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Bob Raphael


Bob Raphael's activity stream

  • commented on Privatize the VA? 2016-12-05 08:43:00 -0500
    Firstly - I respect Duffy’s opinion and of course her personal experience . Secondly , for the record , I do not interact with VA Healthcare System and have not done so , except for two Comp Exams , in the last 25 years . Indeed actually receiving care goes back 40 years. I have , in that time , availed myself of Employment based Health Insurance and , over the past five years Medicare . So my actual experience with VA Healthcare goes back a very long time - and at that time it was sub standard - the system was not adequately prepared for “us” . Today I hear many opinions - some praise the system and some deplore it -- it is all personal. The system is once again inadequate to my generation as it struggles with the very different needs of the younger generation.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs has not had competent leadership in many years and this is non partisan - it has also been inadequately funded by congress - again for the most part in a non partisan manner.

    I have proposed and continue to propose these improvements :

    1. Seperate Healthcare from all other VA functions and have two Secretaries in the Cabinet .
    2. Do not privatize BUT give all Veterans with Service Connected Compensation at 50% or above the CHOICE of fully paid Medicare or VA Healthcare — the choice can only be changed every 3 years .
    3. Allow prescription drugs authorized by private physicians to be filled through the VA.
    4. Disallow bonuses of any kind for VA Employees but raise the pay scale .
    5. Streamline the process of firing employees and disallow all unionization .
    6. Integrate the Military health record with The VA Healthcare System upon discharge or retirement.
  • commented on Top Ten Veteran Presidents 2016-02-15 18:56:13 -0500
    I was recently asked if I felt that Military Service was a pre requisite or a litmus test for my support of a candidate . My answer : absolutely not a pre requisite but definitely a consideration . In my life time three of our worse presidents served in the Military : Kennedy , Carter , Reagan .
  • commented on Community Mental Health Summit at the Manhattan VAMC 2015-09-26 15:28:02 -0400
    I did not attend this summit but I attended several others. I have not utilized the VA Healthcare System since 1978 and will never use it since I have other choices – but that is personal decision and I am not commenting to bash the VA Healthcare System – we all know its egregious failures of leadership.

    My comments are on Veterans suicides:

    1. While the #22 has been a rallying cry it is so totally misleading that it actually impedes understanding and therefore impedes effective interventions.

    2. The recent disclosure that 13 young Marines from the same unit (2/7) between the ages of 21 and 29 with none at a rank higher than E-5 took their own lives is worthy of in depth study – this tragedy is almost incomprehensible from many viewpoints and may be quite revealing.

    3. Each Veteran suicide is unique but each has a degree of hopelessness – interventions must be aimed at the sources of hopelessness – not simply at “mental health.”