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Old 06-15-2009, 08:23 AM
 
1,492 posts, read 6,784,238 times
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Now reverse it. Should the military member (active/retired/vet) have access to the same level/quality healthcare as the spouse or kid?

Did you know that Tricare regularly covers treatment/procedures that the VA medical centers will not provide. So those vets that are 100% service connected that can't work thus no insurance.....they do not have the same level of care.

Was in the VAMC ER recently where there was a vet crying they couldn't take their hemorrhoids any longer. They complained they had been taking the meds for over a year and it's just too much- they were going to Mexico to have surgery. Well, the ER doc said....okay....we're sending you to surgery.

There's another vet (100% service connected) who was pushing 300 pounds and was on all types of drugs for obesity related issues like high blood pressure. They were a candidate for weight loss surgery but because they were the military member and not the spouse...they could not get it. They went to Mexico, lost a hundred pounds and is no longer on any meds.

There's another vet who was having dental out west, moved to the south and the dentist doesn't want to provide the same treatment....only wants to give dentures as it's easier and requires less time. But the vet already was prepped for implants by the VA and had teeth pulled by the VA to get the mouth ready. The vet is going to Mexico.


Why are vets not being treated at least equally to spouses and children?
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,759,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasGrace View Post
Now reverse it. Should the military member (active/retired/vet) have access to the same level/quality healthcare as the spouse or kid?

Did you know that Tricare regularly covers treatment/procedures that the VA medical centers will not provide. So those vets that are 100% service connected that can't work thus no insurance.....they do not have the same level of care.

Was in the VAMC ER recently where there was a vet crying they couldn't take their hemorrhoids any longer. They complained they had been taking the meds for over a year and it's just too much- they were going to Mexico to have surgery. Well, the ER doc said....okay....we're sending you to surgery.

There's another vet (100% service connected) who was pushing 300 pounds and was on all types of drugs for obesity related issues like high blood pressure. They were a candidate for weight loss surgery but because they were the military member and not the spouse...they could not get it. They went to Mexico, lost a hundred pounds and is no longer on any meds.

There's another vet who was having dental out west, moved to the south and the dentist doesn't want to provide the same treatment....only wants to give dentures as it's easier and requires less time. But the vet already was prepped for implants by the VA and had teeth pulled by the VA to get the mouth ready. The vet is going to Mexico.


Why are vets not being treated at least equally to spouses and children?
Since I do not know the specifics of the cases all I can say is that if I was in the situation ther first thing I would do is go to the hospital patient coordinator and submit a complain. I have been in the Army 31 years and can give you and example of a female Soldier I encountered in the hospital elevator. I could see she was distressed. We both had come out of the dental clinic. I asked her if everything was OK. She told me she was denied some dental care. She told me she was on leave from Iraq and she was due to return in about 5 days and they had told her she should have the care over there. She said she was trying to get it done in the States so she could be at full force on duty when she gets back. I told her to follow me. We went to the clinic and they said there is nothing they could do. At that point I got upset and asked the clerk if she felt it was OK to deny service to a Soldier scheduled to go the front lines because the schedule was full and there were no oppenings. I even asked the people right there in the waiting area if any of them mind giving her his spot so she could be served. Many said they would not mind but the clerk still said she has to go by the schedule.
I then took her to the hospital patient coordinator and let her tell him her issue. He told her he would call her back. I gave the Soldier my phone number and to let me know what was the outcome. The next day she thankfully call me to let me know she got the procedure done.

I did scold her at the point. Why? Because she was a Staff Sergeant. I told her that if she let them treat her like that I wonder how in the world she was going to take care of her Soldiers if they were denied service somewhere. I told her I expect her to learn from this and to learn not to give up when someone denies her services in the Army system. There are avenues for help. You just have to not give up.

The system is often overloaded and as in anywhere, there are people that do not care. You must not let people get away with this and that is what I tell my Soldiers all the time. I also tell them that when they fell the wall is to tough to break down, then to let me know and then it is time to use my rank to approach people at higher levels.

