Reform the Veterans Administration System!
President George W. Bush, Congress and House/Senate VA Committees
USA Veterans and Supporters of USA Veterans Rights
More Info at:
It is time for the archaic VA system to undergo a major overhaul. Veterans rights are non-existent. We demand the right to access the federal court system as well as to have the right to secure representation without limits the VA now restricts us to. The laws that prohibit the payment and use of legal counsel in our claims process severely cripples the Veterans Right to due process under the law. This law clearly violates the civil rights of Veterans. We as Veterans want a fair and just system that affords us all the civil and judicial rights and freedoms enjoyed by the rest of the population. We do not currently have access or the privilege to such a system. We are not only denied such access, but the US Attorney, Civil Rights Division, fails to investigate Veterans civil complaints regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are told (unofficially of course) that the US Attorney is the VAs Attorney, yet when another citizen has their civil rights violated, the Justice Department gladly steps in. We are asking for our right to due process under the laws and the Constitution we swore to defend.
It is the demand of the following undersigned Veterans, Family members and Friends of Veterans, that the Congress enacts legislation that restructures the VA claims and Medical care process to allow the following changes.
1. The timely and fair adjudication of Veterans claims for compensation, without prejudice or malice.
2. Legal representation at all stages of the Veterans claims process. Removal of all restraints that prohibit the hiring and payment of private legal counsel necessary to prove the Veterans case.
3. Access to the Federal Court System closely mirroring the same guidelines as the Social Security claims process. This is to include the adoption of time limits and right to counsel policies that are currently in use by the Social Security Administration.
4. An end to the practice of 'Blanket Denial" of administrative tort claims that are filed as a result of injury at VA Medical Facilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs shall be held accountable in Civil Court for the actions and malpractice of its employees and Administrators.
5. The addition of oversight committees that are responsible for the investigation of Veterans Claims of injury and malpractice at VA Medical Facilities. These committees shall be composed of Veterans, Non VA Physicians and Non VA Lawyers. This will help curtail the practice of complaints that are "swept under the rug" and ignored by VA Administrators. In addition, VA Hospital Administrators and Directors would be required to turn over all letters of complaints filed by Veterans and their family members, along with a description of what remedy was given to alleviate the problem, to accreditation committees evaluating that facility for fitness and quality standards. Hospital administrators would be held accountable for fair and just remedy of these complaints. A failure to comply with this process would be considered a performance standard that directly relates to bonus payments and pay raises.
6. That competent, timely and safe medical and psychiatric care is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to all Veterans.
7. The registration and competency testing of ALL VA Physicians with the respective State Board of Medical Examiners, In the State that they are actively working in, not just the state they are licensed in. A basic requirement shall be that VA physicians, Nurses and Technicians be able to communicate in English so that they may effectively communicate with patients in both spoken, and written form.
8. That VA Facilities be required to turn over all documents and records in a timely and complete manner in order to assist a Veteran to accomplish the proper adjudication of his/her claim and to facilitate the care of the Veteran by outside providers. This shall include severe criminal penalties and civil liability for the destruction or altering of official medical and administrative files by VA employees and administrators.
9. That the Congress enforce the decisions of the Veterans Court of Appeals and the Board of Veterans Appeals upon VA Regional Offices and the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
10. That the US Attorney, Civil Rights Division, "cease and desist" the practice of ignoring Veterans Claims of Civil Rights Violations committed by the Department of Veteran Affairs against Veterans and investigate and prosecute all violations. We as Veterans deserve "equal and fair protection under the law" the same as the rest of the citizens of this country. The Justice Department needs to recognize Veterans as a part of that population.
11. We ask that The Congress enact legislation to restore the Rights and Dignity to those who served and to protect those rights from the constant erosion that has taken place. We ask that a system be enacted that guarantees the compassionate and respectful treatment of those who served this country. We ask that the respective Veterans Affairs Committees in the House act on these issues to insure that future enlistees that choose to serve their country have a guarantee that their service will not be forgotten or held in disrespect once they are discharged from active duty. We ask that they can expect competent, timely and safe medical care along with compensation for injuries received while defending this country in both peacetime and combat situations.
It is time to overhaul this broken and grossly unfair system. We ask for fairness, respect and dignity.
It is due to the sacrifices of the Veterans of this country that the rest of the population enjoys the rights and freedoms they have come to know and cherish, it is time for the Veteran to be afforded these same rights as well as the right to due process under the Constitution.
"IT IS THE SOLDIER, NOT THE POET, WHO GIVES US FREEDOM OF SPEECH. IT IS THE SOLDIER, NOT THE REPORTER, WHO GIVES US FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. IT IS THE SOLDIER, NOT THE CAMPUS ORGANIZER, WHO GIVES US FREEDOM TO PROTEST. IT IS THE SOLDIER WHO SERVES BENEATH THE FLAG, WHO SALUTES THE FLAG AND WHOSE COFFIN IS DRAPED BY THE FLAG, WHO GIVES THE DEMONSTRATOR THE RIGHT TO BURN THE FLAG."