1. #1
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    Default Obama Thanks Our Veterans

    Will this finally be the issue that the libs here will criticize our President for? I have wracked my brain trying to find a rational reason why anyone would support this slap in the face to our nation's heroes, but I can't think of one.

    The American Legion Strongly Opposed to President's Plan to Charge Wounded Heroes for Treatment

    WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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!"


    Commander Rehbein was among a group of senior officials from veterans service organizations joining the President, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The group's early afternoon conversation at The White House was precipitated by a letter of protest presented to the President earlier this month. The letter, co-signed by Commander Rehbein and the heads of ten colleague organizations, read, in part, " There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran's personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable."


    Commander Rehbein reiterated points made last week in testimony to both House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees. It was stated then that The American Legion believes that the reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate that VA treat service-connected injuries and disabilities given that the United States government sends members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. The proposed requirement for these companies to reimburse the VA would not only be unfair, says the Legion, but would have an adverse impact on service-connected disabled veterans and their families. The Legion argues that, depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran's condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health care benefits. The Legion also points out that many health insurance companies require deductibles to be paid before any benefits are covered. Additionally, the Legion is concerned that private insurance premiums would be elevated to cover service-connected disabled veterans and their families, especially if the veterans are self-employed or employed in small businesses unable to negotiate more favorable across-the-board insurance policy pricing. The American Legion also believes that some employers, especially small businesses, would be reluctant to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities due to the negative impact their employment might have on obtaining and financing company health care benefits.


    "I got the distinct impression that the only hope of this plan not being enacted," said Commander Rehbein, "is for an alternative plan to be developed that would generate the desired $540-million in revenue. The American Legion has long advocated for Medicare reimbursement to VA for the treatment of veterans. This, we believe, would more easily meet the President's financial goal. We will present that idea in an anticipated conference call with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel in the near future.


    "I only hope the administration will really listen to us then. This matter has far more serious ramifications than the President is imagining," concluded the Commander.


    SOURCE The American Legion
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I saw this on the news tonight and couldn't believe what I was hearing....and it ******ed me off big time.

    This is the most absurd thing I have heard yet. We ask our troops to do amazing, impossible, and dangerous things, then turn around and say if you get hurt, you gotta pay for it.

    This breaks all the promises the government makes to our soldiers and goes against everything the VA stands for. I really hope it doesn't pass. From the news reports, some of the congressmen and senators were just as offended.

    Not a veteran here and I do like Obama but this was a very dumb move on his part. I can't believe it was his own idea or that he would even have the balls to announce something like this.

    Here's hoping it gets shot down.
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    wow just great.. I havent even read any other part of the report and all I see is 540 million... SURE! YOU CANT SPEND THAT ON WAR VETERANS BUT YOU SPEND 800 BILLION ON BUSINESS!

    its fine, you, president Barack Hussien Obama, have already spent more money than Presidents George Washington all of the way to George W. Bush COMBINED. But naww, its ok, our nations heros can suffer financially while companies like Quick Loan Funding can stay in business and leech of war veterans and civilians.. AGAIN

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    More hypocracy form a politician who said all through his election that our nation's Veterans need to be taken care of.

    I guess this is how he takes care of them.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    As an outsider, and observer, I wonder how far this "initiative" will go. I ask that because, again from observation, the American Legion (and Canadian Legion for that matter) has an incredible amount of clout, and deep friends in high places.

    Although not a Legion member, I have had the honour of attending a couple of meetings at the Vienna Station (not sure of the exact correct wording). Based on what I heard from the senior heads, there is a lot of power in that organization, and it knows how to use it.

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    Comrade Obama should remember the military is instrumental to every tyrant. He's hamstringing himself.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Angry What an embarrassment!

    I have never opened up a “can of worms” on this forum since I joined in 1999 before but I think I am now. I am a republican and vote republican most of the time. I have been in the I.A.F.F. for 18 years now. I know why the I.A.F.F. backs democratic candidates and I have always been fine with it. I work in a “right to work” state so the Chief can fire you at any time for just for being in the I.A.F.F. I didn’t become a member of the I.A.F.F by default for just being a paid firefighter. I have never once in 18 years thought twice about my status with the I.A.F.F. until they backed Obama. I honestly think I will be backing out of the I.A.F.F just for their support of Obama. What an embarrassment!
    DixieFire53, Deputy Fire Chief FF/EMT-P, Local 272

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    President Obama,

    I have some ideas to make up the $540mil needed to provide disabled veterans the health care they have earned:

