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medical office they told him “Your tonsils have to come out, and you will get a card from us when the facilities are available."
We were instrumental in getting him right into a hospital and receiving what appeared to be urgent medical attention required.
That was just one of those incidents where there seems to be unnecessary delay and lack of attention.
Yet, in some instances I saw some of the medical people in the Veterans' Administration who were a little calloused and somewhat indifferent toward the needs and requirements of veterans. They took too much for granted. I don't know. They didn't seem to have the personal interest in the case which they might. Of course that all leads in the general direction of the danger of socialized medicine, and I think the Veterans' Administration is the closest thing to it now, and I am not criticizing it. It is one branch of the service that should be given the veteran, particularly the disabled. However, they need a shot in the arm to give them the personal, sympathetic and charitable treatment which they deserve.
Mrs. LUSK. Will the gentleman yield just a moment?
Mrs. Lusk. It is my impression it is a lack of personal feeling in the matter.
Mr. BAKEWELL. That is exactly what I was trying to explain.
Mrs. Lusk. The idea of mass treatment. They just run them through. For instance, as we say on the ranch, putting the cattle through the chute to vaccinate them.
Mr. Allen. Will the gentleman yield at that point?
Mr. ALLEN. I want to say when we made our first investigation about 2 or 3 years ago I found examples of doctors practicing by the clock, and I took the liberty of telling a bunch of doctors that people don't get sick and die by the clock. But last year, Madam Chairman, I found conditions decidedly improved. I didn't go into the same hospitals as before, but I found a decided improvement. I found a sympathetic feeling different from any I saw previously, a very sympathetic attitude over what I had witnessed before. But as long as we have this mass treatment you are always going to have some of that lack of care. There will probably always be some of this, but these conditions certainly must be eliminated as much as possible, because when the veteran goes in there he is entitled to immediate attention.
Mr. BAKEWELL. I might say along that line we visited a couple of hospitals and saw that attitude. I was particularly thinking about reception offices. It is there where there seems to be an indifference and apathy or carelessness, but not in the hospitals.
The CHAIRMAN. Will the gentleman yield?
The CHAIRMAN. Is it not true as a result of your activity and protest there is now assigned more people on emergency duty?
Mr. BAKEWELL. Yes, Madam.
The CHAIRMAN. They are getting better service as a result of your survey.
Mr. ALLEN. Madam Chairman, if I may have just a moment, I would like to bring up a related matter with Mr. Tate.
Occasionally veterans have occasion to have emergency hospitalization and it such an urgent condition that the veteran may not be able to get to a veterans' hospital. Maybe it will take three or four hours to get to a veterans' hospital and sometimes maybe the family doctor will say "Go downtown and see so-and-so and get him to operate on you.” Of course, he would have no chance to get approval from the Veterans' Administration.
Do you have cases like that?
Mr. TATE. We have cases like that, Mr. Allen. When they put in for reimbursement they have to do two things. They have to prove it was an emergency and that the condition was service-connected, and if you can prove that, under the circumstances you describe, you can secure reimbursement.
Mr. AllEN. I think I have had a few cases like that, and a little difficulty in one or two.
Mr. TATE. If you have any more difficulty we will be very glad to pitch in and help you.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Jones, who also made a very fine
survey. Mr. JONES. Mrs. Rogers, I would like to say the Disabled American Veterans down our way have done a fine job. We have two members of the city council in Charlotte who are disabled American veterans. They have done a splendid job and I have no criticism at all. I want to give you my hearty approval.
Mr. TATE. Mr. Jones, I knew that you were familiar with conditions down there.
I wonder if Mr. Bakewell would answer a question?
Mr. Tate. Did you make any such visits to our organization, that is, go in as a claimant?
Mr. BAKEWELL. In every city we visited we contacted immediately the representatives of the service organizations, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign wars and all the rest. We had the utmost cooperation of all the service representatives in every city.
We would usually call on them before we would start making our inspection and we found virtually in every instance that they could give us a bird's-eye view of just what the situation was in that area. That is the cooperation and it shows the efficiency of the work they were doing, and in almost every instance our subsequent studies and inspections confirmed just exactly what your representative told us.
In a sense they are a great police agency for the Veterans’ Administration. They really keep them on their toes.
Mr. Tate. I am glad to hear you say that, Mr. Bakewell. I am sure it was a pleasure for our men to cooperate with you and your associates.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to add also that I have found the Disabled American Veterans extremely helpful. I accept their assistance very eagerly because they have always come in with a straight bill as far as legislation is concerned.
Tomorrow morning there will be a hearing on insurance and also to consider a suggested bill, and that will be held at 10:30, and I thank you again very much for your very fine testimony.
Mr. Golob. In behalf of our organization I would like to extend my deepest thanks to yourself, Madam Chairman, and the members of
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. The committee will stand adjourned until 10:30 tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 11:50 a. m., the committee adjourned until 10:30 a. m., Tuesday, January 20, 1948.) SUMMARY AMVETS LEGISLATIVE OBJECTIVES-STATEMENT RAY
SAWYER, National LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR AMVETS OF World War II
1. Enactment of retirement for Reserve components of the armed forces based upon active and inactive service of not less than 20 years, at least 4 of which shall be active service.
