Message to the President
I implore President Trump to issue an Executive Order...
My message to you today is intended to eventually have the attention of our President, Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump is a staunch, born leader. He is a man of principles. He is a bold man that confronts challenges with directness and honesty. A true Patriot, President Trump and his staff, have already begun the overwhelming task of re-shaping our Veterans Administration, and the services provided for our brave men and women. He has established a program to assist these individuals in their return to civilian life. For that effort, I salute him.
However, there is a specific component of the referenced services that is applicable to many of our Veterans who return with disabilities.
I'm speaking of the mathematically flawed and outdated Combined Ratings Table. Whereas I, and my fellow Veterans and colleagues are quite appreciative of the VA's actions to educate us on how it is employed, it is still quite antiquated.
For many years we have reached out with the question of "Why?" Why are we using a methodology that is incomplete and often unfair to the Veteran? The standard answer is that it is required by law. Specifically, CPR 38 4.25, which is nothing more than an explanation of usage. One hundred years of continued employment of this Combined Ratings Table, without regard to the changes in modern warfare and societal circumstance, is enough. The focus of the recognition of disability refers to occupational and social impairment. Reduced reliability and productivity are the results of such.
Thus, a Professor of Actuary Science was consulted on the issue. A portion of his reply follows: " An example would go like this : If the loss of one eye is deemed to be 50% disability, and then the loss of the second eye is considered 25% disability, that is illogical. The loss of the second eye is actually another 50% impairment. This adds to a total of 100%, not 75% as the table concludes.. Most secondary disabilities are not independent of the first. It is the same human being. Each subsequent impairing wound produces a cumulative effect.
It is cold-hearted to assume separation. Initially, 100 years ago, this ideology may have been acceptable, but it would not be deemed accurate today."
One need not be a Professor to see the discrepancy. It is ridiculous to think that the VA is not aware of the glaring flaws. As previously stated, I have tried for years to enlighten the VA that they are consulting a Table that is not fully utilized for its original intent; to Combine Ratings. Quite a few attempts have been made to communicate: via DC Hot-line, VA Benefits Department and the closest Regional office. I have been retorted to by all three, with the fact that these operations do not speak directly with Veterans. Therefore, I've had no response or direct communication.
The solution is quite simple. Secretary Shulkin could abolish ( not replace ) the Table. There are other means by which the dilemma can be solved. If it is not in Mr. Secretary's power to do so, I implore President Trump to issue an Executive Order to that effect. Several ideas on the matter are currently being discussed, if I am properly informed. The more that Veterans view the explanation of the Table on the Veterans Health website, then more will conclude that it needs to be discontinued.
Please accept my sincere appreciation for your attention to this issue.