Veterans Run Afoul Once More

Let us begin with a fact that few veterans know about. The alleged help that Veterans were supposed to be able to use (called the Veterans Choice Card) is lined with what ifs and not so fast rules that hinder, not help, Veterans when they wish to see a doctor close to their home. This Vietnam Disabled Veteran decided to check this program out to maybe get to see an orthopedic doctor closer to his home. To his amazement, he found that he could not use that part of this plan due to having his “primary” care doctor within 40 miles of him.

Here is the problem with this: the Disabled Veteran has to travel a mere 10 miles to see the “primary” doctor, who then sends a request to the VA facility some 76 miles away for any specialty doctor, such as a pain doctor, orthopedic, or other doctor. But because this “primary” doctor is 10 miles away, the Disabled Veteran cannot ask to see the specialty doctors closer to his home and he is thus forced to spend 2 hours driving the 76 miles to see the orthopedic for a grand total of 15 minutes in which the orthopedic or other doctor gives the once over so he can see the other line of patients he has to see that day. The Disabled Veteran does get travel pay for the travel, but if the specialty doctors can see him within 60 days, he cannot go to a doctor of his choice unless he pays them, and that may render his disability as being cured because he does not see the VA doctor.

Now, with this in mind, we see that this individual does have the ability to see an out-of-VA doctor if the appointment is within the 60 days, so now, this Disabled Veteran neither has the choice to see a doctor from whom he may get better treatment, nor can complain about it because the VA has made the rule in accordance with the law as specified at the website.

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ELIGIBLE VETERANS. A veteran is an eligible veteran for purposes of this section if: (1)(A) as of August 1, 2014, the veteran is enrolled in the patient enrollment system of the Department of Veterans Affairs established and operated under section 1705 of title 38, United States Code, including any such veteran who has not received hospital care or medical services from the Department and has contacted the Department seeking an initial appointment from the Department for the receipt of such care or services; or (B) the veteran is eligible for hospital care and medical services under section 1710(e)(1)(D) of such title and is a veteran described in section 1710(e)(3) of such title; and (2) the veteran (A) attempts, or has attempted, to schedule an appointment for the receipt of hospital care or medical services under chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, but is unable to schedule an appointment within the wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration for the furnishing of such care or services; (B) resides more than 40 miles from the medical facility of the Department, including a community-based outpatient clinic, that is closest to the residence of the veteran; (C) resides (i) in a State without a medical facility of the Department that provides (I) hospital care; (II) emergency medical services; and (III) surgical care rated by the Secretary as having a surgical complexity of standard; and (ii) more than 20 miles from a medical facility of the Department described in clause (i); or (D)(i) resides in a location, other than a location in Guam, American Samoa, or the Republic of the Philippines, that is 40 miles or less from a medical facility of the Department, including a community-based outpatient clinic; and (ii)(I) is required to travel by air, boat, or ferry to reach each medical facility described in clause (i) that is 40 miles or less from the residence of the veteran; or (II) faces an unusual or excessive burden in accessing each medical facility described in clause (i) that is 40 miles or less from the residence of the veteran due to geographical challenges, as determined by the Secretary.

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Click here to read the entire law. It has more but and what if rules that stifle any help rather than really provide adequately for needs.

This directly from the law itself. This Disabled Veteran figured that, since he was eligible, he would ask to see a doctor closer to his home so he did not have to spend 4 hours of his day just traveling to the facility for a 15 minute treatment that, most of the time, does not address all the medical problems at that time.

The Disabled Veteran made the call to see about getting qualified to see a doctor close to his home and was told he was not eligible and that he would still have to undergo the 4 hour round trip for orthopedic, ear, eye, or other doctors, unless he had to wait more than 60 days for the appointment. Once again, a catch 22 for all Disabled Veterans.

It would seem that perhaps the VA could do something right, but with the recent attempt by this Disabled Veteran, it seems like more hurdles were tossed out there for him rather than any sort of help at all. But as Disabled Veterans, we are used to having jump through the VA’s hoops in order to obtain treatment for injuries sustained during the service to our nation. What strikes us very hard here is the simple fact that it seems that each time a means is supposed to help the Veterans, it always hinders them, and they have to go back to what they had done so many times before: go for whatever treatment they can get and be happy with that. After all, what more can we expect from a Congress that is more interested in how many lobbyists they meet than the welfare of a Disabled Veteran who served the very country they are supposed to represent. We do know for a fact that Obama does not like the Veterans, especially the disabled ones, as his comments suggested, “I don’t know why they have to be paid for their injuries, they did volunteered didn’t they?” President Obama about Veterans seeking help for their wounds.

The way the United States is going today, it would not surprise this Disabled Veteran if they decided to give Disabled Veterans like myself some sort of injection to kill us so they would not have to worry about paying us. This is NOT the United States I fought for or grew up in.

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