Morning Muster: 2/27/2015 Sexual dysfunction parity for female vets, female vets’ heart conditions related to stress, privatized VA care proposed

Vet compares kill order to voting for war; sexual dysfunction parity for female vets; study shows female vets with heart disease heavier, more depressed than male vets; Choice Card program moving forward, VA secretary says; doctors say they don’t have to take Choice Card; conservative group proposes plan to privatize VA; innocent veteran can’t move past his guilt; Uber accused of steering vets toward company with history of illegally repossessing service members’ cars

A young Marine Lieutenant, Timothy Kudo, compares, in The New York Times, giving a kill order to his Marines to voting for a president who takes his country to war.

A proposed rule in the Federal Register this morning would give a woman with a missing or nonfunctioning second ovary for non-service connected reasons the same rating as a man has for a missing or nonfunctioning second testicle “in order to equalize VA compensation for female Veterans.” They’ve also added “female sexual arousal disorder,” similar to a man’s erectile dysfunction, to the list as a diagnostic code. “In order to ensure gender parity, VA proposes the creation of a new diagnostic code 7632 ‘Female sexual arousal disorder,’” the rule states.

A new study in the American Heart Association Journal shows female vets seeking help for chest pain were younger, more likely to be obese and more like to suffer for post-traumatic stress disorder than male veterans, reports the University of Michigan’s Shantell Kirkendoll. Because the doctors were less likely to find blockages in the women’s arteries, they believe the problems may be stress-induced. Veterans Service Organizations, including IAVA  and DAV, which have both made women’s issues a priority this year, have urged VA to pay more attention to the differences between male and female veterans, and to ensure women have a safe place to go for their health care.

VA Secretary Bob  McDonald testified before Congress Thursday that the new Choice Card program is not being dismantled by his budget request to shift funds to other VA programs, reports Military TimesLeo Shane.

In the meantime, a family doctors group has said doctors may opt out of the Choice Card program if VA doesn’t pay high enough reimbursements, reports Stars and StripesTravis J. Tritten.

Stars and Stripes Heath Druzin reported on a new plan proposed by conservatives to privatize VA health care. The story does a great job of explaining who the Concerned Veterans for America are, why the group is not “bi-partisan,” and how VA and the veterans service organizations reacted to the proposal.

The Los Angeles TimesAlan Zarembo beautifully tells the story of a soldier who convinced himself he was guilty of killing a friend, even though he didn’t have a weapon that day in Iraq, and even though the military showed the friend died of shrapnel wounds.

Uber has hired more than 10,000 veterans for its ride service, and when they don’t have cars, they steer the vets to a sister company, Santander, a company whose pattern of abuse is described by the Justice Department as “intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of service members,” because of its history of repossessing those cars, reports The Verge’s Avi Asher-Schapiro.

Bergmann & Moore, LLC, is a national law firm dedicated to serving the needs of veterans in compensation claims before and against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The firm’s partners are former VA attorneys who are very familiar with the VA system. Bergmann & Moore handles all kinds of cases, but has a concentration in claims involving PTSD, military sexual trauma, Gulf War illness and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, to submit news or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at kkennedy@vetlawyers.com.

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