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Old 12-05-2018, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
2,592 posts, read 4,593,682 times
Reputation: 1791

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I served 6 years, 66-72 in the Army.
During that time I had a back injury that bothered me for years. I hid the problem from employers so I could get a decent job.
Some 7 years ago I began having problems to the point that I applied for disability and was awarded a limited 30% disability for my back and hearing.
At the time of my assignment to a medical team for care they had a doctor. He retired and we only have a nurse now. In some way I guess I am lucky as some vets talk to a doc over a video connection I am told.
VA encouraged me to use them for all of my medical care pointing out that they could bill BCBS just like anyone else for care that was non service connected so I did.
But over time I discovered that the care was not that great. I understand they don't pay doctors and such very well, or so I have been told.
Anyway, about 2015, towards the end of the year I got very tired, slept all the time and had very little hunger. From Oct to the first part of Feb I lost some 55#. I was at VA 2 x during this period complaining about no energy and the sudden weight loss. They told me at my team and in the ER that I had a "whole body infection" and gave me antibiotics injections~~~no help
My chest started hurting and I used my BCBS medical plan to seek help at a local hospital as I thought I was having heart problems. VA kept telling me that my local hospital is not a heart hospital.
As it turned out, I needed an immediate 3 was bypass to save my life and my heart was at under 15% efficiency. In fact they would not do the surgery until new meds were given and I had almost a 3 week recovery period to bulk up for the surgery I needed.
I survived it all, some 10 times in hospitals and over 30 days that year alone.

The bottom line is that I really feel sorry for vets that have nothing but VA to care for them. My own experiences show that they are incompetent in some areas. In my case you would think that an experienced nurse would have spotted the signs and been concerned with a sudden loss of some 55#.
I guess my message is that if you have other care or you don't feel right after VA treats you seek other opinions.
I have seen many vets in my local hospital that in my opinion needed care and were not getting it. I talked to a few and many told me that their VA care was all they had and they had no option. I felt sorry for them.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
6,250 posts, read 3,370,896 times
Reputation: 12797
I've heard enough horror stories about the VA to the point I'll never use them. Lucky for me, I have excellent health insurance.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:04 AM
 
5,523 posts, read 8,272,415 times
Reputation: 7446
I am medically retired from the Marine Corps and 100% rated by the VA.
I could tell horror stories for hours from after getting a VA doctor on tape agreeing he would be the only one to touch me, him leaving the room and a guy who had been a medical student 6 weeks before (I found that out, but not if he was still a student) doing my spinal surgery supervised by a 3rd doctor I'd never met.

To having to do multiday campouts to get medical care that they had already agreed to and some admin person canceled without consulting my doctor, physical therapist, or informing any of us (I think that's called practicing medicine without a license.)

Like I said.... Hours.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
2,592 posts, read 4,593,682 times
Reputation: 1791
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I've heard enough horror stories about the VA to the point I'll never use them. Lucky for me, I have excellent health insurance.
Yes, at this point all they do for me now is care for my back and provide med for free of course for the service connected items.
I have stopped using them for anything else after my problem with the heart that almost killed me.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,945 posts, read 47,968,856 times
Reputation: 17883
Government is NOT good at operating anything that provides service to customers.

Can you imagine the DMV being in charge over healthcare?

But there is a huge political movement afoot, to make the government to be in control over all healthcare in our nation.

As a military retiree, the DOD provides me with fairly good healthcare insurance, which allows me to walk into any doctor's office, any hospital or ER anywhere in the nation.

IMHO, anyone who thinks the government should provide medical services to the public is insane.

I live in a border state, I am currently dealing with radiation treatments for my cancer. At our local cancer center, the patients in our waiting rooms are a mixture of US citizens and 'medical tourists' who have traveled to this country for the high quality of care that is available from our commercial healthcare system.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:20 PM
 
5,131 posts, read 6,170,027 times
Reputation: 9761
One thing that surprised me as a 20% S/C Vet getting all my care at the local VA, is that while they cannot bill Medicare A and B; they do bill my supplemental which pays as allowed by Medicare. So I get bills for that remainder. Also seems I am always owing for prescriptions. (aside from the fact of working around the VA formulary). Not unfair, just surprising.

Basically make no difference $ wise, just a matter of where I go.

Anyway, since I have Medicare and supplemental when I get settled into my new home I am going civilian care. Winding through the bureaucracy is difficult enough for me. I wonder at the truly elderly and marvel at how their spouses are so important to getting them through the process.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:25 PM
 
1,469 posts, read 2,200,527 times
Reputation: 1556
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I've heard enough horror stories about the VA to the point I'll never use them. Lucky for me, I have excellent health insurance.
Same. I'll never step foot in the VA. Aside from my GI bill, I've never had the desire to deal with them. I don't need or want their broken disability system or poor healthcare.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
533 posts, read 1,842,304 times
Reputation: 616
I have no faith in the VA system, either. My son served 12 years in the Marine Corps before he decided to get out. He suffers from PTSD, TBI, depression, back issues, nerve issues in his arms, two knee surgeries, foot surgery. When he first went to the VA, the refused to refill his PTSD medication because it was supposedly not listed in his medical records. He became suicidal and his wife made an emergency appointment with the VA and brought his empty prescription bottle with them, then the VA refilled it. SMH. He is still trying to get his records updated so he can get his rating changed.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:21 PM
 
198 posts, read 90,373 times
Reputation: 757
I don't want to defend the VA. There has been mismanagement and other missteps.

However, the U.S. seems to be at a state of perpetual warfare, which has resulted in many more soldiers needing both physical and mental healthcare. I don't think the system was ever designed to handle the volume of patients that it is having to bear.

The government needs to pony up resources to provide for all those Americans who have been injured in wars. It's that simple; it is an obligation that must be met.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:27 PM
 
1,469 posts, read 2,200,527 times
Reputation: 1556
Quote:
Originally Posted by townshend View Post
I don't want to defend the VA. There has been mismanagement and other missteps.

However, the U.S. seems to be at a state of perpetual warfare, which has resulted in many more soldiers needing both physical and mental healthcare. I don't think the system was ever designed to handle the volume of patients that it is having to bear.

The government needs to pony up resources to provide for all those Americans who have been injured in wars. It's that simple; it is an obligation that must be met.
Counter argument:


There's way too many people abusing the VA system and taking away resources from those who really need it. It is a problem when I see admin clerks getting out and getting disability ratings and using the VA instead of paying for health insurance.
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