So even though the cases you site sound as if the program does not support the Soldier, I tend to believe the often they do not know where to go for help or that they do not have a Chain of Command and a Support Chain to help them up. It is sad but that happens. Leaders come in all shapes and form, some care, some do not.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:52 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,900,730 times
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El Amigo, you're the model for what a good NCO OR officer should be. When it comes to taking care of the troops, far too many of us don't go "the extra mile". I'm guessing that some family members are going to get wound up, but the contract is between the service member and the military, NOT with his/her family members. It's wonderful that there are so many programs/services available to family members on base. And provisions to make sure they are available should be considered in the budget process. But the MILITARY member is the primary reason that the services are there in the first place. I also believe that, as a retiree, I should have a lower priority than someone on active duty when it comes to base services or things like Space-A travel (I also feel that family members of active duty should also be ahead of me on Space-A flights...)

Vegas Grace, I admit that I rarely use any of the available services on my nearest military installation or VA hospital, so I'm not sure I have as big of a dog in this fight. I see the point that veterans have served and family members don't "serve" in the same context. And there's certainly the issue of 'broken faith" concerning veteran's benefits. But they're still part of the reason that "Sgt Doe" continues to reenlist. I'd like tho think there's a good compromise to taking care of BOTH active duty family members AND vets/retirees...
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,759,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
El Amigo, you're the model for what a good NCO OR officer should be. When it comes to taking care of the troops, far too many of us don't go "the extra mile". I'm guessing that some family members are going to get wound up, but the contract is between the service member and the military, NOT with his/her family members. It's wonderful that there are so many programs/services available to family members on base. And provisions to make sure they are available should be considered in the budget process. But the MILITARY member is the primary reason that the services are there in the first place. I also believe that, as a retiree, I should have a lower priority than someone on active duty when it comes to base services or things like Space-A travel (I also feel that family members of active duty should also be ahead of me on Space-A flights...)

Vegas Grace, I admit that I rarely use any of the available services on my nearest military installation or VA hospital, so I'm not sure I have as big of a dog in this fight. I see the point that veterans have served and family members don't "serve" in the same context. And there's certainly the issue of 'broken faith" concerning veteran's benefits. But they're still part of the reason that "Sgt Doe" continues to reenlist. I'd like tho think there's a good compromise to taking care of BOTH active duty family members AND vets/retirees...
Thanks for the praise. I am glad I had some good leaders that were good role models in taking care of Soldiers.

I am glad you pointed out how the primary mission of the services is the Soldiers above family members, retired personnel, etc.

Some people do not realize that a lot of programs for the families are primarily to make sure the Soldier has the peace of mind that his family is taken cared of so he can do his duty without any worries for his family back home. The point is to make sure that the Soldier is at all his pistons doing the mission without any type of obstacles.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,145,546 times
Reputation: 1895
Let me preface with this is my perspective on care received by Military Veterans. First of all, I believe Vets with 100% service-connected disability should have lifetime health insurance provided free by the government and forcing them to go to Mexico for treatment is a national disgrace. Second, my perception, and I may be wrong, is that once those same Vets leave the service they are generally treated no better than someone who walks into an Emergency Room with no health insurance. Lastly, it seems that many civilians fawn over Active Duty and Retired Military Members but not over Vets who have left the service...it almost seems like they're seen as quitters and treated accordingly. This indeed is another casualty of war.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,743 posts, read 47,557,573 times
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Should we all receive the same level of care? I don't know.

I was told many times during my career "Your wife did not come in your seabag, she was not issued to you by the Navy; so do not concern the Navy with your wife's problems".

As an NCO I said it myself to junior sailors.

Every base that I have been stationed at had housing shortages, waiting lists that often exceeded your 3 year orders. So it was very common to seek housing outside of the Navy. The attitude everywhere was that housing your family far away from the Navy base was what the Navy preferred to see sailors doing. And of course the Navy is perfectly happy to give us the extra pays and allowances so we could provide for our families, so long as those families stayed away from the base.

