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Preparing For War, Bush Spurns Veterans
www.thebostonchannel.com ^ | POSTED: 12:25 p.m. EST January 7, 2003 | Helen Thomas

Posted on 01/30/2003 1:48:54 PM PST by aSkeptic

WASHINGTON -- Veterans groups are angry at President George W. Bush for supporting a 1995 government decision to rescind an old promise of free lifetime health benefits for military retirees.

This is the man who told veterans and active-duty military personnel after the 2000 campaign that he would make sure "promises made to our veterans will be promises kept." So why does he persist in short-changing the retirees, especially when he is preparing for another war and hoping to lure more volunteers for the military?

Many World War II and Korean conflict veterans have been hopping mad ever since the Pentagon welshed on the deal recruiters promised them when they signed up -- that if they served 20 or more years, they and their dependents would get free health care benefits for life.

(Excerpt) Read more at thebostonchannel.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: benefits; bush; catherinezetajones; helenthomas; liar; lifetime; rescind
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1 posted on 01/30/2003 1:48:54 PM PST by aSkeptic
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To: aSkeptic
The author of this piece is HELEN THOMAS.

For goodness sake...

2 posted on 01/30/2003 1:50:45 PM PST by homeschool mama
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To: homeschool mama
I realize it's Helen Thomas and she'll put the very worst spin on anything about President Bush she can, but I'm truly hoping the article is a bunch of lies by a mean old biddy. If someone knows the truth of the matter, I'd like to hear it.
3 posted on 01/30/2003 1:54:37 PM PST by Peach
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To: aSkeptic
I'm skeptical of anything by Hell n Thomas.
4 posted on 01/30/2003 1:57:07 PM PST by exnavy (nuke mecca)
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To: Peach
Helen Thomas is known for splicing, spinning and otherwise making complete chaos out of facts. I refuse to read anything she writes. It would be a waste of energy and time, imo.
5 posted on 01/30/2003 1:57:33 PM PST by homeschool mama
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To: aSkeptic
No mention of the fact that this policy change was initiated by the CLINTON administration. No Democrats were complaining then.

Bush has promised to review the situation, but for now it is defending the right not to be bound by every promise a recruiter makes. The Federal government cannot reasonably be bound to such promises when Congress has not enacted them into law.
6 posted on 01/30/2003 1:59:52 PM PST by Hugin
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To: Peach
Please see post 6. Thanks.
7 posted on 01/30/2003 2:01:37 PM PST by homeschool mama
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To: aSkeptic
helent@hearstdc.com
8 posted on 01/30/2003 2:01:57 PM PST by Timesink (I offered her a ring, she gave me the finger)
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To: aSkeptic
Veterans groups are angry at President George W. Bush for supporting a 1995 government decision to rescind an old promise of free lifetime health benefits for military retirees.

Gee, who was president in 1995???????

Did Thomas write a column about this then?

I am a military retiree. I am not complaining about my health care. DoD takes care of me when I ask them to. Thomas can get stuffed!

9 posted on 01/30/2003 2:03:57 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: exnavy
See http://tricare.osd.mil/tfl/. Tricare for Life Pays what Medicare does not pay. Helen is full of it.
10 posted on 01/30/2003 2:04:30 PM PST by Rider on the Rain
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To: aSkeptic
Well, it is apparent that Helen Tomas got the memo.
11 posted on 01/30/2003 2:07:24 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Hugin
The Federal government cannot reasonably be bound to such promises when Congress has not enacted them into law.

This particular promise was made by thousands of recruiters to millions of GIs. The recruiters did so in good faith. Recruiters are agents of the government and the government should be bound by a promise made by thousands of them.

If you own a business and your salesman makes a promise, you're bound by it. End of story.

Why is the goobermint different?

The fact that Klinton, who loathed the military, made this decision to shaft veterans does not mean GW shouldn't immediately reverse it.

12 posted on 01/30/2003 2:07:57 PM PST by jimt
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To: aSkeptic
When, oh when, will this dried-up old mummy shut her pie-hole?
13 posted on 01/30/2003 2:09:22 PM PST by Spruce
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To: Alas Babylon!
At the end of her hatchet job article, you will find her email.

I emailed her and asked her if she supported our Vietnam heroes returning from the war...and asked her if she questioned LBJ and Nixon about ensuring that our Vietnam soldiers got all of the support they needed.
14 posted on 01/30/2003 2:10:26 PM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: jimt
If you own a business and your salesman makes a promise, you're bound by it. End of story.

No your not. Ever have a car salesman make a "promise" while out on the lot just to have it disappear when at "the table"?

