House Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Democratic Member Bob Filner (D-CA) released the following statement today in response to a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:
"The recent decision issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth v. Shinseki found that veterans have a property interest conferred upon them by the Constitution to both VA benefits and health care."
"Ruling for the veteran plaintiffs, the 9th Circuit went a step further to conclude that because these are property interests, delaying access to healthcare or the adjudication of claims, violates veterans' due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. I agree with this ruling wholeheartedly."
"We know that on average, every day, 18 veterans commit suicide in this country. We also know that 1 in 5 service members of our current conflicts will suffer from PTSD and, unfortunately, the suicide rate for these brave men and women is about 1 suicide every 36 hours. Many of them, as outlined in the ruling, will be left undiagnosed, untreated and uncompensated. This is a travesty and an outrage."
"I applaud the Court of Appeals for this decision and for ultimately following the Committee's lead on this issue. I hope that this ruling will make it easier for all veterans suffering from PTSD to receive VA health care and disability compensation in a timely manner. I implore VA to take this decision seriously and to make the necessary steps to ensure that veterans get the benefits, support and treatment that they need as they transition from combat to the civilian world. Our veterans, their families and survivors deserve no less."