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Restructuring the Veterans Health Administration

The problem:  The High Cost and Low Efficiency of the Veteran's Health Administration.
 
A possible solution:

One person's solution to the cost of VA Health Care: 

 

1.      I condone the use of a Government Health card that would pay for all Veteran health care 100 percent at any U.S. Hospital and with any U.S. doctor! 

 

2.      Sell all Veteran Affairs Hospitals, land and equipment to the private sector.

 

3.       Lay off all Veteran Health Administration staff. With the great training and customer service skills these people got from the VA they should have no problem finding jobs in the private sector.

 

4.       With the money that is saved, pay private hospitals and doctors for veteran health care.  This would be much more efficient and cost effective.

 

These are all just ideas of course and my opinion.  I think we should all be willing to work together to solve the problem. 

 

I have identified the problem and I have come up with a possible solution. Please give all of this your deepest consideration. 

 

I am not interested in the opinions of the staff at the VA.  Although you are all fine people, you have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and your opinions would be biased in that direction.  Who can blame you?   

 

WILFRED F. MARKS

SFC, USAR

Lincoln, NE

 

The return from the killing fields is more than a debriefing… it is a slow ascent from hell.

 

-        James Hillman

“A Terrible Love of War”

Click here for FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about a Veteran Health Card

A conversation with another veteran on a Plastic Card for Disabled Veterans

1 February 2008:
 
Fred,
 
I am a veteran and I believe that I am unable to utilize the VA hospital and any of its facilities.  I live in Omaha and for a year I lived about 4 blocks from the hospital and I could not walk in and get treatment.  I made too much money.  If I had insurance I could not receive treatment I had to go to different Dr's different hospitals etc.
 
You may be on to something.  Give all of those who served a health care card and let us go to our own Dr's. 
 
Every now & then Fred you show what you are really made of.  I have said it all along "You are a great guy".  The challenge is to get all your energy & insight  channeled in the right direction and in the right manner so people can work for positive change.  The voice of the veterans through the Am. Legion and the VFW etc. might be one of many ways to get people to connect with this cause.
 
Mike :>)

30 January 2008:

 

Absolutely, take health care to the veteran instead of having to go where the government dictates!

 

Mark King

Lincoln, NE, USAF Veteran

Senator E. BENJAMIN NELSON

Lincoln Office
440 North 8th Street
Suite 120

Lincoln, NE 68508

Tel: (402) 441-4600
Fax: (402) 476-8753

 

29 January 2008

 

Subject:  Re: Veteran Health Care - Omaha World Herald, 29 Jan 08

 

Well, well, well.  Look what I found in today's morning edition of the Omaha World Herald!?!  Once again...you know my feelings on the subject of the VA Health Care system.  Please do not support any more money being wasted on the VA Health Care system.  The system is broke and more money will not help.  More facilities will not help.  More staff (Doctors, Nurses and Techs) will not help.  There is still the incontinent, wheelchair bound or bedridden Veteran that lives in Western Nebraska (or some other remote site) that can not get to the VA in Omaha!  Sure, you can transport this veteran by ambulance or some other method...perhaps helicopter...but, you are taking the veteran away from their hometown and the friends and family that care for them and about them.  If, they are lucky enough to have any friends or family left after suffering the hazards of war.

 

Again, my appeal to you is to save money by shutting the VA Health Care System down.  Give each disabled veteran a government heath card and let them go to the healthcare professionals in their hometown or at least the one that is closest to them.  Ask yourself: What is best for the veteran?  Do not ask yourself:  What is best for the VA Health Care staff?  Do not ask yourself:  What is best for the Doctors, Nurses and Techs?  Do not ask yourself:  What is best for the economy of Omaha, UNMC or Creighton University!?!  Ask yourself:  What is best for the VETERAN?!!!!!!!!!!  

 

I think all of us want to help the veteran, but I think you are asking yourselves the wrong questions.  My job as an advocate for veterans is to educate as many people as I can.  My teaching has to begin with you and the people at the top making the decisions.  It does no good to whine to my fellow veterans or to the staff at the VA.  The staff employed with the Veteran Health Care System wants to keep their jobs.  I can not blame them, but...they are not needed by our veterans.  Our veterans need health care.  Many veterans are unable to get it from the current Veteran Health Care System.

 

I know you, VA staff and your own staffers would like to think that "Marks is just a whiner" and he is just one isolated case of a veteran that did not get taken care of properly.  I do not believe that to be true.  I talk with other veterans.  They are my comrades and my friends.  I have heard their stories. 

