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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Obama Administration to Wounded Vets: FU

Senators slam plan for wounded vets to use private insurance

• Story Highlights
• Obama team considering plan in which vets would use private insurance for wounds
• No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly
• Veterans organizations have been lobbying Congress to oppose the idea
• Lawmakers say plan would be rejected if it goes to Congress

By Adam Levine CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

Lawmakers say they'd reject a proposal to make veterans pay for treatment of war wounds with private insurance.

But the proposal would be "dead on arrival" if it's sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.

Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.

No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

The groups also cited an increase in "third-party collections" estimated in the 2010 budget proposal -- something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."

"A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said.

Currently, veterans' private insurance is charged only when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like getting the flu.

Charging for service-related injuries would violate "a sacred trust," Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis said. Davis said the move would risk private health care for veterans and their families by potentially maxing out benefits paying for costly war injury treatments.



My Thoughts

I think Obama is missing the point of the VA. This is almost guaranteed to go nowhere, but the very thought of his administration contemplating such a move is not just shocking but preposterous. Insult doesn't seem like a strong enough word for how the administration has offended all vets, current military, and their families.

This seems in conflict with his rhetoric of everyone having a right to healthcare and the universal healthcare the Democrats and the left seem so fond of implementing here in the US.

What in the world could posses them to even suggest it?

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