Friday, January 12, 2018

Good news tied to not so good news

Just when you think you've read some good news for a change, turns out to be tied to not so good news.

Headline
Trump expands mental health benefits to decrease suicide rates among new veterans
Just like in his speech when he signed Executive Orders.

The problem is that when they leave military service, OEF and OIF veterans already received 5 years of free medical care...including mental health.

5 Years Cost Free Health Care
 OEF/OIF/OND combat Veterans can receive cost free medical care for any condition related to their service in the Iraq/Afghanistan theater for five years after the date of their discharge or release.
And that isn't something new.

Recent veterans are entitled to free health care, but many don't sign up (Which came out in September 2009)

The federal VA provides medical care and benefits to all enrolled veterans, with a range of preventive outpatient and inpatient services offered within its health care system. OEF/OIF veterans receive an additional benefit — five years of free health care in the VA system for any issue related to their deployment. As with other veterans, once enrolled in the system, they’re always in, but for issues not related to deployment or after those five free years, they may face co-payments. 
Plus this order does not include older veterans, who also served this country, risked their lives, came home with the same wounds, but waited longer for help.

No one seems to know how they plan on paying for the "Executive order" other than they will be taking money out of other places.

Military Pay Raise sounds good,

Headline

2018 military pay raise is the biggest in eight years, but how generous is it?

Included in the massive budget bill, finalized by the Senate Nov. 16 and expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump in coming days, is a 2.4 percent pay raise for service members starting Jan. 1.
But at the same time we also had this headline,

Housing allowance for Fort Hood soldiers going down this year


For example, a sergeant stationed at Fort Hood with dependents received $1,134 for a housing allowance in 2017. That number has dropped by about 4 percent to $1,086 this year. A private with dependents who received $1,128 in 2017 will see a decrease to $1,083 this year, also about a 4 percent drop. A staff sergeant with dependents will see a drop from $1,200 to $1,107, a decrease of 7.75 percent.
And this one too, but it comes from Military.com and they got it all together.

2.1% Pay Raise, BAH Cuts, Tricare Fee Hikes Approved by Senate


As with all the talk about Veterans Choice, but as we know, it isn't something they have not been doing all along when a veteran cannot get to a VA hospital for emergency care. 

We had a reminder of that,

Headline

VA to begin paying up to 800,000 non-VA emergency claims

The revised rule says it won’t allow retroactive reimbursements for non-VA emergency care claim decisions that became final before April 8, 2016, the day VA lost a landmark federal court fight with Air Force veteran Richard W. Staab.Staab faced roughly $48,000 in unpaid private hospital bills after emergency heart surgery in December 2010. At the time VA had told Staab, and any other veteran forced to use outside emergency care, that the department would have covered the cost of such care if they had had no other health insurance.
As with everything else, they say always read the fine print, but when it comes to the way reporters have been doing their jobs, read everything and then figure out if it does sound too good to be true...it usually is.