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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:18 AM
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House considers big changes for vet treatment
House considers big changes for vet treatment
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Nov 16, 2007 14:32:08 EST

Two novel ideas for improving treatment of wounded combat veterans were unveiled Thursday in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., introduced a bill that would make some combat veterans automatically eligible for temporary disability benefits. Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have been diagnosed by the military as having disabilities rated at 10 percent or more, or who have been diagnosed by any doctor as having post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, would immediately qualify for disability pay as if they had received a 30 percent disability rating through the formal Department of Veterans Affairs ratings process.

Under the bill, HR 4219, if a veteran ends up receiving a higher disability rating after the VA completes its process, they would receive a backdated payment for the difference. If the veteran ends up with a disability rated at less than 30 percent, they would not have to pay anything.

Donnelly is calling his bill the Immediate Benefits for Wounded Warriors Act, and is starting to look for cosponsors. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., already has signed on as an original cosponsor.

Donnelly, a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, has sponsored other legislation aimed at speeding the veterans claims process. In this case, the bill focuses on veterans who have been diagnosed with service-connected disabilities, just not through the formal VA process, which can take six to seven months for an uncompleted original claim.

A second bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis., would allow Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who live 30 miles or more from a veterans hospital or center to use vouchers to receive mental health services from private providers.

Rest of article at: /

uhc comment: Every journey begins with small steps.
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LeftCoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:26 AM
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1. Hope this helps
My gut instinct tells me that all this will do is move the pressure to the Doctors to simply not diagnose these conditions.

It's really too bad that the VA has this sort of institutional compulsion to screw vets because it can be a great system. In nursing school I did a clinical rotation at the local VA here in SF. They had one of the best electronic charting systems I've even heard of. Excellent equipment, you name it. So why should that hospital be run so well when Walter Reed (sp?) is so messed up? It's crazy.
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