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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 10:58 AM
Original message
April 2005

In April 2005, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) attempted for the third time that year to provide adequate funding for veteran health care by sponsoring a $2 billion amendment to a military spending bill. The bill was voted down along party lines, with Arlen Specter being the only Republican voting for the bill. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), who led the fight against Murrays amendment, said an emergency request is unnecessary in this tight budget year.


June 2005

But then, just two months later, we have this reported from the Washington Post:

The Bush administration, already accused by veterans groups of seeking inadequate funds for health care next year, acknowledged yesterday that it is short $1 billion for covering current needs at the Department of Veterans Affairs this year.

The disclosure of the shortfall angered Senate Republicans who have been voting down Democratic proposals to boost VA programs at significant political cost. Their votes have brought the wrath of the American Legion, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and other organizations down on the GOP.

With that, Hutchison changed her tune, saying We can never fall short on our promises to those who have sacrificed so much. And many GOP Senators voiced similar sentiments, acting quite surprised about the new news that veterans health care was under-funded.

But according to several veterans groups, the problems should have been obvious to anyone who was paying attention:

Richard Fuller, legislative director of the Paralyzed Veterans, said that the problems should have been obvious to anyone visiting a VA facility: You could see it happening, clinics shutting down, appointments delayed The article goes on:

Joseph A. Violante, legislative director of the Disabled American Veterans, said Perlin's testimony yesterday confirms the veterans' assessment that the administration is "shortchanging veterans."

The Bush administration and House Republicans have been the main focus of anger among veterans organizations. Their "policies are inconsistent with a nation at war," said Steve Robertson, legislative director of the American Legion. They violate the basic military value of "an army of one, teamwork, taking care of each other," he said.


And here is what House Democrats recently had to say about this issue

America's veterans fought for our freedom overseas. They shouldn't have to fight the government to get the benefits they deserve. But the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system is perennially under funded. Democrats believe that our troops should be taken care of when we send them into battle and that they should be given the respect they have earned when we bring them home.

Right now, more than 30,000 veterans are waiting six months or more for an appointment at VA hospitals. Last year, Democrats proposed to increase funding for the VA by $1.8 billion and to require the VA to pay veterans $500 a month when their claims have been left pending for more than 6 months. In contrast, last year, Republicans broke their promise to increase veterans' health care by $1.8 billion. This year, the President's budget fails to provide enough current services for veterans' health care and about $3 billion less than veterans' organizations agree is needed for their health care.


June 2006

Then, just recently, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) sponsored a bill To provide an assured stream of funding for veteran's health care that will take into account the annual changes in the veteran's population and inflation.

And this bill was to be paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top rate for income over $1 million, closing corporate tax loopholes and delaying tax cuts for the wealthy.

Whoa. Thats pretty radical cutting into the hard earned profits of those millionaires. I would have thought that maybe with an election year upon them some of those Republican Senators who were up for re-election would have voted for that. Yet only one Republican Senator up for re-election in 2006, Olympia Snowe, joined the Democrats in voting for this bill.


Excuses for legislating against health care

How do Republicans get away with this? Its not just veterans who dont get adequate health care. There were 46 million U.S. citizens as of 2004 who had no health care insurance, and approximately an equal number of additional inadequately insured citizens. So how are Republicans able to do this without getting voted out of office other than by the fact that the corporate media basically ignores these issues?

Well, theyve got lots of excuses. First, they claim that Americans dont want government involved in health care. But this claim is consistently disputed by polling data for example, a ABC News/Washington Post which showed that Americans by a 2-1 margin, 62-32 percent, prefer a universal health insurance program over the current system.

Then they claim that America has the best health care system in the world. That is a patently absurd claim, given that more than a quarter of our citizens dont have enough health insurance to afford the care that they need. Furthermore, that claim is belied by the high and rising infant mortality rate in the United States since George Bush took office in 2001. Infant mortality rate is considered one of the best indices of the health status of a community or a nation.

Another favorite claim of Republicans is that we cant afford to provide health care to our citizens. Setting aside the consideration of the billions of additional dollars we would have available if the regressive Bush tax cuts were reversed, our General Accounting Office (GAO) determined that if the United States adopted a single payer system similar to the Canadian system it could save $66.9 billion in administrative costs. The point is that health care is notoriously unresponsive to market forces because health care consumers have little understanding of how to evaluate individual health care providers or systems. Therefore, government control of the process would likely help to bring prices under control. And you dont see too many politicians complaining about Medicare these days.