15 posted on 01/30/2003 2:13:37 PM PST by Phantom Lord (No Remorse)
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To: Rider on the Rain
Tricare for life seems to apply only to people 65 or over. I clearly remember that when I joined the Navy I was told that people who served 20 years or more would have free health care for life including family coverage. I could have retired at age 36 and 1/2 with credit for 20 years. That leaves a long time until 65.
16 posted on 01/30/2003 2:14:39 PM PST by RipSawyer
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To: Rider on the Rain
I thought so, thanks for the link.
17 posted on 01/30/2003 2:17:20 PM PST by exnavy (nuke mecca)
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To: aSkeptic
Many World War II and Korean conflict veterans have been hopping mad ever since the Pentagon welshed on the deal recruiters promised them when they signed up...

Helen Thomas should really know better than to use the term "welsh" in this context. Would it be acceptable to call them "Indian givers"? Why pick on the Welsh?

18 posted on 01/30/2003 2:17:44 PM PST by gridlock (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue)
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To: aSkeptic
Freedom Is Not Free

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington


19 posted on 01/30/2003 2:21:47 PM PST by Happy2BMe (It's All About You - It's All About Me - It's All About Being Free!)
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To: Alas Babylon!
"...Thomas can get stuffed..."

Agree, big time. She needs a quick visit to Norman Bates' motel.

Why does this ancient wench remain in the front row of WH reporters? Correct me if I'm wrong, but she retired from UPI/AP several moons ago.

Note for Ari: Ignore her. She's brain dead!

Mustang sends.
20 posted on 01/30/2003 2:25:14 PM PST by Mustang
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To: jimt
This particular promise was made by thousands of recruiters to millions of GIs. The recruiters did so in good faith. Recruiters are agents of the government and the government should be bound by a promise made by thousands of them. If you own a business and your salesman makes a promise, you're bound by it...Why is the goobermint different?

Because it is. You cannot under US law sue the Federal Government unless Congress first passes a law authorizing you to do so. Remember, it wouldn't be the people who made the promises that pay for it, it would be you and me. As to why that is important, let me give you an example. Many soldiers are recruited with promises that they can be trained and go into a specific field of the military. For example, in WWII many were promised to be anti-aircraft radar operators. Indeed, they were trained and sent to Europe as such. However when they arrived there the Germans no longer had an effective air force, but ground units were decimated and replacements were desperately needed. Guess what? Those troops found themselves toting rifles on the front line. Imagine if all of them (and their relatives) could sue the government for breaking a promise?

On the broader picture, the executive branch has no authority under the constitution to authorize spending, current or future. What Bush is defending is really the right of the Federal Government not to be bound to pay for promises made by the executive branch, however well intended.

I do take Bush at his word that he will review the situation. Hopefully he will come up with a satisfactory solution in the future, but for now he has to defend the legal position of the adminstration.

21 posted on 01/30/2003 2:25:42 PM PST by Hugin
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To: aSkeptic
From the full article -

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who has announced he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said after the court ruling that "it is extraordinary to me that you give your entire career in defense of this country and then have to go to court to make the government keep its promise."[emphasis added]

Senator, please tell us what you said back in 1995 when the Clinton administration implemented this policy.

Also from the article -

The court noted that the government conceded that the military recruiters did indeed make the promises. But in a 9-4 decision, it said the Defense Department was correct in arguing that the assurances were not valid because Congress never passed a law backing them up.

Senator Kerry, please tell us the bill number of your legislation to fund this promise.

While I can see the merit in a technical defense of not enshrining every recruiter's promise into reality, the Bush administration would be well served to address the specific issue through legislation. If they really want to help the veterans and their families, they will propose vouchers for private insurance - anything but the VA!

22 posted on 01/30/2003 2:28:21 PM PST by NonValueAdded
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To: homeschool mama
"The author of this piece is HELEN THOMAS."

LOL -- 'Nuff said.

23 posted on 01/30/2003 2:29:00 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: RipSawyer
TRICARE pays as primary for retirees not eligible for Medicare.
24 posted on 01/30/2003 2:34:54 PM PST by Rider on the Rain
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To: NonValueAdded
"Senator, please tell us what you said back in 1995 when the Clinton administration implemented this policy"

Clinton was a liar and a hypocrite. Bush said that he would work to keep the promises, why isn't Bush working for our veterans? I know about Helen, but what is the President doing? Not Clinton, our President, we count on him to fix Clinton's messes.
25 posted on 01/30/2003 2:36:14 PM PST by Theyknow
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To: F16Fighter
23 replies without the obligatory??? Wassup?


26 posted on 01/30/2003 2:36:30 PM PST by ErnBatavia ((Bumperootus!))
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To: homeschool mama

27 posted on 01/30/2003 2:37:00 PM PST by geedee
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To: jimt
If you own a business and your salesman makes a promise, you're bound by it.

Actually, it depends. Verbal contracts are a tricky thing, especially with regards to pricing.

