color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: New Veterans Caregivers Bill: A Small Rant (I Don't get it.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Veterans Caregivers Bill: A Small Rant (I Don't get it.)

Well, I do get the principle parts of the bill -- and good that the approximately 2,000 family members who care for the severely wounded in their homes day in and day out. Yeoman's work... and long overdue for recognition and compensation.

But this I don't get.
Expand VA services for 1.8 million women veterans currently receiving VA care or expected to enroll in the system. VA for the first time will cover up to seven days of newborn care for enrolled female veterans. Other initiatives will force changes to the VA health system to make it respectful of privacy and other needs of female veterans. VA is directed to launch a pilot for providing patient childcare services too.

OK, I know I'll take heat for this... but can someone explain this to me?? EXPAND services???  Do women veterans not get the same services as male veterans?? Is there some service (besides GYN) that doesn't apply EQUALLY to men? What do they want to expand?? I don't get it.

The VA is now going to provide childbirth services?? NURSERIES? Is childbirth now a combat- or service-related medical condition? The VA has a hard enough time attracting physicians and medical professionals to treat the GENERAL veterans' community and now they'll have to hire OBs???

Do women veterans have some additional privacy concerns that aren't being extended and/or that don't apply to men?? In every treatment area in our VA there are curtains and private examining rooms... it's not a shower room atmosphere. If there was a problem at selected facilities, did that require a piece of legislation -- and funding??

"Other needs of female veterans??" That's a rather nebulous phrase. WHAT other needs?? I'd like to know.
Filner said other parts of S. 1963 focus on VA health care “access for people who don’t normally have access. Like women. It’s time to think about childcare, privacy curtains, to think about respect, basically.”
"Access for people who don't normally have access... Like women??" Since when? Every veteran -- male or female -- has access to the VA if they meet the eligibility requirements. If the intent is to grant women veterans access under conditions that men cannot qualify -- well I object. STRONGLY object. If they want to expand access, then they should open the VA health care eligibility to ALL veterans and not just the combat- and service-connected disabled or the very poor. (Oh, you didn't know that access to VA health care is limited to certain classes of veterans?? Go HERE.) They certainly shouldn't be granting special privileges to veterans who just happen to be women.

Childcare services? The VA is going to provide babysitters?? (This from a woman with a VA-enrolled son who has a child.) Will the VA be taking charge of the child/children when the veteran has to be admitted?
Older veterans will find it refreshing, he said, to see children of women veterans, from time to time, in waiting areas of VA medical facilities.

“It changes the whole ambiance of the place,” Filner said. “It’s no longer a bunch of dying people. There’s life! And so… childcare not only helps the families with kids but the whole atmosphere.”
Ambiance??? Atmosphere??? Atmosphere???  Are you kidding me??? If you want children's ambiance go to the play areas at McDonalds or to Chuck E Cheeze or volunteer at a day care center. Jeez. What happened to finding your own childcare and being responsible for your child/children? 

This is nuts! I'm damn sure this isn't what the VA was set up to do. YES I know there are women veterans... and I know that there are areas of "special" in that topic, but the VA as a Nanny?? FFS.

It is high time that we accept that there is no way to meet every single need of every single veteran for things NOT connected to their service. If it's service-connected, we should spare no effort or funds. However, given the demands -- practically and financially -- on the VA for medical and psychological care for SERVICE-CONNECTED conditions, is this really the best use of the money?? Birthing and childcare?? Turning this esteemed veterans medical provider into a new welfare program is a tragedy. What other needs common to ALL veterans will be shortchanged or not be attended while these new women-only mandates are established and funded?? It's just plain crazy, I tell you.

Next they'll be mandating sex-change operations for transgender veterans. These new women-only measures are plain pandering and electioneering. I'm sure I could come up with a list of services to ALL veterans that should be expanded or improved rather than adding obstetrics, newborn care and babysitting services.

OK. rant end.

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At 4/25/2010 11:28 AM , Blogger Molly Pitcher said...

WOW. Where to start. Every veteran is entitled to treatment at a VA whether service connected or not. If you are service connected over 50 % all treatment is free. Women do not receive adequate care. I would suggest reading recent GAO reports on the matter. What you take for granted in your private physicians office, I thank Congress for. Childcare: women vets are WAY younger than male vets. therefore childcare is a HUGE barrier to care. Its also true for most OIF/OEF vets. However, women are getting the spot light. It will benefit the single dad tho too. so why complain? To answer you question about a admitted vet: way too early to tell, these are pilot programs. Women are a small minority in the VA. We fight extremely hard to get equitable care (and it is not equitable). Please do some reading before writing against what we work hard for. Check out GAO please. I will be interested in what you post then. I mean you no disrespect and have a huge amount of respect for any mother with as many children as you in the service, however how many are daughters? Follow up with me at my email, and I will be happy to send you the different reports.

Different niches of veterans have been fighting for whats best for them since there were veterans groups. Women are finally doing the same. Don't discount that. esp. when they are the smallest minority in the VA.

At 4/25/2010 10:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly, every veteran is most definitely not eligible for VA care. I was honorably discharged after 10 years of service, and unless my income falls below a certain level, I can not even enroll in the lowest priority group (8). To add to the irony, I work for the VA and deal every day with "veterans" who were discharged while still in boot camp for being unfit for the service who are fully eligible for care, because they have no income.
As far as woman veterans, it seems like there are a lot of good things in this bill, but you can't deny there is a lot of fluff; spending taxpayer dollars to study the benefits of group retreats for woman veterans is something that comes to mind.


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