Not only is it the cause of severe birth flaws for generations of Vietnamese kids, the herbicide/chemical weapon Agent Orange has afflicted a lot more than a million American veterans. Scores of soldiers who enlisted or were drafted to serve their country came home with such conditions as acute peripheral neuropathy, soft tissue sarcoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, to name a couple of. The Washington Post reports that a quarter of the one million troops receiving disability checks, or 270,000 Vietnam War veterans, will in two months get compensation for diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s and different types of leukemia. This means that forty two billion dollars can be spent by American working class on this in 10 years.
Agent Orange causes every little thing from diabetes to erectile dysfunction
The Department of veterans’ Affairs reports on which medical condition is most common from Agent Orange. It actually ended up being diabetes. Agent Orange also has erectile dysfunction tied to it now. Normally this would be attributed to age but veterans are getting additional compensation for it. Alan Simpson thinks that this compensation is way far off from what federal spending is attempting to do. Alan Simpson is the chairman of President Obama’s deficit commission.
“The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess,” he said.
Also, Sen. Daniel K Akaka (D-Hawaii) who’s the chairman of Veterans’ Affairs Committee thinks these are “presumptive conditions” that taxpayers are now paying for. The Post found an email stating Alkaka’s plans to be in a listening to on “what changes Congress and also the VA may need for making to existing law and policy,” around September 23.
VA spending isn’t right
The Associated Press reports on the how much the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is going to end up spending on Vietnam veterans with diabetes. It appears like it can be way too much. The VA’s numbers for how much would be paid for diabetes per year are shown to be much higher than independent calculations depending on VA records that show $850 million a year being enough. Considering that the VA spends $34 billion a year on disability benefits for American veterans wars, the $42 billion increase over the next ten years is an earth-shattering leap.
Then there’s the ‘Credible evidence for association’
Victoria Anne Cassano is the Veterans’ Health Administration Director of Radiation and Physical Exposures. She explains that there was a federal law created on Agent Orange in 1991 saying that chemical agents and afflictions do have a correlation with Agent Orange “if the credible evidence for the association is equal to or outweighs the credible evidence against the association.” The Post reports it does not take much to meet that burden of proof. Cassano says, “Does it make you take a deep breath? Does it give you pause? Yes. But you nevertheless do what you think is the right thing to do.”
So, how much do 20 B-2 Bombers cost?
Estimated Cost of the First 20 B-2 Bombers
Program Acquisition Cost (RDT&E and procurement) $44.65 Billion
Life Cycle Cost (RDT&E, procurement, operations and support) $49.9 Billion
Cost per plane $ 2.5 Billion