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Dole-shalala Recommendations

Guest morgan


Are any of you concerned about the rush on the Dole-Shalala recommendations? I am very concerned that this may eventually cut off disability benefits for veterans at retirement age, or at least offset SSA benefits. Larry Scott wrote me a few weeks ago saying the recommendations were surely going to sit on the shelf for a very long time, and if ever reviewed again, would be unlikely to get through congressional approval. Now he's changed his mind about that, in light of the developments this week--Bush is fully supporting these recommendations.

I realize that Larry's opinion is worth no more than any of ours, but he does seem to keep up with VA behind the scenes.

What do you hadit members think? Much ado about nothing?


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  • HadIt.com Elder

Call me naive but I am not worried as I approach retirement age in14 months but who is counting. Maybe I can be grandfathered?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think it is an attempt to placate the public regarding Iraq vets. Most of it concerns future vets. It is an attempt to pit one group of vets against the others and have a two tier system. I don't like it one bit. I am not too worried about it since I have been getting SC for 35 years. What worries me is that our compensation will not keep up with real inflation.

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Some of the ideas are good in my opinion- then again-

Larry Scott gives his take on it all-


I am more worried about the IOM PTSD report-

It seems to indicate that there will be potential "cures" developed by VA for PTSD.

Maybe in some cases PTSD can be helped-but surely not all cases-

It almost seems that the Dole Shalala report wants viable care for Iraq and Afganistan vets with PTSD but the IOM report seems to indicate the VA will come up with some medical voo doo to make sure they never get appropriate compensation for PTSD.

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  • In Memoriam

The entire Shalala and Dole theory takes in to account that there will never be enough funds to care for or compensation veterans. It also shows that the long VA Claims process, for VN vets, will grow even longer. I agree with John999.

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How many past changes have served to speed up or make the claims process more accurate?

Smoke and mirrors.


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The rush is simply the Prez's way of attempting to insure his party does well in the upcoming elections. Notice I did not say Bush..... This would be done by Prez Ricky or any other administration no matter the party title. Just politics, simple politics.

Just research all previous presidents who were war time presidents. They all jumped through hoops - don't matter if it was VA benefits, snake oil production or blood letting, they simply must do what their chairmanship tells them they need to do to support their parties. jmho

Forgot to add - my 25 years of service and the family that stood by my side ain't worth nothing I guess. Dole and Shalawaaaa or what ever her name is are flaming (*&^%&^&^s and communists - thats how I can see this so lightly. May those he loves, if any, become inflicted with some of the stuff veterans suffer from......sorry but thats just how I really feel.

Edited by Ricky
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think that Sen Dole is an honorable man and definitely was one of us but he made a good and comfortable life for himself and is out of touch with Veterans issues. He probably does not even know what he is paid by the VA now.

Edited by Pete53
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  • HadIt.com Elder

any attempt to make a two tier class of veterans needs to be pushed back hard we are all the same just the years of service are different.

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I think that Sen Dole is an honorable man and definitely was one of us but he made a good and comfortable life for himself and is out of touch with Veterans issues. He probably does not even know what he is paid by the VA now.

i found his web site and told him while his work on these issues is good he really needs to walk in our shoes to see how it really feels when he says US older vets need to give more to the younger ones... If they can spend billions and billions on Iraq, troops in germany , japan , korea, etc etc.. then they can find the funds to give to the vets who made freedom a reality ..

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The Honorable George W. Bush

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We take this opportunity to address the proposed "America's Wounded

Warriors Act." While we have not officially received the bill, we

have seen what we understand is the final version, which is based on

the work of the Commission on Care for America's Wounded Service

Members (the Dole-Shalala Commission). We appreciate your work on

this issue which is so important to veterans and their families.

As you have noted, we share the common goal of improving the lives of

servicemembers and their families. Just last week, the Committee held

a hearing at which the Dole-Shalala Commission's findings were

examined, along with the work of other entities that have been

working on these issues. Congress is already acting on the very same

solutions as the Commission, particularly on matters of health care.

For example, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs has moved to improve

both TBI and mental health care. Provisions comparable to the

Commission's recommendations on health care have already been

integrated into the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1585)

through the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act (H.R.1538),

and are addressed in the proposed "Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury

Rehabilitation Act of 2007" (S. 1233), and the proposed "Mental

Health Improvements Act of 2007" (S. 2162).

We are pleased to note that your draft bill includes an expedited

initial evaluation for PTSD to combat veterans. In section 204 of S.

1233 and section 1709 of H.R. 1585, the Committee has moved to

require VA to provide a preliminary mental health evaluation to any

recently discharged combat veteran not later than thirty days after a

request for such an evaluation. While VA has made significant efforts

to provide veterans with mental health evaluations in a timely

manner, there is much room for improvement. VA has made progress in

reaching out to servicemembers in need of mental health care

services, and should continue to work diligently to provide those

services in a timely way.

Similarly, your draft legislation seeks to ensure that evaluation for

PTSD is afforded to veterans regardless of existing restrictions on

enrollment. Section 201 of the Committee-reported bill, S. 1233, and

section 1708 of H.R. 1585, extend the period during which veterans of

combat have eligibility for VA health care, without regard to other

criteria, from two to five years. We believe that this extension is

necessary to ensure combat veterans receive health care during their

transition to civilian life. With this extension, physical and mental

health disorders which may take years to manifest and treat,

including PTSD, will be better addressed. We are pleased that the

Administration supports this change in law.

Finally, we are gratified that the Commission recognized the

importance of services for veterans' family members. The Committee is

presently considering a comprehensive mental health bill, S. 2162,

which, among other things, would clarify and expand VA's existing

authority to provide services to the family members of a veteran,

when such services are deemed to be in the interest of the veteran.

This legislation would establish authority to provide to families the

full range of VA care, including mental health services. We share the

Administration's interest in improving resources and services

available to the families of America's veterans.

We have deep misgivings about the provisions of your bill that would

provide a basis for drastic changes to VA's disability compensation

system. As you know, these provisions would abrogate Congressional

authority, and would give the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the

authority to comprehensively rewrite VA's compensation system.

Further, it would inappropriately require the Secretary to accomplish

this monumental task over the span of mere months. Based on testimony

at the Committee's recent hearing, especially from the Chairman of

the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission, we do not believe this

time line is realistic.

In addition, as you have not yet sent a nomination to Congress for a

successor to Secretary Nicholson, we are understandably concerned

that a task of this magnitude and importance should not be undertaken

during a time when there is no permanent leadership at VA. In that

regard, we urge you to expedite the process of selecting a nominee,

and send that nomination to Congress. When a nomination is received

by our Committee, we will fulfill our Constitutional duty to provide

advice and consent on the nomination.

Mr. President, in closing, we urge you to work with the Republican

leadership in the Senate to ensure prompt passage of the health-

related legislation discussed above which addresses matters

recommended by the Dole-Shalala Commission.

Daniel Akaka


Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

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They already have created a two tier veterans


Those who get a legal VCAA letter and those who dont-

The ones who dont are all at the BVA on remand or will be in the future -their claim is doomed without this important letter-specifica to their claim and what they need to send as well as receipt of and returning to the RO of the election notice.

I will be talking to Congressman Filner =hopefully-to night about this illegal practice that -in my opinion- discriminates against thousands of veterans and widows.

How are these new vets going to succeed in viable claims if they too become part of the remand due to VCAA violations.

I know I keep bringing this up here- but this is costing vets needless delays in their compensation and some of them have died waiting.

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