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Walter Reed facility is rodent infested!! WTF : Swingers Discussion 740091041
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TOPIC: Walter Reed facility is rodent infested!! WTF
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Sen

I remember well the planning. But that doesn't answer the question. The Bush administration planned the war run up, when there hadn't been major hostilities since Vietnam, but apparantly failed to "plan" for the number of casualties and "major" need. I would have hoped at a minimum that these war casualities would have been planned and provided for in at least the last three years. If assuming that past democrats were extremely instrumental in downgrading capabilities and are appathetic to the military, then the last republican controlled congress and this President missed a golden opportunity to do right. As a veteran.....I'm dissappointed in the show.

St Petersburg FL
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StPete,

You were in the service, don't you remember that all training centered on planning for the worse case scenerio.

Minden NV
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Sen

I agree with everything you've said. But can't you agree that "planning" for casualties "should" also be included in plans for a run up to war? or At least increases in capabilities within say the last 3 years when it was determined that victory in Iraq was going to take much more time? That era of time and responsibility rests solely on this President, his administration and the last congress. Now that being said, as I said before, the democrats being the previous minority party could have introduced legislation and therefore must share in the inadequacies.

St Petersburg FL
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StPete wrote:

"But if there must be a blame cast on the party which controls congress then you place blame on the party which has had over 12 years versus the dem 2 months and that be the republican party." -------------------------------------------------------------------- I agree with that statement and that is one of the reasons that I, who is predominantly conservative, was greatly disappointed and disgusted in a Congress that was controlled by republicans for 12 years. However, the eroding of veteran benefits can actually be traced back to 1963 under a Democratic Congress and President LBJ. If you go to uscongress dot gov and look at the history of bills that were written, proposed and made it through congress it demonstrates that both a democratic congress were hostile towards military earned benefits or indifferent. From 1976 through 1992, 14 bills were passed by congress that eroded both veterans benefits and retirees benefits. All 14 bills were authored by Democrats. All 14 bills were passed overwhelmingly by Democrats with some republicans voting to support the measures. 8 of those bills, 4 on medical benefit reductions, 2 on reductions in percentage of pay at time of retirement, 1 on dental, and 1 on education were authored or co-authored by John Kerry.

During that same time (1976-1992) congress voted on 8 bills that INCREASED their own benefits and 4 bills that INCREASED the benefits of civilian federal workers. In my opinion that shows hostility towards our men and women in uniform.

The republican leadership the last 12 years (1994-2006) demonstrated cold uncaring indifference. 12 bills in 12 years were brought to committee to restore military and/or VA benefits, lost over the previous 40 years of a Democratic controlled congress. Only 1 bill actually made it to the floor and it was defeated.

I agree with SandJ, this is not a problem affiliated with one party. The parties may address the issue differently, but for me it is clear that because the military as a whole is such a small population of the country, neither party feels any real need to provide any long term benefits to our men and women in uniform.

Where I do see a difference between democrats and republicans goes back to my previous statements. To me republican politicians are indifferent to the issues, they did nothing to restore or improve retirees or VA benefits. However in that 12 years they did nothing to further decrease them. Democrats through past bills, their comments, accusations, and generalizations of the military, along with the media have demonstrated, to me, an open hostility towards our men and women in uniform.

This is a historical problem and blame does not rest solely with one party. It rests with both parties, as well as with a media that starting with the Korean War, became more and more hostile towards our men and women in uniform, as well as towards our country.

Only one President since FDR made any real attempt to reverse the decline in how we take care of our military and that was Ronald Reagan. Simple research and a look at past legislation and executive orders will demonstrate this. Only FDR and Reagan looked out for our troops, both on the battle field and over the long term of their lives, whether still in uniform or once they went back to being a civilian. No other President, Democrat or Republican, and no congress, with the exception of the one during FDR’s tenure has ever fully supported the long term needs of those who have served.

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Mike

I agree with most everything you said.

My point was that you can't place the blame at the recently dem controlled congress. It's simply is everyone's (congress) responsibility dem or repub. because they've all been there for years regardless of which party controlls congress. But if there must be a blame cast on the party which controls congress then you place blame on the party which has had over 12 years versus the dem 2 months and that be the republican party.

And by the same token all the recent Presidents are responsible as well....no budgets get through without their hands in it. And my point with regard to Bush had nothing to do with whether or not it was the correct action to take in Iraq. If as President you're taking the military to war then that President must budget and plan for the returning wounded as well. All the recent President's before Bush are responsible for the erosion of the care system and Bush is responsible (ultimately) for not building it up when going to war.

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Sen

Sorry to hear about your dad. It sounds like the NY facility lost excess capacity between the time your dad was able to use the respite and when he returned and therefore the non-service connection treatments are being curtailed. It's unfortunate indeed. I would suspect that loss of the excess capacity (if that triggered the cut back) would be due to space needed for current war vets.

St Petersburg FL
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Mike wrote:

"TOo many times everyone goes around pointing out problems but offers no solutions. This only adds to the current climate of "blame everyone solve nothing", which we currently live in." ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Well said!

