CONGRESS HAS A HARD TIME

Older Female Veterans/Continuing Resolution/ Woman’s Opinion
  By – Sheri de Grom

 

Congress has had a hard time doing its job for decades.

From time to time they pass legislative funding that covers only a short period. Are they afraid they’ll have buyer’s remorse if they fund government for an entire year?

What they are doing is called a continuing resolution and in my opinion, an unacceptable practice.

I talked last week about healthcare improving for younger female veterans. However, there wasn’t enough funding to include the broad range of women Veterans populating the needs we have today.

The 20 years I worked for the government, I had to turn in a complete yearly business plan with a profit and loss statement. I made sure I never had a loss and I budgeted close to the ‘bone.’ Neither did I believe in rushing out to spend left over money in the final quarter to use up all the money appropriated my account. This is a bad business practice; one carried out by thousands of department heads government-wide.

For a large government agency to operate within the bounds of a continuing resolution is idiotic at best and a ‘perfect storm’ for management. Although directors of programs, such as mine, were required to complete a yearly business plan, I never knew how much money I had to operate my department for a full year.

I cannot depart this subject of continuing resolution without mentioning the harm it does to the morale of employees. Year after year employee job security is damaged and that damage is cumulative.

For the purposes of this blog, older female veterans deserve better than patchwork funding for the care they rely on. [All Veterans deserve equality within the Veterans Affairs Administration).

The Veterans Administration has known for decades that older women veterans present unique challenges but they turned their collective heads and minds to look the other way. They knew the improvements they were making would improve healthcare for younger Veterans but not the female Veterans of Vietnam and Korea.

Shurhonda Love, DAV Assistant National Legislative Director, opined, “We’ve known for a long time how different the medical needs are of women veterans compared to the general population of women. Now we have the data to back it up and ideally for the future of women veteran’s healthcare.”

Women Veterans who served in Korea and Vietnam are facing special challenges as they grow older. There’s a wide discrepancy in the needs between aging women veterans and  non-veteran women.

Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) reports women veterans 80 years of age and older reported significantly lower-scale scores in perceived health, physical function, life satisfaction, social support, quality of life, and purpose in life compared with non-veterans of the same age.

Older women have a problem getting service-connected care or disability because they never went to the doctor when they were on active duty. It was taboo to go to medical call if they planned on having a career in the military. At best, it would be 2 or 3 years between sick call visits.

This population deserves the attention of The Veterans Administration. I propose by age 65, if a female veteran has not determined her eligibility for services with the VA, the VA provide, at no cost, a representative to walk her through the system to determine her eligibility for care.

If eligibility for care is identified, the VA representative will register the woman through the “My Healthy Vet” at www.myhealth.va.gov. This site is where everything begins within The Veterans Administration for a veteran. I propose The Veterans Affairs representative be free to continue to work with many others needing assistance.

Tom and I together have registered many veterans [both men and women] and the time involved to reach that first appointment is a small investment considering the difference in lifestyle it provides veterans.

The appointment with the primary care physician should include all labs, x-rays and appointments with specialists.

Our female veterans do not deserve to be homeless and without medical care. The Veterans Administration has a place for them. Let’s give them their fair due and welcome them home properly.

Thank you for reading with me.

 

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About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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37 Responses to CONGRESS HAS A HARD TIME

  1. Actually, government budgets are for a whole year. You’re probably thinking of the “stop gap” measures that Congress, and many states, have to pass in order to keep the bare necessities of government going if the various entities cannot agree on a budget for the year. The current federal government fiscal year goes from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. That’s the 2017 fiscal year. This is why its disingenuous at best for a new president who just took office to take credit for any budget surplus or deficit for those first 9 months in office, but the opposite also holds true in that a past president gets the credit for stuff that happened during the 9 months after he left office.

    • Yes, I worked for the gov. for 20 years and survived 3 gov shutdowns because Congress had too many silly ideas they were fighting about. Additionally, as Senior Management, I found it a waste of my time to prepare a Management Plan for the entire year [Sep – Oct], have it stamped approved after haggling back and forth and then having large blocks of funding cut from my program without a moment’s notice. It’s no wonder the government is broke. If I ran a business the way government runs business, I would be in debtor’s prison!

  2. GP Cox says:

    I received your card – I’ll get right on those recipes. (I’ll use thighs too – I prefer the dark meat)
    Sorry about your computer and LR all the time!! Wish i could help!
    Please give Tom my very best!!!

  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    STUPID, BIASED, SPOILED PEOPLE—FEW SEEM TO CARE ABOUT ANYONE OTHER THAN THEMSELVES! (EXCEPT A FEW–NOT INFLUENCED BY THE SYSTEM)

  4. Lignum Draco says:

    Your compassion and common sense approach is something lacking in many administrations worldwide. I hope your voice is heard, Sheri.

