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Thread: Next month the puzzle palace meets to discuss Veteran Suicide

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Next month the puzzle palace meets to discuss Veteran Suicide

    In a few weeks from now, over 2000 self proclaimed experts will convene to try and solve the Suicide epidemic that is happening among my fellow veterans. Between 16 to 20 of my brothers and sisters in arms take their life every day. All of these puzzle palace experts will gather, pat themselves on the back for the good job they have been doing at creating more red tape, longer lines, and greater delays for our men and women in uniform. I am sure everyone reading this has heard about all the new benefits in education, hiring practices, etc, etc. It all sounds good but is meaningless to my brothers and sisters as well as myself. Most of us are broken, mostly physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Let me explain why.

    We were broken physically through countless years of deployments, and endless wars. We are also emotionally drained and mentally worn down from the red tape to get the benefits promised and the constant pain from our injuries. The long waits, months long, to receive critical care, along with no income, and families to care for takes its toll. All that is left is a half million dollar life insurance policy. The soldier who has been trained to sacrifice all for those who depend on them make that ultimate selfless sacrifice because they canít work, canít get care, and their family is about to be homeless and are destitute. They really killing two birds with one stone. Their families financial troubles are over and so is all of the pain the veteran is suffering. It is not about having someone to talk to, like the veteran crisis hotline believes. It is about no longer being able to get proper healthcare in a timely manner. It is about not being able to take care of our families.

    The VA healthcare system is failing us when we need them the most. Long waits and delays as well as ineptitude of staff is killing us. I will use myself as an example. The two times that I have needed healthcare, Iím talking life or limb here, the VA has failed me. Not just let me down but in the case of the first one it was Life and I was septic and dying. Had it not been for local Doctors and the local hospital providing a $30k surgery for $1000 cash I would have died.

    I went to the VA because I couldnít hold down food, and was given anti nausea meds and sent home. A week later I was loosing 8-10 lbs every 24 hours. I made another appointment but couldnít get in for a week. The now ex-wife said heck with it and took me to the local town Doctor. He did some blood work and the next day had me scheduled for an ultrasound of my liver and gallbladder. They scheduled a surgery for me the following week. I gave them my VA veterans choice card. Two days before the surgery the VA called with a cancellation and I went there. On the way to the VA clinic, the Hospital called saying the VA wouldnít pay for the surgery. I had all my records with me and laid it all out for my Dr. at the appointment explaining that I needed emergency surgery. She told me that the VA would need to re do all the tests that she didnít think there was anything wrong with me and said scheduling will call. My wife blew a gasket and that did nothing but most likely delay things because they seem to have a strong aversion to being called out on their incompetence. My wife called the local hospital back and explained the situation and what the VA was doing. The Surgery secretary went to work and called us back a few hours later saying that the Hospital, surgeons, and everyone else would donate or do it at cost, and two days later I had my surgery. Six weeks later I got a call from VA scheduling saying they could see me. In the two weeks from the time I first went to the VA until I had my surgery at the local hospital, I went from a healthy 250 lbs down to 145 lbs. Had I waited on the VA I would have been dead weeks before they called to set up the appointment.

    Fast forward to late January early February of this year. I was moving a small end table and hurt my back. I didnít think much about it as 20 years of carrying 100 lbs or more on my back and jumping out of planes, helicopters and trucks regularly had taken its toll. As the days past it got worse and in a few weeks I could barely walk. I called the VA and got in to see my GP in a couple weeks. She requested an MRI, and may 30th I got it. The tech told me 3-5 days I should hear something. Day six I called and was told the report was in Dr would call later. Day 7 nothing. Day 8 called was told Dr would call. Day 9 nothing. Day 10 called was told by the nurse not to lift, push, pull, drag, or scoot anything. All the while we were trying to get caregiver status for my wife because I have to be helped with many daily living activities now because of my back. The only time in this process the Dr bothered to call me was to tell me that she was going to kill my application for the care giver assistance saying she didnít feel I deserved it.

    The wife called the VA patients advocate, and complained. The advocate told her my medical was going to be outsourced to a community based care and be handled by Tri West, the Governmentís other insurance company officially called Tri Care. So since the 15th of June I have called Tri West a total of 6 times so far. I did all the work locating a neurosurgeon for them providing the phone number and address. The last time I called to ask about the delay, I was told that it would be at least August 15th before they would get around to scheduling me for an appointment. Not scheduling an appointment by the 15th. The wife called the VA patients advocate and she says, once it leaves the VA it is out of their control. I wonít even go into the BS with Tri West not being able to get my address correct, or any other personal information. The politicians past reforms saying we could seek care outside the VA yet the VA still traps us in a system that is impossible with tricare. To make matters worse if the bill does not get to tri care in 2 business days from treatment the veteran is stuck with the bill or takes a hit on their credit if they choose not to pay it.

