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 . . . .