When Christine Russell read the message from the San Diego VA announcing it would no longer pay for her cancer treatment, all the pain came rushing back.

For nearly three years, the federally funded veterans health care system had misdiagnosed her breast cancer as mental illness, she and her team of advocates contend. After discovering the cancer in late 2018 — when the tumors had already spread — the VA agreed to pay for the former Navy Reserve lieutenant to get her medical care from other doctors in the San Diego area.

Russell filed four federal complaints in early February this year about her ongoing challenges accessing health care, medication and caregiver services through the VA. Days later, a group of San Diego VA administrators mailed her a letter that called her “disruptive” and announced they would no longer fund her appointments outside the VA because her health care was too “fragmented.” (Continue reading here…)

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