2. Recommendation that the next vacancy occurring in membership of the Civil Service Commission be filled by the appointment of a qualified veteran of World War II.
3. Amendment of the National Service Life Insurance Act, as amended, so as to:
(1) Extend total disability provisions to include veterans totally disabled in line of duty, as provided for those "less than total in degree" under the present law;
(2) Delete the requirement of “dependency” of parents to receive payment under section 602 (d) (2) of the organic act;
(3) Increase the amount of automatic insurance from $5,000 to $10,000;
(4) Provide full $10,000 insurance coverage for the first 120 days of service. 4. Legislation providing that the Veterans' Administration shall reimburse any State workmen's compensation fund for all payments made under a State workmen's compensation act to service-connected veterans for “second injury" disabilities in the course of their employment.
5. Amend the Servicemen's Readjustment Act to extend its benefits to members of the WAAC who served at least 90 days on active duty, excepting those whose service was terminated by their own misconduct. 6. Increase the present income limitations of veterans' widows to
1,800 per year for an unremarried widow without children, and to $3,000 per year for an unremarried widow with children; and that the income limitation of a permanently and totally disabled veteran without dependents who is entitled to pension be raised to $1,800 and the limitation on permanently and totally disabled veterans with dependents entitled to non-service-connected pension be raised to $3,000.
7. Provide benefits for veterans of World War II who have arrested serviceconnected tuberculosis, such benefits to be equal to those accruing to the similar class of veterans of World War I.
8. Amend Public Law 483 of the Seventy-eighth Congress so as to extend the non-service-connected death pension payable to widows and children of World War II veterans so that it may apply to those dependents of deceased World War II veterans on the same basis as deceased veterans of World War I.
9. Urge Congress to pass legislation providing free automobiles to veterans of World War II who have suffered the loss, or loss of use, of one or both arms at or above the wrist as a direct result of war service, also service-connected blind included.
10. Request the Congress to do everything possible to implement the furtherance of experiment and scientific effort in order that the very best prosthetic appliances may be furnished to replace sacrificed limbs of our World War II veterans; and, further, that the Veterans' Administration be authorized and directed to produce and fit such appliances regardless of the expense entailed.
11. Amend Public Law 663 to permit veterans who are eligible to receive the $1,600 gratuity upon purchase of an automobile to receive such gratuity as part payment on a more expensive car when the veteran desires a car more suitable for operation by a disabled individual; and, further, to extend the benefits under Public Law 663 of the Seventy-ninth Congress to include all eligibles, regardless of the date of application, but not to extend beyond June 30, 1949.
12. Urge the enactment of legislation providing that the amounts of compensation and pension payable to disabled veterans, and to the dependents of disabled veterans, be automatically increased by 10 percent for each 10-percent increase in the cost of living by comparison with the cost of living during the calendar year of 1940, with similar downward adjustment but not below the basic rate.
13. Amend existing law so as to permit veterans' organizations recognized by the Veterans' Administration to purchase cigarettes for distribution to Army, Navy, and Veterans' Administration hospitals without payment of Federal taxes.
14. Enactment of legislation providing that service-connected totally disabled veterans be granted dependency allowances at the rate of at least $30 per month for wife, $20 per month for the first minor child, $15 for each additional minor child, and $25 for each dependent parent, and that a proportionate amount be paid to veterans receiving compensation or pension on the basis of partial serviceconnected disability.
15. Amend existing law to provide that the subsistence allowance of veterans attending school under the provisions of the GI bill of rights be raised from $65 to $90 a month for single veterans without dependents; from $90 to $105 per month for married veterans without children, and to provide $120 monthly for married veterans with one child, and $10 per month for each additional child.
16. Amend existing law to provide that WAAC personnel who suffered serviceconnected disabilities prior to July 1, 1943, and thus were not incorporated into the WAC, be given all the benefits of veterans.
17. Request the Veterans' Administration to operate its various offices on a 6-day week, in order that veterans who cannot make use of such facilities during other days, may be able to do so on Saturdays.
18. Increase ceilings on combined subsistence and income under Public Law 346 of the Seventy-eighth Congress so that veterans, whether engaged in full time or part time academic, apprenticeship, or on-the-job programs, may receive subsistence with ceilings of $250 per month for a single veteran without dependents, and $325 per month for a veteran with dependents.
19. Urge the Veterans' Administration to establish a complete and fully equipped facility for orientation and rehabilitation of blinded veterans at some centrally located point within the United States, staffed and administered by highly trained and efficient personnel with specialized knowledge of the rehabilitation and training of the blind.
20. Urge the Veterans' Administration to expedite the construction of veterans' hospitals to meet the increased needs which, based on experience with World War I cases, will steadily increase for several years.
21. Urge the Veterans' Administration to decentralize the handling and adjudication of death pension claims from the central office and branch offices to the regional office level, in the interest of speedier action, efficiency and economy, and further, to utilize the regional office rating boards, thus obviating the existence of boards which are now functioning at branch levels.