    1. Use the $900 mil you've set aside to repair the damage in Gaza.

    2. AIG wants to give out $145mil in performance bonuses-tax them at 100%.

    3. Cut out (some of!)the earmarks in the stimulus bill
    - $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program

    - $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

    - $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

    - $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film

    And some more from Senator Mccain's website:

    "According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the omnibus appropriations bill contains at least 458 earmarks totaling $227 million that were inserted by individuals who no longer serve in Congress. This total includes funding for such things as purchasing dilapidated housing in New Hampshire, water taxi service to Pleasure Beach in CT, purchasing a trolley in Puerto Rico, constructing a sidewalk in Vienna, VA, streetscaping in Erie, PA, and extending the Riverwalk Trail in Danville, VA. This list also includes seven projects with a price tag of $1.2 million that were secured by a former Congressman who was indicted on charges of federal fraud last year."

    Lastly:

    "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country."
    – George Washington

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    This is only a proposal by the administration, who wants to review all aspects before presenting a budget. The Obama Administration will do more for veterans of all groups than any preceding administration has; and certainly more than the former administration ever considered doing. Veterans have suffered greatly over the last several years with the quality and reasonable access to healthcare. I know you guys are completely unhinged, but you're looking a little silly. It's great to see so many of you converted to such adamant champions of socialized medicine, though. Progress at last!

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    I have some ideas to make up the $540mil needed to provide disabled veterans the health care they have earned:
    "Obama’s VA budget outline, with full details promised by late April, would raise VA spending to $112.8 billion in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. That’s an increase of $15 billion, or 15 percent, over the current budget."

    "This is the largest dollar and percentage increase ever requested by a president for veterans," Shinseki told lawmakers.

    Stars and Stripes
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    I honestly think I will be backing out of the I.A.F.F just for their support of Obama. What an embarrassment!
    You go ahead and do that; we'll hold our breath until you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    I know you guys are completely unhinged, but you're looking a little silly.
    How is it silly to propose alternatives and point out other ways to make up the differences? And if it is so silly, why are all the vet's organizations (with the exception of Vets for Obama, evidently) against this? Oh, must be because we are all slaves to Rush and he told us to.

    And we're supposed to take the word of Obama's appointee (Shinseki) that this is a great deal? Quoted in a newspaper distributed by the government? And if it is a $15 billion dollar increase, why the cut to affect disabled veterans? Maybe that increase no longer exists, since we need to rebuild Gaza for the UN.

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    And if it is a $15 billion dollar increase, why the cut to affect disabled veterans?
    What cut? It's simply a proposal to allow third party insurance companies to handle service related injuries and treatment, something they already do for veteran's non-service related medical problems. I'm not a big fan of it as I understand it, but if it gets our veterans quicker and better treatment, then I can see why they are studying it. You'd think you market-driven champions of capitalism on the right would be applauding the chance for insurance companies to make a buck. Isn't that what you usually do the second "socialized medicine" or "universal healthcare" comes up? The healthcare of veterans is too important to trust to the private insurance companies you normally defend tooth and nail?
    How is it silly to propose alternatives and point out other ways to make up the differences? And if it is so silly, why are all the vet's organizations (with the exception of Vets for Obama, evidently) against this? Oh, must be because we are all slaves to Rush and he told us to.
    In light of the fact that Obama proposes increasing veterans care by billions (including making more eligible and ending the ban on concurrent receipt of benefits and retirement), I'm not really sure what the alternatives you mentioned have to do with the issue; but I notice you didn't include the billions we waste propping Israel up. But you're right; most of the squawking by the righties on this forum is simply driven by the misinformation being spewed by right wing talkies and websites. There were already numerous posts screaming about a single proposal to a budget not even finalized, and not one (until mine) that addressed the overall huge increase in veterans support by the Obama Administration. Don't sit there and say the right-wing squawk machine didn't generate the instant hate...because we both know damned well it did.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 03-17-2009 at 02:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    I'm not really sure what the alternatives you mentioned have to do with the issue; but I notice you didn't include the billions we waste propping Israel up.

    Very simply-the veterans group leaders who spoke to Obama said he was insistent that any changes would be at the expense of other government funding. I merely proposed several earmarks from the wonderful stimulus bill that we could go without, and the big ticket that recently came out, the Gaza reconstruction funding. A discussion of US government support for Israel is beside the point.

