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Bernie Marcus: The Philanthropist Fills in Where Tricare Refuses to Go

Filed under: Acts of Kindness,Business,Charities,heroes,Life & How to Live It — Tags: , , , — Positronic Dave @ 6:30 pm December 21, 2010

Let’s take a moment out today to cheer Bernie Marcus. The former owner of Home Depot with a literally rags to riches story consistently sets the bar for what the rich businessman can, and should, do with all that money. Besides treating his well-trained staff far better than normal business practices, Bernie Marcus has time and again, used Home Depot resources to help in emergencies. In both the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, as well as the 9/11 attacks inboth New York City and Washington, D.C., Home depot trucks were on the scene, often before Police and Fire got there, to help in rescue efforts. The man knows how to make a dollar, but more importantly, he knows how much a dollar can help.

In that spirit, Bernie Marcus is stepping in where Tricare Health Plan for military personnel can’t., or better said, won’t. I wrote yesterday how Tricare has announced that it will not pay for Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for soldiers and veterans who have suffered brain injuries. Ignoring all manner of scientic and medical evidence, as well as testimony from the Pentagon itself, Tricare has been accused of manipulating data to serve its own needs. Which is to go as cheap as possible on treatment for the men and women injured in the course of serving this country.

Way to go, Tricare. Nice to see that the dollar is more important to you than blood, you cheap, bean-counting bastards.

Now, without sarcasm in it, I say way to go, Bernie Marcus. You are a man who has gone from poverty to vast wealth and yet, never forgotten what poverty feels like. You consistently put money, and time, where your mouth went . And while you demanded a high level of competence from your employees, you rewarded them with decent pay, stock options, etc. Many of the employees who worked for you when you began 20+ years ago, are millionaires themselves from your generous stock options. And now, when you see people who have served this country and sacrificed their physical and/or mental health in the doing, only to be abandoned by a group unconcerned with soldiers, but always right on the money, you step in, promising to cover the treatments, through Project Share, which has been quietly doing the important work for almost 2 years now.

I may not agree with some of your politics, but that’s what’s great about America: we can disagree and still work together on the important things. We can come together for common cause as one country.

Bernie Marcus, I like my America even more, knowing you are in it.

Pentagon Health Plan Denies Brain-Injury Therapy to Veterans

There is nothing more disgusting than to stand behind sending our troops into harm’s way, then abandoning them. News that the Pentagon Health Plan denies brain-injury therapy to veterans is an atrocious stain on this nation. And behind the denial? You guessed it: an HMO.

Tricare is a health plan that covers over 4 million troops, both active and retired. And it has decreed that there is no real scientific basis to Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy, and therefore, will not be covering that treatment, even for the great number of military personnel coming home with traumatic brain injuries.

The only problem is, everybody else says CRT does work, and is one of the best ways of treating brain injuries. Basically, therapists work to re-teach basic skills, such as cooking or shopping, memory and simple math. It teaches the brain to learn again. But despite testimony from experts, military and civilian, plus a review done by the pentagon itself, Tricare refuses to cover the therapy due to the estimated cost of up to $50k per soldier.

So, what we are saying is, and by “we” I mean our government, we will spend billions and trillions sending troops into military actions, but if you get hurt, especially in the head, best of luck to you, we’re are out-y.

This is disgusting beyond words. And despite pressure from Congress, Tricare stands firm in its decision to count beans and treat injured soldiers with callus disrespect. CRT has been proven to work for years. It isn’t about the therapy, is it Tricare? It’s about the money. It’s always about the money.

I urge you to contact your congressmen and senators. Tell them this is not how we treat those who have served with honor and distinction in our armed forces. This Rumsfeldian disregard, this “Well, you’ll have to make due with the therapy available to you, brain-boy!” is an unbelievable and cannot, must not, stand.

The Pentagon health plan denies brain-injury therapy to veterans and active-service soldiers? It seems Tricare has some brain damage of its own.

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