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White House picking vetsí pockets
The Shawnee News-Star ^ | March 17, 2009 | Bruce Coulter

Posted on 03/17/2009 3:57:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Hey, G.I., is that a gun in your pocket, or is it just Obama and company reaching for your insurance card?

President Barack Obama pledged to be a friend to veterans while on the campaign trail.

As a matter of fact, while at a town hall meeting with veterans in Las Cruces, N.M., Obama said: “One of the best ways that we can honor our fallen soldiers is to honor those who came back, who survived. And so, to all the veterans who are here, I am grateful to your service, and as president of the United States, I will not let you down.”

Evidence of Obama’s outreach to veterans lies in the numbers of the VA’s fiscal 2010 budget proposal. In testimony before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Secretary Eric Shinseki said the proposed 2010 budget would increase VA’s budget to $113 billion, $15 billion more than fiscal 2009.

The VA, Shinseki tells us, is about to sow seeds that will blossom into a wealth of benefits and opportunities for veterans.

The blossoms may include a Venus flytrap as well.

As reported by CNN last week, Shinseki confirmed the Obama administration is considering a plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

I have two words for this proposal, only one of which I can use: bull.

No formal proposal has been made. According to Dave Autry, the deputy national director of communications for the Disabled American Veterans, details would be forthcoming from the Office of Management and Budget in April.

Autry called the plan for what it is, saying, “The administration should not be using my personal insurance as a revenue stream.”

What in the world could this administration be thinking? Not only does this proposal penalize disabled veterans for being, well, disabled, but it could also hurt their future employment prospects.

What employer would hire a disabled veteran knowing he or she could be coming aboard with higher insurance payouts?

“If you have a million-dollar lifetime limit and a severe disability, it won’t take long to burn through that limit, leaving veterans without insurance coverage and indigent,” said Autry. “The VA would [eventually have to] pick up the cost anyway.”

Sooner or later, many of us rob Peter to pay Paul. Apparently, Uncle Sam wants to rob disabled veterans to pay – for the veterans’ own benefits.

To be fair, I understand the VA’s policy to charge private insurers when veterans receive services not related to service-connected injuries. It’s a sound economic policy. But if I have an appointment with a VA audiologist for a hearing loss caused by my service in the military (and I do), my private insurer should not have to pick up the tab.

Ray Dempsey, national commander of the Disabled American Veterans was much more eloquent in his disappointment.

In a statement released last week, Dempsey said: “As a native of Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, I can’t help but note the irony of such a proposal. Lincoln’s famous quote, ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,’ has been adopted as the VA’s official motto. But if the current president — who also calls Illinois home — expands third-party collections to service-connected conditions, that motto will be rendered meaningless and should be removed from the VA building.”

Dead on arrival

Fortunately, Sen. Patty Murray, D- Wash., took the matter into her own hands when she spoke at a fiscal 2010 budget hearing held by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

“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,” she said. “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.

This isn’t the first time an administration has attempted to recoup dollars from private insurance companies, noted Autry. The idea was debated during the Clinton administration when OMB was looking at ways to increase funding for the VA.

Meeting

Earlier this week, representatives of 11 veterans’ groups met with Obama, Shinseki, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and Steven Kosiak of OMB, but to no avail.

“It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion, in a statement released Wednesday. “He says he is looking to generate $540 million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

************

Bruce Coulter is the editor of the Burlington (Mass.) Union and a retired, disabled veteran. He may be reached at 978-371-5775 or bcoulter@cnc.com.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: agenda; bho44; bhoveterans; congress; first100days; gatheringofeagles; maf; obama; obamatruthfile; veterans
If this doesn't warrant a letter or call to your Congressman and Senators, what does?
1 posted on 03/17/2009 3:57:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Mine are sick of hearing from me, LOL! However, I am not easily deterred. :)
2 posted on 03/17/2009 4:01:13 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My stepdad took this to the VA today when he had an appointment. One man almost got violent saying “Obama wouldn’t do that to us!”, he wouldn’t even read the news article my dad was trying to show him.

So there ya have it. The congress will shut this down (I hope and rightfully so) and Obama the d-head will come out smelling like a rose to the ignorant.


3 posted on 03/17/2009 4:02:42 PM PDT by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristoferrson VIVA LA REVOLUTION!)
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To: autumnraine

Obama=”prick with big ears.”


4 posted on 03/17/2009 4:07:45 PM PDT by mathurine
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This is the bombshell that will kick King Obama in the a@@. Wonder how our military men feel knowing if they are wounded that they will have to buy insurance to get medical treatment. Civil war on the way.
5 posted on 03/17/2009 4:13:58 PM PDT by Logical me (Oh, well!!!)
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To: autumnraine

The VA already makes combat disabled vets pay for meds and services. I know this as fact, since it happened to me.


6 posted on 03/17/2009 4:18:02 PM PDT by daddydoo
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Already done.

