Trump Appointee Making Waves At Veterans Administration

David Shulkin
"Believe me"

Rick Disney – A retired Marine Corps Cpl. of U.S. served in the military for almost a year after he suffered a foot injury, which broke his heel as he fell from a repel tower in Norfolk, as he was participating in a training exercise in 1999

The following years took Disney overseas where he was stationed to carry out several anti-terrorism operations and faced a lot of wear and tear of a service member on duty, where he suffered from neck, back, and severe leg pain that continued for almost a decade, as he was transitioned to inactive reserves in the year 2002.

The first visit to the Veteran Affairs hospital in Tampa for him was in 2013, as he sought medical assistance. He manages to remember a tough and hectic procedure where he had to move around for almost 6 hours just to file a claim for his treatment. He then had to wait a further 9 months before he got to his first appointment. Here, he spent a further 6 months undergoing all his tests and not receiving treatment for any of his discomforts. Just a year later, He received a letter that dismissed his claims for any treatment and it said that the injuries were not inflicted on duty.

“When I got the denial claim in the mail I was disappointed, but I didn’t expect much,” Disney said. “The staff’s treatment throughout the whole ordeal set it up where I wasn’t surprised when I was turned away. It was just a long, drawn-out process, and for the veterans who are in immediate need of care, that’s a life or death issue.”

The lawmakers, in the past years, brought forward many bills that could provide the veterans more options to seek medical attention in the private sector. These propositions were brought forward as the VA could not provide the required medical attention to the veteran patients in a more timely fashion.

No matter how  different the details of the 3 legislations are, the  forwarded  legislation are enough to reform the private sector Veteran’s Choice Program that was proposed by the Congress in 2014 as a response to the rising incidents of manipulative waiting times at the Veterans hospitals, causing deaths of several veterans. The Program was intended to provide the veterans the flexibility to visit the care providers nearest to them that are outside the VA’s healthcare facilities.

The VA secretary, David Shulkin, proposed the stopgap measure ‘ensuring our veterans receive uninterrupted care’ as the government funding ends on Friday because of the lack of agreement and votes on the bills. David urges all the lawmakers to work on the proposed topic.

The senior field director at the conservative Concerned Veterans for America – Disney –  advocates for a measure by the Senate to increase the availability of Private sector healthcare services “rather than relying on the VA bureaucracy to determine eligibility criteria.” The CVA has permitted the bill, which was cosponsored by the Republican Senators John McCain and John Moran.

“I know veterans who are no longer here who needed immediate action, they needed an immediate response, they needed help sooner, and then they self-medicated and now they’re dead,” he said. “If they had the opportunity to go to any doctor and use their VA benefits elsewhere, there’s a possibility that something different would have happened if they didn’t have to wait for care.”