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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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Luke,

You are so right, the money we waste on the illegal alien invaders and even the excessive financial benefits we give to legal immigrants would go a long way to supporting needed things for Americans and negate any need to cut Veteran and military benefits and care.  Getting rid of the illegals would also free up a lot of jobs for our own citizens.

Seems you have all the data, keep up the fight.

Dave

I can't believe Bachmann kept office.Don't look at Me,I didn't vote for the Bit-h.

As I have said before, the Congress should ask (CAGW) citizens against gov't waste for advice.We do not and 

 

should not cut Veterans Benefits. And yes i am a Vet. 30 yrs and 12 days active duty.

Actually I think most of you vets should stop taking the weird drugs from the doctor . . I did and went to a Health food store and started learning about things to CURE the problems and I am about 99 % back to normal now ! !

If I had done this way back when I would be a lot better off now 

I have to agree with you there, Lynne; I use mostly natural supplements, and homeopathic remedies now and am much better generally than I was years ago on the pharmaceuticals the VA had me on.  Some I can't cure per se; but the treatments are a lot easier to live with.
Lynne and Sandra, sadly there is no cure natural, medical or otherwise for the effects of exposure to Agent Orange. The main substance used to make that crap was dioxin which is now and has been in-bedded in every part of each and every soldiers body including muscle tissue who was exposed. We now know that stepping foot in-country in Vietnam you were exposed. If your tour was 1 year you were exposed many times each day for all 365 you were there. It was in the water we drank, the food we ate and the air we breathed. Now all most can hope for is drugs that mask the symptoms or kill the pain. That is why out of 2.8 million in-country Vietnam Veterans only about 900,000 of us are still living. None of us know when this ticking time bomb we carry inside our bodies will explode like it did for Rustin Marsh, Frank Estrada and about 1.9 million other Vietnam Veteran who are no longer with their families, their friends or with us their Brothers in Arms. If you all know something I don't please pass it along as we can use all the help we can get. Having studied this problem that effects every Nam Vet for 31 years and trying every natural method to detoxify my body I have come to the conclusion I will die before my time as will all the remaining Vietnam Veterans. I call it chemical aids with no AZT for remission. Guess we should have worn body condoms so we could have had safe-war-sex or what ever. For many the VA medical and service connected disability is their only life line. They have suffered enough and fought for every little bit they have gotten some with their dying breaths. The US government didn't even admit our exposure till over 10 years after the War was over. Every year after enough have died from this or that the VA will add those conditions to the service connected list for agent orange. Nice con if you can get away with it and the US Government and VA have been getting away with it for years. Best experts guess is that in about 10 years we will all be gone and no longer a burden on this Great and Wonderful Country full of compassionate and caring people, oops my bad, I was thinking about the illegals not our Veterans. Sorry for the rant, I must of had a PTSD flashback, that always makes Luke the Prick rear his ugly head. Gotta go my hands and feet are burning, time to take my meds so maybe I will get a couple hours sleep tonight. If I can, I will wake up tomorrow a lot less cranky. Be right back. The 58,000 plus whose names are on the Wall in DC are no with their 1.9 million Vietnam Veteran Brothers who died from their unseen war wounds and whose names belong along side of theirs. Equal Honor For All is all we have ever asked. The worst experience from my tour in Vietnam and my Military Service is, not being able to be Proud that I served my Country when I came home. NEVER AGAIN WILL ONE GENERATION OF VETERANS ABANDON THE NEXT. That is the Vietnam Veterans Promise, one we will never break.The Vietnam Veterans VA benefits shrink each and every day and will soon be just a memory. But us Vietnam Veterans last act of Valor will be saving the VA for all our current and all our future Veterans. Maybe I will run in to you all at the health food store. Kinda low on A, D, and minerals without iron, I am a tad over 50.
Luke, I wish I did know something that would help.  I was exposed to parathion in the early '70s and still pay for that one myself, for rescuing a downed crop duster with a volunteer ambulance service in the area where he crashed, so I do understand what you're saying.  I also served in the Navy Nurse Corps, and without even going to Vietnam was treated in much the same manner as the vets coming back were.  It is hard to hold your head up and be proud of having served when the nation treats you like it was some kind of crime. I have been fortunate enough to find a combination of things that seem to work pretty well for me, but each individual is different in how they react to even the same exposure to the same toxin.  And I know the VA has been really good at denying the after effects from exposure to the toxins in the field.  They did that to the guys coming back with Gulf War syndrome as well, and are still largely denying them too.  Often the unseen injuries are the worst, and always the hardest to get treated as well.  With this crop it's the closed head injuries from blast concussions that are being ignored and denied now.  It's always the same with any government agency, though; deny and ignore the obvious.  The VA is socialized medicine at it's "finest" and those who think Obamacare will be so wonderful should try going just once for a trial... I'm pretty sure the tune would change very quickly.  I'll swap PTSD flashbacks with you another time.

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