Wounded Warriors Entangled in Bureaucratic Nightmare Navigating Military Health Care

With two wars that have produced tens of thousands of wounded warriors, a system that should be there to ease wounded soldiers through services has created a bureaucratic nightmare for wounded soldiers and their families.  A few years ago, there was concern that recovering troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center were getting lost in the system.  A commission recommended that wounded service members be assigned to a simple contact “a Federal Service Coordinator.”  This has had exactly the opposite effect.

Instead of dealing with one contact, there is duplication of services and jurisdiction leaving wounded warriors and their families confused.

It is difficult enough to deal with the life changing wounds from foreign wars, just to return home and to deal with bureaucracies.  We owe our Veterans an easier system to navigate through.  The problem also exists in Canada, where Veterans Advocates have pointed the fingers at Veterans Affairs for making the life of wounded warriors miserable.   Society sends these young men to war and society has an obligation to look after them.  This includes making navigation through the system effortless.

If Veteran’s Health Care is an indication how government programs work, imagine the bureaucracy and regulations to navigate through “Obamacare.”  Is it that difficult to set up a hierarchy where a veteran deals with one coordinator, who arranges the services?   Apparently so.

With an increasing number of Veterans and their families requiring services to lead to rehabilitation and integration into society, it is incumbent on politicians and bureaucrats to fix the system.   Veterans, with all the mental stress they are already burdened with, don’t need more stress imposed by a bureaucracy that should ease the road to recovery.


Reforms meant to streamline military health care for severely wounded service members have in many cases worsened the bureaucracy, causing duplication, confusion and turf battles, according to families, congressional overseers and advocates for veterans.After reports that troops recovering from catastrophic wounds at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other facilities were getting lost in the military’s system, a high-profile commission recommended in 2007 that every severely wounded service member be assigned a federal recovery coordinator. This “single point of contact” was to cut red tape and shepherd the wounded through recovery and the transition back to military duty or civilian life.

But at least a dozen Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs programs have sprung up to coordinate the care.

The proliferation of programs and case managers, intended to better manage health care, “may actually have the opposite effect,” Debra Draper, health-care director for the Government Accountability Office, told a congressional committee last month.

via – The Washington Post.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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