Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Me, for instance.

Cox News Service — Nearly 1.8 million U.S. veterans are without health insurance, and more than half of them said they have no place to go when they are sick, Harvard Medical School researchers reported Tuesday.


The researchers said the uninsured veterans are primarily low- to middle-income workers, aged 44 to 64, who are too poor to afford private insurance coverage but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or VA health care.

The researchers said the main cause for the large number of uninsured veterans was the narrowing of eligibility for health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2003, the Bush administration limited VA health care eligibility to veterans with combat-related health problems or those making less than $30,000 a year.
Actually, I'm not sure how entitled I feel to VA care. Certainly I agree with the principle that my brother's Purple Heart moves him ahead of me in the line, and retirees, likewise, should have prior call. Still, I'm one of those who simply can't afford to find out whether there's anything wrong with me, because there's really nothing I can afford to do about it. I'm blessed with good health, or at least the sense of good health. Good luck, too. In 56 years, I've never spent a night as a patient in a hospital, never had a broken bone and have no complaints other than the inevitable symptoms of advancing age.

As a single enlistment soldier with no service connected disabilities, I'd be happy to have a spot at the back of the VA line, but there's no line at all for veterans like me. I'm not sure there should be, but I sure wish there was.

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