Government care is a waiting game

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If you want another example of how government-run health care will affect you, consider this.

The Veterans Administration runs a government health program that provides health care for veterans. I am a veteran, and I went to my VA doctor in January for my annual checkup. I had a persistent problem with my neck and I requested a referral to a chiropractor. The doctor told me it would take a while because the one chiropractor the VA had was backed up.

I saw the doctor again in July, and mentioned that it had been six months and I had not received an appointment yet. He put in a second, follow-up request.

In October I called the doctor and told him I still had not been scheduled. He said that they were so backed up that they were referring patients who had waited more than 90 days to outside doctors. I had been waiting more than nine months, so he put in a third request.

On Nov. 25, more than 10 months after I first asked for an appointment, I received a letter with an appointment date. My appointment is scheduled for Aug. 13, 2010 -- 19 months after I requested an appointment!

Put away American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Jerry Springer and the Oscars for a little while and get serious. This is what you are in for if enough Democrat politicians' votes are bought to pass this abomination -- another government-run health plan.

God help us all!

Richard Banks, Augusta

Comments (13) Add comment
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strangedaysindeed
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strangedaysindeed 12/14/09 - 01:38 am
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My husband is also a veteran

My husband is also a veteran and we can't complain about the care he has received at the VA over the years. Each hospital has a patient advocate who will help the veteran resolve problems regarding scheduling etc. The VA is not perfect, but it is sure better than nothing for veterans who have no insurance and no means of paying for health care. I don't really understand this letter. Mr Banks had a problem that was not resolved in a timely manner and that was very unfortunate, however it seems as if Mr Banks is so dissatisfied with the VA that he thinks the government should not be involved in any sort of health care. Will you stop getting your medical care at the VA Mr. Banks and start getting it in the private sector? This reminds me of a young acquaintance of mine who had just had a baby on medicaid, was receiving peach care for the child and was on the WIC program, and was attending the political tea parties. Yeah, let me get mine just don't let anyone else get any help. My husband goes to the VA for a war wound , the VA drs know more about taking care of this condition than those in private practice, we have health insurance for our family that he uses for primary care.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 12/14/09 - 02:22 am
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It isn't the government's

It isn't the government's responsibility or their right to spend taxpayer money providing healthcare and gobs upon gobs of welfare to the masses of people who WILLINGLY DECIDED to forgo educational opportunities, not acquire useful skills, have needless children, and make a lifetime of bad choices. These people need to be held accountable and some social Darwinism will do just that and make America a better country.

TechLover
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TechLover 12/14/09 - 06:15 am
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Mr Banks, Many ealth plans

Mr Banks, Many ealth plans don't cover chiropractic care at all. Since many chiropracters border on quackery, it shouldn't the place for a medical facility to promote it. I suggest getting an appointment with a neurologist or neurosurgeon.

justus4
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justus4 12/14/09 - 07:34 am
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The letter is an indictment
Unpublished

The letter is an indictment of the Veterans Affairs health care system and should not be used as a comparison to civilian health care system. However, as a expert on the VA, my observation of ol' Richards letter esposes a huge flaw which is: Was his "problem with my neck" issue caused by military service or something due to getting old? That answer is critical to getting seen, because the VA attempts to ONLY treat illness or injury CAUSED by military service. (civilians don't know this stuff, but it's very important) If your medical issue is proven to be "service-connected" then the VA will pay for treatment at a local chiropractor. In addition, the VA must apply a priority system to identify those veterans who require treatment in terms of health risks. A stiff neck will not kill you, so getting seen is not a priority. Yeah, yeah, we know americans are selfish, but making a sacrifice for fellow countrymens' health care will prove to benefit the entire nation. So quit whinning and quit comparing apples to oranges on health care.

Rhetor
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Rhetor 12/14/09 - 08:21 am
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baronvonreich, please be

baronvonreich, please be aware that Medicaid already pretty much covers the poor. The biggest problems with the present system are that insurance companies can and will rescind policies of people who get sick, and that people who are unable to work because of illness can no longer afford coverage. People with preexisting conditions can't get coverage at all. Insurance companies provide generally good coverage to dependents covered under employer insurance, but the rest of us do not have the quality of coverage that we thnk we have.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 12/14/09 - 09:02 am
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I'm curious why Mr. Banks

I'm curious why Mr. Banks doesn't have other insurance?