As far as seeking medical care, every sub I have been on, the corpsman [HM] was always willing to treat our families when we were in port. The MilMed clinics were always open to dependents. There was never any 'doctors' or 'nurses' at those clinics, it was of course HMs providing the care. But they were always willing to give dependents the same level of care that servicemembers got. Rarely was there ever a waiting list or line.

I have been homeported in areas that have had both MilMed clinics and a Navy hospital. It was my observation that the hospitals were always over-booked, that your appointments would commonly be bumped by officers and their dependents. If you missed an appointment it is an NJP offense. So you could go to the hospital, but it meant that you would likely go there for multiple appointments before being seen.

During my 20+ year career my medical care and that of my family's was provided almost exclusively by HMs in MilMed clinics.

Being treated by doctors / nurses is the privilege of officers, us enlisted may squeeze in from time to time, but it is a hassle and we are at jeopardy for trying. Being treated by enlisted men is quick and easy.

It was not until my last tour of duty, when I was working alongside servicemembers from the Army, AF, and Marines; that I first saw services who seem to care about dependants.

Now as a retiree, we have no military base near us. Tricare underwrites a regional health insurance called 'Martins Point' so we are enrolled with them. It gets us a civilian PCP and into the local civilian hospitals. We have no dealing with the VA, or Military Medicine anymore.

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:13 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,759,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel Man View Post
Let me preface with this is my perspective on care received by Military Veterans. First of all, I believe Vets with 100% service-connected disability should have lifetime health insurance provided free by the government and forcing them to go to Mexico for treatment is a national disgrace. Second, my perception, and I may be wrong, is that once those same Vets leave the service they are generally treated no better than someone who walks into an Emergency Room with no health insurance. Lastly, it seems that many civilians fawn over Active Duty and Retired Military Members but not over Vets who have left the service...it almost seems like they're seen as quitters and treated accordingly. This indeed is another casualty of war.
I am sure some of the things you mention are true. I have seen it to some degree. I also do think some of those things happen in some areas more than in others. I have a few veterans that were my peers in the service. Some live in different areas. In some areas they tell me they are very happy with the VA system whereas in some other areas they are not.
So the problem in some cases is not so much the system but the people running it.
I do not think they are a casualty a war as you said, the problem is more of an attitude in society depending on where you live also. There are some areas where they respect and support the military whether they are active, retired or served. Others do not.

The last point is a sad reality that I accept whether I like it or not. Soldiers since the birth of the nation very often have gone without promises given by the government. Many war veterans during the revolution never got what was promised and the same has happened after and even today in some form. That is just the way it is. Morally many people may think the nation should show appreciation for the service of a veteran. Well, it does to some degree but when it comes to counting taxpayer money other things have priority. Politics is also a big factor. Those things will never change. I have learned to accept that fact. We Soldiers should accept the fact that a times we are puns, that is reality. It is better for our own mental health to accept that to some degree and do with what we got and is given as best as possible. That is why this profession I chose does require sacrifice very often.

That is just the way it is. The satisfaction you get is personal knowing what you did and accomplished for the nation.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:58 PM
 
1,492 posts, read 6,784,238 times
Reputation: 1419
I've recently written to my congressman, 2 senators (one of which is on the board w/ the cabinet), and President Obama.

I'm one of those 100% service connected veterans that because I'm the military member and not the spouse w/ Tricare....am looking at going to Mexico for medical care that Tricare covers everyday but this VA here won't do. I keep my eyes and ears open when I do go to VA medical centers and take notes.....some VAs are great! The ones out west tend to be more open to treating vets like patients..... treat the patient for what he/she needs and find it....versus treating the vet w/ what they have on hand in their clinic.

