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News on 3 potential new presumptives


Berta

Question

"Several years after a scientific body recommended that the Department of Veterans Affairs consider adding four conditions — bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension and Parkinson's-like symptoms — to the list of qualifying diseases tied to Agent Orange, affected veterans may soon find out whether they are eligible for disability compensation and VA health care. During a Senate Veterans Affairs hearing March 26 on the VA budget, Dr. Richard Stone, the executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, said a decision on the three illnesses likely would come in the next 90 days. Read more about upcoming decision on Military.com."

https://www.military.com/military-report/va-announce-decision-new-agent-orange-presumptive-conditions.html

 

( the Hypertension may or may not become presumptive at all. The three disabilities above might well become presumptive.

This is still all up in the air until Secretary Wilkie makes a decision.

Now is the time, if you have any of the three disabilities above, and served incountry Vietnam, or can prove exposure eslewhere, to  think about gathering  your medical records, from diagnosis to current treatment records, and also, if you have been denied in the past by VA for bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson's like symptoms, and these appear as NSC ( not service connected with a NSC rating) on any past VA rating sheet or decision, and if Nehmer kicks in with Footnote One, ( I hope it will but that has not been determined yet) , then those records you took the time to gather,would help you get the best EED if the VA awards your claim, under the new presumptives.

If you access records from your medical record stack, it is best to make a copy of it and put the original back into the stack- or you can simply Tab anything in your medical records with a bright sticky or tab, that could be a record needed at some point for the best EED for the claim.

This news on top of the Blue Water Procopio victory ( there is another case pending as well at CAVC regarding this issue) might cause a flood of AO claims, as the 2010 regulations did.

We dont have any firm info yet on the 3 proposed presumptives. The HBP is explained in the Military.com link.

I still feel any vet with an ischemic stroke, who also had AO Ischemic heart disease granted under 2010 Nehmer, should be considered having a  AO presumptive, as a separate disability due to their IHD,  and I will write to the Secretary again about that. IHD can led to ischemia of brain. That is an established medical fact.Then again so can HBP.

Stroke was one of the other disabilities that NAM (formerly IOM) reviewed.

 

 

 

 

 

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To add:

Secretary Robert Wilkie

Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Avenue

Washington, DC 20420

SecretaryRobert Wilkie @SecWilkie on twitter

Secretary Wilkie email robert.wilkie@va.gov.

In the specific report that Secretary Wilkie is considering the following disabilities are listed in the report thus::

"Limited or Suggestive Evidence of an Association Epidemiologic evidence suggests an association between exposure to herbicides and the outcome, but a firm conclusion is limited because chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with confidence.2 For example, a well-conducted study with strong findings in accord with less compelling results from studies of populations with similar exposures could constitute such evidence.

There is limited or suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to the chemicals of interest and the following health outcomes:

 

Laryngeal cancer

Cancer of the lung, bronchus, or trachea

Prostate cancer

Cancer of the urinary bladder

Multiple myeloma *

AL amyloidosis

 

Early-onset peripheral neuropathy Parkinson disease (including Parkinsonism and Parkinson-like syndromes)

Porphyria cutanea tarda

  • Ischemic heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Hypothyroidism

The committee did not reach consensus on whether the evidence regarding type 2 diabetes (mellitus) was more properly classified as Sufficient or Limited or Suggestive. Inadequate or Insufficient Evidence to Determine an Association The available epidemiologic studies are of insufficient quality, consistency, or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association. For example, studies fail to control for confounding, have inadequate exposure assessment, or fail to address latency. There is inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine association between exposure to the chemicals of interest and the following health outcomes that were explicitly reviewed: "

 

( the link included those disabilities)

 

https://www.nap.edu/resource/25137/111318_VAO_summary_table.pdf

 

As you can readily see many of the disabilities are already presumptive to Agent Orange.

 

But it concerns me greatly that (since this is the Final presumptive AO decision we will get, as far as I know-

that Hypertension, and stroke, fall into the same Limited and suggestive criteria re: evidence,

“limited or suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to the chemicals of interest and the following health outcomes:”

that the three main conditions Sec. Wilkie is considering, also also fall into.

