Essay on Health Care and Funding for American Veterans

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“VA insurance is refusing to pay his surgical bill since the surgery was not performed at a VA hospital and Jason is currently appealing that decision” (Khan, 1). This is a problem majority of veterans may face when needing assistance with bills or money. Veterans’ benefits system has been around ever since the 17th century when pilgrims passed a law to protect citizens who joined the army to protect against Pequot Native Americans. These laws protected any soldier injured or ‘disabled’ in battle protecting the colonies. In 1776 when colonies declared independence from England, they made notice of needs for their soldiers/veterans. Pension was also a part of benefits during the Revolutionary War to encourage citizens to enlist into the military. Since then, benefits have slowly been chipping away and have been tampered with, making the process of receiving benefits difficult for veterans. Veterans need compensation, veterans face many hardships in their daily live, they will need support and compensation to strive in the world. The United States needs to aid veterans, the country can do this by increasing veteran’s entitlements, fixing and organizing veterans benefits and healthcare enrollment systems by increasing staff for these systems, simplifying the process of application for health care, accepting and organizing applications and enrollments in a timely manner, and also investing more money into veteran’s benefits and health care systems.

VA has dated back to five hundred years ago but still nothing has changed the support systems for veterans are not the best. United States veterans have always been treated poorly, veteran health treatments have also been getting worse. “The United States veteran’s benefits system traces its roots back to the 17th century when the Pilgrims of the Plymouth passed a law protecting citizens who joined the colony army to defend it against the hostile Pequot Indians. The colony made certain that any soldiers disabled in the defense would be supported by it” (Ousley, 1). The United States has always had a support system for veterans but since the 17th century it has never been a well-structured support system. Veterans have always received abysmal health care after they had gotten back from war. The country has always treated veterans extremely poorly, even during the 1800s. In history, it’s been shown that the United States have barely made efforts to improve on supporting veterans. “In 1783 mutinous Pennsylvania troops surrounded Pennsylvania’s Independence Hall to press the Congress for back pay. Medical and hospital care for veterans in the early days of the Republic were the responsibility of the individual states... Nearly thirty-five years later, in 1811, the federal government authorized the first domiciliary and medical facility for veterans” (Roche, 1). The country has merely made efforts if any at all to support veterans. Congress only aided veterans when forced to. This has shown that the United States needs to make veterans a priority by improving the assistance given to them. The country needs change and should support veterans. In fact, the United States has been doing the opposite of aiding veterans, in the past couple hundred years the country has been taking benefits away from veterans. “During the late 1800s Southern Democrats in the Congress successfully introduced the first major legislation to chip away at veteran’s entitlements” (Ousley, 1). Veterans have never received proper health care after veterans got back from war, now the government is starting to minimize veteran’s entitlements. Not only are veteran’s support systems substandard because of the government chipping away at entitlements but also because of the process of obtaining support from the government as a veteran.

