Local VA clinic top-notch, but agency still flawed

June 3, 2014 

If you want to see the future of Obamacare, consider the troubled VA. I have had very good and bad services there.

They took over two years to acknowledge my 25-year marriage, after sending our marriage license and proper forms.

The local clinic, on State Road 64, where staff is always kind and professional, is top-notch.

Dr. Reuben Hernandez and his nurse Barbara do a great job, though I sense they are stretched a bit thin with all the people they see.

The eye clinic is the best I have seen.

I have minor service-connected issues compared to others. My latest related to back injuries. I am told VA care could take six months to a year.

Bonati could take me immediately, but are not VA or Medicare approved. Medicare and private doctors saw me in a week for herniated disks and severe pain.

On VA visits I have sat next to disfigured young men missing legs, arms and eyes. I am almost ashamed to be there for something so menial.

At 65, I have Medicare and all my life I had great pre-ACA insurance through my employer. VA is all these young men have. VA lines are frequently excessive for those who have honorably served. Our nation's promises have been broken too often, for too long.

The VA should offer services both at VA facilities or at any licensed medical facility by just showing one's VA card, much like Social Security. That seems an easy solution to me.

David R. Kraner

Palmetto

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