The Campaign Spot

Obama’s Vet Aid Proposal ‘Clearly Angers’ The American Legion

Like the guys at Ace, I figured this was some dumb bureaucrat’s idea that just hadn’t been shot down yet.

Nope. Turns out, according to the American Legion, the President himself is open to the idea of making injured veterans have their service-related disabilities and wounds treated by private insurance instead of the Veterans Administration.

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!”

I presume this proposal will go down in flames in Congress. But it seems to pretty clearly violate Obama’s pledges on the campaign trail:

* Barack Obama will restore our sacred trust with our nation’s veterans: Obama and Biden are committed to creating a 21st Century Department of Veterans’ Affairs that provides the care and benefits our nation’s veterans deserve.

* Help returning service members: Obama and Biden will improve the quality of health care for veterans, rebuild the VA’s broken benefits system, and combat homelessness among veterans.

* Improve mental health treatment: Obama and Biden will improve mental health treatment for troops and veterans suffering from combat-related psychological injuries.

All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date — even the ones that you thought he would never dare let expire.

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