Today I went to the Veteran’s hospital in Chillicothe for an eye exam. It was my first visit for that particular service and one again it went off without a glitch. Everyone was professional, courteous, and genuinely friendly. It was without doubt the most thorough eye exam I’ve ever had.
The main exam was done by a student ophthalmologist from Ohio State University and his work was followed up by a staff doctor. The doctor told me my eyes were typical of people my age but to be sure they hadn’t missed anything they needed to take a series of photos of the interior of my eyes. Once finished I was sent to the optical shop to pick out a new set of spectacles.
Like any eye doctor’s office they had a selection of frames covered by the plan and others that cost extra. I chose a set of frames within the plan but had to pay an $85 for transition lenses. The terms of VA optical care allow one pair of glasses a year at no cost for the basics. I only had to pay for the transition option.
While I was still in the optical shop the VA doctor came in and said they had found something in the pictures he wanted to show me. So, we went back to his office and he showed me a photo of my right retina that could be the beginnings of a detachment. Just to make sure he suggested a second opinion and that I should see a retina specialist at the VA in Columbus. I agreed and before I left they had made me an appointment and printed out a map from my home to their Columbus facility. Today was Friday and the appointment was for Monday of next week. I don’t know if such a quick response is normal but I was pretty pleased with it.
Now, here my purpose for telling this story. While I have never liked Obamacare I’ve defended it as a beginning to resolving our fractured healthcare system. After having been a patient of the VA system for over a year I’ve concluded that if the Congress of the United States really wants to do something wonderful for the American people they should go back into session after the Christmas break and write a bipartisan bill that would set up a VA type healthcare system for every citizen of this nation. They should put their political futures on the line and all vote in the affirmative. The last section of the new law should include a clause that overturns Obamacare immediately after the new system has taken effect.
There is no justifiable reason a non-combat veteran such as myself should have the kind of care I’ve received from the VA while tens of millions have little to no coverage at all.
UPDATE: I had my appointment with the VA’s retina specialist yesterday and it was once again a perfect experience. And the news was good. I don’t have a detached retina and the only thing wrong with my eyes is they are not 18 any longer. Just age related stuff. VA for all!