Latest Obama Outrage: Vets Forced To Use Private Health Insurance For Injuries

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.

    "It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan," said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. "He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."

    The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, "This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ' to care for him who shall have borne the battle' given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans!"

    Commander Rehbein was among a group of senior officials from veterans service organizations joining the President, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The group's early afternoon conversation at The White House was precipitated by a letter of protest presented to the President earlier this month. The letter, co-signed by Commander Rehbein and the heads of ten colleague organizations, read, in part, " There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran's personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable."

    Commander Rehbein reiterated points made last week in testimony to both House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees. It was stated then that The American Legion believes that the reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate that VA treat service-connected injuries and disabilities given that the United States government sends members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. The proposed requirement for these companies to reimburse the VA would not only be unfair, says the Legion, but would have an adverse impact on service-connected disabled veterans and their families. The Legion argues that, depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran's condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health care benefits. The Legion also points out that many health insurance companies require deductibles to be paid before any benefits are covered. Additionally, the Legion is concerned that private insurance premiums would be elevated to cover service-connected disabled veterans and their families, especially if the veterans are self-employed or employed in small businesses unable to negotiate more favorable across-the-board insurance policy pricing. The American Legion also believes that some employers, especially small businesses, would be reluctant to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities due to the negative impact their employment might have on obtaining and financing company health care benefits.

    "I got the distinct impression that the only hope of this plan not being enacted," said Commander Rehbein, "is for an alternative plan to be developed that would generate the desired $540-million in revenue. The American Legion has long advocated for Medicare reimbursement to VA for the treatment of veterans. This, we believe, would more easily meet the President's financial goal. We will present that idea in an anticipated conference call with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel in the near future.

    "I only hope the administration will really listen to us then. This matter has far more serious ramifications than the President is imagining," concluded the Commander.
  2. Obama is complete hack.
  3. All the politicians complain about is how bad the Department of Veterans Affairs runs its hospital and health care system.

    To me this is a perfect analogy to what happens when the government manages a health program. How can Obama do universal when the government can't even handle the veterans.
  4. This article doesn't make any sense to me at all.

    1) Service members who are in a position to sustain an injury in the line of duty are not carrying private health insurance in the first place. They're covered by the VA health system. There is no 3rd party private payer that exists to be in a position to reimburse the VA. Servicemen just don't carry additional private insurance.

    2) If at some point in the future the Veteran were to apply and be accepted for private insurance any previous injury and or disability would be considered a pre-existing condition and therefore would not be covered by the private insurer anyway.

    And if somehow in the VERY UNLIKELY event that the laws were changed to force private payers to cover pre-existing conditions the private insurance company would simply never accept any veteran as a customer. It would just reject every application from all veterans as to avoid any possibility of having a customer with any pre-existing condition.

    This article make no sense on so many levels it sounds like it could be a hoax to me

  5. Plus..I mean if everything broke exactly right for Barry (which it never could) they would blow right past the tiny sum of 540M. The Private Payer liability would be well into the Billions and Billions.

    This written article is some kind of strange misinformation.
  6. No doubt, you two gents realize, of course, that you are both ridiculous beyond words.
  7. AIG crooks getting paid $1MM after so much failure yet people serving the country having problems in getting healthcare

    Where is America going? Obama will bring disaster to this country.
  8. Maybe BO is showing his true colors. Anti-War radical commie. The veterans sued the VA and proved that the anti-war crowd had gotten control of the VA at one point. They were getting murdered in the VA system nearly. Obama is just those same people's candidate of choice, little doubt about that.

    These wars of the last two hundred years have been like a cage fight really. Staged, and not against any philosophy or country really, they are against the soldiers. Obama is like that I guess... he wants to be a big New World Order minion in the worst way, and I would say from his performance he is doing it in the worst way.

    I think he wants to spring this stuff on us earlier rather than later, maybe that is politically more efficient...
  9. Will Obama Go AWOL on VA Health Benefits?

    'If you were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and you have not paid your co-pay, please press 1. If you were injured during military training and you have not yet reached your deductible, please press 2. If your family has reached its maximum insurance benefit, please call back after you have purchased additional coverage. Thank you for your service."

    Before the leaders of other veteran's groups and I met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, I believed a phone call like the one described above unimaginable. Now it seems all too possible.

    President Obama made clear during our discussion that he intends to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans with service-connected disabilities. He is trying to unfairly generate $540 million on the backs of veterans.

    The proposed requirement for private companies to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would not only be unfair, but would have an adverse impact on service-connected disabled veterans and their families. Depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran's condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health-care benefits.

    Currently, when veterans go to a VA hospital or related health-care facility for treatment of a service-connected disability, they receive the care without any billing to the veterans or the veterans' insurance. (On the other hand, those veterans who choose the VA for the treatment of nonservice-connected disabilities pay a co-pay, and the VA bills private insurance companies reasonable charges.)

    Perhaps nobody would be hit harder by the Obama administration's proposal than the thousands of veterans who own small businesses. Not only will their private insurance premiums be drastically elevated to cover service-connected disabilities, but many will be forced to cut staff as a result. The unemployment rate for veterans may climb even higher, as businesses avoid hiring these heroes for fear of the impact they would have on insurance rates.

    This plan is as unfair as it is unnecessary. According to the U.S. Constitution, it is the president and Congress who send troops in harm's way, not the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

    As head of the nation's largest veterans organization, I was startled by this radical shift of position the president has taken. Last October, candidate Obama listed several proposals he had for the VA and none of them included billing veterans' insurance providers.

    In fact, when asked how he would improve the funding formula for the VA's health-care system, then-Sen. Obama told the American Legion Magazine, "It starts with the president saying that if I'm budgeting for war, then I am also budgeting for VA. If I've got a half-a-trillion-dollar Pentagon budget, then I'd better make sure that I make some of those billions of dollars available to care for the soldiers once they come home. It should be a non-negotiable proposition that people are receiving the services that they need. This is the reason I joined the Veterans Affairs Committee -- because I believe deeply in that principle."

    So I ask President Obama now, for all America's veterans, where is that principled stance today? By abandoning its responsibilities to the heroic men and women who answered our nation's call, the federal government is breaking a sacred promise. Moreover, it is unnecessary.

    The 2.6 million member American Legion has long advocated for Medicare to reimburse the VA for its treatment of Medicare-eligible veterans. Veterans pay into the Medicare-system, yet they are unable to use Medicare benefits in the VA health system, which was created specifically for them. The Indian Health Service is successfully billing and collecting needed revenue for both Medicare and Medicaid. We also believe that direct billing between two federal agencies will reduce the opportunities for waste, fraud and abuse that tend to occur when for-profit corporations enter the mix.

    Our military veterans have already served this country. They have given us their blood, sweat and devotion. Under President Obama's proposal, the most severely wounded veterans could easily exceed their maximum insurance benefit, leaving their family without any additional coverage. This is hardly the thanks of a grateful nation.

    Mr. Rehbein, a former U.S. Army sergeant of the Vietnam War era, is national commander of the 2.6 million-member American Legion, the nation's largest wartime veterans organization.
    #10     Mar 18, 2009