22. Urge the Veterans' Administration to be more realistic in making its reductions in force, particularly with respect to personnel reductions being passed down to the operating levels instead of affecting the so-called "brass”; and that this policy be determined by an unbiased personnel board which may be set up to review the necessity and efficiency of such persons and their positions. The yardstick for all reductions in force should be: How will it affect service to the veteran; and not how will it affect the employee?
23. Urge the Veterans' Administration to give complete consideration to service-connected disabilities of veterans in the adjudication of their death claims. It is felt that not sufficient consideration is given to whether or not these disabilities were contributory to the veterans' death.
24. Urge the Veterans' Administration to rate loss of hearing in keeping with R. and P. R. 1009 (e), which specifies that reductions or increases in compensation, for service-connected disabilities shall be made on the basis of changes in the degree of physical disability. A veteran's loss of hearing is now rated on the basis of the veteran's ability to hear with a hearing aid. It is unfair for such ratings to be thus determined, just as it would be unfair to rate an amputee on his ability to walk with an artificial limb.
25. Urge by administrative or legislative action that a reduction in the disability compensation of a veteran shall not take effect until the first of the month following his notification of such reduction.
26. Provide for the payment of tuition fees in any accredited college or advance technical business school for the period of attendance up to 4 years for any child whose parents died in the armed forces of the United States during World War II.
27. Urge the Congress to increase pensions to widows and dependents of veterans who died of service-connected causes to the following amounts: A widow with no dependents, $75 per month; with an additional $30 for one dependent child; and $20 for each additional dependent child; providing also $35 per month for each dependent parent.
28. Urge the Veterans' Administration to liberalize the regulations covering convalescent ratings to include disabled veterans who are discharged from Veterans' Administration or other hospitals subsequent to serious surgery or hospitalization for service-connected diseases, where the veteran is not able to follow a substantially gainful occupation, and the prognosis shows that he will be unable to do so for a considerable period of time.
29. Amend existing law to provide that the Veterans' Administration pay an amount not exceeding $500 toward supplying World War II veterans with proper tools or books so that they may appropriately establish themselves in the fields for which they have received training.
30. Urge the Veterans' Administration to rescind and withdraw Circular No. 25, which limits and restricts the activities and interests of Veterans' Administration employees during their off-duty hours.
31. Condemn the present financial mismanagement and unnecessary costs of operation of the branch offices of the Veterans' Administration, which result in drawing away funds from the operating level of the Administration, preventing payment of transportation to veterans who require physical examinations, or counseling and guidance at Veterans' Administration regional offices.
32. Amend the National Service Life Insurance Act to provide that combined cash values and accumulated dividends of all converted policies, if $1,000 or over, may be applied under options III and IV to provide the insured with a retirement income for life.
33. Amend the National Service Life Insurance Act to provide, in addition to the present dividend options available, that dividends may be used to buy paid-up additions, and thus pay up the policy sooner for the face amount of protection.
34. Petition Congress to enact legislation making available to holders of national service life insurance the same rates, benefits and privileges as apply to the holders of insurance of World War I.
35. Amend the National Service Life Insurance Act to provide that veterans of World War II have the privilege of paying, in monthly payments, any arrearage in premiums plus accrued interest on premiums in arrears which is caused by the difference in premium of his term policy and the premium of the policy to which the term policy is converted in all cases where the veteran wishes the effective date of his new converted policy to coincide with the date of his original term policy.
36. Urge the Congress and the Veterans' Administration to abolish Veterans' Administration branch offices by returning the functions of same to the regional offices, and that in the place of branch offices there be established three area offices having the same functions and authority as the central office. These three area offices should be located in the northern area, the southern area, and the far western area, respectively.
37. Memorialize the Congress and the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to accept the aid offered by national private life-insurance companies to study and correct the insurance tangle now present in the insurance division of the Veterans' Administration. In the event that the offers of private insurance companies are not still open to the VA, the Congress is urged to effect the necessary legislation to hire insurance experts to study the above problems.
38. AMVETS commends the Committee on Veterans Affairs of the House of Representatives for favorably reporting bills touching upon many of the problems of veterans of World War II, and specifically the following bills supported by AMVETS representatives during the first session of the Eightieth Congress:
H. R. 246. Raising ceilings on payment of subsistence allowances for courses
of education or on-the-job training. H. R. 1335. Increasing compensation rates for disability incurred in peace
time service to 80 percent of rates payable for similar disability incurred
during wartime service. H. R. 3016. Stenographic assistance for use of paid full time representatives
of certain organizations incorporated by act of Congress and which have
been assigned office space in Veterans' Administration offices. H. R. 4243. To provide a 100-percent disability rating for arrested tubercu
losis for first 2 years of arrest, then 50 percent for 5 years, with a minimum rating thereafter of 40 percent for far advanced cases, and 30 percent for
moderately advanced or less. H. R. 4244. To authorize Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to pay 50 per
cent of cost of suitably equipped housing unit, not to exceed $10,000 for any veteran entitled to compensation for permanent and total disability
requiring use of wheel chair. H. R. 4300. To provide loans by the Farm Credit Administration for farms
and farm equipment for veterans of World War II not to exceed $12,000 on real estate and $3,500 on personal property with interest at 3 percent.