What We're Reading: Study Says VA Denied Care; Jockeying Around ACA Case; Moderate Drinking and Alzheimer

March 6, 2020

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) misunderstood a law for decades affecting healthcare access for veterans with less-than-honorable discharges; days after Super Tuesday and a decision by the Supreme Court to hear a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Democrats are eager to talk about the issue, but vulnerable Republicans are not; moderate drinking is linked with lower levels of beta amyloid, the protein that forms the brain plaques of Alzheimer disease.

VA Denied Care to Veterans With Spotty Discharges, Study Finds

Thousands of veterans with other-than-honorable discharges were unlawfully denied care for years by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to a study. The Washington Post said “systemic misunderstanding” of the law by the VA created denials of care since 1980, affecting an estimated 400,000 veterans who became at risk of never gaining access to healthcare. According to the Veterans Legal Clinic at Harvard Law School, the discharges, informally known as “bad paper” discharges, are given for instances of misconduct that can range from drug use to insubordination but were not proved in court, and can follow the service member for a lifetime. Although these discharges make it less likely that veterans will qualify for VA services, the agency is required by law to accept applications, look for mitigating circumstances, issue written decisions, and provide appeal information.

How Parties Are Welcoming, or Not, Questions About High Court Taking ACA Case

Moderate Drinking Linked With Lower Levels of Alzheimer-Related Brain Plaque

As former Vice President Joe Biden sits atop the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination after Super Tuesday, Democrats are hoping to use the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to fuel a repeat of their 2018 victory in taking control of the House of Representatives, The Wall Street Journal reported. And as Democrats not aligned with Senator Bernie Sanders continue to champion protecting and expanding the ACA, vulnerable Republicans up for relection this year don’t want to discuss their opinions of the case, The Hill reported.A new study says that moderate drinking is linked with lower levels of beta amyloid, the protein that forms the brain plaques seen in Alzheimer disease, The New York Times reported. The findings, in PLOS Medicine, reported that people who drank 1 to 13 standard drinks a week had a 66% lower rate of beta amyloid deposits in their brains. The results applied only to those who drank moderately for decades, not to those who recently began drinking moderately or drank more than 13 drinks a week.