Friday, August 3, 2007

If the VA can't provide Healthcare to our Veterans...Who pays for Private Military Contractors?

As the Untied States continues to outsource the war of terror to private military contractors they are perpetuating a health care catastrophe. The VA has had problems accommodating the increase in injuries and post traumatic stress disorders as our soldiers are returning from the theater of war. If the VA is having problems accommodating veterans at their own facilities...who is going to accommodate our sub 'machine gun' contractors?

America now has two distinct armies fighting in the war of terror. Our standard nation state military, as well as, the new breed of sub 'machine gun' contractors. As the VA begins to accelerate military service programs for expected increases of soldiers injuries and war related mental illnesses, our public health care system is doing nothing. It remains business as usual. These contractors are finding themselves in a particular position. The VA will take care of their own, but these private corporate armies have little if any Health care plan at all.
“To my knowledge, it has not been looked at systematically,” said Dr. Matthew J. Friedman, a V.A. official, National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
What is to become of them? Are we going to have crazed....mercenary trained soldiers wandering around the country with mental illnesses and long term injuries who lack proper health care?

When faced with the public health care system many contractors will find themselves having to pay their own way. Insurance companies and drug manufacturers rule the day. Micheal Moore's SICKO comes to mind.
"Contract workers who are wounded or disabled in the war zone are treated in military hospitals in Iraq and Germany, but once home, they are not eligible for care in the military or VA system. And unlike troops, they are not routinely evaluated for mental or stress disorders after their tours." James Risen, NYT
Surely these contractors will have to navigate the health care system on their own. They will face the same challenges that Sally Joe and Pops McGee encounter each and everyday.
"The contrast between the way the military and the civilian contractors are handled on P.T.S.D. is like night and day. The contractors have to figure it out on their own, and they often have to litigate it with the insurance company." Garry Pitts, Houston lawyer
Insurance claims will be filed, preliminary tests required, procedures done...but at what cost? Even though they fought on America's side, these contractors once their job is done, will be left with all the same maladies as our national military, but with no help. No help from the government, no help from their corporations who employed them to fight for America's war of terror. Does this not preclude another disaster?

For a party of family values and compassionate sure seems that the GOP are in it for themselves. Mission Accomplished...we get it. Perpetuating this war of terror is costing our Nation much more than money. Families are being destroyed. Alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, and other 'adjustment issues' will undoubtedly rise as our soldiers and contractors come home from the theater of war. Many will need some sort of medical/mental attention yet, only some will receive the much needed care.

Our nation is crumbling around US. Globally we are frowned upon. We have terror alerts out for what seems to be half the worlds nations. Our national transportation infrastructure is falling down around US. Our government is outsourcing a war that has cost 1 trillion dollars in the present. Even Iraq's Green Zone has been contracted out. Who is the enemy? These figures will undoubtedly rise in the future. Everyday this war escalates...another future problem is laid at the feet of our children. We are not paying for this war...They are. They are the ones that will have to face the problems this war has created. This war of terror is a generational war. The old guard wants to pursue it. Their children want it STOPPED.

Same Players. Different Scandal.

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