The mission of the Emerald Empire Chapter of MOAA is to advocate for our military community and connect it to the nation we serve.
NATIONAL MOAA WORKING IN WASHINGTON
BLUE WATER NAVY
March 26 2019
The VA announced Thursday it will not appeal the decision by a federal judge to award benefits to the veterans, known as the Blue Water Navy.
AUSN wanted you to be the first to know that in a major victory for "Blue Water" Navy Vietnam veterans, a federal court has ruled overwhelmingly that sailors are eligible for the same disability benefits as those who had boots on the ground or patrolled the inland rivers of Vietnam and were exposed to the deadly herbicide Agent Orange. Thanks to the support and efforts of our members, AUSN has been working vigilantly over the past few years to bring our "Blue Water" shipmates much needed and deserved relief from Agent Orange toxicity exposure.
AUSN was among the very first to come out in support for the appeal brought by Alfred Procopio Jr., who served on the USS Intrepid and was denied benefits for claims related to diabetes and prostate cancer -- diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.
Despite the fact that the science on this issue was settled long ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs has continued to drag their heels on the issue, saying -- incorrectly -- there is not enough data to support the claim that as many as 90,000 Navy veterans serving offshore were exposed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit clearly didn't agree, siding with the sailors in a 9-2 decision that would apply to 52,000 veterans.
NEVER STOP SERVING
As it stands now the DD 2020 budget calls for a [possible 20% cut in the military medical force, that comes to about 18,000 positions. According to the article "Stay Alert: Military Medicine is in Danger" (MOAA Magazine, June 2019). This was done with no analysis of medical readiness or impact of it.These changes can and will cause consequences to active duty and retired veterans as well. Many TRI-CARE Prime enrollees are already being pushed to civilian networks to receive care.
MOAA is looking for answers to the following:
Proceeding without full analysis could leave the military community as well as the retired and veterans needing medical care concern in their ability to find timely medical care.
This is by no means cut in stone, just keep a watchful eye, and a readiness to contact our federal legislatures to voice concerns.
MOAA Supports Bill That Would Allow Service Members to Sue Over Medical Malpractice
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**You can also find out who your local representatives are by going to:
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Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017
The Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 became law on August 23, 2017 (Pub L. 115-55). It is also known as the Appeals Modernization Act. You can read the law in full on Congress.gov.
The new law will:
Modernize the current claims and appeals process
Include three review options for disagreements with decisions
Require improved notification of VA decisions
Provide earlier claim resolution
Ensure you receive the earliest effective date possible
Click here to read more
Here is a short informational video on the new Act
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Emerald Empire Chapter
Military Officers Association of America