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Are You “Mad As Hell” About Our Veterans?

Military veterans often come to our firm for help with purchasing life insurance.

They frequently have a history of serious illness that needs special attention from underwriters.

In order to prequalify them and quote a rate at which they will be approved, we typically have to work with them to obtain a copy of their medical file.

Usually that file is held by a Veterans Affairs hospital, and usually we have a problem getting it.

The trouble with Veterans Affairs

The VA hospitals are notorious for delays in fulfilling our requests for records.

On average they can take 2 to 3 times longer than private physician offices fill these requests.

(In fact, sometimes we get concerned that the medical condition of our potential applicant will worsen while we wait for these records!)

The ponderous bureaucracy of these into institutions can definitely impede the progress of their patients obtaining life insurance.

We now unfortunately hear about the systemic troubles in the VA healthcare system.

Creating obstacles in the ability of our veterans to purchase life insurance is bad, but not the worst of the problems…not by far:

The growing evidence suggests a VA system with overworked physicians, high turnover and schedulers who are often hiding the extent to which patients are forced to wait for medical care. ..But veterans and current and former agency employees interviewed last week described a dysfunctional bureaucracy in which turnover is high, the number of doctors is insufficient, and patients may be left dangling even when facing life-threatening health problems.

Will the president help our veterans?

President Obama says he learned of this scandal by watching TV, and that he is “mad as hell.”

However, his own remarks indicate he knew about it seven years ago.

In his 2007 presidential campaign, he spoke out against what he called deplorable conditions in VA hospitals:

“I’ll be a President who ensures that America serves our men and women in uniform as well as they’ve served us, and that’s why I’m proud to have the support of these veterans advising me on the issues facing our troops and veterans,” Obama stated. “After seven years of an Administration that has stretched our military to the breaking point, ignored deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals, and neglected the planning and preparation necessary to care for our returning heroes, America’s veterans deserve a President who will fight for them not just when it’s easy or convenient, but every hour of every day for the next four years.”

What do you think is the fix to this tragic problem?