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    A discussion of US government support for Israel is beside the point.
    It is? The billions upon billions we've spent propping up that oceanside resort that passes as a nation over the last several decades couldn't be better spent here at home? Again, you're not being very consistant.
    Very simply-the veterans group leaders who spoke to Obama said he was insistent that any changes would be at the expense of other government funding.
    Funding for what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    What cut? It's simply a proposal to allow third party insurance companies to handle service related injuries

    Because it is a worler's compensation issue. The GOVERNMENT asked them to do a job, and as a result of that job they were injured on the government's time. No different than if your Fire Chief or Mayor did the same thing. Don't be stupid - it is unbecoming of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Don't sit there and say the right-wing squawk machine didn't generate the instant hate...because we both know damned well it did.
    Actually, I had the same article relayed to me by an aquaintance - a post from Yahoo. Hardly a part of the "right-wing squawk machine."
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    "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country."
    – George Washington
    Very kuul quote, I like it. And it applies to all armies/navies/air forces/marines etc throughout the world. New recruits only come when one of two things happen:

    1) really bad recession where the armed forces is the only "secure" income and

    2) when a look at how the retired guys are being treated. If they are being treated well, it bodes well for getting new people. If not, as with all corporations that do not treat their people well, it will be tough to recruit.
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    Concerning the recent noise by the right wingers lately, I wonder if believing in and supporting socialized medicine for veterans makes one a socialist?
    Welcome, comrades!

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    Socialists should understand the definition of socialism, shouldn't they?
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    "Obama’s VA budget outline, with full details promised by late April, would raise VA spending to $112.8 billion in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. That’s an increase of $15 billion, or 15 percent, over the current budget."

    "This is the largest dollar and percentage increase ever requested by a president for veterans," Shinseki told lawmakers.

    Stars and Stripes
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    We all know money means quality!
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Here's my problem:

    Odds are that the veterans involved would get better treatment sooner if they're treated through the regular medical system. I see that as a good thing.

    BUT

    When he dictates that insurance companies provide coverage, they're simply going to distribute the burden of that cost to the paying customers.

    Then again, maybe that's the point. Obama gets a tax increase without calling it one. Further, every increase in the cost of private insurance will means that fewer small businesses can afford it. If you're looking to socialize medicine, more uninsured equals a larger base to support your agenda.

    If the motive is to get better care for veterans, then fund it. Otherwise, it is just a hidden tax increase. We're gonna see lots of those....

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    I certainly would agree that shutting the entire VA System down and changing it to an insurance company would make it more efficient. They could pay 100% of the claims with $0 deductible and still dsve money.

    I will disagree that the VA program is socialized medicine. This is the liberals favorite line when conservatives argue against socialism. There is nothing socialist about the government providing quality health care for our heroes.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    How is it silly to propose alternatives and point out other ways to make up the differences? And if it is so silly, why are all the vet's organizations (with the exception of Vets for Obama, evidently) against this? Oh, must be because we are all slaves to Rush and he told us to.

    And we're supposed to take the word of Obama's appointee (Shinseki) that this is a great deal? Quoted in a newspaper distributed by the government? And if it is a $15 billion dollar increase, why the cut to affect disabled veterans? Maybe that increase no longer exists, since we need to rebuild Gaza for the UN.
    C'mon it's wrong to criticize Obama.

    It must be, that's why the media refuses to do it. To be honest, I don't know how this was even covered by the media... oh wait, it really wasn't covered by the national media.

    What a shock.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    You'd think you market-driven champions of capitalism on the right would be applauding the chance for insurance companies to make a buck. Isn't that what you usually do the second "socialized medicine" or "universal healthcare" comes up? The healthcare of veterans is too important to trust to the private insurance companies you normally defend tooth and nail?
    Wait, how on earth would the private insurance companies MAKE money on this????

    Quite the opposite. It's called an unfunded mandate.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Looks like the American Legion/VFW et al got it done-great job guys!

    President dumps plan to make personal insurance pay for service disabilities:

    From http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/...009-03-18.html

    Obama backs off plan to alter vets’ healthcare
    By Roxana Tiron
    Posted: 03/18/09 03:42 PM [ET]
    The White House on Wednesday backed off a controversial plan that would have dramatically altered the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles insurance claims, after veterans groups staged an all-out fight against such a proposal.

    President Obama will not pursue a proposal that would have allowed the VA to charge private insurance companies for the treatment of veterans with service- or war-related injuries. The proposal raised the ire of prominent Democrats on the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs panels. On Wednesday morning 68 Democratic and GOP House members sent Obama a letter, initiated by freshman Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.), urging the administration to drop the proposal.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the first to announce Wednesday afternoon that the president won’t pursue such a proposal.

    She told veterans that Obama decided to scrap the proposal “Based on the respect that President Obama has for our nation’s veterans and the principled concerns expressed by veterans’ leaders.”

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