 

If you have HBP and./or Stroke , and are a Vietnam Veteran ( which might include Blue Water veterans by the time this all becomes a regulations, I suggest you write to the Secretary and tell him why you feel your HBP and/or stroke should be presumptive to your proven AO exposure.

If you have Bladder cancer, Parkinsons'-like symptoms, or hypothyroidism, and were exposed to AO, you should write to him to persuade him why your disability should be presumptive to AO. You should make the point ( if it is true) that you have no other known etiology but for your exposure to AO, to have this disability.

I am writing my letter today. It will regard ischemia stroke as a valid medical consequence of ischemic heart diseease.I will through in HBP as well but he needs to hear from HBP vets, as well as any of you who have a dog in this fight.

I believe the AO issue regarding presumptives will Never come up again- no more IOM ,NAM ,or NAP  reports. This is our last chance

 

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This is good to know Ms berta

Thanks for posting this.

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Buck, as many here know, the AO issue has been the most important veteran's issue  of my life-since 1991.

But these days it is equal in importance to how I am trying to change VA policy with the VA regarding their true malpractice statitics. When Congress and the public know how much is really paid out under 1151 and FTCA settlements, maybe then something will be done to prevent more malpractice.

Much has evolved from my White House and OAWB complaint.

There is the Bill- S 221- but I have been in touch with the senators because it needs to be changed, also Brian Tally has HR 7105 in the House on VA malpractice from a contracting Provider ( one of the independent contracted "doctors" ,filling our VAMCS, who treat vets but are not liable under FTCA/1151, and I am preparing to ask my Congressman to sponsor the Rodney Simmons VA Malpractice Accountability Act.

The level of malpractice in the VA is unconscionable and the VA hides their true malpractice statistics, but I know where they can be found.

The worse thing about VA malpractice is that some veterans like my husband, did not know they were being diagnosed and treated for the wrong disabilities they had. My husband did file a 1151 claim, but I had to continue it after he died. And I filed FTCA as well. A VA Nurse told him he was not allowed to see his medical records in 1988 and we did not know he could obtain them.

After he died ,by then I was sure VA would have to release them to me and they did.

6 years of malpractice, to include a cover up. Multiple instances of malpractice that all contributed to his death at age 47.

This still takes time and I hope all here will be able to help anyone with the potential new AOs, if my time is as limited then as it is nowadays.

AO IHD and AO Diabetes Mellitus were two of the conditions they malpracticed on.

Neither one was ever diagnosed or listed ,or rated or coded in any past VA decision.I still succeeded on both of them with VA.

That is why Footnote One is so important and will be again hopefully , when and if Secretary Wilkie decides any further AO presumptives.

This is the last time we will ever have a chance.There will be no more future  IOM NAM, NAN reports at all, as far as I know.

 

 

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Roger that Ms berta.

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If you have any of the 5 disabilities that are mentioned here as potential Agent Orange presumptives, regarding Agent Orange:

nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2018/veterans-and-agent-orange-update-2018.aspx

and the summary is here:

https://www.nap.edu/resource/25137/111318_VAO_summary_table.pdf

And if you are willing to write to Secretary Wilkie-on why he should add any of them, or all of them to the potential AO presumptives, you can add this statement from my letter to him, if you are an incountry Vietnam veteran, or might possibly fall into any new Procopio regulations due to the Blue Water Navy Procopio decision,

and-

if you would be asking the Secretary for HBP (Hypertension) to become presumptive to AO, you can use this statement from my letter to the Secretary:

 

“On page three of the National Academies report , it states “ There is limited or suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to the chemicals of interest and the following health outcomes:

http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2018/veterans-and-agent-orange-update-2018.aspx

 

As you know, Stroke is one of those under their list.

 

Page 3 contains this change regarding hypertension:

 

In part:

 

“There is sufficient evidence of an association between exposure to the chemicals of interest and the following health outcomes:

Soft-tissue sarcoma (including heart) *

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma *

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (including hairy cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias) Hodgkin lymphoma

Chloracne and

Hypertension (category change from Limited or Suggestive in Update 2014)”
 

I feel “Sufficient evidence”,is much stronger than the 2014 report regarding AO and hypertension.”

