Saturday, February 09, 2008

Evil in my head, in my head, inside this private hell

posted by The Sailor @ 1:41 PM Permalink

Special thanks to Dancin' Dave for the excellent graphic!
Veterans not entitled to mental health care, U.S. lawyers argue

Veterans have no legal right to specific types of medical care, the Bush administration argues in a lawsuit accusing the government of illegally denying mental health treatment to some troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
[...]
A federal law providing five years of care for veterans from the date of their discharge establishes "veterans' eligibility for health care, but it does not create an entitlement to any particular medical service," government lawyers said.
[...]
In his Jan. 10 ruling that allowed the suit to proceed, Conti said federal law entitles veterans to health care for a specific period after leaving the service, rejecting the government's argument that it was required to provide only as much care as the VA's budget allowed in a given year. A law that President Bush signed last week extended the period from two to five years.

In its latest filing, however, the Justice Department reiterated that Congress had intended "to authorize, but not require, medical care for veterans."

"This court should not interfere with the political branches' design, oversight and modification of VA programs," the government lawyers argued.
[...]
"Nowhere do I see any explanation of what kind of systems they have in place that deal with suicidal veterans," [Erspamer, the plaintiffs' lawyer said]. "There's no excuse for not spending the money Congress told them to spend on mental health care and leaving $60 million on the table when people are going out and killing themselves."
After I clean up the mess from my head exploding, we'll look at some numbers.
... ... ... ...
OK, here are the numbers, or lack thereof:
Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans
[...]
Beyond the individual loss, it turns out little information exists about how widespread suicides are among these who have served in the military. There have been some studies, but no one has ever counted the numbers nationwide.

"Nobody wants to tally it up in the form of a government total," Bowman said.

Why do the families think that is?

"Because they don't want the true numbers of casualties to really be known," Lucey said.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee.

"If you're just looking at the overall number of veterans themselves who've committed suicide, we have not been able to get the numbers,” Murray said.
According to Department of Defense (DoD) statistics, three to 12 months after deployment in combat, up to 17 per cent of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) servicemembers screen positive for PTSD, while some 19-21 per cent screen for PTSD, depression or anxiety.
[...]
For both OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) combined, the high-end estimate for PTSD prevalence is 19.9 per cent according, to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2004.
More than one in three soldiers and Marines who have served in Iraq later sought help for mental health problems, according to a comprehensive snapshot by Army experts of the psyches of men and women returning from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places.
[...]
Researchers have found that nearly two-thirds of Iraq veterans who "screened positive" for PTSD and other psychiatric disorders are not receiving treatment.
This is how bush supports our troops.

Any questions?



Cross posted at SteveAudio

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1 Comments:

At 9:52 PM, Blogger doctho said...

doctho said…
Congress has been screwing our veterans since this country has begun,and As a member of The Sons of the American Revolution, with a strong and proud military family, I feel Our government has been playing games with our veterans ever since the Oneida Indian Nation fought in the Revolutionary War. They were among our first American Solders and took up arms against the British to help our nation earn its independence after our Revolution. Our new government used land seized from the British to compensate our veterans and the Oneida veterans were stripped of much of their original territory, by having 10 million acres of land taken from them. Look how they have been treated by an ungrateful country.
Then the Civil War produced thousands of wandering veterans. Frequently addicted to opiates, they were known as tramps,Our first homeless vets, searching for jobs and, in many cases, literally still tending their wounds.
More than a decade after the end of World War I, the Bonus Army descended on Washington - demanding immediate payment on benefits that had been promised to them, but payable years later ,and were routed out of Washington DC by the U.S. Military,led by George Patton. In 1946,The to end all wars, the VA had beds for about 82,000 patients but the VA rolls swelled to 15 million in just a few months and the hospitals were virtually all swamped. There were 26,000 non service related cases also on the waiting list. The VA was building new hospitals but had money for only 12,000 more beds. They came too few too late. The Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1952, called the Korean GI Bill, provided unemployment insurance, job placement, home loans and mustering-out benefits similar to those offered World War II veterans. The Korean GI Bill made several changes, however, in education benefits, reducing financial benefits generally and imposing new restrictions. The effect of the changes was that the benefit no longer completely covered the cost of the veteran’s education.
The most publicly and perhaps most painfully,That comes to mind was Vietnam Tens of thousands of war weary veterans, infamously rejected,crazy, or just forgotten by many of their own fellow citizens,elected officials,demonized by the media.

Presently our current service members have who have had repeated and extended deployments to war zones, have shown a rise in post-traumatic stress and other war-related wounds among troops,and 120 Suicides a week. While it is good to support your troops that are serving our interest it is better to demand accountability from those responsible for the lack of their care in these injuries. It is utterly disgusting that VA hospitals are turning away those most in need. Those in charge of VA hospitals need to take responsibility for their lack of actions. I believe the whole VA system needs an overhaul and very soon. More and more wounded troops coming home and they need both physical and mental health care.

Our troops deserve the best of all aspects of care! Wake up, America! We fail to take care of our own as we should and I think it’s time that we start.

This will surprise nobody who has ever encountered the VA medical system. The entire operation is a horror show mostly run by lazy, self-important, arrogant and self-satisfied bureaucrats. This kind of treatment has been going on for years and years and years. VA hospitals are in hopeless situations. This type of treatment is the rule and not the exception for those who are closely associated with regular active duty military. It’s sad, but true.

If certain services cannot be provided for a veteran or current military patients then they are suppose to be referred to a civilian facility with no cost to the service member or veterans. Many of our own are going without and this shouldn’t be a surprise for the VA system when it comes to treating any new service related conditions by ignoring it’ In this situation, the Iraq veteran is in the same boat as the Vietnam veteran in the 1970’s. At least now, they have a name for it,It’s called PTSD, and like Agent Orange has been proven,So well depleted uranium be proven but the VA doesn’t take it seriously tell a very large group of veterans die from their exposure.

It’s terrible that our country is still ignoring the cries of our vets. It’s no surprise what is happening with the Syracuse Veterans Hospital if similar acts are occurring around the country. I’ve have made many attempts in the last four years to talk with Mr. Cody, the head of the VA hospital in Syracuse NY, about these conditions He is self-important, arrogant, with a “don’t call me I’ll call you” attitude and there has been no dialog. I believe that Mr. Jim Cody should tender his resignation for the good of our veterans.Veterans Preference….Staff the VA with Veterans!

Dennis Thorp is a native of Frankfort and served as an U.S. Army medic during the Vietnam War. He is co-founder of Agent Orange Victims International.

Doctho@roadrunner

 

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