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Bos Mutus
08-28-2015, 05:28 PM
"We don't need a Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs should be folded in under the Department of Defense. And it should be a smooth transition. We need to be looking at the way we take care of soldiers."

Instead of the current system that provides treatment for veterans at government-run hospitals, Carson suggested that they should have a health savings account that would pay for treatment at any medical facility. The VA facilities could then be used for specialized treatments for traumatic brain injuries and limb replacements — problems that particularly afflict veterans.

What say you?

The first part is a direct quote...the second part seems to be someone saying what he said, I haven't tracked down what he actually said, so it could be a misquote.

The idea of putting the VA under the DOD is shakey, I think...would probably see funds for taking care of veterans taken for "high priority weapons systems"...let's face it, the DOD is not that concerned with veterans that are of no longer any use to them...this is why the VA was created and why it has elevated to cabinet-level...when it's under another dept., it's funding tends to be diverted.

Also, not sure about this health savings account deal...pretty safe to assume Carson would like to get rid of Obamacare...so what are you doing to do with that HSA when you are discharged with pre-existing conditions and can't buy insurance?

SomeRandomGuy
08-28-2015, 08:14 PM
What say you?

The first part is a direct quote...the second part seems to be someone saying what he said, I haven't tracked down what he actually said, so it could be a misquote.

The idea of putting the VA under the DOD is shakey, I think...would probably see funds for taking care of veterans taken for "high priority weapons systems"...let's face it, the DOD is not that concerned with veterans that are of no longer any use to them...this is why the VA was created and why it has elevated to cabinet-level...when it's under another dept., it's funding tends to be diverted.

Also, not sure about this health savings account deal...pretty safe to assume Carson would like to get rid of Obamacare...so what are you doing to do with that HSA when you are discharged with pre-existing conditions and can't buy insurance?

Maybe I'm a bit out of touch but what is the typical patient at the VA hospital like? I assume that most people who did 20+ years use Tricare and most likely avoid the VA. I've heard of some friends who sepearated (not retired) use the VA to get treatment for a condition that happened while they were serving. For example, a shoulder or knee surgery. Most of these were younger people without insurance. I'v e also known several older veterans who go to the VA for substance abuse or PTSD treatment.

I guess my question is, if Obamacare were fully in effect and Medicaid was expanded who are the veterans still in need of health care? It seems to me that a lot of the people currently using the VA could get treatment elsewhere and be covered under Medicaid. It seems they just choose to go to the VA. Am I wrong on that?

Bos Mutus
08-28-2015, 08:43 PM
Maybe I'm a bit out of touch but what is the typical patient at the VA hospital like? I assume that most people who did 20+ years use Tricare and most likely avoid the VA. I've heard of some friends who sepearated (not retired) use the VA to get treatment for a condition that happened while they were serving. For example, a shoulder or knee surgery. Most of these were younger people without insurance. I'v e also known several older veterans who go to the VA for substance abuse or PTSD treatment.

I guess my question is, if Obamacare were fully in effect and Medicaid was expanded who are the veterans still in need of health care? It seems to me that a lot of the people currently using the VA could get treatment elsewhere and be covered under Medicaid. It seems they just choose to go to the VA. Am I wrong on that?

Good question. I'm a retiree and I'm on Tricare Prime...but if you live more than 50 miles from a Military Treatment Facility now, you can only get Standard. I've never really used a VA hospital or clinic, so not sure why people do...I know people that do, even though they have other insurance...part of it seems to be to make sure they "get these problems in the VA records"...or maybe it's just convenient.

I'm sure there are more severely wounded veterans that use the VA for service-connected wounds and such...

SomeRandomGuy
08-31-2015, 03:50 PM
Good question. I'm a retiree and I'm on Tricare Prime...but if you live more than 50 miles from a Military Treatment Facility now, you can only get Standard. I've never really used a VA hospital or clinic, so not sure why people do...I know people that do, even though they have other insurance...part of it seems to be to make sure they "get these problems in the VA records"...or maybe it's just convenient.

I'm sure there are more severely wounded veterans that use the VA for service-connected wounds and such...

To follow up on this, I think Ben Carson is looking at this the wrong way. I just did a quick google search and I came up with this link. http://www.va.gov/budget/products.asp The VA's Budget for Fiscal Year 2016 is $168.8 Billion. By looking at the fact sheet I determined that $63.2 Billion is for Health Care, $7.5 Billion for Mental Health, $7.5 Billion for Long-Term Care, $1.2 Billion for Telehealth, and $446M for Women's Health.

The total of those expenses comes in at just under $80 Billion. What exactly are we getting for that $80B expense? By comparison, The total U.S. Medicaid spending for FY14 was $476B. I know that's not an exact comparison (comparing FY14 to FY16). With that said, my point is that VA Healthcare cost the government $80B while Medcaid for the entire country costs $476. It seems to me that the prudent thing would be to expand "Obamacare" aka Medicaid and just roll all the veterans into it. Heck, we could even make a rule that would expand Medicaid even further for Veterans. We could allow anyone who is a Veteran to be eligible for Medicaid at double whatever the cutoff is for regular people. I think Obamacare expansion covers people that earn 150% or less of the poverty line. Make that amount 300% for Veterans and let's just get rid of VA Medical Benefits altogether.

hustonj
08-31-2015, 06:31 PM
It seems to me that the prudent thing would be to expand "Obamacare" aka Medicaid and just roll all the veterans into it.

You'll find this idea especially productive when you remember that MediCare and MedicAid are mandated by the Federal government but only PARTIALLY FUNDED by the Federal government, passing the additional costs down to the states.

If the VA budget is eliminated by passing those costs to programs the States are expected to keep solvent, then there's nothing but savings available at the Federal level!

Availability of care if a state budget can't cover the additional imposed cost? Not the Federal government's problem, just like ensuring the veterans receive the care they need wouldn't be.

2014 MedicAid Federal budget? $305 Billion.
2014 MedicAid total spending? $476 Billion.

Over a third of the budget is already being covered by the states, not the Federal government. You're not going to get the Fed to absorb the full cost ever again. Nor are you going to get the Fed to give up the revenue that no longer covers this cost and give both back to the states. The Fed is most certainly working to divest itself of this cost, and move the bill down to state level. That's part of why the ACA included short-term incentives in the form of increased MediCare/MedicAid contributions to states that expanded the programs to further the ACA agenda. To get short-sighted state governments to accept an even greater portion of the growing price tag.