Ten ways the shutdown can hurt veterans

vet no leg

H.Res. 368: Relating to consideration of the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 59) making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and …

A Yea was a vote to shut down the government.  Scroll down to see how your Congressman voted:



–Veteran Sue (32 years old; single):  Sue is a self-employed accountant.  She has been diagnosed with lupus and cannot get private insurance at group rates.  The high risk pool rate is too expensive.  She saved for her retirement during her 8 years in the Army and earns a little too much to be eligible for VA health care.  She says veterans have been penalized for saving in IRA plans. If she liquidates $30,000 of her retirement funds (with 10% penalty because she’s young) and spent it, she might be eligible for VA health care. But she knows that her health is precarious and doesn’t feel safe raiding her retirement fund.  She’s planning on buying health care through her state’s marketplace.

–Veteran Sam (25 years; single) is newly separated from the Navy.  He started college full-time in Sept. on the GI Bill.  He also works part-time to pay his bills.  He will have to drop out of college if the shutdown continues for more than a few weeks because his GI Benefits will stop.

–Veteran Andy (62 years old; divorced. Raising a grandson, 10 years.) was diagnosed with HCV in 2002 while he was working for a small business.  He was treated with INF/RIBA for 6 months but relapsed.  Due to the resulting depression, he was not given another course.  In 2007, Andy was downsized (fired); he had COBRA insurance for 18 months. When it ran out, he applied for SSA disability, VA health care, and VA disability benefits for his HCV.   He was denied SSA disability benefits. He was denied VA health care because he had too much in assets.  In 2009, he was denied benefits for HCV.  He appealed and is waiting for a decision.   Andy has active HCV and now has cirrhosis of the liver.  He is 3 years away from getting Medicare.  Uninsurable, he is going to sign up for health care in Obamacare and will try to get the Gilead drugs to save his life and be there for his grandchild.

–Veteran Alice (35 years old; divorced, 2 young children) works as a custodian at the Environmental Protection Agency.  She has Federal health insurance but with a gross income of $36,000 a year,  her family lives paycheck to paycheck.  As a non-essential employee, she and over 95% of EPA employees are not at work today.  She has no emergency savings account and struggles to pay her rent.

–Veteran Henry (63 years old; married) is  a low-income service connected veteran with lung cancer.  He is covered by VA healthcare and receives his only income from his VA disability check.  His wife also has cancer and is covered on a Medicaid plan.  They are very worried because they’ve heard that if the shutdown continues past the 3rd week in October, this disability check will probably stop in November.  They don’t have any emergency savings to cover their November rent.

–Veteran Gloria (42, married, 3 kids) is waiting for her small business loan to be approved.  Her husband has a part-time job due to the bad economy and she has decided to go into business so they can avoid foreclosure on the home they financed with a VA loan 10 years ago.  Now her small business loan is delayed due to the shutdown and she’s paying more bills with her credit card.

–Veteran Mary (27 years old, married, 1 newborn).  Mary was planning to stay home with her baby for 3 months before returning to work.   However, her husband was told to go home from his lab technician job at the CDC so she will have to return to work early if the shutdown continues over 1 week.  She’s heartbroken since it took her 3 years to conceive her “miracle” baby.

–Veterans Albert and Joan (both 56 years old) saved for years to buy their motel near Yosemite National Park.  They’ve worked hard to build up a loyal clientele. During the past week, 50% of their reservations have cancelled. They had to let 2 chamber maids go until the shutdown is over.  They don’t know how they will pay their business loans if the shutdown lasts more than a week.  Albert is trying to stay calm so that his angina doesn’t act up.  He knows his private insurance company will cancel his expensive policy if he has a heart attack.

–Veteran James (32 years, married, 4 kids) have a contract to buy his first home.  He’s waiting for approval for his VA loan but if he can’t close by the date on his contract, he will lose the home to a back-up buyer.   He is frantic to get his family out of an apartment in a violent neighborhood with bad schools.  He’s finding it hard to afford a home in the area he hopes to move to.  He’s angry.

–Veteran Bill (78 years, married) has been told by his wife’ doctor to move to a warm climate.  They are on Medicare.  She broke her hip last year and has osteoporosis.  If she has another break, she might not recover.  They have a contract on their house.  The Buyers have a FHA loan pending.  If the house doesn’t close on time, Bill may lose the unit and the sizable deposit he has on a senior housing apartment unit in Florida.  They are very frustrated.

And the examples can go on.  If you are among the veterans who want the shutdown to end, Veterans must tell House members who voted Yea to vote on a clean “up or down” vote and stop attaching garbage to the government funding bill.  Make no mistake, VA disability checks and GI benefit checks may stop or be delayed while certain House members dilly dally and play their games with real lives.  This is unacceptable.

About Laura

NW Vermont.
This entry was posted in Food for thought, Guest authors, vA news and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Ten ways the shutdown can hurt veterans

  1. asknod says:

    Perhaps the one thing that concerns me about all of this and has not been discussed (oddly by those newsworthy sorts such as Colbert and Stewart) is the gaping dichotomy of what we were promised versus what we are now proffered. “You’ll be able to keep your own policy”. False. “You’ll be able to keep you old doctor”. False. “If anything, your costs will go down per month for your existing policy” False. ” Most people won’t even notice a change”. False. If the ACA is so wonderful, why did they have to lie about it so profusely? Why camouflage reality with mistruth? I think the idea is worthy but the implementation is rife with pitfalls. We are now told by the Progressives that any new program of this immensity will have a few bumps, but this far exceeds what we can afford now in the midst of a “decession”. Large corporations are laying off employees right and left or reducing their hours to force them into the ACA. This was never envisioned by the authors-only the nasty conservatives and Fox News. I become concerned anytime someone tells me where to get my propaganda fix from. There is nothing so glorious as freedom of the press. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    • Jeff says:

      So, the ACA is actually adding to the 47 percenters? Damn, if that’s the case, we should roll it back. I honestly thought that the ACA would help working class families. I was completely wrong about that. I really haven’t been watching much news other than getting my Stewart and Colbert fix. I live in a bubble between working hard and taking personal responsibility for my health, I haven’t been able to keep up with the negative effects of Obamacare. After BCBS raised my rates by over 35% in 2007, I had to get a second job to keep up. I’m probably going to need a third after I find out what my new healthcare premiums are next week during open enrollment.

