Post 24 Commander’s Corner
The New Year’s Eve party was a huge success. The band ‘Roadhouse’ was on the top of their game. The crowd was large and well maintained, everyone had a great time. The annual letter has been mailed. Work parties at the Post will be scheduled soon, an early start to spring cleaning. Membership renewal has slowed down. If you have not paid your 2013 dues then you are delinquent and by February 1 you will lose your benefits. Lets’ get those dues paid. This Friday, for members and guests, a Mexican Meal will be served from 5-7 p.m.or until sold out. From 6 -10, Eric Schmersal will be there for a night of music and karaoke.
On Wednesday, January 30 between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Town Halls in Oxford County, HUD will be conducting a Homeless Survey. If you or someone you know is homeless, your help is needed. Government funds are sent to states and agencies based on the number of homeless that live in each community. There are two ways to be counted. One is to visit one of the town halls in the county or call Jerry Dewitt at 567-0376 between January 23-30 and take the survey via telephone.
This month’s American Legion’s Position is on Medicare Reimbursement. Under current law, VA denies veterans the right to use Medicare at its facilities. The American Legion is trying to change this. The American Legion recommends Congress authorize enrolled veterans the ability to use Medicare reimbursements for nonservice-connected medical conditions.
When Medicare-eligible enrolled veterans receive treatment for any medical condition in the private sector, the federal government reimburses the health care provider a portion of the cost. When Medicare-eligible veterans receive treatment for the same medical condition within VA, the federal government will not reimburse VA for any portion of that service. Veterans, like most Americans, pay into the Medicare program through payroll taxes. It is only fair they be allowed to use their Medicare in the health care system that was created for them.
Reasons to justify Medicare reimbursement to VA include:
The majority of Medicare-eligible enrolled veterans meet or exceed the 40-quarters standard of Medicare employment.
All Medicare-eligible enrolled veterans are free to choose any health care provider. However, based on the quality of service provided in VA and its pharmacy, many Medicare-eligible enrolled veterans wisely opt for VA health care.
The Indian Health Service has been successfully billing and collecting from the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) for both Medicare and Medicaid for years. TRICARE for Life is DoD’s newest version of Medicare reimbursement. The American Legion is unaware of any third-party reimbursement billing and collection problems with CMS by either of these federal agencies.
As a federal health care provider, VA billing would not exceed Medicare allowable rates. In fact, making VA a Medicare provider would reduce the amount of reimbursement owed by the government.
VA is an integrated health care delivery system that could easily accommodate the Medicare Plus Choice option of the CMS.
Direct billing between two federal agencies, VA and CMS, will reduce opportunities for fraud, waste and abuse.
The American Legion believes that enactment of Medicare reimbursement will result in more accessible, quality health care for all Medicare-eligible enrolled veterans. Today’s fiscal realities require VA to seek other revenue streams to supplement its current funding in order to better serve the growing demand for medical care services.
This month’ American Legion Program is on membership. The American Legion believes in “service first, membership second.” This means assisting veterans, their families and members of the military without regard to their membership status. Providing service will lead to increased membership.
The membership goal for every department is – at a minimum – to retain the current number of Legionnaires each year. This is perfectly achievable. Anyone who has served honorably on active duty since Aug. 2, 1990, including those still serving, is eligible to join our ranks. Every year, thousands of men and women join the military and become eligible for membership in the American Legion.
Together, we can meet our membership goals through several methods, including:
Going door to door in communities, seeking out veterans who never joined the Legion or were members in the past but let their membership expire. Eye to eye, personal contact is the best way to connect with potential and existing members.
Developing new posts. Every community should have an American Legion post. The Legion is an important organization that is needed by America now more than ever. Recruit veterans, active-duty servicemembers, Reservists and Guardsmen to establish a permanent Legion presence in your community. A post should be an asset to its local community.
Revitalizing posts that have diminished within their communities. Revitalization efforts include open houses, renovation projects, participation in community events and, most importantly, service to veterans. Again, we believe in “service first, membership second.”
Reconnecting with the military. Outreach from The American Legion to the U.S. military is essential for The American Legion to properly understand and serve this core constituency. Encourage members of you post to acquaint themselves with those still serving in the military. Introducing active-duty servicemembers, National Guard, Reservists and military family members to Legion programs like Temporary Financial Assistance, Operation Comfort Warriors and Heroes to Hometowns show them The American Legion is aware of the problems they are facing and that we are willing to help.
Building a strong presence in the community. Through programs like American Legion Baseball, Boys State and Nation and Junior Shooting Sports, the Legions makes an impact on the youth of America. The Legion has a goal to have a post for every high school. Communities without Legion posts miss out on these programs to build a better America by building better citizens.
Cruise with The American Legion Riders. Nearly 1,250 of these motorcycling groups, organized by posts and departments support Americanism and Children and Youth programs in virtually every state in the nation, and more are organizing each month. American Legion Riders participated in a “Legacy Run” to the 93rd National Convention in Minneapolis to raise money for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. In a six year period, more than 2.5 million dollars has been raised for the fund.
The American Legion is a vital organization because of the services it provides to America. However, the old adage “strength in numbers” applies. By providing “service first”. Our numbers will grow larger. The above information was obtained from The American Legion quick reference guide.
Continued membership in The American Legion is so important to the programs it sponsors, so renew that membership today. If not a member, visit a Post in your community today and sign-up. Volunteering at your Post is very important. You do what you can when you can and that is all anyone can ask. The next meeting will be on Sunday, February 3 at 5 p.m. This also is the Four Chaplain’s Ceremony held at 3 p.m. with a meal to follow. The monthly meeting will start early due to Super Bowl. All entities of the Legion Family will be looking for new Officers to take office this April. So now is the time to get involve before we lose what we have.