Posted on May 30, 2014
SGT Ben Keen
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With more and more pressure coming down and the voices calling for Sec. Shinseki to step down as the head of our medical and benefits office, he has now come out ahead of a meeting with the POTUS saying that he'll be removing "key personal" from the staff at the Phoenix VA offices.

Recently, a local radio station reached out to me to speak about this and other issues during which I mentioned the problem is much bigger than the public thinks. Where were the cries for removal when the backlog of claims reached all time record highs? We are a nation recovering from the longest time at war we have ever seen. The number of Veterans returning home with injuries is so high because thankfully we have the equipment we needed but I don't think people looked into what the fallout would be down the road. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it is bad that more and more of us were able to get through the combat zone and return home but I don't think the nation and the government was or is fully equipped to deal with all of us.

I think the public in general needs to remember that the VA is more than just the hospitals. It's also the office that drives our benefits. The system is broke, there is no denying that.

Here is the next question, if Shinseki does leave who takes his place?
Posted in these groups: Healthheart HealthMain benefits 1335181026 Benefits
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MSG Wade Huffman
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Time will tell if any changes are substantive or just more lip service. I still believe that consideration should be given to privatizing the VHA.
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SGT Ben Keen
SGT Ben Keen
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People often mention doing that but my question is then what becomes of the benefits side? Who will ensure that the other benefits we have earned are paid out and squared away? While the VHA is the most seen arm of the VA, the VBA has a lot wrong with it as well.
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MSG Wade Huffman
MSG Wade Huffman
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SGT Keen, You are absolutely correct, the VBA has it's own set of issues to deal with (and the NCA isn't exactly perfect either, but at least they aren't getting worse!).
My comment on privatization applied ONLY to the VHA. The skill sets to effectively manage a large health care system exists in the corporate world (much more so than it does in the government world). That is not true of the VBA. There is no comparable system in the civilian corporate world.
Not in defense of, but to the VBAs credit, they are doing better with their backlog. I work with veterans and their claims on a daily basis and have seen real improvement in both timeliness and accuracy. Are they where they should be? No, not even close, but at least they are going in the right direction now. The 'fully developed claims' program (when used PROPERLY) has been a REAL benefit to the VBA AND the Veterans - especially with the VCAA (Section 5103) notice incorporated on the front end of the claim, this alone has shaved on average 90-120 days off the processing time of the claims.
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SGT Ben Keen
SGT Ben Keen
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Great points. Yes the VBA is making steps to reduce the backlog but it too only did that after a lot of unwanted light from the media was placed on it. Sadly there isn't any magic answer to all the problems faced by both the VHA and the VBA. Whoever is about to be named as the next head of the VA has a huge uphill battle to fight. Not only against those on Captial Hill but more importantly he or she must show the Veterans that they are going to do right by us.
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SFC Mark Merino
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I miss General Eric!
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Sgt Dennis Ford Jr.
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Here is my feedback on this issue.

The system is broke because of the lack of professional people who are running the system at the TOP (not ALL) of these VA locations. Most of them are NON-Veterans, then the hiring of Veterans are being blocked to a large degree, for follow veterans to help their own.


Going private is not the way to FIX it as well. Training by the private sector can HELP to a large degree, including Hiring follow Veterans who can understand each other as well.


Also the Bigger picture is a system that wants to control Major things at many many levels. (Not to name on this website)

Plus improve on programs that are tailored to fix the ROOT problems Veterans face on a day 2 day basis.
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