09 November 2007

What would be the problem?

A FoxNews blog claims that the military may be (implicitly over-)diagnosing personality disorders - which then lead to discharges - in order to avoid paying for the diagnosed individuals' health care. In the author's words, "it appears that in some way this is being used as a quick way to discharge people that may somehow save the military money."

First, that's a pretty rash thing to say, not that that necessarily makes it wrong. But the blog doesn't even try to substantiate its claim.

Second, when was the last time the military had to try to save money? Oh, back when they had to cut half their contracts (and are threatened again with it now) because our government drastically reduced their budget (or, currently, are requiring a surrender date before they hand over a dime)? Maybe budget cuts on things that keep us alive aren't such a good idea.

Third, so what? Why would we require the military to pay for medical costs for people who can't serve, for whatever (non-wounded-in-service) reason? Pensions and retirement are slightly different issues, since it's continued compensation for completing your commitment. Where do we require people to pay for medical costs of (former) employees who can't work, aside from limited disability payments? How ethical is that??? The military won't pay for your continued insurance if you're discharged for being unfit to serve, because you haven't completed your commitment; it sounds rough to us thoroughly-entitled souls, but especially in the military, your physical and mental well-being are and should be considered almost a "good or service." Contracts are off if the good is defective or the service is not performed. Why should the military be different?

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