Latest KFF Health News Stories
Lawyer Fees Draw Scrutiny as Camp Lejeune Claims Stack Up
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which became law last year, created a pathway for veterans and their families to pursue damage claims against the government for toxic exposure at the military base. Now, advocates and lawmakers worry high lawyer fees could shortchange those injured.
Drive-Thru Baby Showers Serve Express Needs of Pregnant Veterans in Atlanta
Women are the fastest-growing group among U.S. veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs says it is working to meet their health needs, including pregnancy care.
Republicans Vow Not to Cut Veterans’ Benefits. But the Legislation Suggests Otherwise.
Sparing veterans and defense spending, as Republicans promise, would be extremely difficult, requiring cuts of more than 20% in other parts of the budget. The Republicans’ Limit, Save, Grow Act already proposes a $2 billion cut to the Department of Veterans Affairs by taking back unspent covid relief funding.
Some Private Companies Charge Hefty Fees to Help Veterans With Disability Claims
Unaccredited companies promise to help veterans file for disability benefits. But unlike the thousands of service representatives who have been vetted and approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide aid, these “medical consultants” or “coaches” operate with no restrictions on how much they can charge.
Defense Department Health Plan Cuts Its Pharmacy Network by Nearly 15,000 Outlets
Many of the pharmacies were small, independent operations that had decided not to participate next year because of the lowered reimbursement being offered. But they were surprised by an early dismissal, and some patients with specialized drug needs could face difficulties in the transition.
Blind to Problems: How VA’s Electronic Record System Shuts Out Visually Impaired Patients
Veterans Affairs’ electronic health records aren’t friendly to blind- and low-vision users, whether they’re patients or employees. It’s a microcosm of America’s health care system.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Judge Takes Aim at the Affordable Care Act’s Preventive Care Benefits
A federal judge in Texas — the same one who tried to strike down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional in 2018 — has ruled against some of the ACA’s preventive benefits, including the requirement that employers cover medication to prevent HIV. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tries to make abortions slightly more available to veterans and their dependents. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Lauren Sausser, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.
After ‘a Lot of Doors Shut in Our Face,’ Crusading Couple Celebrate Passage of Burn Pit Bill
Le Roy and Rosie Torres founded the Burn Pits 360 group that advocated for years for Congress to help veterans suffering from injuries caused by the massive disposal sites on overseas bases. Le Roy came home from Iraq suffering from breathing problems.
Senate GOP Puts Up Roadblocks to Bipartisan House Bill for Veterans’ Burn Pit Care
The Senate could start work this week on a bipartisan bill to make it much easier for veterans to get health care and benefits if they get sick from exposure to massive, open-air incineration pits in war zones. The legislation has gained minimal support among Senate Republicans, who say they are concerned about the cost and the ability of Veterans Affairs to handle such a large new mission.
Tech Glitches at One VA Site Raise Concerns About a Nationwide Rollout
The more than $16 billion, decade-long effort by the Department of Veterans Affairs was designed to provide seamless electronic health records for patients from enlistment in the military past discharge.
‘I Can Go Anywhere’: How Service Dogs Help Veterans With PTSD
The PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act means more veterans with symptoms of traumatic stress can get specially trained service dogs.
Veterans Push for Medical Marijuana in Conservative South
North Carolina claims to be the “Nation’s Most Military Friendly State.” Now veterans are trying to capitalize on this dedication to the troops to persuade lawmakers to pass medical marijuana legislation. It’s an advocacy model that has led to success for pro-cannabis efforts elsewhere.
Doctors More Likely to Prescribe Opioids to Covid ‘Long Haulers,’ Raising Addiction Fears
Chronic pain from covid can linger for months after patients appear to recover from the disease.
Military Exposed to Toxic Fumes From Burn Pits Set to Get Bipartisan Boost
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio were set to roll out a bill Friday that could help unknown thousands of service members who are sick from toxic substances they were exposed to from burning garbage in Afghanistan, Iraq and other war zones.
Doctors Found Jet Fuel in Veteran’s Lungs. He Can’t Get Full Benefits.
Sick with ailments similar to those suffered by 9/11 first responders, military service members exposed to toxic burning garbage in Iraq and Afghanistan may finally see Congress address their plight. President Joe Biden believes his son Beau’s brain cancer may have been caused by such exposure.
To Vaccinate Veterans, Health Care Workers Must Cross Mountains, Plains and Tundra
Veterans Affairs officials are flying COVID-19 vaccines to remote locations in Montana and Alaska to quickly inoculate rural veterans before the drugs expire.
VA Joins Pentagon in Recruiting Volunteers for COVID Vaccine Trials
The Department of Veterans Affairs hopes to enroll 8,000 people in advanced-stage trials of four leading vaccine candidates. The Defense Department earlier announced plans to enlist 3,000 volunteers in trials.
Keeping The COVID Plague At Bay: How California Is Protecting Older Veterans
Even as COVID-19 has ravaged nursing homes around the country, California has managed to keep the virus at bay at its eight state-run homes for frail and older veterans. What exactly went right?
On The Eve Of Retirement, VA Nurse Succumbs To COVID-19
Nurse Divina “Debbie” Accad had cared for veterans for over 25 years and was set to retire in April. But after contracting the novel coronavirus, she spent her final 11 days on a ventilator — and didn’t survive past March.
COVID-19 Brings Overhaul Of Military Health Care To A Halt
The military is called to action to battle the pandemic, even as the numbers of people infected among its ranks and veterans climb amid a shortage of doctors and nurses.