I'll update you if and when I get responses. I'm planning my Mexico trip for January and it's a 3 part visit so I have to go across the border three times for surgery.
If I had Tricare I'd get it done in town.....if I lived out west I'd get it done at the local VA.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,145,546 times
Reputation: 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Should we all receive the same level of care? I don't know.

I was told many times during my career "Your wife did not come in your seabag, she was not issued to you by the Navy; so do not concern the Navy with your wife's problems".

As an NCO I said it myself to junior sailors.

Every base that I have been stationed at had housing shortages, waiting lists that often exceeded your 3 year orders. So it was very common to seek housing outside of the Navy. The attitude everywhere was that housing your family far away from the Navy base was what the Navy preferred to see sailors doing. And of course the Navy is perfectly happy to give us the extra pays and allowances so we could provide for our families, so long as those families stayed away from the base.

As far as seeking medical care, every sub I have been on, the corpsman [HM] was always willing to treat our families when we were in port. The MilMed clinics were always open to dependents. There was never any 'doctors' or 'nurses' at those clinics, it was of course HMs providing the care. But they were always willing to give dependents the same level of care that service members got. Rarely was there ever a waiting list or line.

I have been homeported in areas that have had both MilMed clinics and a Navy hospital. It was my observation that the hospitals were always over-booked, that your appointments would commonly be bumped by officers and their dependents. If you missed an appointment it is an NJP offense. So you could go to the hospital, but it meant that you would likely go there for multiple appointments before being seen.

During my 20+ year career my medical care and that of my family's was provided almost exclusively by HMs in MilMed clinics.

Being treated by doctors / nurses is the privilege of officers, us enlisted may squeeze in from time to time, but it is a hassle and we are at jeopardy for trying. Being treated by enlisted men is quick and easy.

It was not until my last tour of duty, when I was working alongside service members from the Army, AF, and Marines; that I first saw services who seem to care about dependents.

Now as a retiree, we have no military base near us. Tricare underwrites a regional health insurance called 'Martins Point' so we are enrolled with them. It gets us a civilian PCP and into the local civilian hospitals. We have no dealing with the VA, or Military Medicine anymore.

Interesting about how the Navy treated its Enlisted members. During my whole career and retirement (37 years so far) I have never seen Enlisted members or their dependents bumped by Officers and their dependents. Does the same hold true for Senior Enlisted vs. Junior Enlisted personnel? Anyway, even though I am retired, my wife is being treated for cancer and her care has been outstanding by both Army and Air Force personnel through Tricare.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,743 posts, read 47,557,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel Man
Interesting about how the Navy treated its Enlisted members. During my whole career and retirement (37 years so far) I have never seen Enlisted members or their dependents bumped by Officers and their dependents.
I hear you.

At my last boat, the enlisted were commonly subjected to being called [third person] as peasants 'bothering' the aristocracy.

On one boat, I had to get a POA notarized for an apartment building that I was buying. So I went to my Department Head [an O4, the only officer in my department] and asked him to notarize it for me. [He was also the command Security Manager] He lectured me on the security risks of investing [at the time it was my third apartment building that I owned], and he threatened me that if he heard of my investing again he would pull my security clearances and have me thrown out of the Navy. Then he lectured me that the truly wealthy nobility like him would never dirty their hands with investing or even knowledge of investments "such is the work of peasant hirelings, like accountants". I was very careful around him after that. I had attended numerous annual IRS training courses and volunteered my time doing taxes for my shipmates each year. So the following tax season I did once again volunteer to do taxes for my shipmates, and I filed the most of the crew and officers, including my Department Head. I was amazed to learn that as an E6 I had a Net Worth 10X larger than his was.



Quote:
... Does the same hold true for Senior Enlisted vs. Junior Enlisted personnel?
No, not really.



Quote:
... Anyway, even though I am retired, my wife is being treated for cancer and her care has been outstanding by both Army and Air Force personnel through Tricare.
I am so sorry to hear of your Dw's cancer, she will be in my prayers.
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