The VFW 8703 was in attendance during the latest of public hearings on VA care. Personally, these meetings are cannon fodder to achieving a real result. The VA is a big piggy bank where billions of dollars goes to research grants. Research doesn’t get funded if cures or causes are found, that’s just a political given. I want to state at these type of events, and I have been to dozens of them now, always someone who wants to delve into their personal case problems. These are public forums and not the place for nor does it have a positive effect of change when we as veterans do that. There are always staff members there to take on personal case issues afterwards take advantage of that.
The problem I see with the Choice program is the same problem I laid out to membership years ago, when I stated you don’t want this. The selling point is for us to avoid 10 hours of travel time to see a doctor. The funny part of it is the VA is a SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. I often tell people I have SPHC and you don’t want what I got. To make it worse its failing, due to the reasons all government programs fail, so we won’t get into that. To have 2 Democrat Senators bringing the VA’s Tricare West Coordinator in and VA Staff blaming the vendors who use their program for the failures to pay the bills, veterans getting turned away due to paperwork. THE VA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS BILLS NOT THE VETERAN. Do not let a program designed to sound like its ease to you devolve into your problem and not theirs. If you attend these events use the term “Train or Terminate” do not demand people get fired. Demand they get trained so they can be fired if they fail to be trained. Your goal should not be all about you. What about the millions of others who didn’t attend the meeting. The primary healthcare physician is not being trained or updated by the VA’s own findings. I.E. Gulf War Syndrome findings from 7 years ago not one doctor I talked to is aware of the VA’s own research. In summary 1 in 4 people don’t have an enzyme for absorbing certain neurotoxins and that is why 1 in 4 troops came back with GWI. 10 guys could be in the same area and only 3 get sick. It wasn’t random just a biological problem.
I put forth the question: “When you have a vendor who has submitted multiple claims and you issued multiple denials, who calls to train the vendor on submitting the paperwork in a way that doesn’t disrupt the veterans care?” Answer was NO ONE. To further the point he stated they are adding 300 vendors a week. So that is just adding 300 more problem per week with zero desire to correct the issues at hand.
The VA rep also pointed out they are going to be replacing Doctors with PA’s (physicians assistants), well there is a reason we don’t call them doctors, and there is a reason we call them assistants. This is left over Hillary care thinking and do believe this was preplanned on the come of Hillary’s pending victory and this change is probably in jeopardy under its own weight. As I just pointed out we have doctors NOT doing their homework for a targeted patient population.
The fact that the VA opened the doors to the Vietnam Vets just 8 years before average death was a financial move to get them off Medicare and in the VA budget shifting a very expensive 2.5 million elderly into the SPHC system. About 175,000 have GWI now with the recent findings by the VA they know another 600,000 will be coming in 10 years from Second gulf and Afghanistan.
A UT Southwestern study, published in the journal Radiology, used a specialized MRI that specifically measures blood flow in the brain and detected marked abnormalities in the brains of those with Gulf War Syndrome. Not only have those abnormalities persisted for 20 years, but in some cases they’ve worsened.
The findings mark a significant advancement in our understanding of the syndrome, which was for years written off by the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs as a form of combat stress rather than an objectively diagnosable injury. Dr. Robert Haley, chief epidemiologist at UT Southwestern, and a cadre of clinicians and researchers, have struggled with the government for some 18 years for research funding and to have the syndrome recognized as a legitimate war injury caused by chronic exposure to minimal amounts of sarin gas.
“This was really one of the first techniques to show an objective picture of whether there’s really brain damage or not,” Haley tells Unfair Park.
In this study, Haley used a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which mimics nerve gas and acts to slow the heart rate and blood flow to the brain, making you groggy. For those with receptors damaged by nerve gas, they don’t become groggy at all. In fact, sometimes it has the opposite effect. By administering the neurotransmitter and projecting radio waves into the carotid artery, Haley used a kind of MRI to measure blood flow in response. Veterans afflicted with Gulf War Syndrome didn’t respond normally by showing decreases in blood flow to the brain you’d expect.
It’s no surprise, then, that many of them report sleep difficulties as well. Approximately 20 percent of the population has a weak form of a gene that protects nerve receptors from sarin gas, Haley says. As a result of this study, it’s likely no coincidence that at least 25 percent of veterans who were deployed in Iraq are thought to have the syndrome.
This open comment area brought up a comment from Jimmy Archo and I find his comment to be in line with the method we all should employ.
Why all the deliberate misdirection about getting help with Gulf War related illnesses? On the one hand the VA has establishes a perplexing filing deadline – December 31, 2016!? This announcement mostly creates a contradictory message about the medical relevance and mission of their [VA] War Related Injury and Illness Study Center (WRIISC) .This “tertiary care center,” available only in 3-National locations DC, NJ, & CA – it [WRIISC] boasts specialized treatment of Veterans suffering from Gulf War Related Illness. The accolades are all there: success stories, effective treatment of veterans, successful use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) like meditation and acupuncture. How would the deadline impact the mission of the WRIISC?
On the other hand there exists the DoD – Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP).The documented history of the GWIRP boasts multiple targeted research programs that began in 1992, investing billions across 12,000 awards and 25 individual medical studies. Studies that focus upon the mission to identify effective treatments, improve definition and diagnosis, and better understand pathology and symptoms.” That is symptoms – related to the Gulf War! The GWIRP is currently active, ongoing, and vigilant. The research offers hope to the Veterans that rely on such programs for treatment of their Gulf War Illnesses. However, the research continues to challenge the scientific community; follow-on research is needed to further develop findings.
Again, I ask where does the VA get the audacity to promote an unreasonably premature filing deadline instead of honoring their [VA] commitment to support those Veterans suffering with chronic disabilities borne from their service in the Gulf War? The VA knows very well that their Primary Care Managers (PCM) distributed throughout hospitals don’t know how to administer specialty care consultations when challenged by Gulf War related complaints. PCM’s don’t know how to complete an “external” consultation to the WRIISC!? The VA should be the last institution to draw a “line-in-the-sand,” a deadline only serves to aggravate the very alienation they [VA] are trying to stem!”
Edited (links of references added for reader usability)