      • asknod says:

        If someone knowledgeable in 1964 had told you that Medicaid/Medicare would never mushroom out of proportion and engulf the budget, would you have believed them? In any stampede to the trough on a new program, the very technique to getting it passed is to assuage everyone’s fears about what it will or won’t do. I agree it is positive in that it encompasses those with no medical coverage but how can it be “revenue neutral” to all of us and cost less when we invite 35 million indigents in for free? I just got my letter this AM saying my doctors are not available to me in the existing plan. That was prefaced last week by the letter I received saying my plan would not be available in 2014 because it doesn’t comply with the predicates of the ACA. Hello? We won’t notice any difference and we get to keep our doctors? What’s next? Pacific Ocean waterfront properties in Arizona for pennies an acre? Followed, of course, by an obscure codicil in small print that says “Dealer prep. and destination fees extra. Does not include fuel surcharge. May not be available in most states. Some properties may be under water and unbuildable. Your Government makes no guarantees information is accurate.”

  2. Jeff says:

    Term limits for members of Congress would be an excellent start. Maybe it’s just me, but when a member of Congress is not running for re-election, they don’t mind putting Americans first, rather than their party loyalty. Eliminate the gerrymandering so the minority (of either party) will not hijack what is supposed to be a democratic process. Eighty members of Congress are seriously acting like five year-olds that can’t get their way (as noted by many others).

  3. Jeff says:

    You are seriously blaming President Obama for not passing the CR? Are you serious??? Stop watching Fox news – better yet, you’d be better off watching Jon Stewart or Colbert to get your news. Delay is actually killing health care for millions that need it. What about the $1 trillion we’ve spent in Iraq, and the $60 billion per year for Medicare Part D passed primarily by Republicans. Where in the hell were the Tea Party then? Makes me freaking sick that $1.5 trillion has been spent in Afghan and Iraq combined, thousands of our brothers and sisters dies, and many thousands injured and depend on a horrible VA healthcare system. We need bipartisan politicians in Washington from both sides – it is not all one party – get real

  4. Rob says:

    I told Obama in a email they need to delay this thing for one year and fix the issues. I don’t research on what AskNod posted on here about using the VA HC and not being able to use the subsidies on the insurance. This is a huge problem and Obama is holding us Veterans hostage because we won’t be able to afford this health insurance. NOWAY…I guess its time to setup my own flexible spending account at my bank to use for private doctors. There are a lot of issues with Obamacare. I like the idea but fix the problems before implementing it. He delayed it for a year for corporation why not everybody else?

    I think we need in both the House and Senate and we need to figure out how to start our own party that will work FOR THE PEOPLE and NOT for themselves. The House voted for Obamacare and now they want to delay it. So its a no win situation for both the Senate and House and Obama.

    Its time for real change!!!! All across the board. Do away with all these lobbyist, make it illegal and do away with all the money being pocketed by the members of the house and senate. They work more for the Corporation of this country than they do for us.

    • Kiedove says:

      The problem with delaying one year is that thousands of people can’t wait a year to get insured. They are sick and dying now. I gave the example an example of a disabled veterans with Hepatitis C, stage 4. He is in danger of liver failure. Like almost every VET with HCV, he has been denied VA disability for SC Hepatitis C. His family has over $80,000 in assets and income so he can’t get VA health care. Social Security has denied his claims. He needs a liver or the new meds NOW!. Or he needs the new meds. No insurance company will touch this disabled veteran because of his pre-existing condition. An imperfect law that will allow our vet (and family members) to buy health insurance is what we want!!!
      The previous House passed Obama care because the Dems controlled the House. Republicans got control of the House in the last election and are trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act. Why? Because they do not believe that uninsured people should be able to get a tax break that would enable them to buy insurance. It’s a case of “I’ve got mine (insurance)–to hell with you all. The have-nots can go die under a bridge somewhere.
      I’ve looked at this issue carefully. I didn’t vote for President Obama because Mitt Romney did an amazing job in MASS with Romney Care! I believed that Mitt would do a good job with a national health care plan too because everyone in MA got covered when he was governor. However, five million Americans didn’t agree. They voted for Pres. Obama in for a second term to finish the job. I respect the will of the people and I have come to appreciate just how how good the Affordable Care Act is–and will be with some modifications going forward. It will save lives and money going forward. The talking heads on cable don’t influence me. Facts influence me. I trust myself the ferret them out.
      Now, I never thought I’d sound like Bernie Sanders, but the same jerks who have shut the government down, are the same jerks who vote for tax subsidies for big corporations and, yes, the very wealthy. They do not care about veterans who have earned and need VA benefits. They see it as just another form of welfare.

  5. karen stern says:

    Totally unacceptable, and I told my House member exactly that. Thank you for keeping us informed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.