The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.
"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. "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."
The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, "This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ' to care for him who shall have borne the battle' given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans!" ...
Read the rest here. Making wounded vets use their own families' private insurance (and likely max out that insurance in many cases) to pay for treatment of their service-related injuries is indeed shameful. But as our Socialist-In-Chief might say: Socialism ain't cheap, boys and girls.
The amount in question, $540 million (strange seeing "mere" millions when we're talking about government spending, isn't it?), is a mere rounding error in the $800 billion "stimulus package" we just passed (the real cost of which is likely over $1 trillion when you add in financing costs, i.e., interest on this debt). We can find billions of taxpayer money to give to other nations, directly and indirectly, but can't come up with half a billion to take care of our wounded vets? Unbelievable.