This is the government's way of Supporting the Troops?
[url=http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080519_when_it_costs_too_much_to_support_the_troops/]When It Costs Too Much to Support the Troops
by Marie Cocco
The comment was outrageous, but it was not the least bit surprising. A psychologist responsible for assessing returning war veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder—a psychological ailment that could entitle them to monthly disability payments—told staff members not to diagnose the illness because to do so would increase the government’s costs.
“Given that we are having more and more compensation-seeking veterans, I’d like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out,” the psychologist at a Department of Veterans Affairs center in Texas wrote in an e-mail. She suggested diagnosing a less severe disorder that would not carry the greater long-term disability costs.
The correspondence was made public by VoteVets.org and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, two groups that have dogged the Bush administration about our latest national disgrace: the shoddy care and bureaucratic callousness shown toward the warriors who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with life-altering wounds of the body and spirit.
Of course, the morally indefensible missive was repudiated by higher-ups in the Department of Veterans Affairs as soon as it was revealed last week. And, of course, the persistent congressional outcry over the treatment of veterans—not to mention the onrushing election season—makes it more likely than not that some temporary alleviation of the pain and suffering vets endure in a system that is supposed to be serving them will be addressed. Somehow, some day, that is.