The government claims to work with veterans to the best of the government’s ability, but the process of getting support has been horrible for years. Many of our veterans who have even fought on the frontlines with mental health issues have not received VA health care. In Devine’s article ‘307,000 Veterans May Have Died Awaiting Veterans Affair Health Care’ page two he states Scott Davis said thousands of veterans who have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have not received health care because of being incorrectly placed in the enrollment system backlog (Devine, 1). Explaining that most veterans do not even get close to receiving health care. Before the country improves veteran’s health care system the government will need to make the process of receiving health care is easily accessible in the first place. The process of enrollment is extremely complicated, but besides the process being complicated, the process of enrollment is also an enormous hassle, some veterans are too old or may not have money to afford a computer, but a computer is needed to upload information. Health care has been so difficult to access that only eleven percent veterans have received health care. The process of applying and receiving health care is extremely inconvenient “The online medical records and online benefit applications are insane. People that answer phones say veterans have to download old forms and upload new information and not all vets can do that and not all vets have computers. Most days you can’t get through on phone. I spent more than a year updating records to include my wife and our baby” (Khan, 1). The enrollment system needs to be updated and needs to be adapted to veterans’ needs. The enrollment system has to be more organized if the government wants to make a change in supporting veterans and their health care. The process of enrollment is extremely tides and due to this many people have not applied. “As of June 30, the VA sent letters to 302,045 veterans asking them to submit required document to establish their eligibility, and 34,517 of those veterans have since been enrolled for care, the VA said” (Devine, 3). Less than half of veterans receive health care after they get back from war, this shows how difficult the process of receiving health care as a veteran is. The government claims to attempt to make improvements to help veterans but nothing in the process of receiving health care seems to get better. The United States government has to do a better job of getting health care to veterans, the government needs to improve the process of receiving healthcare let alone improving VA healthcare. Therefore, the government should put more time and money to support veteran's health care by organizing enrollment systems and placing more money into healthcare programs. Not only are veteran’s support systems substandard because of the process of receiving health care but also because of the time it takes to enroll to get health care.

Enrollment for health care takes so long that some veterans have died waiting for enrollment into health care. Veterans dying while waiting for health care is not a rare instance, many have veterans may have died while waiting for application to health care or enrollment to health care. According to Curt Devine on page one of ‘307,000 Veterans May Have Died’, “The VA’s inspector general found that out of about 800,000 records stalled in the agency’s system for managing healthcare enrollment, there were more than 307,000 records that belonged to veteran who had died months or years in the past” (Devine, 1). Before the process of receiving health care veterans needed to enroll, but even enrolling is a huge problem. These numbers have shown that enrolling in healthcare takes so long that veterans have died from waiting for enrollment not even just waiting to receive health care. Accepting health care takes so long veterans died before receiving health care and support. Even when applied veteran’s application enrollment can take up to or even more than a decade to process. “In one case, a veteran who applied for VA care in 1998 was placed in ‘pending’ status for 14 years. Other veteran who passed away in 1988 was found to have an unprocessed record lingering in 2014, the investigation found” (Devine, 1). After have gone through the process of application and actually applying veterans still have problems with the process of enrolling. In these two specific incidences it has shown that process of enrolling has been just as extensive and lengthy as applying. Veterans have fought for our country and have earned the right to their benefits. Though veterans are supposed to receive health care and benefits they clearly do not. “People fought, and who earned the right to VA health care, were never given VA health”, - Davis said. “They literally died while waiting for VA to process their health care application” (Devine, 1). The country needs to shine light upon this issue, this is because many veterans risk their life and donate their life to this country but essentially do not receive anything in return. Enrollment and application are one of many significant issues dealing with veterans receiving their benefits and healthcare. The country must fix and organize veterans benefits and health care system, to do this the United States needs to fund and invest more money into these systems. Not only are benefit and health care systems unorganized because of the lack of time invested into them but also because of the lack of staff invested into these systems and programs.

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Organization has been an immense complication dealing with VA healthcare system. Due to these applications, and enrollments to the VA health care system have been disarranged, and veterans that are already in the healthcare system have not been receiving proper care. According to Suzanne Gordon “There are two primary reasons for the problem of wait times. One has to do with Congress’ consistent failure to provide adequate funding so that the VA could hire more staff to care for an increasing number of veterans who live longer with complex service and age-related health problems” (Gordon, 1). Shortage of staff is taking an immense toll on the VA health care system. If there was more staff, situations dealing with the management and organization of VA health care system would be altered immensely. More staff is needed in these programs and systems if the United States wants to make a change in the way veterans are treated. Shortage of staff is a choice, the United States VA system could hire more employees, if wanted to but no efforts have been made. Suzanne Gordon stated that the employment of more staff has been refused ‘persistently’ by the United States health care system (Gordon 1). Employment of more workers and staff is a choice that could be made for the better but no action has been taken in the right direction. For this to happen, to employ more workers more funding and money needs to be invested into this health care system. The lack of staff is due to the shortage of funding and investments into the VA health care system, if progress is to be made, more money is needed to be invested into the system.

