories so popular in the late 1930s.

The problem, W/O, is not lack of citizen awareness, it is lack of internal auditing worthy of the name, and lack of good accounting procedures. This condition has to have the (tacit) consent of all 535 Members of Congress, 5 of the 9 Justices of the Supreme Court and the 2 top dogs in the Executive branch to make it work. As much as I too enjoy easy solutions, “Accountability” is not the one word solution.



[edit on 6/11/2006 by donwhite]



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