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Saturday, September 1, 2012

#Veterans #Healthcare: Catch-22 is still on the books


 There's the Catch-22: Service members who suffer combat-related PTSD are entitled to medical treatment — unless they misbehave and get kicked out of the service because they suffer from PTSD.

The VA isn't entirely blind to this contradiction, just unreasonably slow to address it. To appeal his case, Starks must undergo a VA review to determine whether he engaged in "willful and persistent misconduct," and if so, whether he's ineligible for medical care or disability benefits. This can take a year or more.

When a soldier clearly has served with honor, as Starks did, and suffered tremendous damage as a result, it is simply wrong to deny him the care he so clearly needs. At a bare minimum, the VA should establish a fast-track review process for soldiers such as Starks.

This is not the way to treat those who sacrificed their mental and physical health on the battlefield while wearing this country's uniform. It makes no sense.

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