VA Criticized For Plans To Limit Costly Hep C Drugs To Some

first_img The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving to outsource care nationwide for up to 180,000 veterans who have hepatitis C, a serious blood and liver condition treated with expensive new drugs that are costing the government billions of dollars. (Wagner, 6/19) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Reuters: Clinton Opposes VA Privatization But Sees Need For Choice Arizona Republic: VA To Outsource Care For 180,000 Vets With Hepatitis C Tribune Wire Reports: US Agrees To Pay Millions For Agent Orange Claims center_img VA Criticized For Plans To Limit Costly Hep C Drugs To Some Veterans The plan, which includes outsourcing treatment to private doctors and setting criteria to decide who gets expensive new drugs, is intended to address a surge in cases and depletion of funds, reports the Arizona Republic. On the campaign trail, meanwhile, candidate Hillary Clinton spoke out against the blanket privatization of VA health care, but said that veterans need more choices. And the U.S. agreed to provide disability benefits to as many as 2,100 Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange who were previously deemed ineligible. Ending years of wait, the government agreed Thursday to provide disability benefits to as many as 2,100 Air Force reservists and active-duty forces exposed to Agent Orange residue on airplanes used in the Vietnam War. The new federal rule, approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget, takes effect Friday. It adds to an Agent Orange-related caseload that already makes up 1 out of 6 disability checks issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The expected cost over 10 years is $47.5 million, with separate health care coverage adding to the price tag. (6/18) Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for the 2016 presidential race, said on Thursday she opposes blanket privatization of military veterans’ healthcare but realizes that vets need choices. In her first substantive comments on the campaign trail about veterans’ affairs, Clinton vowed to win a better deal for vets and protect their education funding benefits. She told a campaign event at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Reno, Nevada, that private medicine cannot compete with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ expertise in post-traumatic stress disorders, traumatic brain injury and prosthetics. (Conlin, 6/18) last_img