    Our families get what is called ChampVA for healthcare. It is amazing coverage. $100 deductible per person per year. No caps. They donít have to have approval from a GP to see a specialist. It they need a podiatrist they see one. If they need a pulmonologist they make the appointment and go see them. Prescriptions are very affordable. We as Veterans need that kind of healthcare. I would almost bet it would be more cost effective to give each veteran that qualified for free VA care a ChampVA card and close all the VA facilities. It is a proven fact that Labor is your largest overhead cost. Give us all ChampVA insurance and make the VA clinics and hospitals compete for the Veterans business, instead of monopolizing our healthcare to lazy incompetent people who can only get and keep a job they canít be fired from and the patients canít sue for malpractice.

    My Brothers and Sisters and I are not asking for pity, or for anyone to feel sorry for us. We donít want charity, we donít want hand outs. All we ask for is what we were promised when we signed a blank check to our country, knowing that it could be life or limb. So all I am asking of each of you who read this, could you please copy it and send that copy a note to your congressman so that maybe they will finally understand. If you care to go above and beyond give copies to your friends and coworkers, and ask them to write a letter asking to give us the same healthcare as our families. If enough people know the truth, maybe the government will have to fix it. I can assure you if we get the assistance and care we truly need, the Suicide rate will virtually go away overnight.

    Best wishes and thank you for taking the time to read this.
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I am sorry for what you have gone and are going through. I never served but do know about pain and not getting tests done because the insurance company just decided no. Have you reached out to a tv news outlet in your area? Sorry I can't offer more.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWolf View Post
    I am sorry for what you have gone and are going through. I never served but do know about pain and not getting tests done because the insurance company just decided no. Have you reached out to a tv news outlet in your area? Sorry I can't offer more.
    It doesn’t do any good with the news. The nearest VA hospital is John Cochran. They are in the news constantly for some form of malfeasance. Not long ago it was because the staff in charge of cleaning the surgery tools was just rinsing them off with water and putting them back into service. The tools weren’t being autoclaved and sterilized. Lots of vets got serious infections, some even died.
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Boerrancher -- I'm very sorry to hear about your individual circumstances, and those of our vets as a group.

    Like most citizens, I have heard about the high suicide rate among our veterans. I've never before heard of the half-million life insurance policy, and what you say makes sense. I guess that's because when I was in the Army base pay + expert rifleman pay + overseas pay amounted to about $86 a month, and the insurance policy was $10 thousand -- so I'm long out of touch. I left the Infantry with beginning hearing loss, bad feet, and bad teeth, but never filed a claim with the VA as I paid for the dental work myself (the Army offered to do it for a 6 year re-enlistment) and lived with the other problems which only got worse over the years. I am very fortunate to have received lifetime medical care as the result of a State retirement.

    I have several friends who use the VA here on the Left Coast. The guys that I know use local clinics and hospitals like Roseburg, OR, and Seattle/Vancouver, WA and sing their praises. The one exception is White City, OR, and the guy that used to use that facility gave bad reports.
    But, he's got some very complicated issues, and the civilian doctors aren't making much progress in his case either.

    I'm not competent to defend or degrade the VA, not being a user as I've explained, but I thought our President was going to clean house at the VA and make things better. Just from what I've heard and read, like most folks, I've gotten the impression that improvements have been made and are still underway. I wonder if you're living near an exceptionally bad one. It sure sounds bad. And yes, I certainly agree with you that some lazy and incompetent people settle into government jobs. That, as I recall, was something that was supposedly being taken care of, being able to hasten these folks departure from the VA.

    I really don't have much to offer. I guess it would be difficult or impossible for you to move closer to a facility that has a better reputation? I guess I just wanted to extend my support and sympathy, and to thank you for your service. Best wishes.

