This was brought to my attention this morning by Kevin Tracy and by Dominique, over at An Unlikely Perspective 2, but I haven’t had time to address it until now. For the record, Kevin doesn’t believe the story is true and my jury is still out until more information is available.
As the presidential campaign of 2008 unfolded, much ado was made about Barack Obama being in favor of the Veterans Bill of Rights and several veterans groups came out in favor of him, over John McCain. Presidential candidate Obama courted veterans and their votes and told them he was committed to taking care of the brave men and women who have helped keep our country safe from harm for many years. It was ironic because McCain was a veteran himself and he couldn’t seem to gather the support of some of his own. Obama was not shy in taking the issue to McCain, taking every opportunity to point out the differences between himself and the Republican. Here is the issue statement from the Obama website.
Barack Obama supports our troops – both in combat and at home. He voted to provide armored vehicles and body armor for our troops fighting abroad, and will fully fund veterans’ medical care and restore competence to VA planning to ensure our veterans have the resources they need when they return home.
I would imagine the veterans who wholeheartedly supported Barack Obama for President were rather surprised this week when they learned of some of the cost cutting ideas being tossed around by the Obama administration. One of them is to charge the treatment of service related injuries to the private insurance plans of veterans. From CNN:
Veterans groups are angry after President Obama told them Monday that he is still considering a proposal to have treatment for service-connected injuries charged to veterans’ private insurance plans.
Leaders of the country’s most prominent veterans groups met Monday at the White House with Obama, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Steven Kosiak, the director in charge of defense spending for the Office of Management and Budget.
Some of the veterans groups were caught off guard when the president said the administration is still thinking about the idea as a way of generating $540 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010. The groups and some members of Congress have been very vocal in opposing the idea.
The message, according to some of the people in the room, was that if the groups do not like this idea, they need to come back with another way of saving or raising revenue for the VA.
It’s not surprising that the Obama administration is looking for ways to cut costs, but trust me fellas, this isn’t the way to get it done. It is an insult to even suggest such a thing. These men and women have sacrificed so much in defense of our country and we want to charge their insurance for the treatment of injuries they received in the line of duty? I don’t think so. I may not be a veteran myself, but I have a father and a brother who is and know several other people who are. This is nothing but a slap in their faces and if President Obama values his political capital and future, he would be advised to think twice before he implements such a plan. If he doesn’t, I hope he gets a fight he will not soon forget.