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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Can US get an affordable health care plan passed?

Florence Morning News - 3/10/2017

Where will all of the money come from for health care unless the able-bodied people have to pay some money for their policies? We all know nothing is free without some sort of personal involvement.

I will speak of the socialized medical VA program. First, all veterans cannot get free medical treatment or medicines. Services are regulated by percentage of disability due to each veteran for service-connected problems. Veterans who are not entitled to free benefits usually have to pay an amount for their services. To get to see a specialist, the veteran must be referred by their primary care doctor, which may take months, and this will make veterans travel to a main VA hospital that may be many miles away. In my case it is in Columbia, which is around 100 miles away. Some veterans that I read about can be 200-plus miles or more away. Some of us do get travel pay, which at this time usually takes several months to get. But not all veterans get travel pay.

Some of us have a veterans Choice Card to use if we are more than 40 miles from our main VA hospital or we are having a problem getting an appointment with a specialist. The problem that I have run into is that most doctors and hospitals will not take this card. I have used this source with one dentist, one medical doctor and one diabetic shoe store. Many doctors and hospitals say it takes too long to get their money. So to me this card is about useless.

If we veterans are on Medicare, we can be seen by some local doctors or we can use our local hospitals, but if we do, we must pay 20 percent of our bill out of our pockets. The last time that I had an emergency and used my local hospital, my 20 percent was over $500, which I will never get back from the VA. If you are a veteran that has an emergency and you are under Medicare age, you will have to pay the full bill unless you have some other type of insurance.

Veterans are a low percentage of United States citizens, and our government has a hard time giving us appropriate care. I want to know where all of the money is coming from to pay for hundreds of millions of our citizens. There is not enough money that can be used by our government to pay for everyone.

JOHN H. BETHEA

Marion

 
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