As a vet, myself, I believe it is a travesty for anyone in the government to even consider such a stupid notion as this one.


7 posted on 03/17/2009 4:18:45 PM PDT by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2013: Change we can look forward to.)
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To: Logical me

One poster said that they were to involved in making a living and paying taxes to protest in DC about this. He has a good point. But he can pick up the phone and call the local office of his or her Senators and Representatives and let them know how they feel.

A good site for Congressional phone numbers (in DC and local) and emails is
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Based on my experience, emails are a waste of time. Please Fax, write letters, or call. Be respectful if you can.


8 posted on 03/17/2009 4:24:23 PM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What in the world could this administration be thinking?

What could the author be thinking? The objective here is to make private health insurance so expensive that only a very few can afford it. The people will then clamor for government to provide health insurance. Thus making the establishment of socialized medicine easy. The vets are pawns in a much larger game. We conservatives are so honest and decent we fight gambits and cannot seem to discern the strategy of the rats.

9 posted on 03/17/2009 4:28:17 PM PDT by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
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To: daddydoo

Thank you for your service to this country, from a peace-time navy vet.


10 posted on 03/17/2009 4:33:57 PM PDT by red-dawg (The Obama Administration : A Man-Caused Disaster.)
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To: daddydoo
The VA already makes combat disabled vets pay for meds and services. I know this as fact, since it happened to me.

And....if you are illegal ....you get it free!

11 posted on 03/17/2009 4:47:29 PM PDT by notaliberal (Obama: The Abortion President)
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To: daddydoo

A copay or the whole bill?


12 posted on 03/17/2009 4:50:53 PM PDT by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristoferrson VIVA LA REVOLUTION!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bump for later reading.


13 posted on 03/17/2009 5:19:03 PM PDT by feedback doctor (The first female president will be a Conservative Republican)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Spoke to a die-hard Obama supporter today and they were not happy about this. This was his first disappointment with Obama. I'll be truly surprised if this happens.

My guess is that Obama will use this issue to smoke screen while moving through other parts of his radical agenda. His depravity knows no bounds.

14 posted on 03/17/2009 6:19:41 PM PDT by topfile
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To: Nuc1
The vets are pawns in a much larger game.

My eyes are failing me, you may be right sir.

15 posted on 03/17/2009 6:25:08 PM PDT by topfile
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
I called Rep. Dan Lundgren R-CA this morning to encourage him to fight this, plus a few other veteran related issues. What I got were two nasty staffers, Jonathan and Brittany (I think that was her name) who told me that they couldn't take my call because I'm not a constituent. When I tried to explain that we are all constituents, they hung up. I reported this to his CA office. Please help me out by giving a quick call and then reporting them when you get the same treatment. I told them that it is usually only the Democrats that act so rudely. So if they don't want to behave like Republicans, take a hike.
16 posted on 03/17/2009 6:27:56 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: oneamericanvoice

That is why I always call a DC switchboard 1-877-762-8762. That way the staffers can’t tell where I am calling from. I also call after hours and leave a message. That way I have my say and don’t have to listen to any excuses. No way do I restrict myself to just my own reps.


17 posted on 03/17/2009 6:36:02 PM PDT by csmusaret (You can't spell Democrat without R-A-T.)
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To: csmusaret

Vet’s motto “stick your hand in my pocket and leave with a bloody stump” may be the new rally cry.....


18 posted on 03/17/2009 6:38:23 PM PDT by libertyhoundusnr
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

19 posted on 03/17/2009 6:59:23 PM PDT by topfile
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To: mathurine

funny, I use the direct word when using that phrase.


20 posted on 03/17/2009 7:29:20 PM PDT by Vendome
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If 0bama did this why would we need VA hospitals at all? With private insurance the vets could go anywhere.


21 posted on 03/17/2009 8:19:53 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (We have nothing to fear but Obama himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Sen. Patty Murray, D- Wash.:

“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....

I can assure you that it will be dead on arrival in this Congress if it is proposed.

That is very refreshing to hear, from a Democrat. I almost hope BO does formally propose this-it will be so unbelievably unpopular, it can only tarnish him.

22 posted on 03/18/2009 9:39:15 AM PDT by proud American in Canada ("We can, and we will prevail.")
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To: red-dawg

I once knew a Red Dog. He worked with a friend of mine as a roadie for the Allman Bros. Band.


23 posted on 03/18/2009 4:37:17 PM PDT by daddydoo
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To: topfile

I am certain of it. The AIG bonus issue has the potential to destroy contract law and the people in their anger will be screaming for it without any idea about the deadly threat to the nation their passions cause. Pick the issue. Examine it closely and you will find concealed within an attack on the fabric and foundations of the nation. This is truly a well thought and diabolical plan.


24 posted on 03/18/2009 6:15:03 PM PDT by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
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