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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama Dishonest About the Shutdown’s Impact on Veterans



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From the “Shutdown Tuesday” edition of the Morning Jolt:

Imagine That, Obama Was Dishonest About the Shutdown’s Impact on Veterans

Late Monday afternoon, President Obama said in his government shutdown demagoguery and scaremongering statement:

Vital services that seniors and veterans, women and children, businesses and our economy depend on would be hamstrung. Business owners would see delays in raising capital, seeking infrastructure permits, or rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. Veterans who’ve sacrificed for their country will find their support centers unstaffed.

I know it will stun you to learn that what the president said isn’t true.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s Carlisle Williams wrote in to Campaign Spot Monday night:

I’m sure you caught the reference to veterans in Obama’s speech today — the reality for vets is that VA health care is protected. In 2009, Congress passed a law to fund the VA one year in advance, allowing VA health care to be funded for an additional year beyond the government shut down. All VA medical appointment and prescription drug phone lines will be active during the shutdown as well.

Over on the IAVA site, they further explain:

All payments for the month of October are already out. VA benefits are protected and should go out during a shutdown. However, the VA recently announced that if the shutdown lasts longer than 2-3 weeks, the VA might not have enough cash on hand to pay benefits in November.

If you filed a claim before the shutdown, the VA will continue to process it, but expect there to be some delay. While the VA employees that are working on your claim are protected from the shutdown, many of the information sources that they use to develop your claim are not. This may slow the process down.

Does that mean that I won’t get my benefits in November?

Possibly. The VA has not given any specifics on what will happen if the shutdown continues for the next few weeks, and they run out of cash on hand.

And while the members of our military are thankfully getting paid during this colossal cluster-you-know what, that doesn’t mean their daily life will continue unaffected:

Military hospitals and clinics should remain open. However, expect many MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) and community services (like commissaries) to be either closed or limiting operations. Your chain of command will have detailed information about what is happening on your local base.

Shortly after sending off the Jolt, I looked up and confirmed: As of midnight, death benefits for military families are suspended.


Tags: Barack Obama , Government Shutdown


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