Letter: New Rules Raise Concern Among Veterans In Pain

Revisions to pain management guidelines at the VA have many VA patients concerned. I am a Vietnam veteran (1968-70), and I suffer with chronic pain. The Jason Simcakoski Memorial Promise Act, moving through Congress, is intended to control opioid medications at the VA more tightly and opt for alternative pain control modalities. As with most legislation, the Law of Unintended Consequences has already led to denial of essential opioid pain medications to some veterans very much in need.

Many veterans’ quality of life becomes a shadow of what it ought to be without opioid medications. I am a very satisfied VA patient, having received care at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center since 2002. I received opioid medications post-operatively in an amount that met my needs. My doctors actually listened when I explained that the original dose was not helping, and they raised the dose appropriately.

I continue to suffer with chronic pain and concomitant emotional deficits, and I receive spinal injections four times a year for relief. Unfortunately, my spinal pain returns within a month or so. My doctors and I discussed chiropractic and acupuncture, but my pain doctor explained that at the VA, they saw very limited results therefrom. From this point forward, many fear that veterans’ pain will be inadequately treated.

Robert Galt, Wellington


  1. It is hard to understand how the US Government asks the public to put their lives, limbs and psyche on the line to defend our country and when the Vets, soldiers are injured and need help; they have to generate publicity to get the services they need! You’re sent to war, then have to beg and wait for help.

    Veterans should be First on the list, before sending our taxpayer monies to other countries to aid the people in those foreign countries.

    Funds need to be diverted to our Vets! Reduce the billions given in foreign aid, cutback on the elitist politician lifestyles (that’s BOTH political parties). We, the taxpayer, fund the healthcare costs of the politicians, funds their extravagant, irrelevant ‘fact finding’ (what a joke on us) travel and have to put up with both parties childish fighting while the average Vets has to beg for help.

    Do not Vote for a political party candidate, but vote for a candidate who has a PLAN to help Vets. This neglect has gone on for too long. It’s time the People stop being fooled by the silver tongued politicians (both parties).

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