Tags: marine corps | veteran | health | denied

Marine Corps Veteran Denied Care After Waiting More Than a Year

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By    |   Saturday, 23 December 2017 10:53 AM

A Marine Corps veteran who says he waited for more than a year for medical treatment through the Veterans' Administration is pushing for a Senate measure that would increase access to private care, rather than forcing veterans to rely on on the VA's bureaucracy to determine if they're eligible for care.

"I know veterans who are no longer here who needed immediate action, they needed immediate response, they needed help sooner, and then they self-medicated and now they're dead," Rick Disney, who served with the Marines for four years, told The Washington Free Beacon. "If they had the opportunity to go to any doctor and use their VA benefits elsewhere, there's a possibility that something different would have happened if they didn't have to wait for care."

Disney, who was honorably discharged as a corporal after serving as a Marine Corps rifleman, is now a senior field director for the conservative Concerned Veterans for America, which has endorsed a bill co-sponsored by GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and John Moran of Kansas that if passed will allow veterans to access private care if necessary.

Disney had been in the Marines for about a year when he fell from a rappel tower in Norfolk, Va., during a training exercise in 1999, breaking his heel. In the years that followed, he was deployed overseas, where he served in several antiterrorism operations and suffered neck, back, and leg pain that has gone on for more than 10 years after he went into the Reserves in 2002.

In 2013, Disney says, he first visited the VA hospital in Tampa, Florida, and even on the first day ended up at the facility for six hours while trying to file a claim for treatment.

After that, it took nine months for Disney to get his first appointment, and he says it took him another six months to undergo tests, but that he got no treatment, and a year later, he got a letter rejecting him for benefits, under the claim he wasn't injured while on active duty.

Three bills have been presented to overhaul the private-sector Veterans Choice Program.

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A Marine Corps veteran who says he waited for more than a year for medical treatment through the Veterans' Administration is pushing for a Senate measure that would increase access to private care, rather than forcing veterans to rely on on the VA's bureaucracy to determine...
marine corps, veteran, health, denied
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2017-53-23
Saturday, 23 December 2017 10:53 AM
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