February 7, 2008

When the Left Hand Does Right--the Right Hand Stops It
I was listening to the news on NPR the other day and I was completely bowled over. Here's the piece I heard:

It seems there’s a Veteran’s Administration in upstate New York [WAY up north, near the Canadian border] where they were actually doing something right. Well, the Army and the DoD couldn’t allow THAT!

The VA staff were actually sitting down with the veterans before they were discharged from the hospital and helping them with their paperwork so they would get whatever benefits they were entitled to as a result of the injuries they had sustained. So, those vets who had lost feet, arms, part of their brains, etc. etc., would be able to live their lives with dignity and receive appropriate compensation, hospitalization, medical care or whatever they needed.

The Army and the DoD got wind of all this [actual acts of compassion toward the members of our armed forces] and sent something called a Tiger Team to upstate New York to demand that the VA immediately cease and disist from such activities—and the VA rolled over and said, ‘Yes, Master! What the hey were we THINKING?’

When the NPR news team went to Washington and asked the Army and the DoD why they are actively attempting to keep our kids from receiving all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law, the Army and the DoD had the audacity to say, 1] they didn’t know what was going on and would look into it and 2] it’s not the place of clerks in the VA to be making these medical decisions, anyway.

Now, let’s take these assertions one at a time and see if they stand up to scrutiny:
1] They apparently dispatched the Tiger Team to northern New York. They TARGETED one agency in one county, telling them to stop what they were doing.
Apparently they used some sort of threat to get their compliance. At least, that’s what the VA told NPR when asked. They said that they acquiesced for fear that the DoD and the Army would keep the records of the New York vets under wraps and keep the affected people from receiving ANY services at all.
2] What does this statement say about all the clerks who staff the phone lines in all the major HMOs all over the country that ‘serve’ the civilian population? THEY make decisions every day about whether or not medical procedures will be allowed— often making their determinations based on whether all requirements [such as pre-approval, for instance] were secured before being seen by a specialist. So, people with leukemia have been known to die of the condition known as, ‘Red Tape.’

Oh, silly me—the primary function of the HMO clerks is to say, ‘No’ while the VA’s clerks have been sincerely trying to help our veterans get the benefits they’re entitled to.
One suggestion to those of you who live in northern New York:
What say you write your Senators and Representatives and ask them to look into this matter themselves? The agencies involved promised to check into the matter--let's ask Congress to be sure they do it . . . .


PoliShifter said...

(OT) -

My response to your comment Two Crows:

Hi Two Crows, I know YOU would vote for Obama if you liked his politics regardless of his race or gender or creed.

But sorry to say, older people are more likely to think he cannot win because he is black.

The Clintons made race an issue. Clinton supporters see race and color whereas Obama supporters generally don't.

More than anything else I'm just tired of boomer politics.

Just as your generation lived in the shadow of the WW2 'Greatest' Generation, we too have lived in the shadow of the boomer generation, subcombing to the squables of times gone by such as in 2004 where we had a Vietnam War draft dodger go up against a Vietnam War Hero and win.

I'm sorry you are personally offended by this post. It wasn't directed at you personally, but rather at a broad demographic which ofcourse, there are always going to be exceptions to every rule such as yourself.

I knew with that post I ran the risk of pissing off and alienating several bloggers who are of the hippie generation along with several friends and family members. But I had to say it.

Sorry. I am tired of reliving the 60's.

I am tired of Bush Clinton Bush Clinton.

Further I am tired of those who think race is still an issue. I think we have come a long way thanks in very large part to your generation.

But we don't have to keep reliving it and stay there. We can and have moved foward and will continue to do so.

My deepest appologies that you were offended. It was not meant to offend you personally.

two crows said...

hi, Poli--
apology received and responded to on your blog. and thanx.

Mary Ellen said...

Regarding this issue, I'm not surprised. The Pentagon is doing everything they could to cut corners and save money, even if it means sticking it to those who fought and were severely injured while doing so. It's so sick. I think the Pentagon is up to their eyeballs in corruption and partisan politics. Whoever takes over as our next President will need to do some major house cleaning.

Excellent post, kiddo!

two crows said...

Thanks, Nunly--
Isn't this just like our current batch of hypocrites?
'Support our troops right up till they need something.'

Mary Ellen said...

Hi two crows- Another snow storm on its way to Chicago. Blech!

two crows said...

hi, Nunly--
ANOTHER one???
will this winter ever let you catch your breath?
did the g-hog see its shadow in your area? increased storms might mean winter's last gasp? hope so. keep warm.
sorry it took me so long to respond.
I didn't make it around to the blogs [or even to my own] yesterday as I trundled an old puter table over to a friend's home, was given a new [used] bicycle and rode it home, did some yard work, went out to eat and to a movie, etc.
I think I now qualify as an EX-hermit! :)

hope to go swim-suit shopping today. even though I'll look like your personification of 'Fat Tuesday' in it.

an average patriot said...

I am sick of the lying and underhanded crap. They don't care about the wounded veterans and do not want to spend any more on them than they have to. They want it for war and corruptive gain.
When you said that about the Left and Right I thought you were going to talk about the Bill we altered and they stopped. It's funny speaking of that I always say the Right is wrong and the left is the new Right!

Mary Ellen said...

two crows..I am so jealous that you get to go out and ride your bike (Congrats on the new/used one!). The storm that hit us wasn't as bad as predicted, thank goodness, but it still wasn't fun. Ice storm first, followed by snow...then more ice. This weekend the temps are going to drop waaaay down, below zero. I'm really getting depressed, and it's only February.

Ground hog didn't see it's shadow, 6 more weeks of bullshit weather and bullshit politics. Sigh....

two crows said...

hi, AAP--
'I am sick of the lying and underhanded
you and me both!
this story was a complete shocker to me-- at least as much for the fact that one arm of the US gov't was trying to do the right thing as the fact that the Feds stopped the practice.

two crows said...

hi, Mary Ellen--
'The storm that hit us wasn't as bad as predicted, thank goodness,'
well, I'm glad it wasn't AS bad as expected, at least. still, so sorry.

6 more weeks of winter is bad enough.
but, I fear we're in for WAY more than 6 more weeks of bullshit politics.
actually, I've rarely seen anything else. :(