Minden NV
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StPete,

It does seem that VA care is different from state to state. My father, who is a WWII Vet, came from New York to Nevada to live with us two years ago. He has advanced Dementia and Alzheimer’s, lung disease, diabetes, and skin cancer. Needless to say he requires 24 hour care. In New York he received excellent care through the VA facility in Batavia, NY. They even had a respite home where my mother and sister could take him, when they needed a break. All his medical was taken care of even though NONE of his problems are "service related". My mom is NOT eligible for any care. Dependents of veterans are NOT eligible unless the veteran meets service connected disability standards. My sister raved about the VA care. Because each state is allowed to control their own VA funding and requirements for enrollment, we were required to dis-enroll my Dad from the VA in New York and re-enroll him upon bringing him here to Nevada.

In Nevada, we had to wait 3 months for an opening. Once he was enrolled he received LIMITED out patient care i.e., annual physical and prescription through the VA mail order system. His primary care was through a private doctor in the hospital where my wife works. I will say that the limited care he got from his VA doctor was excellent. When my wife and I needed a break we had to pay a local agency to care for him as the VA respite in Reno would not take him. They only take those who are "bed" ridden and cannot move around by themselves. That was actually a blessing because when we visited the respite to find out if we could use it, the staff was NOT impressive, the facility was not maintained and the administrator, to put it bluntly, was a bitch. She made it clear that the patients needed to meet their requirements versus the VA being there to meet the needs of the Veterans. ...and yes, I wrote some nasty letters to Harry Reid and other elected officials in this state.

Due to my Dad's deteriorating health, he is back in New York in a Nursing home, so my Mom can visit him before he passes. However, it is NOT a VA facility. It is a private facility. He did not qualify for placement in a VA home, again because his current conditions and disabilities are NOT service connected.

FDR and Reagan had it right. We should take care of our Veterans PERIOD! We should fully fund, at a minimum, their medical and dental needs. Congress tells us that it is not feasible to do so. Yet veterans comprise less then 8 percent of the country. Full military retirees comprise less then a fraction of 1 percent of the country. When I hear politicians talk about Universal Health care for everyone. I laugh. If we cannot afford, and that may be a legitimate concern, to take care of those who served, and by that service EARNED their health care, how can we take care of an entire country?

Minden NV
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Mike

Let me add a little to this debate. I as a citizen do not blame Bush for the conditions at VA medical facilities or military medical facilities and I would also agree that the ultimate responsibility for the level of quality rests with Congress. However, I would disagree with one thing. You said:

"Last time I checked it was the Congress that funds the Va Hospitals and guess which party runs that Congress, ;). "

Let's refresh our biased memories here. Yes the dems are in control of congress which was obviously your indication here.... but only for the last two months. The repubs were in control for the prior 12 years or so....therefore if any Congress is to be blamed it would be the republican controlled congress not a new (2 month old) dem controlled congress.

I would also make the point that President's are to blame as well, as they sign or veto appropriation bills (funding) and therefore this current president has had that responsibility for over 6 years. I am not excusing any prior President such as Clinton and before....they "ALL" are responsible for veteran care conditions. But that being said, this President and his administration took this country to war and ultimately should have ensured that veteran care was stepped up both in quality and availability to ensure top notch veteran care to "fully support" the veteran.

As a veteran who IS receiving VA medical care I can say that the facility where I receive my care appears to be top notch. There have been some understandable cut backs to make room for current returning veterans such as limiting dependent care. Up until Oct 2005 my wife (due to me being rated 100%, total and permanent) could receive medical care fairly unlimited at the VA facility. However, after Oct 2005 she may only see a primary care doctor, lab and x-ray ordered by primary care. She may not see a specialist and must use her CHAMPVA at civilian specialists. This was totally reasonable as additional capacity for treating our war wounded is PARAMOUNT. I believe that the Medical Centers are clean, professional and top notch while it may appear that satallite facilities are not getting the same attention or facilities which prior to war wounded infux were on the down hill slide not maintaining excess capacity.

St Petersburg FL
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Mike,

Walter Reed is a DOD facility not a VA facility. Walter Reed does have a small outpatient VA support i.e., administrative, pharmaceutical etc. DOD funding comes directly through congress. Funding for those on the "Base" closure list is controlled by BRAC, who is controlled by congress. Walter Reed is on the closure list. VA funding comes from 4 sources; Presidential executive order, congressional funding, state funding and private donations. Example is that twice during President Bush's Presidency he has been unhappy with the amount of money provided by Congress for the VA. In 2001 he approved under executive order, 35 billion additional dollars to improve VA facilities. In 2004 he did the same thing, ordering an additional 55 billion dollars. Yet, there are those who don't give him credit for trying to make improvements.

If you want to see a VA facility that is not at the standards of the civilian hospitals, in the same area, come to Reno, NV. There is a waiting list to even get enrolled into the VA system due to not having enough doctors or adequate facilities to provide outpatient care. Over 2/3 of the VA Hospital in Reno is abondoned and rundown. I have seen pest throughout the corriders as you walk through the empty parts of the facility to get to the parts that are in use. In patient care is limited to only the most extreme cases, due to having no staff, funding or volunteers.

Minden NV
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TOPIC: Walter Reed facility is rodent infested!! WTF