Then there is the so-called tort reform trick. Thats where Republicans pretend to support health care by limiting jury awards for malpractice. For example, there is the misnamed Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act, which Senate Democrats have successfully filibustered twice. Republicans are more than willing to improve access to care by handing money to the insurance companies at the expense of our Constitutional rights (trial by jury), but they wont consider improving access to care by expanding the insurance coverage of ordinary Americans.

And most notoriously of all, and perhaps the main lie by which Republicans defeated Bill Clintons national health insurance plan, is that a federal health care plan would lead to health care rationing. Yeah sure, if they refuse to fund it adequately it would lead to rationing. Yet somehow the Senators themselves receive health care from the federal government, and their health care isnt rationed. How could that be?



I think that when they run for re-election this fall someone ought to ask them that question, as well as why they voted against Patty Murrays and Debbie Stabenows veterans health care bills.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. thanks for this....my dad died in a VA nursing home, and they'd have
kicked him OUT if he'd been alive during this junta

dunno how much more of this I can stand

it's really unhealthy trying to keep track of everything they do

isn't it?
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. My uncle, a retired Army vet who had pancreatic cancer,
couldn't even get into a VA facility. He wound up in a dump of a place after the VA discarded him. :-(
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. Yes, it's amazing that they can get away with this
With any kind of an independent press the people would not stand for this.

Hopefully we will prevail in the 06 elections and get our country back on track. But we're going to have to hold them to account for all their hypocrcisy it we're going to take back Congress.
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oscar111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. 14%/veteran cut, last year
in the VA hospitals. Funding up slightly, but huge influx of new war patients results in bottom line decline in funds per patient.

cuts to VA have been steady since RR the monster.

wonder what the cuts total by now? fifty percent/patient?

I have seen photos here at DU poverty forum.. of homeless disabled amputee vets.

the republicans have no limits to their cruelty.
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Metta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. They don't care who they hurt, unless it comes back to them.
Pure and simple. There's a special place in Hell for Republicans and their supporters.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Best Post of the Day. This is a winning issue for us in 06'.
Edited on Fri Jun-23-06 12:46 PM by Clarkie1
And it's would be something immediately relevant to people's lives if a Democratic congress could restore VA funding to adequate levels. That could lay the groundwork for universal heathcare for all Americans with a Democratic president and congress in 08'.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Thank you Clarkie - Highly vulnerable Republican Senators in the 06
Edited on Fri Jun-23-06 07:07 PM by Time for change
election include Santorum, Chafee, DeWine, Burns, and Talent. NONE of them voted for either Murray's or Stabinow's more recent veterans' health bill. And in addition, there will be an open seat in Tennessee.
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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. Meanwhile, Tricky Ricky Santorum is in Pittsburgh today
speaking to the VFW. He's a joke.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #6
30. Well, good riddance to him
Here's a poll released earlier this week, showing him behind Casey by 18%:

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x11379.xml?ReleaseID=927

Women gp 54-28 for Casey.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. Way to screw the troops, folks!
Awrii-i-i-ght! First you conscript National Guardsmen (essentially civilians with a part-time state government job) for an imperial war of aggression. Then you refuse to let servicemen out when their time is up. Now we can totally screw 'em on health care.

You fucktards had better goddamn well peel those yellow ribbons of your cars. You have no right to have them!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. Here's what Senator Stabinow had to say in her speech advocating
her bill:

http://trailingedgeblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/supporting...

Mr. President, I rise today to offer an amendment to make veterans health care funding assured and mandatory.

Real security means supporting our troops abroad and making sure theyhave the body armor and the equipment they need, but it also means supporting them when they come home. It means giving our current and our future veterans the health care they need and deserve.

The amendment I am offering today provides full funding for veterans medical care to ensure that the VA has the resources necessary to provide quality health care in a timely manner to our Nation's sick and disabled veterans.

The problem we face today is that resources for veterans health care are falling behind demand, and we know this because every year we are trying to address the shortfall...

