Commentary: Veterans' meds dilemma finally solved

A dozen old veterans were getting a raw deal, so the state Pioneer Homes relented.

That means the vets will get their medications as they did before, from the Department of Veterans Affairs at little or no cost, and staff at the Pioneer Homes will give the pills as they come from the VA — and make sure the vets take them as they should.

Packaging rules and procedures of the two bureaucracies had left the Pioneer Home veterans unable to use their VA drug coverage benefits. If vets needed help taking their medication, they had to use drugs provided by the state -- and pay more for them.

One vet's daughter, Bea Combs, saw the injustice in the situation. When she couldn't get satisfaction from the Pioneer Homes, she went to state lawmakers. Sen. Bill Wielechowski and Reps. Nancy Dahlstrom and Les Gara got state and federal governments together.

Good for the Pioneer Homes, which will have to take extra care with what is sometimes an array of look-alike medications. Good for the vets, who will be reimbursed for prescriptions they had to fill through state channels.

And good for Bea Combs, who reminded the bureaucrats that patients, not rules, are the priority.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.