My friend, George Turek, is a true American patriot and former Naval aviator. George ran a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal called “An Open Letter from a Veteran” where he addresses his solutions for immediate measures that he thinks would serve our Country’s veterans. I strongly agree with George’s letter and with his permission, I am posting the full text of the letter for you to read. If you agree with this article, I would ask that you do three things – Write your Congressman, Share it to your Social Media Pages and also Follow George on Twitter and Facebook.
The following was written By George Turek
An Open Letter from a Veteran to:
Two serious problems presently confront the VA:
Problem # 1: Veterans are waiting too long to receive treatment appointments at VA Hospitals.
Problem # 2: Veterans are waiting too long to receive Compensation and Pension (“C&P”) benefits. There continues to be a significant backlog of Medical Disability Examinations (“MDEs”) which are crucial to the C&P process.
Both of these problems can, at least partially if not fully, be resolved simply.
Approximately 2,000,000 C&P MDEs are conducted each year on Veterans as part of the C&P benefits process. Some 1,600,000 of these MDEs are conducted in VA hospitals by VA medical providers. The remaining 400,000 MDEs are referred to outside private contractors. The VA has been outsourcing “overflow” MDEs since 1998. The outsourcing of MDEs has proven to be a huge success, for both our Veterans and the VA.
The VA medical providers who perform the 1,600,000 MDEs at VA hospitals are the same medical providers responsible for providing treatment to Veterans at VA hospitals. MDEs are extremely time consuming and take valuable time away from VA medical providers, time which they could be using to provide medical treatment to Veterans. Annually, the time these medical providers spend performing MDEs easily totals in the millions of hours.
Solution: Outsource all Compensation & Pension Medical Disability Examinations.
By outsourcing all C&P MDEs to private contractors, VA medical providers would be able to devote 100% of their valuable time to providing much needed medical treatment to Veterans. Outsourcing of MDEs has been extremely successful, and private contractors have the necessary staff and trained and experienced medical providers to quickly reduce the huge backlog of these cases. Outsourcing all MDEs would solve both problems: it would reduce the long wait time for our Veterans to receive appointments for medical treatment at VA hospitals by allowing VA medical providers to focus exclusively on providing medical treatment to our Veterans and it would facilitate the timely delivery of C&P benefits to our Veterans by significantly reducing the backlog of MDE cases.
The legislation being discussed by Senators Sanders and McCain is commendable and a step in the right direction, but would do little to immediately address either problem. Building 26 new medical facilities in 18 states will take years, which is time we cannot afford given the critical nature of these problems. Spending another $500 million to hire and train more medical providers would also be a lengthy process. Although well intended, the proposed legislation does not provide the services our Veterans need today. Our Veterans deserve timely medical treatment and benefits right now, without delay.
The solution outlined above provides an immediate win-win for both our Veterans and the VA. Let’s not delay any further in providing our Veterans timely access to the medical treatment and benefits they so justly deserve. Thank you for listening.