Rationing Drugs For Sick Veterans. Did The VA REALLY Plan To Do That?

dAugust 22, 2015

by Lorra B.

The Department of Veteran Affairs has known since January that the cost of medications was rising and that it would cause a tremendous financial loss. They have even discussed rationing expensive drugs “after asking Congress for $500 million to pay for the same drugs,” according to Washington Examiner.

VA officials have given Congress the notion that hospitals throughout the nation would be closed unless ‘swift action’ was taken.

Hepatitis C, one of the most expensive medications given to veterans, is one of the drugs the VA is allegedly planning to withhold from some veterans. The Hep C drug can be as much as $1,000 a pill, a price the pharmaceutical company, Gilead, believes to be fair considering what it cost for them to develop the treatments, Sovldi and Harvoni.  

Hep C is caused by the HCV virus:

  • It is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
  • It can be a mild illness lasting a few weeks in up to 15% of individuals. • It can lead to chronic (lifelong) illness that can cause liver damage, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), and liver cancer.
  • It is spread mainly through contact with the blood of an infected person.

Commendably, Gilead has already negotiated discounts for the VA, as much as 40%.

The VA, however, is still in need of funding, for Hep C drugs, and more but Congress doesn’t seem happy with the tactic the VA is using to go about getting this funding.

Republican Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran told the Examiner,  “It’s another instance of the VA telling Congress, the Veterans committee and others about how, if we give them money, it would be spent, and then it’s a different plan once we give them the money.”

Moran went on to say, “If the VA tells us there’s a crisis and tells us to respond to that crisis, I would expect them to use the money as they told us they would. A question would be, then how are you spending the money if you are refusing to treat all the veterans that are suffering from this condition?”

Deputy VA secretary Sloan Gibson stated to the House Veterans’ affairs Committee that they “don’t expect to do any rationing of care with Hepatitis C.”

An internal plan, however, had already been made by the VA to do just that, according to the Examiner.

VA Employees had apparently warned Gibson of the possible financial issues in January but Gibson denies these allegations.

Chief VA financial officer, Kathleen Turco, according to Examiner, “dismissed those concerns on Jan. 21. Six months later, VA officials stood before Congress and claimed they were essentially blindsided by the largest budget shortfall in the agency’s history.”

The VA, once again, finds itself in the spot light and has some explaining to do. Rationing needed medications for our veterans…Really? VA, did you really plan to do that?

by Lorra B.

16 thoughts on “Rationing Drugs For Sick Veterans. Did The VA REALLY Plan To Do That?

  1. Reblogged this on Vernon Pope and commented:
    I have been a veteran – dependent on the VA for my medical needs – for nearly 35 years. I thought I’d seen everything in the way of Uncle Sam breaking promises to us. This is a new low.


  2. In response to the VA, the powers that be, are made up of a generation that does not really understand what a veteran is, or his/her make up. I applied for disability in 06. Nothing was ever done. I just gave up. They hope you do just that, by denying your requests, repeatedly. I had to visit the VA about four times before they gave me my ID card. These morons are a joke, and nothing will change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You, sir, are exactly right. This administrations, and too many before it, have put veterans on the back burner and it is an abomination to say the very least. I’m truly sorry for what you have endured at their hands. Beyond messed up!


      • Good day; You’re welcome; Weekend off to a bad start, arguing with two gunshop owners that believe they work for the anti-gun lobby. You think that I was trying to take money from them, when I was trying to purchase a deer rifle. Maybe I will wait. Cuomo ruined New York State, next governor might be more than a hollow suit.

        Liked by 2 people

      • A bolt action, 5-round rifle. They are flipping out because they don’t know me, and, “if”, I pass a background check (WTF!!), they want to steer me over to something they want to sell me, and not what I am looking for. Maybe when I get time later on this week, I will take a ride somewhere else. I look for quality and spec custom work by a gunsmith, not a mail-it-out clerk with high end garbage for sale. I’ve had a taste for venison for a while now and would like for my grandsons to accompany me just to get them started on the right foot. My kids are against it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • My son used to hunt with me. I started a real mess when I have him a Savage 86C (.22LR) for his eighth birday, but taught him responsibility. He was real good with it and I never had any problem, with rifle or without rifle, since the day he was born. Today, he’s on the tall steel in NYC. My daughters have no desire outside of a supermarket meat isle. Funny, I worked in a slaughterhouse for one year. Hunting was always with my father and his brothers when I was growing up. Later with my brothers, only one left, today. Always did my best hunting while alone. I am, asocial (not anti-social), and enjoy my solitude. Apart from this computer, I hardly speak three words in any given week. When I get pissed off, my language gets salty, and then I turn prosecutorial. Years ago, people did not like me and did not want to work with me. The rookies, I used to scare them, but when they learned what I taught them, they all got medals for excellent police work, as they made gun collars and all sorts of other really good arrests. Then the rookies would line up to work with me. Everyone called them my “puppies”. New York State is rated 50th for firearms friendly. Dead last. Gunshop owners think that they work for Cuomo. I was looking for a 6.5x55mm Swedish chambered rifle. It is mild recoiling and can easily handle Whitetail deer and wild hogs. I just had the bug to get back hunting again. Sold my collection that I started in 1975, to paydown hospital bills, but today, I have caught up with everything, and I guess hunting is in the fabric of who and what I am. My wife, once having eaten venison, enjoyed it, and when she cooks venison, we used to have a real big table in my first house, I love big old houses (built 1911 and had a nice fireplace and in the basement a woodburning stove), our kids and all the kids in the neighborhood would be seated and munching on venison stew. Today, when my wife cooks venison, those same kids, and their children, often visit. They always ask if I got a deer this year, as they ask when some venison will be made. One of my so-in-laws works with someone that started hunting and gave me some venison. Since then, I’ve had the bug to get back hunting again. Holidays, there was always some game meat, that I harvested, on the table. American tradition. I even used to have the liver, heart (cooked with sliced fennel and onions), the tongue, and even.., the head 🙂 . My grandfather got me on that. He used to eat sheep heads, and goat heads. I was his sidekick. He fed my horse meat when I was nine years old, and started a war when my grandmother walked in. Old Italian superstition, never feed a boy horse meat before his 16th birthday or the spirit of the horse goes into the boy and he grows up wild. Wives tale… I still ride Harley-Davidsons, and only jumped out of an airplane 18 times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It does seem like hunting has gone by the waste side these days. Back in the day I used to hunt…and even packed my own deer out! Boy, that was a world ago. I could probably still do it but have lost my want of hunting. Though, admire those who do so to put food on the table. It’s a different world. You remind me of a friend of mine with much the same solitary personality. So, I get it. Been a long time since I sat around the table eating elk or elk sausage or venison or…… LOL! I’m glad your family still enjoys it! 🙂 Have a great rest of your weekend! 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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