"According to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office, the state's senior senator has inserted $7.5 million for ALS research into a defense spending bill as a result of her partnership with Saints hero Steve Gleason."
I read today that the House & Senate came up with an agreement for VA care and I think one of the provisions discussed was allowing any veteran to go a local hospital if they otherwise have to travel more than 40 miles to a VA facility.
I heard that too about the VA, that would be a blessing, we travel two and 1/2 hours one way to get to the VA.
I also think as much as it is appreciated that they upped the funding, it isn't nearly enough. If 60% of the people who get ALS are veterans then they should give one hundred million toward research. We give billions to other countries yet our veterans are dying because of their service, often times decades after they served or soon after they served having been deployed or while deployed post 9/11 because war isn't quite enough ALS is heaped on top of all that comes with deployment, yes they get benefits from the VA which is outstanding BUT I'm pretty sure every veteran with ALS would rather not have ALS and the government benefits that go with it. What stands between a quicker road to really understanding this godawful disease, truly viable useful treatments, and potentially a cure is money, pure and simple, money. The government ought to ante up on this disease that kills veterans, and all non veterans with ALS will blessedly coattail on it.
Oh, and if anyone up there on Capital Hill thinks it's too much they can spend a week in the life of someone with ALS. Have someone dress them, fix their meals, feed them, wipe them clean after they toilet, brush their teeth, you know the kind of things PALS & CALS are pretty intimate with. We could offer the same ALS week to the top dogs at the DoD too.
Not meant to ruffle any feathers here, just a rant that has been building up for a while. I don't spend a lot of time feeling this way, there is too much of life to live with my PALS but it nudges me from the back of my mind and sometimes it spills out. It spilt tonight.
I just read on line 2 days ago that one reason for congress finally responding to aid for those with ALS is that they are finding that veterans seem to have up to a 60% higher chance of getting this dreaded disease! The only thing in the veteran's lifestyle that they suggest contributed to this greater risk is the extreme physical requirements that many were subjected to. Personally, as I was in the air force, the only physical requirements beyond the ordinary was the 6 weeks of basic training which I didn't consider that much more than normal. However, every year after that we had to run 1 1/2 miles under 10 or 15 minutes (not sure now as its been over 40 yrs ago!).
Yeah, I always thought the Air Force had a cushy life
Mary, vets don't account for 60% of the people with ALS. The initial report that just got published put the number at about 23%. Since the number of vets in this country is about 10% of the population, if that 23% is correct, that would mean a vet has twice the chance of getting ALS than a non-vet. I've read elsewhere that the vet's chances are anywhere from 60% to 100% more than non-vets.
Max, stress makes some sense to me but stress is a relative thing. I've heard more office workers complain about the stress of their job than people in operational jobs. But the operators sure pump more adrenaline. I'd like to see the jobs vets had versus the prevalence of ALS.
In reply to BK2011 > "I'd like to see the jobs vets had versus the prevalence of ALS."
I'd say the jobs Vets had where there was chemical exposure, dioxin exposure and or the many vaccines (shots) a military person receives over civilians. Some of the new explosives being used today have some exotic compounds over the old HE (High Explosive). The residue, after detonation, lingers in the air for a long time. Yes, it would be interesting to follow their MOSs (job description).
In fact, no one knows why U.S. military veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS than the general population, or why those who deployed during the Gulf War in 1990-91 may be twice as likely to get the disease as other troops. Although it’s still a rare illness, affecting about 30,000 people across the country, it is so devastating to its victims and their families that the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have made a mission out of trying to reduce their suffering.
“I tell people there are two different worlds for people with ALS,” said Suzanne Gilroy, senior social work manager for the North Carolina chapter of the ALS Association, the national not-for-profit group dedicated to fighting the disease and helping patients cope with its effects. “There’s the one for people who are veterans, and the one for everybody else
Suzanne Gilroy is so right Max, it is two different worlds. It's painful that it is this way in that non veterans struggle so much more than vets do on the financial spectrum, a stress like no other. Yet, at the same time, we can push the DoD and VA for more funding toward a cure which would benefit all who have ALS not just veterans with ALS. It's a negative/positive.
Thank you for contacting me regarding changes to the Medicare program. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on these issues.
Our national debt is now over $17 trillion—making it larger than our entire economy—and it has increased by more than 60 percent since the beginning of the Obama Administration. We are spending more than $30,000 per household and borrowing almost 23 cents of every dollar we spend. I am worried about how excessive government spending will affect future generations. After all, every dollar borrowed today must be repaid by our children and grandchildren tomorrow.
Congress has an obligation to restore America’s fiscal health. Unfortunately, President Obama has pushed an agenda that would permanently raise taxes, permanently raise spending, and do nothing to solve our long-term debt problem. In fact, the Obama budget plan would double our national debt in five years and triple it in ten years. This is the wrong solution.
The Medicare trust fund will be insolvent by 2030. Inaction is not an option. We must make structural reforms to Medicare to ensure it is a sustainable program that will be around for our children and grandchildren. To strengthen Medicare and ensure that it meets the health care challenges of current and future seniors, we must develop long-term solutions. These solutions must encourage market-oriented policies that foster competition and lower costs while protecting the doctor-patient relationship; increase provider and consumer responsibility and accountability; and promote cost efficiency, fair access, and preventative health measures.
A patchwork of payment policies accumulated over decades is not serving Medicare beneficiaries and providers well. Private sector competition in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program has proved beneficial for both seniors and the federal government. I support proposals that would inject competition in the Medicare program by allowing private insurance plans to compete with traditional Medicare. Beneficiaries should be empowered to choose the plan that best fits their needs, including the option to enroll in traditional Medicare if they so choose.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over these programs, you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as reform proposals are considered during the 113th Congress. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
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