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OK Here's a Bird's Eye view of National Health Care

Updated on November 20, 2009

Let me tell you about the Military Health Care System


Here's just a peek of what you are in for if we end up with a nationalized - government run - health care plan. I'm going to give you just a few examples of the AGONY of trying to deal with the Army's healthcare insurance, we lovingly call "Trying Care" but which is actually called "Tri-Care."

Congress - in their infinite wisdom, decided to implement this program - forced upon all the military as I understand it - forced most definitely on the Army. Mind you - when my husband first took his oath before attending the United States Military Academy at West Point - he was PROMISED "free health care for life." Well - Congress changed all that - telling us this NEW government run health-care insurance plan would be SO MUCH BETTER (but they of course, didn't take it on for themselves). Prior to that - the Army would give health care in Army clinics. Sub par already - but trust me, Try-Care - ahem - Tri-Care is no picnic.

My husband was stationed back at the military academy when Congress implemented the program initially. We were the test subjects. We were not amused, but what choice did we have? The new implementation took place in the early 1990's.

That was then - this is now - after YEARS of "improvements" we had this happen to us MOST recently. [We have been asked continuously over the years to take surveys - and I mean - mailed to us and we were essentially told we HAD to fill out these 15 page surveys - so many I can't count. Trust me - I didn't give a glowing report. But has anyone listened???]

Our daughter-in-law Kristen came from Tri-Care West - where she had her "Family Practice Doctor" (she actually had doctors - she never ended up assigned to one - so she went to Madigan Army Medical Center and saw a string of doctors for her pre-pregnancy care and then for her subsequent care and Kaylee's care after her birth).

She came here to Michigan and now needed to enroll in Tri-Care North. Recently, Kaylee had to be seen semi-urgently at my family practice doctor who I knew accepted Tri-Care and who agreed to squeeze Kaylee in the day we called. Just prior to the appointment - we started calling Tri-Care to make certain they would cover the office visit.

TWO HOURS LATER - with us rushing out the door and my husband taking over the phone call (Kristen has given my husband Power of Attorney). Still no confirmation that this visit would be covered.

My husband sent in all needed paper-work via FAX to enroll Kristen in Tri-Care Prime, here in Michigan (the person over the phone said she didn't need to enroll in Tri-Care North, she had to enroll in Tri-Care Prime). The only thing she had to do, according to that lengthy phone call my husband took part in - was to get a "referral" from her Family Practice doctor at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Over two dozen phone calls later - we find out - Kristen and Kaylee CAN'T be enrolled in Tri-Care Prime - and since this had happened via FAX - she had to UN-ENROLL. We found out that it was "impossible" for them to be enrolled no matter what was FAXed in. So now she had to unenroll.

As Scooby Doo would say, "Huuuuh?"

Well - the question was - if Kristen CAN'T BE ENROLLED (They were looking at their computer screen when they said this), and they said she wasn't enrolled, HOW DOES SHE UN-ENROLL IN SOMETHING SHE NEVER ENROLLED IN IN THE FIRST PLACE?

She HAD to do it and they sent her to a web page where she had to fill out FIVE forms. THEN - once that was completed, she could enroll in Tri-Care North and THEN she had to call her family Practice Doctor in Washington/Madigan - and THEN get the referral (Mind you, Kristen was never assigned any one doctor).

Is your head spinning yet??? Mine sure is!

As Kristen carefully read the documents she was about send to un-enroll in something she couldn't possibly enroll in - she realized, if she signed and sent - she could NEVER be enrolled in Tri-Care Prime ever again - she waived all rights. This is the ONLY care that she could receive through the Army Hospital at Ft. Lewis, WA even if she WANTED to pay. In other words, if she un-enrolled in Tri-Care Prime she could not be seen at Madigan Army Medical Center - where she plans to go back and live once my son returns from Afghanistan. If she had signed and sent that form.she would have been refused any care at Army Madigan Medical Center for life (it said that right on the papers).

So - another round of calls, FAXed papers - hours later - she FINALLY got it all straightened out so she can see the local Lansing area Family Practice Doctor while she stays with us until my son returns from serving Afghanistan and have that almost urgent care visit for Kaylee covered.

If you think that this snafu is a rare occurance with regard to Army Health Care insurance which is so cleveryly run by the government - think again!

Please allow me to share just one more example of how well our government takes care of soldier's families who are deployed. While this happened awhile ago - please rest assured, these the very thing I'm describing below is happening all over the world to U.S. Military Family Members in particular, when they do not have a local military facility to receive care in. 

I take you now to West Point on the Hudson River - the U.S. Military Academy in New York. My husband had always gone to the Optical department of the on-site Army Medical Facility to get his annual eye check while stationed there and years before as a Cadet. He walked in one day because he happened to have business near-by. He needed to make an appointment. It had - in the past - prior to implementation of Tri-Care - been as simple as 1-2-3.

My husband walked up to the desk and said, "I'd like to make an appointment." The woman sitting behind the desk behind a computer motioned to a phone on the wall behind him and said, "You have to call central appointments now in order to make an appointment."

So, my husband walked over to the phone with the phone number the woman handed him and made the call. He had to go through various pre-recorded menues to get to appointments but finally a person answered. He told them he wanted to make an appointment at the West Point Army Medical Clinic and the woman on the other end of the phone replied, "They don't have any openings for three months out and we don't go any further out than that."

So Mark called over to the woman right there in the clinic, behind the computer who was filing her nails - and told her she had no appointments open. She clicked a few things on her keyboard and said, "I'm looking at it right here, we have plenty of appointments open, we have 12 openings just next week!"

Is anyone following me here?

This back and forth went on like this for about a half hour - with my husband relaying information to someone in Indiana, from the woman behind the desk in West Point, New York, at the very clinic in New York he needed the appointment at.

Sigh..let me tell you something - get mad. Get VERY MAD. Do NOT allow these lug heads who are OUR - the emphasis is on OUR-- elected officials to ram through this horrible nationalized healthcare plan. Trust me when I say it HAS to be about 100 times worse.

My husband and so many others like him who risk all have decent Health Care, don't get me wrong. However, it is a nightmare for all of us who have to use the Military Health Care Plan to implement it sometimes. Only recently was I able to even make a regular appointment with my Health Care Provider without jumping through hoops to make sure I'm covered before even going. If I needed a referral, it often can be a crap-shoot - am I covered before my appointment or not (even though my doctor the very day she gave me the referral will have FAXed all of the important documents the day of ther referral)?

If this Health Care does pass - we're in for it. As so many have said, this nation as we know it is OVER! BUT - there's a silver lining - perhaps when we boot them all out beginning in 2010 some of the newbies can reverse the damage. Only God knows the ultimate turn of events and how this will all come out.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      The same Liberals that vilified Bush for the conditions at Walter Reed now want their government to take over everyone's health care. The same Liberals that moaned and groaned when FEMA couldn't get water bottles to Katrina survivors now want bureaucrats deciding who gets a mammogram. Sigh.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 

      8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      And this is where we are headed. God bless us all!

      Thanks for you hub, I hope things are going better for you.

      Keep on Hubbing!

    • cjv123 profile imageAUTHOR

      Carol 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Pop - it's a blessing to know military wives along with our soldiers have the support of the people because the Lord knows we don't have it from the President!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      Dear cj,

      You, your husband, your children deserve better. This country owes you and your family everything!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 

      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      My Zena used to deal with this on a daily basis that's why I called her the Warrior Princess, it was and is a real battle just to get what you are authorized. God Bless you and yours and God help the rest!

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