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Did VA Hide Figures Showing 1 in 4 Vets Disabled From Service?

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:27 AM
Original message
Did VA Hide Figures Showing 1 in 4 Vets Disabled From Service?
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/12/145...

Did VA Hide Figures Showing 1 in 4 US Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Disabled From Service?

Newly released documents reveal that more than 150,000 soldiers who left the military after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have been at least partly disabled as a result of service - this translates to one in four veterans. Whats more, it appears the Department of Veterans Affairs was trying to hide the figures. We speak with Paul Sullivan of Veterans for America. While the number of Iraqi deaths since the US-led invasion is the subject of much dispute, the number of American soldiers killed is a carefully recorded figure. So far, 2,754 US troops have been killed in Iraq. While the death toll is widely reported in the media, the hidden cost on soldiers who return from fighting is not.

The documents on the number of disability claims filed by veterans were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. But the VA initially denied the existence of the records for nine months. It was only after the Archive advised the VA that it was prepared to file a lawsuit did the agency manage to locate the records.

Paul Sullivan is the director of programs for Veterans for America and a former VA analyst. He helped the Archive with their FOIA request.

* Paul Sullivan. Director of Programs for Veterans for America, an advocacy group, and a former V.A. analyst.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Of course...
They can't take care of what they have now. I can't get an appointment for my problems & I have been with them for 30 years. It takes (at least) six months for each step, but I get a jug with 240 vicodans a month so that is the new answer, that and the question if it is strong enough...

The hell of it is that this is the same thing I have always had and each time I see them for it, it takes longer to treat it. it used to take a couple of week to get all the consults and diagnostics and treatments, then months, this time it has been over a year! In the meantime, I have been confined more and more to bed. I will have to use a walker soon, I am losing my ambulation quickly.


They are selling the veterans out. The old and most certainly the young. The crowds in the clinic are larger and larger every time I go. The appointments are further and further apart. They continue to close clinics, The major VA hospital in our area closed it's Pain Management Clinic three Months ago and has no plans to reopen it! That should tell you everything you need to know. They are trying to drive people away.
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pecwae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Privatization.
They started wanting to do this even when I first began my career with them in '79.

They try to drive people away...and succeed. When faced with 26 pages to complete for disability claims, the wait for a decision, appeal, etc. a lot of vets just give up.

Pain Management Clinic? Durham's is a joke. Months and months of waiting and although I am 40% SC for an injury (another 10% for another issue) that left me with chronic pain I was told to have milk and cookies at night (I shit you not, Dr. Goldstein actually told me that and it was documented with John Edwards' office when I made my complaint), given 15 useless trigger point injections, labelled a 'shopper' (for drugs) and told to learn to live with it.

But, the VA will never beat me! I can play their game.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. At our hospital we have a memo
from the VA.
It says that their VA insurance doesn't cover our hospital and they HAVE to go to a VA hospital unless it is life-threatening.
The nearest one is 3 hours away.
I agree with you.
But I also think that everywhere there is a military base, there ought to be a military hospital that ALL veterans (current and past) can go to have their needs taken care of.
It shouldn't be so hard.

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. acmejack, I'm so sorry you're being treated so shabbily.
So much for all the promises made when someone joins the military. They're letting people down big time.
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. In a word, Yes!
Denied the existence of reports until threatened w/ a lawsuit after which they miraculously found them!
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
4. did anybody tape this??? that's my baby bro on Amy-Go Paul!!!
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 10:41 AM by fed-up
http://www.veteransforamerica.org/page/weblog/subpage/d...

On October 4, I testified on behalf of Veterans for America about the needs of returning Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans before an Institute of Medicine (IOM) hearing in San Antonio, Texas. The Veterans Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC) asked the IOM to advise them on what to do about presumptive service connection for war-related medical problems. What could have been a dry academic meeting offered some interesting surprises.

The IOM contacted me one week before the hearing asking if I could fly to San Antonio, Texas and speak about the concerns of new war veterans.

Before I describe the IOM/VDBC hearing, here is a bit of background. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses presumptives as a way to expedite the paperwork process so that war veterans get disability payments and healthcare faster. For example, due to the massive and widespread use of poisonous Agent Orange, a Vietnam War veteran with prostate cancer need only show VA that he or she served in Vietnam and has prostate cancer in order to be treated by a VA doctor and to collect disability payments.


...snip

go here for text of testimony

http://www.veteransforamerica.org/ArticleID/8416

Veterans for America Testimony for the Institute of Medicine
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Paul Sullivan

Oct 10, 2006


On October 4, Paul Sullivan of Veterans for America testified about the needs of returning Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans before an Institute of Medicine (IOM) hearing in San Antonio, Texas. The Veterans Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC) asked the IOM to advise them on what to do about presumptive service connection for war-related medical problems.

Click to read Paul's written testimony (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)

Click to read Paul's report on the hearing in the VFA weblog.


What's your take? Comment here (No comments yet).
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I didn't tape it but think you can go to
www.democracynow.org to see it; I know the transcript usually gets posted.
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. thanks, I will have someone with a faster computer than mine download it
I rarely try to watch TV online because it can take up to an hour and a half to download a 10 minute segment, so I pretty much can only watch TV at my boyfriend's house.

Sometimes dial-up can be a royal pain in the ....
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