Army Times

Veterans groups blast proposed tea party cuts

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jan 28, 2011 16:20:26 EST

A proposal to cut $4.5 billion from Veterans Affairs Department health programs to reduce government spending has earned a quick, sharp rebuke from major veterans groups.


Proposed by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the freeze in veterans health care funding — along with a cut in disability compensation for veterans also receiving Social Security disability benefits — are part of a $400 billion package of spending cuts that the tea party leader says could be enacted to avoid increasing the $14.3 trillion cap on government borrowing.


Disabled American Veterans called Bachmann’s ideas “ill-advised,” “nothing short of heartless” and “wrong-headed.”


Veterans of Foreign Wars said she was “totally out of step with America’s commitment to our veterans.”


Veterans for Common Sense said they were “outraged” that her proposal “would leave veterans twisting in the wind.”

Discuss (at Army Times)

The proposal


“It is unconscionable that while our nation is at war, someone would even think of forcing our wounded warriors to sacrifice even more than they already have,” said David Gorman of the DAV. “Their injuries and disabilities were the result of their service to the nation, and our nation must not shirk its responsibilities toward them. How do you tell a veteran who has lost a limb that he or she has not sacrificed enough? Yet Rep. Bachmann wants to do just that.”


Bachmann’s proposal would result in a reduction of up to $2,224 a month in veterans’ disability compensation for a veteran who also receives Social Security Disability Income, known as SSDI. Additionally, it would freeze veterans’ health care funding at current levels.


Richard Eubank, VFW national commander, said his organization will work to stop the proposal. “No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress,” he said.


“There are certain things you do not do when our nation is at war, and at the top of that list is not caring for our wounded and disabled servicemen and women when they return home,” Eubank said. “The day this nation can’t afford to take care of her veterans is the day this nation should quit creating them.”


Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, who first spotted the proposal on Bachmann’s official congressional website, said 10,000 new veterans a month are seeking treatment from VA.


“In the middle of this dramatically increasing need at VA to care for our veterans, comes Rep. Michele Bachmann,” he said, calling her efforts to cut veterans funding just as combat operations appear to be winding down in Iraq is similar to cuts after the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War that left VA struggling to care for veterans.


DAV’s Gorman said capping veterans’ health care funding “will not only freeze out sick and disabled veterans seeking care, it will also end up costing the federal government even more money.”


“With the number of veterans seeking health care rising, the effect of a freeze would be to either block enrollment of veterans, many of them just returning from battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to ration care to currently enrolled veterans, including disabled veterans who have relied on VA dating back to World War II,” Gorman said.


The Obama administration is prepared to cut federal spending, but not like this, said White House spokesman Shin Inouye.


“While we need to make tough choices across the federal government to get our deficits under control to be competitive in the global economy, we should do so in a way that upholds the sacred trust our nation has with its veterans, troops and military families,” Inouye said.



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i was in 3 wars the last 1 put me out. but still have a lot of fight in me lol

~Luke, Thanks for your military service and just as importantly the service you are performing now. Great comments and as a fellow veteran, active American Legionnaire, Promise Keeper, and active Tea Party patriots I commend you. I only take exception with your statement that WW II vets and Korean Vets abandoned Vietnam troops and veterans. I am sure most of us supported our comrades but probably very few of us supported the war or the way it was fought.
I for one would have ended it in 48 hours. The first 24 hours would have been leaflets over Vietnam saying surrender now or your cities and most of the country won't be here tomorrow. At the same time notifying the rest of the world like China, Russia, England, and Europe etc. to shut up. Just like nuking Japan saved countless American lives (probably mine included) and saved millions of Japanese; getting seriously tough with Vietnam would have saved countless lives on both sides and stopped the advance of Communism in that area.


 Could someone explaing to me why we are cutting budgets that we payed into and yet we borrow money from China, to give aid to the rest of the countries. I just read where Hillary told egypt that we would contine our aid to them. When are we going to stop trying to take care of the rest of the world and start taking care of the ones who fought and died for this country and worked all their lives to try to improve.  Of course if that got rid of all the corrupt people at the top,that keeps filling their pockets, maybe then too, we would be able to survive better.  I believe in helping but not when they won't help theirselves.

Seems some got the wrong message when this last election was over and all the new people where put into office . . It is like social security and no raises for years . . And I can tell you I have reduced what I am buying as costs have gone up for the items I buy and so my groceries are things which will last like 18 pack of eggs and large Tang containers

And I bought a bread maker to save the $3.00 bread costs now I just need a bread knife already made some Whole wheat raisin bread and its DAM GOOD . . although buying the flour and measuring spoons needed plus things like raisins and walnuts for banana nut bread cost a bit  . Spent like $45.00 ( minus taxes is like $40.00 )

