KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

VA Expected To Move Soon To Cover More Effects Of Agent Orange

The Department of Veterans Affairs may need to pay heavily to treat veterans who have been adversely affected by Agent Orange. McClatchy/Beaufort (S.C.) Gazette report: "The cost of war -- on veterans' health and taxpayer wallets -- will loom a little larger in the new year when the Department of Veterans Affairs issues a final rule to claim adjudicators to presume three more diseases of Vietnam veterans, including heart disease, were caused by exposure to Agent Orange. The rule, expected to be published soon, will make almost any veteran who set foot in Vietnam, and is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, B cell leukemia or ischemic heart disease (known also as coronary artery disease), eligible for disability compensation and VA medical care. The exception would be if credible evidence surfaces of a non-service cause for the ailment" (Philpott, 1/7).

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