Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 17, 2009


Examiner - Washington State's senior senator, Patty Murray. . . questioned new Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. After stating her overall approval of the proposed Obama Veteran's Affairs budget, she added this cautionary note:

"Finally, while there is much to commend in this budget, I do want to express my concern about a rumored proposal that would supposedly allow the VA to bill a veteran's insurance company for service-connected disabilities and injuries. I believe that veterans with service-connected injuries have already paid by putting their lives on the line for our safety. When our troops are injured while serving this country, we should take care of those injuries completely. We shouldn't nickel and dime them with their care. While no such proposal has been formally made, I can assure you that it will be dead on arrival in this Congress if it is proposed.". . .

While it has been policy for the VA to bill a veteran's private insurance for injuries or illness determined to be non-service related, the rumor that President Obama may be considering a shift in that policy has got more than Senator Murray speaking up. On February 27th an open letter co-authored by every major veterans organization in the country was sent to President Obama. Organizations represented included the VFW, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America, and more. In part the letter said:

"This proposal ignores the solemn obligation that this country has to care for those men and women who have served this country with distinction and were left with the wounds and scars of that service. The blood spilled in service for this nation is the premium that service-connected veterans have paid for their earned care"

On Monday, President Obama met with the signers of the letter to discuss his proposed veterans budget as well as listen to their concerns about this proposed policy change. Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, appeared on the Rachel Maddow show to discuss the issue. He said that, while Obama had been willing to listen to the group's positions, he did not commit to immediately drop the policy proposal . . . Riekhoff said that his group would be mobilizing opposition the proposed policy change.


Blogger Booboo said...

I can't believe that Obama would even consider this move!!!! Bailing out AIG and others that run with the money and not bail out the military who have risked their lives for our country?

Tell me it isn't true!!!!!!!!!!

March 17, 2009 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Audrey said...

How about putting all vets in Medicare, with premiums covered by the Pentagon. VA and civilian hospitals to be integrated, and choice of doctors and facilities to be open, as for civilian patients. No ghettos for injured vets, and no profits for insurance companies.

March 18, 2009 8:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home