Sorry, all will suffer because of this nut in the whitehoust.will not get better until he and his fruits are gone.
I Small A Democrat Trick Here! VA Benefits Are So Messed Up And Corrupt As To Be Criminal! The Care You Get From The VA Is On The Pare With Soviet Russia ( When In Power)! We Had Socialized Medicine Working In This Country Ever Since WWII! This "Sacred Trust"  Was Pennies On The dollar When Compared What The SCIU Worker Gets! There Is the The True Savings There Have Them Pay For Their Health Care! The Veterans Need Better Care! Let's Stop Drinking The Democrat Kool Aid!
Sorry Dave, all can comment on is how my 2 brothers and I were treated when we returned from Vietnam. I went into my local VFW Post, one I played in a marble tournament when I was 11, and asked for an application to join. The Post Commander a WWII Vet told me my kind wasn't welcome and to get the F out. I can say VFW Bob Appleman Post Cuyahoga Falls Ohio is no longer there. They ran out of members and when they couldn't get the Nam Vets to join because of the way they treated us when we returned home, they had to shut down. I didn't join the VFW till 2001 and only then because a good friend begged me to so his post wouldn't close. I once asked my uncle Joe, US Navy WWII, why they didn't support us and he said, the WWII Vets didn't think this Country would ever treat our Vets that way. I told him that was lame and he said yea it was. Ask an Iraqi or Afgani Vet who their biggest supporters are and they will tell you it's the Vietnam Vets. Welcome Home Brother and Thank You For Your Service

Luke,  Sorry about your personal bad experience and I have heard a few similar stories.  Sadly, those are the ones you hear the most about.   However, the vast majority did not experience anything especially good or bad.  The only ones who received a real welcome home are those who arrived immediately after WWII.  Those who came home later just came home to no special greetings, just went home and  to work.   Lesson learned, now a real effort is being made to welcome home the various troops and ships and even more for those killed.   We can all feel good about that.   Keep up the good work, the country needs us now more than ever.


In reply to Luke. First let me thank you, your mother and your entire family for the sacrifices that you have made in service of the United States of America. I understand the frustrations and anger about the way the government is responding to this economic crisis and agree with most that cuts should be made in all areas of government, not just veterans. As a Vietnam vet I, for many years, looked back and wondered what the hell happened. Looking back now and realizing that, through all of the suffering that we experienced, the one thing that stands out in my mind is not the governments promises to mete out payments to passify us, but the promises made by us that we would never forget. I have been blessed to be in a position to help my brothers when they needed it. When we depend on the government to provide for us, we lose our freedoms. The proposition on the table is to freeze adjustments until we are out of this mess. The alternative is to keep taking until we lose it all...
Gene, adjustments were frozen 3 years ago for vets and seniors alike, as well as the disabled in the US.  There hasn't been a COLA increase since 2008, for any of those groups.  The Congress has taken raises each of those years, and continued to increase the entitlement payments to other groups including illegal invaders.  Obama's illegal auntie has about 3 times the income I have, and doesn't even have the right to be in this nation.   But she's getting Social Security into which she never paid and she's far from the ONLY illegal collecting on "our monies.  In AZ between housing, food, welfare payments, health care, and schooling alone, illegals are breaking the budget; they get stolen or forged SSN's at the border; it's a whole cottage industry, with an instruction booklet besides, on how to get onto our welfare system and milk the taxpayers, then send money back to family in Mexico; that's how our "good neighbor" to the south is "helping" with the problem, besides suing us for trying to stop it ourselves.  There are plenty of such places to START cutting the budget, before they get to the seniors and vets and cut them even more, is all I'm saying.  NOT that cuts there aren't also necessary, just that they need to start with the dead wood, first.
Gene and Dave, I am in a bad situation here. There is picture out there with me a Nam Vet, a WWII Vet with 5 bronze Stars and an Iraqi Vet with Michelle Bachmann on 8-28-10 in DC after the Glenn Beck Rally. I went to DC on Nov. 5, 2010 when Bachmann asked for support to rally against Obama Care. I think a mole infiltrated her camp and is giving her real bad advice. Here are the facts, there are over 28 million American Veterans. The VAs total budget is about 135 billion dollars. This year we will spend over 400 billion on illegals, another 200 billion on Fannie-Freddy,  100s of billions on foreign aid, 500 billion on the new government workers and raises and who knows how much on Obama Care. Our disabled Vets are getting the bare minimum for their service and sacrifice to this Country. One in two of the Iraq and Afganistan Vets are coming home with Traumatic Brain Injurie not to mention all of the other injuries including PTSD. I did one tour in The Nam and can't even conceive doing 4, 5, or 6 18 month tours like our troops are doing now. We need to increase the VAs budget and cut welfare, foreign aid, aid to illegals, medicare fraud, bailouts to Fanny-Freddy, AIG, GM, ethanol and farm subsisties, and all those 30 something lazy fat people with handicapped stickers who are drawing SSI and driving brand new Chrysler Chargers and you know who I mean. We need to cut the size of government by the 25% it has grown in the last 2 years and then again by another 25%. We justify spending 400 billion dollars on 12 million illegals because it's the right thing to do, but do not do the same for those 28 million Americans who have fought and are still fighting and dying for you and me. I know there are some wanna bees who are gaming the system but anyone who has ever dealt with the VA knows there can't be many when they routinely reject legitimate claims. Getting a phony one through has got to be tough. We need to make the cuts on programs we don't need, can't use and are out dated or useless, not on backs of our Vets. You can cut my SS and my retirement but if you touch my VA benefits, which I earned we are fighting and I cheat.
Luke i am one of the first OATH KEPPERS too



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