  5. Wow, Sheri, I’m so glad you are addressing this subject, and putting out a call to action! My 3rd husband was a disabled vet, yet had never registered with the VA. When he lost his last job, at 60 years of age, I finally was able to convince him to do it. Working together, it took us 2 and 1/2 years before he started receiving benefits! so, I understand from a personal standpoint, what a tough thing this is. And poor women started out at a disadvantage in the early days.
    Thank you!!
    And thank you for coming to visit me! I hadn’t realized I wasn’t following you! Corrected that oversight!
    Melinda

    • Hi, Melinda. My blogging has been scattered, to say the least, over the past year due to my husband’s illness. Each time I think I’m going to get caught up and stay caught up, bam, here comes something else. I hope you are doing well and will do my best to catch up with your blog. Tx for being here and leaving a comment. Sheri

  6. inesephoto says:

    Sheri, your posts are always straight to the point. You never lose focus and I have never noticed you being involved in any immature quasi political discussions. Thank you for everything you do, and for all the information. Any vet, old or young, don’t deserve to be homeless and neglected.

    • Thank you, Inese. I’m past due in saying thank you for reading with me. Most days it’s all I can do to stay caught up with Tom’s needs but I do enjoy hearing from both old and new friends. For me, our veterans are one of our most valuable resources. Sheri

  7. ksbeth says:

    again, a travesty. one of my county’s initiatives last year was to house all homeless vets. this was 100% successful. now we have to support them with full medical/mental health care, they deserve this as a minimum.

    • Congratulations to your county, Beth. To have your county free of homeless vets is indeed a major victory. Sometimes identifying who and where they are is the hardest part. Often, gaining their trust is a major stepping stone.

  8. Excellent post, Sheri. All so true. I doubt they’ll be getting better treatment though, since we have a “new climate” in the White House. Must build the wall, keep the media’s mouths shut, and ban all the Muslims. And belly up to Russia. These seem to be priorities now.

    • Yvonne, I want to keep our country safe but I also want to take care of those who paid the personal sacrifice to go in front of us and put their lives on the line. I’ve noted most military men and women that made rank were/are the ones who don’t report to medical call often. These are the very men and women we have a hard time getting help for through the VA. It’s that old adage of, “If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.”

      • Sheri, what I wrote about “keeping country safe with a wall, ban Muslims and, keep the media’s mouth shut” was intended in jest and what these are the things that T. wants to do with his, “making America great again.’ I didn’t know that America had lost its greatness. I doubt he is much worried about veteran’s care but I am a pessimist. I do hope you are correct. Things just seem to be getting worse every day. And, yes you are correct about if it is not in writing then it didn’t happen. All so true

        • For 8 years I was afraid of in-action and now I’m afraid of action that’s trigger finger happy.

          • Well I like that you are trigger finger happy to take action. 🙂

            • Yvonne, No, I’m afraid of the trigger finger. I also wish he’d get off twitter. I don’t believe in government in 140 characters or less!

              • It looks like I keep misinterpreting what you are meaning. I thought you meant your “trigger finger.” I’m afraid of T’s trigger finger as well. Twitter is so high school-ish or even down to grade school level. I have no use for Twitter- it is silly, immature and anything else one could call it. T. is self absorbed and frankly I don’t think he can or wants to stop demeaning folks or can control his need to boast about what he views as an accomplishment. I saw somewhere on the Internet that he sued a blogger and it would not surprise me if he were to sic the FBI or CIA on to every blog looking for folks that are not saying nice things about him. I feel we are now in a dictatorship country where there is no equality in how the government is run. Oh well, I’ll just tuck my feathers and shut up, like Spicer or what’s his name, said the media should do.

  9. Alexa says:

    Always great to see a post from you Sheri, and again thank you for keeping us informed.

  10. Here HERE! It is *shameful* how Vets are treated by the very people they served to protect – especially the older veterans and most females. It makes me sad and it makes me MAD. Thank you for being their voice.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    • Hi, Madelyn. When our older veterans went to war or stayed behind and supported the war effort in a support mission; they earned the right to medical care, Our older veterans are not as computer savvy as their younger counterparts and have a much harder time getting into the VA system. Many of the older women are now retiring from a factory or retail jobs and they need everything they are entitled. It’s a touchy subject and I’m never sure how to approach the question with them.

      • Just volunteer to help, Sheri. In my experience, the more my younger friends try to spare my tech-befuddled feelings, the more they hurt them (and embarrass me!)

        btw- Medicare/Medicaid enrollment is just as difficult for civilians who are entitled to health services (not helped a bit by the lack of funding to keep the sites working as designed.)

        I spent the better part an entire day NOT getting the job done, btw. — tho’ I guess “better” is not a good way to describe that horrendous experience.

        xx,
        mgh

  11. cindy knoke says:

    Sheri De Grom for President! And don’t think I’m kidding.

  12. Andy Oldham says:

    From a disabled vet I Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

  13. It’s very good Sheri to see that people Care and do something about it like you and Tom do.

    Are there other ways they can get support Sheri such as Aged Care, I know it is used in Australia by many when needed and does help to meet aging problems.

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    • Hi, Anne. I hope you are feeling better.
      Yes, we have several different programs for the aged but when it comes down to the bottom line, none put disposable income in the pocket of a Veteran the same way a disability check does every month. So many veterans have disabilities and have no idea of how to go about doing the paperwork. It is a long a laborious project. By getting a veteran registered in the system and finding out if they are qualified for medical benefits is just the first step. However, it is a step in the correct direction.

  14. Let’s hope the new can-do, action-oriented administration fixes things.

  15. Jo Coleman says:

    Can I share on FB?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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