    DG

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I posted your letter to face book... hope that's ok
    when the dust settles and the smoke clears all that matters is I hear the words " well done my good and faithfully servant "

    <(*)(()><

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

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    Boerrancher sad day in America. " They" have got their use out of you and discard you just like garbage. Been there done that. Always thought Veterans should be treated at least as well as medicare recipients.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Thought it was only 50k, not 500k.
    WebMonkey
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for your "heads up" on Tri-West. I, too, am part of the Vet's Choice program through Tri-West. Your mention that if Tri-West doesn't get the bill within 48 hours then I am responsible gets my attention. The doctor I saw 48 business hours ago saw what he thinks is a malignant lesion on my eyelid so scheduled a biopsy with a surgeon in two weeks. My wife uses my Tricare and the VA has done well by me so far with other cancer issues but this is my first time out of the gate with the Choice program. I will be checking in tomorrow with the local civilian docs about dealing with the VA Choice program. My goal is to avoid going into that urban sewer called Seattle so I hope the Trip-West system works this time in this short fused situation.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by quilbilly View Post
    Thanks for your "heads up" on Tri-West. I, too, am part of the Vet's Choice program through Tri-West. Your mention that if Tri-West doesn't get the bill within 48 hours then I am responsible gets my attention. The doctor I saw 48 business hours ago saw what he thinks is a malignant lesion on my eyelid so scheduled a biopsy with a surgeon in two weeks. My wife uses my Tricare and the VA has done well by me so far with other cancer issues but this is my first time out of the gate with the Choice program. I will be checking in tomorrow with the local civilian docs about dealing with the VA Choice program. My goal is to avoid going into that urban sewer called Seattle so I hope the Trip-West system works this time in this short fused situation.
    Good luck with Tri West. Maybe you will be dealing with a different office than I have to. I am pretty good with accents, I have traveled the world and speak several languages, yet I very seldom find someone at tri West that I can understand, the English is horrible.
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Tri-West seems to be working here with a little help. I went to the doctor's office that hopefully will do the biopsy and surgery. Since they already work with Tri-Care which my wife uses, they gave me some pointers on how to work with Tri-West. Their suggestions worked the next day when I called Trip-West about the excellent authorization I received at home that requires an addition . The lady at Tri-West explained what to expect next and that the VA has 10 days to respond to the doctor's request for more surgery andbiopsy lab work b y a different local surgeon. It has been seven business days so far. What I have taken from this journey so far is that the VA Choice program is brand new complete with the computer glitches I witnessed a month ago. The system seems to be improving daily and I feel like a guinea pig for the new system. My situation is developing fast and its stretching the system. I suspect I am paving the way for other vets in the future (like you) to get better service. Hopefully my malignant growth issue and your issues that humble me will be resolved. I am sure the Seattle area VA hospital has been better than other VA hospitals for years and that have done right by me with my multiple cancer issues over the last ten years. It may be that the VA hospital here is closely associated as a teaching hospital with the U of W Med School as well as other research hospitals in the Seattle area.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    I just Found out from my new VA Primary Care Dr that Tri West has been fired. Starting sometime late 2019 or early 2020 there is going to be a new insurance company replacing Tri West. I don’t remember what company she said for sure so I won’t speculate. Hopefully this new company will make it easier for us to seek care outside of the VA.

    Best wishes

    Joe
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  12. #12
    Moderator Emeritus


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    Boerancher, thanks for a well written explanation in real life terms vs a rant against what millions are going through now days. I wish there was an easy fix or even a quick one.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  13. #13
    Boolit Master dh2's Avatar
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    I know how you feel , I broke my arm over to 3 weeks ago , VA give me an ambulance ride to the local trauma center, that was Saturday, after treating me they set an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for Monday , the surgeon they set me up with would not take VA pay, I went to VA and got them to put in a consult for an orthopedic surgeon a week plus later I got an appointment . I got there to be told that VA put in the order for shoulder when the brake was at my wrist.. So back to VA to my worthless Dr. and another week to the see the surgeon and off to emergency surgery . 3 weeks of fussing with my Dr. when I try to avoid any confrontation, the one's that should helping me are the people I have to fight with the most, The first 3 weeks I spent in a cast with no pain meds was not a problem for my Dr. but this is one of the many bad stories to come out of the VA

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boerrancher View Post
    I just Found out from my new VA Primary Care Dr that Tri West has been fired. Starting sometime late 2019 or early 2020 there is going to be a new insurance company replacing Tri West. I don’t remember what company she said for sure so I won’t speculate. Hopefully this new company will make it easier for us to seek care outside of the VA.

    Best wishes

    Joe
    Oh No!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    After a little extra thought, it shouldn't be too surprising that the VA fired Tri-West. Tri-West is the company that handles Tri-Care for Life for the active military, retirees, and their families plus elsewhere in the DOD. 25 years ago when I started using the VA, I inquired about any connections with DOD health care. The answer was an emphatic NO. My experience with other bureaucracies even at the state and local level lead me to think it was a "turf" thing. Now I am wrestling with the issue of joining my wife who uses Tri-Care (I am retired from 20+ years in the Navy) possibly putting at risk my relationship with the VA doctors who have given me great service for over a decade. Don't you just love the way government does things.

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