I've been in hi-tech and software sales for 25 years, and I've seen companies walk away from a deal rather than honor a promise or a price made by a sales person.

28 posted on 01/30/2003 2:37:28 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Peach
I'm a member of VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and DAV (Disabled American Veterans.) Unfortunately, everything in the article is true. I absolutely salute President Bush, but on this one he's wrong. Very, Very Wrong!

I just received both my VFW and my DAV monthly magazines. The reports were terribly disappointing. The case for 100% care is being carried forward to the Supreme Court.

It gets worse. Imagine that you become disabled at General Motors. You're able to continue working because it's just a 40 or 50 percent disability. To cover your disability they give you money to cover the extra medical expense per month. You finish out your 30 years at General Motors and retire. You go to get your retirement check like the other guys and they have deducted nothing from their check, but they have deducted from your check the value of the disability check they give you. In effect, at retirement they started charging you for your own disability and recouping it from your retirement check. You'd go ballistic.

This is ALSO what they've done to the military for years. They won't permit you to receive disability and military retirement at the same time (concurrent receipt.)

However, if you had gotten out of the Army after your accident or injury, you would have immediately started receiving the disability payment. You could go to work the very next day for the Government Bureaucracy, even the Dept of Defense, and get that check every day you worked for them. Then you could retire as a civil servant after 30 years working for the ARMY and then when you retire you could get BOTH the disability and the retirement check.

Retire from the military, though, and you cannot.

And they've reneged on the life health care promise. So, in effect, if they had any excuse in the past for not giving concurrent receipt, now they have none.

Broken promises. Bush is wrong not to sign off on both of these.....at a minimum, he should sign off on one of them.
29 posted on 01/30/2003 2:37:58 PM PST by xzins
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To: ErnBatavia
I'm sorry, but my Lord God in heaven, that woman is ugly. From her heart to her appearance...ugly.
30 posted on 01/30/2003 2:38:34 PM PST by homeschool mama
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To: homeschool mama
I don't want Helen Thomas speaking for Veterans.

Helen Thomas does not speak for veterans.

She is an old biddie who lies constantly about President Bush.
31 posted on 01/30/2003 2:39:11 PM PST by fightinJAG
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To: aSkeptic
When the HELL is the White House going to bounce this old bat from the press room? Aren't those seats supposed to be reserved for ostensibly "objective" reporters?

Is National Review, The Nation, or any other ideologically slanted mag allowed reporters in there?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think Thomas files straight-up news stories anymore, only this toxic column of hers.

32 posted on 01/30/2003 2:39:18 PM PST by winin2000
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To: exnavy
I'm skeptical of anything by Hell n Thomas. The issue is real, regardless of who signed off on the print. Blackbird.
33 posted on 01/30/2003 2:39:29 PM PST by BlackbirdSST
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To: Phantom Lord
No your not. Ever have a car salesman make a "promise" while out on the lot just to have it disappear when at "the table"?

If you sign off on it, who's the bigger fool? The goobermint made a Contract, but as usual, prove right out in front of everyone, they had no intent on standing behind it. That said, you could shut the whole mess down tomorrow (goobermint), and my life would not be impacted. Blackbird.

34 posted on 01/30/2003 2:45:47 PM PST by BlackbirdSST
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To: Hugin
Could you share your thoughts on post 29 by xzins? Thanks.
35 posted on 01/30/2003 2:46:01 PM PST by homeschool mama
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To: xzins
I think there is a difference between defending the policy, and defending the right of the adminstration to decide on the policy, not the courts. That's what Bush is doing here. What the eventual poicy will be remains to be seen.
36 posted on 01/30/2003 2:48:51 PM PST by Hugin
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To: BlackbirdSST
My post had nothing to do with the military, nor the government. So a reply directed at such is wrong.

Dispute my point. The owner of a business is not legally bound to provide something a salesman promises.

37 posted on 01/30/2003 2:48:58 PM PST by Phantom Lord (No Remorse)
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To: RipSawyer
Tricare for life seems to apply only to people 65 or over. I clearly remember that when I joined the Navy I was told that people who served 20 years or more would have free health care for life including family coverage. I could have retired at age 36 and 1/2 with credit for 20 years. That leaves a long time until 65.

Huh?

If you have 20 years and are retired you get full health care for you and your dependents under Tricare. Under the old law, Tricare stopped when you reached 65 and Medicare took over. The new law "Tricare for Life" filled in after 65 and continued the same coverage you had until 65. That is why the "Tricare for Life" law only refers to people over 65, as people from retirement on up until 65 were already covered.

Helen is in a time warp. Tricare covers you truely "for life" now, under, over, or at age 65.

38 posted on 01/30/2003 2:54:59 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty" not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: Hugin
from your lips to God's ears.

