Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are getting frustrated about President Obama’s apparent lack of urgency in speeding up the claims process for veterans waiting nearly a year on average to get processed by the VA.
Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) today sent Obama a letter asking the president to take “direct action and involvement” in ending the backlog in which more than 600,000 veterans are stuck.
Sixty-five other senators joined on to the plea for the president to get things moving.
Some vets have been forced to wait more than 1,000 days. More than half of the total backlog consists of Vietnam and Gulf War veterans.
Over Obama’s first term, the Department of Veterans Affairs budget increased 40 percent but the number of claims pending for more than a year jumped by more than 2,000 percent.
“As a reminder, during this same time period, Congress has given VA everything it has asked for in terms of more funding and more employees; however, this has not eliminated the backlog of claims,” the senators wrote. “Solving this problem is critical for veterans of all generations. We need direct and public involvement from you to establish a clear plan to end the backlog once and for all.”
“This country must be grateful for the safe homecoming of every single man and woman who has served in harm’s way. Our joy at their return must be reflected in our commitment to helping all who have served.”
Toomey said the VA’s two regional offices in his home state are mired in more than 23,000 unprocessed claims.
While the average wait time for first-time disability claims currently ranges between 316 and 327 days, veterans in certain parts of the country are waiting even longer – 681 days in Reno, 642 in New York, 625 in Pittsburgh, 619 in Los Angeles, 612 in Indianapolis, 586 in Houston, and 510 in Philadelphia, the senators noted.
I can't think of anything that has garned this kind of bipartisan support over the last five years.
Yet the President does nothing.
I take that back. He did have time to comment on an NBA player coming out of the closet yesterday.
In a memo to employees, management was blunt: “To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law's definition of a full-time employee.”
Fox News reports that, as a result of cutting employees' work hours (which is, of course, the same as a pay cut), full-time Regal managers have resigned in "a wave" after their hours and pay checks were slashed by as much as twenty-five percent.
The manager told FoxNews.com ObamaCare has had the unintended consequence of taking food off his table.
“Mandating businesses to offer health care under threat of debilitating fines does not fix a problem, it creates one," he said. "It fosters a new business culture where 30 hours is now considered the maximum in order to avoid paying the high costs associated with this law.
“In a time where 40 hours is just getting us by, putting these kind of financial pressures on employers is a big step in a direction far beyond the reach of feasibility for not only the businesses, but for the employees who rely on their success," he said.
In order to avoid the added cost of providing health insurance for employees working 30 hours a week (as ObamaCare mandates), it only makes sense for companies to schedule employees for 29 hours. So anyone who was working full-time is now being hit with a 25% pay cut.
I wonder how many of those Regal employees voted for Obama.
Newly freed prisoners traditionally walk away from the penitentiary with a bus ticket and a few dollars in their pockets. Starting in January, many of the 650,000 inmates released from prison each year will be eligible for something else: health care by way of Medicaid, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
A sizeable portion of the nearly 5 million ex-offenders who are on parole or probation at any given time will also be covered.
The expansion of Medicaid, a key provision of the health care reform law, is the main vehicle for delivering health insurance to former prisoners.
Jack Hoffman just might go down as the biggest star of the Nebraska spring game. And he’s only 7 years old. Hoffman, of Atkinson, Neb., has won the hearts of fans and everyone in the football program for his courageous bout with brain cancer. Star running back Rex Burkhead befriended Jack last year and is the captain of the support network known as “Team Jack.” Wearing a miniature Burkhead uniform complete with a No. 22 jersey, Jack ran onto the field late in Saturday’s scrimmage. On a fourth-and-1 play, he took a handoff from Taylor Martinez. Jack started running left, but Martinez redirected him. The little guy turned on a dime and followed a wall of blockers down the field. Players from the Red and White squads left their sidelines and followed him into the end zone to mob him and lift him on their shoulders after his 69-yard touchdown. The crowd of 60,174 at Memorial Stadium cheered as Jack celebrated — a moment that left his father, Andy, misty-eyed on the sideline. Asked what he was thinking when he ran onto the field, Jack said, “Scoring a touchdown.” And when he broke free and scored? “It felt awesome.” And the crowd reaction? “Really awesome.”
A study of lab mice, published on Wednesday, begs to differ. It concludes that one of the most common and effective forms of bariatric surgery, called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, melts away pounds not - or not only - by re-routing the digestive tract, as long thought, but by changing the bacteria in the gut.
Or, in non-scientific terms, the surgery somehow replaces fattening microbes with slimming ones.
If that occurs in people, too, then the same bacteria-changing legerdemain achieved by gastric bypass might be accomplished without putting obese patients under the knife in an expensive and risky operation.
"These elegant experiments show that you can mimic the action of surgery with something less invasive," said Dr. Francesco Rubino of Catholic University in Rome and a pioneer in gastric-bypass surgery. "For instance, you might transfer bacteria or even manipulate the diet" to encourage slimming bacteria and squelch fattening kinds, said Rubino, who was not involved in the study.
Obamacare turns three tomorrow. Here's what we know now, that we didn't know then. Most of us on the Right predicted these things that have come true Perhaps folks would do well to listen more closely as we continue to move forward with this shoddy piece of legislation.
Obamacare’s formal name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, even Democrats are skeptical that the law will improve health care quality and reduce costs.
Kaiser’s health tracking poll found that 37 percent of Democrats said “the cost of health care for the nation as a whole” would be better as a result of the law, just 39 percent said health care quality would be better and 27 percent said consumer protections for private insurance would be better. However, 53 percent of Democrats said the law would improve access to health care for the uninsured.
So 63% of Democrats think costs for healthcare will be worse because of Obamacare, and 61% of Democrats think quality of care under Obamacare will be worse.
The trick for Democrats is now to try and find a way to blame Republicans for this monstrosity.