The Walter Reed Problem Is A Big Deal To Me

Monday, March 05, 2007
There is no excuse for allowing any single one of our fallen heroes to slip through the cracks of bureaucratic stupidity. These young men and women are all volunteers. They deserve at least the A-1 care that each of our elected officials and civil servants get.

All of our Congressional Representatives and Senators should quit posturing and authorize immediately the following:


  • Include any member of the armed services serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who has been injured or contracted an illness in the line of duty in the Congressional Health Care Program; and
  • Provide each such member with a volunteer advocate who is an experienced attorney, trained in healthcare law who can help the member steer through any remaining bureaucratic bullsh**.

My legal foundation is now recruiting volunteers for the advocacy program, whether or not Congress acts on the first part of this suggestion.

Please let me know by email or comment if you are willing to help by publicizing this idea or otherwise.

16 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

What a great thing you are doing.

As I read your post, I recalled a bit from Kenneth Clark's Civilization from many years ago. I just found it on Google. Clark was speaking inside the Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich:

What is civilisation? A state of mind where it is thought desirable for a naval hospital [designed by Sir Christopher Wren] to look like this...

Very true. Something we need to regain.

terrye said...

This is good and you are right about these soldiers.

Sometimes benign neglect can be worse than honest to God contempt.

Bureaucratic inertia may well be what is behind the problems at Walter Reed, but the Sec of Defense was right to fire these people and it is a disgrace that it took the Washington Post to bring it to light.

These kinds of problems have plagued Veterans Hospitals for years. It is time the government did something about it.

terrye said...

vnjagvet:

Have you thought about contacting Roger Simon? Maybe he could get this on Pajamas or something. It would reach more people.

vnjagvet said...

Good idea Terrye.

Knucklehead said...

Well, darn. I can get in again.

I agree with vnjagvet. It is a big deal. Vets wounded in war should not have to fight the system for treatment.

That said, over the past couple of years I've had three different friends mention that they converted their WWII era fathers from the doctors they were using to VA doctors (I have no idea what that entails) and they all said they were THRILLED with the service. In all three (completely separate and unkown to one another) cases they claimed the HUGE advantage was cross checking prescriptions. They said the VA docs cleaned up their dad's meds - altering dosages, dropping and/or adding prescriptions, etc - and the dad's were noticably better off for it.

So, all in all, I don't believe the VA is as horrible as some make it out to be. Of course there's no go way to tell.

terrye said...

knuckleehad:

Take it form someon who works around the health care industry. There are horror stories all over the place. Even good hospitals can have problems. I bet if journalists went across the country and visited major facilities in every state they would find problems in all of them.

But when the complaints started, someone should have responded. My guess is they just passed it along to the next guy and did not take it as seriously as they should have.

vnjagvet said...

Knuck:

The problem is not with the VA. It is with the Defense Dept. medical system and the transition from that to the VA.

Most of these folks are still on active duty.

I remember reading Bob Dole's bio last year and being profoundly moved at how he eventually got treatment for his serious wounds.

The country must get this right.

chuck said...

vnjagvet,

Go for the big one, email Glen.

I think it is terrible that there should have been these problems. The soldiers have been fighting my war, in my name, and some of them will never be the same again. I want them properly taken care of. Their wives and children too.

terrye said...

Chuck is right. I think Instapundit might well mention this.

And yes, it is the least we can do.

vnjagvet said...

I got a response from Roger, and will now try Glenn.

Thanks for the support and suggestions.

Buddy said...

Putting wounded vets medical care on a par with congress's own health care program--that's a idea with punch.

I don't think the primary care has been the issue--seems to be the problems are in the outpatient housing & the bureaucratic crawl, but nevertheless, the framing of the wounded vet-and-the-congressman has real power.

vnjagvet said...

The beauty, Buddy is that it puts the vet in a postion to get the best care money can buy, whether in the VA system or not.

The military systems and the VA system are, it seems to me, in some instances antiquated, and in others, spectacular. They are not uniformly excellent, and therein lies the problem.

terrye said...

vnjagvet:

I have wondered why there has to be a VA system for prolonged care. I can understand acute care and trauma care being done by the VA or DoD, considering the kind of injuries we are talking about. But why outpatient? Why can't VA just be a payer source like Midicare or Insurance?

terrye said...

Try powerline, they are lawyers.

Barry Dauphin said...

How about this: Dole and Shalala to head commission to investiggate Walter Reed.
Shouldn't she be spending her time investigating why the University of Miami football team can't avoid violent crimes?

Buddy said...

I used to think of Shalala everytime I heard Eric Clapton play "Layla".

Anyhoo, O'Reilly is giving the Walter Reed issue some energetic coverage. From the standpoint that in a country this wealthy (he doesn't say it but it is implicit that 'in a country that can waste such extravagant amounts of pork money'), there's simply no excuse for wounded vets to get anything less than the finest treatment we can muster. Point, O'Reilly likes his emails--wouldn't hurt to compliment the coverage.