Health care systems have been lacking funding for many years, this troublesome matter must be fixed by increasing resources for health care systems and programs and increasing funding for health care systems and programs. There have been attempts to increase funding for Veteran Affair health care system, but action has yet to be taken. In 2014 Senator Bernie Sanders proposed a bill that would distribute twenty-one million dollars to healthcare, education, and other services for US veterans. Republicans “block killed that bill” (Gordon 1). Though there have been attempts to increase aid to veterans there still has not been an increase. The country needs to take action by increasing funding and investing more money into veteran's health care systems and programs. Lack of funding leads to a system with hardly any workers, a system with hardly any workers becomes an unorganized system. “There are two primary reasons for the problem of wait times. One has to do with Congress’ consistent failure to provide adequate funding so that the VA could hire more staff to care for an increasing number of veterans who live longer with complex service and age-related health problems” (Gordon, 1). Lack of funding is the basis of many if not all issues dealing with VA healthcare systems. Lack of funding is the reason behind disorganization throughout the health care system which is the umbrella to problems such as complications with applications and also enrollments. United States as a country has to work together to eliminate issues like these.

A step has been taken into a different direction President Donald Trump has recently released a new budget proposal. Many people have been asking for more investments into the VA healthcare system and other beneficial programs, though in the past few years budgets have been low and benefits has been down, this change could potentially change VA systems entirely. President Donald Trump explained that the new budget proposal will reflect the commitment of the President to supply veterans with services and benefits that the they deserve (Wentling, 1). This reasoning behind improving and funding the VA is not just because the citizens of the United States have spoken out but because the President is attempting to connect to veterans and the citizens. This will allow the situation in which veterans have been treated abysmally in the past to calm down, it will allow the president to breakdown and analyze this situation. The step President Trump is making is in the right direction and may solve the issue dealing veterans benefits and healthcare. It is aimed towards arguably the important and significant points towards veterans’ healthcare. The proposal asked for one hundred ninety-eight billion dollars for the VA for 2019, exceedingly more than the current one hundred eighty-six billion dollar budget, it would place emphasis on veterans mental health care (Wentling, 1). This point is extraordinarily important, the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) epidemic has been a massive deal recently in which many people are affected by it. This point on veteran’s mental health care alone is very much needed. The question of where the country would get the money for improvements and investments in VA healthcare now arises. This new budget proposal plans to include cuts to domestic agencies and social programs instead would spend money on defense, homeland security and the VA (Wentling, 1). Veterans have been hurting for money and this was a step into a different direction. This would take money from an accessorial tool and bring money over to a major issue that the United States has been dealing with for years which would be how to fix and improve VA health care systems. A way this may directly affect VA health care is by reforming the VA choice program, which grants veterans access to receive medical care in a private sector (Wentling, 1). Minor adjustments from moving money from a segment of everywhere to invest into one program may go a long way. Taking action and investing money is exceedingly important and may help fix more than just one problem.

To fix these issues dealing with Veteran Affair Health Care the country must invest more money into the veteran's health care system and programs. This will allow organization to take place, which in turn would allow and assist more veterans to receive their aid and health care they deserve. More money will allow a substantial amount of people to be employed to help serve veterans and their needs. In addition, instead of ‘chipping away’ at veterans benefits as a country the United States should do everything in its power to take care and watch over its veterans. Veterans have donated a fraction if not their whole life to their country and its military, the United States should do everything in its power to repay the veteran. Nowadays in many cases the veterans do not receive much in return. President Donald Trump is striving to turn into the right direction attempting to finance the VA health care system. Investing money into VA health care system and programs will alter the path it has taken and will now start supporting veterans. The VA health care system will now start giving veterans the support and aid they deserve.

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