(then I feel I made a very strong medical case for ischemic stroke to be added )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(If the VA has always deemed your hypertension as “essential” as John mentioned in the radio show, “essential” means the VA has no known cause for it, but the reports indicate there is a cause in Vietnam Vietnam veterans now, due to the “sufficient evidence” of the above National Academies report. Make this point too re: "essential" if you write to the Sec about HBP as a possible AO disability.)


 


 


 


 

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Has any Vietnam Vet or Blue Water veteran here written to Secretary Wilkie- to make a strong case for why their disability ( mentioned in the most recent IOM NAM report), should become an AO Presumptive?

The strongest disability, in my opinion, is HBP, and as J basser mentioned, most veterans are deemed to have "essential hypertension, meaning they VA does not know the cause.Now they do.

The Report states:

"There is sufficient evidence of an association between exposure to the chemicals of interest and the following health outcomes: Soft-tissue sarcoma (including heart) * Non-Hodgkin lymphoma * Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (including hairy cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias) * Hodgkin lymphoma Chloracne Sufficient Hypertension (category change from Limited or Suggestive in Update 2014)"

HBP  category is now "Sufficient".

https://www.nap.edu/resource/25137/111318_VAO_summary_table.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

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So...June has come and gone. So has July. No new announcement from Wilkie or the VA about a decision on new A.O. presumptives? That is pretty sad. They get caught with their hand in the cookie jar and not only the court calls the VA out for giving back their A.O. coverage to BWN veterans, the Congress makes it law. Of course another delay tactic on implementing the law. What, they didn't know it was coming? Now this; another delay on what they should have made part of the presumptives in 2014, if not before. This makes me very angry. They are going to come out and say that the latest (BWN) law his such an administrative burden that they won't be able to announce anything this year. Maybe next year. Or the year after. What a joke. Delay, deny, hope they die. By the way, the last I saw on that was 523 Vietnam veterans die each day. 

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3 hours ago, GBArmy said:

This makes me very angry.

I am there with you on this type behavior from the VA. ....playing politics and bean counting with veterans lives is abhorrent to me.

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Just an update, sort of. I am on an Veteran advisory committee for my congressman. (We can debate whether that is sleeping with the enemy or not some other time.) We met today and he wasn't there but I asked the status on the latest VA movement from someone I trust. I was told, albeit 3d hand, that the VA is going to announce something in October. There have been some very loud Congressmen in the background pushin Wilkie on this, so I tend to believe there is something to it. 

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1 minute ago, GBArmy said:

I am on an Veteran advisory committee for my congressman.

you might just be the right person to spearhead an idea/movement for change for vets.

What I am thinking is organizing around a campaign to attack individual barriers the VA keeps throwing up.

Doing it each and individually about each barrier.

Things that all Vets dealing with the VA face.

The first and I think "easiest" to attack and get buy in for is the Procedural Barrier to getting our C&P's, Code Sheets, DBQ's and Notes.

The focus of the idea would be to have them delivered electronically through Ebenefits and VA.gov through a Two-Step Verification. First being Sign in as we do and then Secure Text/Message with a Verification call or text just like ID.ME does and ID.me is already allowed to authenticate veterans to various VA websites.

Any interest in being the tip of a Spear on this? getting your Congressmans buy in and ability to directly present to his/her colleagues ?

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Geeky, it sounds like you have the makings of a fantastic concept. I am uncomfortable about discussing the details, but I have had to cut back considerably on many activities and personal commitments over the last several months, as my wife health has gone down considerably. We are having to make a lot of medical appointments. I just couldn't give it what I know I would want to make it work right now, and I just can't do things half-assed. With the networking opportunities presented with this forum, you could really create a lot of pressure for reform/improvement. Why don't you give it a shot yourself; certainly you are more than capable of doing it. 

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14 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

makings of a fantastic concept

I sent you a p.m.

I hope your wife gets better and that strain does not last for long.

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Following.Many procedural barriers.

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