Point: Bush didn't create these policies. These were created over the years by other administrations. The Clinton cabal killed lifetime medical care.

But he has had a chance to fix them and he hasn't. It's the one area I want him to act. That 15 billion going to Africa Aids goes instead to our own veterans and we've got it licked.
39 posted on 01/30/2003 2:55:02 PM PST by xzins
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To: aSkeptic
That's OK. We can't Republicans to their promises. After all, they're Republicans.
40 posted on 01/30/2003 2:58:22 PM PST by Cacophonous
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To: xzins
But he has had a chance to fix them and he hasn't. It's the one area I want him to act. That 15 billion going to Africa Aids goes instead to our own veterans and we've got it licked.

Works for me.

41 posted on 01/30/2003 3:07:31 PM PST by Hugin
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To: xzins
"Broken promises. Bush is wrong not to sign off on both of these.....at a minimum, he should sign off on one of them."

You Hit The BullsEye!

42 posted on 01/30/2003 3:11:45 PM PST by Happy2BMe (It's All About You - It's All About Me - It's All About Being Free!)
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To: Alas Babylon!
I am a military retiree. I am not complaining about my health care. DoD takes care of me when I ask them to.

Same here. This is yet another stinking RAT dungpile left behind by the Raping Rhodes Scholar. The "Penguin's" double is hoping Americans are so stupid they'll believe her lie that Dubyah is the one responsible for it.

43 posted on 01/30/2003 3:14:48 PM PST by DaBroasta (Make the retroactive abortion of NARAL members legal)
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To: xzins
"That 15 billion going to Africa Aids goes instead to our own veterans and we've got it licked."

Sadly, there are more democrats that support concurrent receipt than Republicans.

We Republicans who are affected by this see it as the one area that has been neglected.

And now Dubya needs some vote cash and he's spending it on a foreign country.

Not good - NOT GOOD!

44 posted on 01/30/2003 3:15:06 PM PST by Happy2BMe (It's All About You - It's All About Me - It's All About Being Free!)
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To: jimt
This particular promise was made by thousands of recruiters to millions of GIs. The recruiters did so in good faith. Recruiters are agents of the government and the government should be bound by a promise made by thousands of them.

When I entered Navy Boot Camp in Jan 1959 the very first thing we were told at the Indoctrination center was " Forget Any Promise the Recruiter Made to You "
45 posted on 01/30/2003 3:23:49 PM PST by uncbob
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To: Hugin
Many soldiers are recruited with promises that they can be trained and go into a specific field of the military.

That one you could put to a stupid recruiter. Mine never claimed I'd actually get to work in my MOS, just that I'd be trained in it. And naturally, I worked in my MOS for about a month or two.

The promise of lifetime health care for twenty year veterans is a whole different matter. EVERY recruiter promised that one, even mine. It was policy, and therefore it's an obligation.

Your point about "suing" the goobermint is well taken, and very true. That, of course, doesn't make it morally right.

46 posted on 01/30/2003 3:24:38 PM PST by jimt
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To: xzins
Please answer this one question...are you retired military with 20+ years of ACTIVE DUTY?

Your bitching doesn't seem you did. Sometimes the fine print is important words to read.

Mustang sends.
47 posted on 01/30/2003 3:26:39 PM PST by Mustang
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To: Phantom Lord
Ever have a car salesman make a "promise" while out on the lot just to have it disappear when at "the table"?

At that point the deal isn't done, and you can still back out. With folks that employ those tactics, it's a good idea.

But if you're promised something as a condition of the agreement, even verbally (assuming you can prove it), and the agent's boss tries to welsh on it later, they'll lose.

48 posted on 01/30/2003 3:28:17 PM PST by jimt
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To: Mustang; Happy2BMe; Hugin
Yes....20 years of active duty.

BTW, do you have 20 years?

You cannot find a stronger Bush supporter than me. Every now and then even an old hag like Thomas has to say something correct or everyone would catch onto her.

Go to the VFW and DAV websites if you don't believe me.

Bitching....hell....I called it PO'd at having been lied to about our benefits by the Clinton Administration. THAT'S why Bush should sign off on it. He can lead it off by saying, "Correcting an inequity from the past administration...blah, blah, blah."
49 posted on 01/30/2003 3:30:50 PM PST by xzins
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To: sinkspur
I've been in hi-tech and software sales for 25 years, and I've seen companies walk away from a deal rather than honor a promise or a price made by a sales person.

You're certainly correct.

My question was regarding the moral and legal position.

Morally, the goobermint should honor agents' promises. Legally, unlike a private business, they can't be sued and a favorable judgement obtained. Even with two private parties, while you'd be in a good position to get a judgement, you still might not get zip out of it.

Life isn't fair, but the government should try to be.

50 posted on 01/30/2003 3:33:30 PM PST by jimt
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