07 June 2015

VA C-123 "Fact Sheet" from Secretary Shinseki Overloaded With Errors & Misstatements; Senate Deceived

Shown below is the most significant explanation offered by the VA detailing VBA's policies against C-123 Agent Orange exposure claims. It reveals the errors, misstatements, omissions and prevarications that served as the basis for VA having refused C-123 veterans medical care and other benefits.(click for a detailed analysis of each red X.) These many challenges from veterans, although carefully substantiated, were unanswered – VA policies against C-123 veterans continued unchanged but we now see all the VA's errors and misstatements.

Although overburdened with errors, marked here with red Xs, this was provided the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in response to Senator Richard Burr's (R-NC) letter to Secretary Shinseki, and addressed in great detail VA's many obstructions. Because it served as the vehicle to determine whether or not VA would permit medical care to C-123 veterans, it needed to be completely accurate for such an important decision...instead the red Xs show the entire document fatally flawed because we have the advantage of the IOM report, CDC and two years of the facts becoming clearer, and VA's errors becoming clearer as well.

There is no excuse for a single error on a letter from a member of the President's Cabinet to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. There is no excuse for refusing life-saving medical care with a policy laden with such errors. There is no excuse for staff work deceiving the Secretary in such a manner.

The errors now being seen more clearly, VA is proceeding with honoring C-123 veterans' claims and will no longer follow its blanket refusal policy.

A particular flaw in this deception of the Senate is the failure to note VBA Compensation Service (which drafted this for the Secretary's signature) failing to acknowledge having received four months earlier the March 2013 Joint Services Records Research Center confirmation of C-123 veterans' exposures.

From June 2013 until the January 2015 Institute of Medicine report to Secretary McDonald, this was VA's fundamental argument, and made very formal with the two pages of "Fact Sheet." The "Fact Sheet," was cited as an authority by VAROs until January 2015.

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