JacquesUlar
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JacquesUlar 12/14/09 - 09:05 am
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Perhaps because Mr Banks

Perhaps because Mr Banks earned his medical coverage through honorable service? I personally go to the VA for my care (as a choice) and pay the co-pay for their attitude and desire to serve Veterans. My family still uses Tricare Prime which we pay a premium for. I agree chiropractic treatment is tough, but as mentioned earlier, for many it's a fringe science/method.

Scratch
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Scratch 12/14/09 - 09:56 am
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Mr. Banks rightly makes the

Mr. Banks rightly makes the point that gov't care is problematic, but I must agree with justus4. The VA's original mission is to care for health issues related directly to military service. Lifetime care was never promised to vets, as it was to military careerists. Care not related to service is offered on a space available basis. Obviously chiropractic care was not available. Mr. Banks has no standing to complain. VA and military healthcare are actually quite effective, but terribly inefficient (meaning extremely expensive). Providing the same level of care to all citizens, like care for "a persistent problem with my neck," is simply unaffordable.

jb5365
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jb5365 12/14/09 - 11:28 am
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If everyone with a twitch or

If everyone with a twitch or minor pain in the neck were given priority the servivice men for whom the VA was developed couldn`t get in the door. As it is there`s hardly a parking spot to be had. Get there early and be nice will benefit greatly. How many service-connected people would you like pushed out of your sore neck way? Go to a chiropractor if you must and pay for it like everyone else. I`m service-connected and if I wanted something as mundane as a neck rub there are plenty of massuers and masseuses out there for $50-100 bucks. A chiropractor wouldn`t be much more. Must not be TOO sore if you intend to wait all that time...

southernguy08
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southernguy08 12/14/09 - 11:40 am
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If you want proof of just how
Unpublished

If you want proof of just how poor government run healthcare is, why don't you ask the 50,000 Canadians who cross our borders each year to get treatment in the US.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 12/14/09 - 11:44 am
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I'm still waiting for someone
Unpublished

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me the reason the president and congress felt the need to "exempt" themselves from this "government option" portion of the healthcare bill if it is so wonderful.

dstewartsr
20393
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dstewartsr 12/14/09 - 06:27 pm
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The VA and the

The VA and the military/TRICARE have excellent doctors and the care is the finest available, but they suffer from the same malady: both systems have ten people, who have never served, for each health care professional. These bureaucrats self appointed mission is to block access to that care in the snottiest possible way to those who actually served.

CorporalGripweed
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CorporalGripweed 12/14/09 - 07:49 pm
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DMV healthcare on parade.

DMV healthcare on parade.

bushwhacker
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bushwhacker 12/14/09 - 07:58 pm
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the problem is our current

the problem is our current health care program. all this would not be needed if we had decent programs. now someone tries to correct it and all the whining starts. what do you want?

corgimom
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corgimom 12/14/09 - 08:43 pm
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God help us all if Justnuts

God help us all if Justnuts is an expert on the VA.

TechLover
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TechLover 12/15/09 - 06:05 am
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southern; 50,000, huh? "An

southern; 50,000, huh? "An Essential Fact Sheet and Guide on Medical Tourism Statistics
Over the last few years, a new trend in the healthcare industry known as Medical Tourism, is gaining popularity among highly industrialized countries like the United States. Varying reports containing medical tourism statistics put the number of American patients seeking healthcare abroad between 500,000 to 750,000 in 2007. This is a steady increase from the previous year, which medical experts believed as much as 200,000 to half a million Americans traveled out of the country for medical procedures.

These figures indicate a significant growth in the Medical Tourism industry, currently a $20 billion market, which can reach $100 billion by 2012. In 2008, it is estimated that approximately 1.3 million Americans traveled abroad to seek healthcare and this figure is expected to double by 2010." healthtourism.com

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