 

If this were just about me, I would give up, but I am not pursuing change and improvement for me.  I am pursuing it for my Son, my sister, my nephews and my niece who are all veterans.  I am pursuing it for all of my brothers and sisters of the current, former and future military.  I look at this place in time as being critical!!!  Everybody wants to help the veteran!  Let's make sure we do it right!

 

Please Senator, give me a call yourself.  Personally!  I am not sure that you are being given the right information from your staff.  I don't trust anyone.  Perhaps it is from being in the military, but I do not like to talk through people.  It is a bad form of communication.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

WILFRED F. MARKS

6701 Vine Street

Lincoln, NE  68505-2236

402-261-5346

wmarks@neb.rr.com

www.WilfredMarks.com

www.VeteransInRecovery.org

Senator E. Benjamin Neslon

440 North 8th Street

Suite 120

Lincoln, Nebraska  68508

402-441-4600

                                                                             26 January 2008

 

SUBJECT:  Veteran Health Care

 

 

I have decided not to go back to the VA "Clinic" here in Lincoln.  I request that I be given a health card to seek medical treatment from the private sector so that I may receive the health care I earned as a disabled American veteran.  Of course…I know, this request will never happen, so…read on:

 

If you have not noticed, I have some issues with the VA Health system.   I have come to believe that the VA Health system is inefficient, ineffective and incompetent.  I can not think of anymore "in" words...so...I will leave it at that. 

 

Basically...I feel this Country would be a lot better off without the Veteran's Health Administration!  We throw billions of tax dollars every year at a system that is broke!

 

Of course, we can not shut down the VA, but we should eliminate them from the Health care business and let the Veteran’s Benefit Administration focus on the many claims that they have not processed.

 

The Army and Air Force hospitals are top notch.  Perhaps we should let the Active Duty handle veteran health care?  They are younger and much more on top of things.

 

I am prepared to use my Medicare benefits and pay the difference out of my own pocket...just like Mr. Washko suggested, unless of course...we want to go to Omaha.   He must know more about the VA "Clinic" in Lincoln than I do.  He certainly does not show any confidence in it.  They can’t not even handle a strep throat!  Why should I trust them with anything else when they can’t handle that?

 

It seems to me that the people that get taken care of in this Country are people with no money or people with lots of money like you!  Well, I doubt that I will ever have your money.  So, I will be in line with the illegal immigrants.  The “illegal” immigrants seem to get treated pretty well.

 

I have also considered moving to the home of my Mother (1919 – 2008):  Canada.  As much as I love this Country and confirmed my love with my 21 years of service…it seems to me they treat ordinary people better in Canada.  Hey…I would be a “legal” immigrant in Canada!  Perhaps Mr. Washko should suggest that all veterans go there to health care! 

 

Please be sure to get the travel allowance in line with what the Active Duty gets.  We may be doing a lot of traveling to Canada in the future!  I sure would appreciate a ride…maybe you could teach me how to hunt?  Please don’t invite the Vice President!  

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Wilfred F. Marks, SFC (E7), Disabled Retiree of the United States Army

402-261-5346    

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ebennelsonvawcomments.jpg
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2 January 2008:

You are not going to believe this.  This is the experience I had with VA “Clinic” in Lincoln, NE:

 

1.  A nurse swabbed my throat at 1330 yesterday (2 Jan 08).

 

2.  I took the swab upstairs to the lab.

 

3.  The Lab sends it to Omaha today (3 Jan 08).

 

4.  In three or four days, we get the results back.

 

Meanwhile...if I have strep, it has just gotten worse over a three or four day period. 

 

I am a 100 percent Service Connected, 21 year Veteran of the US Army.  Not that all that matters, but how do they treat the guy with just a few years of service?

 

And they wonder why I drink?  Hell...I don't need a script for Jim Beam!

 

No...I am not going to drink, but...I will call my Congressman and my Senators.  Barrack Obama needs to hear about this and the funny papers too!!!  Is that show: Believe it or Not, still running?

 

My civilian girlfriend and her kids went to a civilian ER, got swabbed, got the results back and had their medication all in about two hours.  Now...I have their illness...I served my Country and got injured in the process, but I have to wait four days?  I am sorry, but that is unacceptable! 

 

I don't think I am the only one that feels that way either!  I'll bet there are a lot of Veterans that have stories to tell about their experiences with the VA Hospitals in Lincoln and across this country.

 

This is not the fault of many of the dedicated employees and volunteers at the VA.  Most of them do a fantastic job.  However, somewhere at the top, there is a problem.  Someday, across this Country, we are all going to hear a loud boom…it will be the pop of someone in Washington DC pulling their head out of their butt!

 

 

 

WILFRED F. MARKS

6701 Vine Street

Lincoln, NE  68505

402-261-5346

http://WilfredMarks.com

http://VeteransInRecovery.org