Foot-Dragging at the VA

More than a year and a half after Congress passed a law providing health care for victims of the polluted water at Camp Lejeune, not a single member of any Marine family who was affected has received assistance.

For reasons only a bureaucrat at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs could explain, rules for administering the insurance coverage to affected members of Marine families have not yet been adopted by the VA. The agency did propose rules last September for Marines who served at Camp Lejeune, but the regulations have not yet been made final. (Veterans are already covered by VA insurance plans, but the new law exempts them from co-pays for treatment of certain illnesses that may be related to time spent at Camp Lejeune.)

And no regulations have been proposed yet that would enable the VA to implement a section of the law requiring health coverage for members of Marine families who were affected.

Until rules are in place, those who are eligible for assistance will have to wait. Many of them are suffering from debilitating diseases. Under the bill signed into law by President Obama in August 2012, the VA must provide health care to Marines and family members who lived at Camp Lejeune for at least a month between 1957 and 1987 and who have been diagnosed with any of 15 health problems.

Those are esophageal cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, myleodysplasic syndromes, renal toxicity, hepatic steatosis, female infertility, miscarriage, scleroderma, neurobehavioral effects and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Watch this space for any new developments at the VA.

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The latest news on Camp Lejeune since publication of A Trust Betrayed:

New Lejeune water contamination report raises concerns, Jacksonville Daily News, March 19, 2015

11th Circuit declines to rehear Camp Lejeune drinking water suit, Westlaw Journal, February 12, 2015

Law expands water contamination dates for family claims, Jacksonville Daily News, December 19, 2014

Why Didn’t Toxic Waste Cause a Cancer Epidemic, Like We Expected in the 1970s?, National Geographic, December 14, 2014

ATSDR Study Suggests Women’s Exposures to Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune Might Be Associated with Adverse Birth Outcomes, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, November 21, 2014

Interview with Mike Magner, author of A Trust Betrayed, The Living Well Show, October 2014

VA vows to pay families sickened after exposure to Lejeune water, Charlotte News & Observer, October 20, 2014

Statute of Repose Issues Illustrated in the Dismissal of Camp Lejeune Pollution Claims, Brad Reid Dean of the Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity, Lipscomb University, Huffington Post, October 20, 2014

File Under Disgraceful: Appeals court rejects Camp Lejeune water lawsuit, Chatham (N.C.) Bulletin Board, with link to Charlotte Observer, October 14, 2014

U.S. court rebuffs Marine Corps families in polluted water case, Reuters, October 15, 2014

I-Team: Toxic-water victims at Camp Lejeune can’t sue, WTVD Raleigh, N.C., October 14, 2014

A 31-year-old man deals with breast cancer, PR Urgent press release, October 12, 2014

Lejeune vets exposed to toxic water have deadline extended, Marine Corps Times, October 7, 2014

Peter Devereaux: With tenacity and a smile, North Andover (Mass.) Wicked Local, October 7, 2014

Lejeune families finally getting help, Jacksonville Daily News, September 28, 2014

Under 2012 law, VA to cover health costs of Marines’ ill dependents at Camp Lejeune, Washington Post, September 24, 2014

New regulation would allow dependents to claim contaminated water health issues, Jacksonville Daily News, September 24, 2014

Mortality study of civilian employees exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: A retrospective cohort study, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, August 2014

Camp Lejeune and the U.S. Military’s Polluted Legacy, Newsweek, July 16, 2014

Drinking from a Poisonous Tap: Over 6 Decades at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, Lou Freshwater, July 2014

Obama administration moves to deny justice for Camp Lejeune veterans, Roll Call: Guest Commentary, July 2, 2014

Excerpt from A Trust Betrayed, Utne Reader, June 2014

Camp Lejeune water pollution victims setback, Living on Earth, June 20, 2014

Governor signs bill helping Lejeune, Asheville families in pollution lawsuits, Charlotte News & Observer, June 20, 2014

Senate approves CTS lawsuit contamination bill, Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-TImes, June 19, 2014

Obama lawyers find finish to Lejeune toxic-water case, North Carolina News, June 12, 2014

Supreme Court supports toxic polluters, imperils Camp Lejeune vets’ litigation, Project on Government Oversight, June 9, 2014

Erin Brockovich discusses Camp Lejeune victims on MSNBC, Project on Government Oversight, April 22, 2014

New Book Examines Camp Lejeune Water Poisoning, Project on Government Oversight, April 17, 2014

New Camp Lejeune documents come to light, Tampa Bay Times, April 8, 2014

Loveland veteran is waiting for answers, Loveland (Colo.) Reporter-Herald, April 6, 2014

Cancer study on Camp Lejeune mired in controversy, Project on Government Oversight, March 31, 2014

Government straddles both sides in toxic water cases, USA Today, March 1, 2014

Camp Lejeune study called ‘significant step’ in understanding cancer cases, Tampa Bay Times, February 20, 2014

GOP bills would allow VA secretary to fire career executives over performance, The Washington Post, February 14, 2014

VA under fire for proposed disability filing rule, Associated Press, January 11, 2014

CDC report shows danger at Camp Lejeune, The Virginian-Pilot, December 11, 2013

CDC’s Camp Lejeune study links birth defects to marine base’s drinking water, CBS News/AP, December 6, 2013