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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
8. Here is the rest of the cuts
1 cat-7-8 veterans out of the VA these are men an women who just recieve their meds
2 all veterans will pay $250.00 a year for health care even 100% disablled veterans
3 co-pays for meds will up by 80%
4 over the next five year 40 billion $ will be cut out of health care
5 last year alone over 600,000 veterans were denied or put on waiting list for care
6 the returning troops after discharge are being treat like dirt
7 Bush last for Budgets were based on phony numbers GAO reports prove that
8 over the last four years 1.5 million veterans have lost their health care
9 the hand picked Bush Veterans Commission is c;osing 18 VA hospitals 3500 vet to vet clinics
10 same Commission is reviewing all PTSD claims if cut over 2.1 million veterans will lose benefits reson for this action the troops coming home one out of four Suffer from PTSD
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #8
46. They also plan
to use Social Security as an offset against Veterans disability and compensation. These are unrelated issues. It's called co-mingling funds. When lawyers do it they're usually disbarred. This Administration is a disgrace.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. Does that mean that
any money they get in their Social Security checks will be subtracted from their Veterans disability and compensation?

What would be the rationale for that?
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. Another example of Rethug Family Values for the Middle Class--You die for
us...but don't expect a thing in return.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #9
29. But they do what they can to PRETEND that they care
jim Talent, up for re-election in 06, and in lots of trouble: "I will not retreat from our commitment to veterans and their families" - before voting against their health care funding:

http://www.missouridems.org/newsroom/pressreleases/PDF/...
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The Brethren Donating Member (853 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. words are cheap.
'an emergency request is unnecessary in this tight budget year.'

could that be because the chimp keeps throwing our money into the war in Iraq like there's no end to the fiscal budget? But of course, when it comes to actually helping vets...and ordinary Americans: "Sorry, but we're all out of cash. Try again tomorrow."

"Yet somehow the Senators themselves receive health care from the federal government, and their health care isnt rationed."

I think we should remove health care to Senators from their federal benies and let them haggle with Insurance companies over the lowest rates. And then they can tell us how wonderful our health care system is.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. Not only the Iraq War
The tax cuts have cost our government more than the Iraq War. Reversal of some of the Bush tax cuts, which have benefited only the rich and the ultra-rich, would free up more than enough money to provide decent health care not only to veterans, but to all our citizens who have no health insurance.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
11. But they have yellow ribbons on their cars!!!
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. To the lying scumbags
and war profiteers veterans are expendable assets to be discarded after active duty. Just got home from the Veterans hospital and the time between appointments keeps getting longer. I'm 100% total and permanent, yet the bastards tried using an administrative trick to cut my monthly compensation by 65%. How any veteran can support Repunklikkklans is beyond all reason. Then again, I don't consider myself a bigot, moran, thief, dupe, scumbag, lowlife, butt plug, shit eating, swine who would stab a fellow veteran, especially a disabled one.
Some people deserve a good beating.

Our pResident is a nut.
Thank Zeus I'm a Democrat
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #12
33. I don't think he's a nut
I think he's just simply totally devoid of any human qualities. I have not seen one indication from him ever that he cares about anybody but his wealthy supporters - who have bailed him out of trouble all his life.
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
13. The USA can't afford healthcare for everyone????
Edited on Fri Jun-23-06 04:27 PM by mwooldri
Hmmm... Where I come from, everyone is covered.

And in % of GDP, we spend about half of what the US does on healthcare. Oh, and if you got money you can get what you want faster. Even having to pay out of pocket for those not covered (like my visiting wife; she needed to see the doctor) wasn't outrageous (much cheaper than a doc's visit without insurance here). (on edit: it wouldn't have cost anything if I took her to the equivalent of the ER but she didn't have a real emergency; she needed urgent care)

Oh and why do our Veterans have to have a separate healthcare system? Why can't it be integrated with everyone else so that they can go to a hospital of their (or their primary care physician's) choosing?

Mark.
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Veterans Health Care
The reason it was set up for us is we served our Country in blood and protect America Freedoms so its pay back for our service. Yes people who never served think we do not deserve it. Go to the Wall look at the names yes we do. Bush and company of non-serving cut and ran boys are taken what we have earned in blood and sacrifice . Never in the History of America have veterans been under attack like this.Even the March in the 30's was not as bad as what they are doing now. Remember in the 30's orders were given to open fire on our own people.There is a storm coming to Washington a veterans March is in the works for Oct.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #13
32. The U.S. CAN afford health care for everyone
But health care is near the bottom of the list for the Republican Party. It's not only that they're not willing to spend the money on it -- they are philosophically and absolutely against it. In their Neandethal minds, government sponsored health care will start us on the slippery slope to Communism.
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #32
42. In which case we're shipping all them Repubs to....
The European Unionstan. They can hang out with all the commies in England, or Germany or Italy or even.. shock horror... France!

See how communist these places are.

But I am surprised that Republicans aren't in favour of government healthcare because it would really save US companies a bundle, and compete more fairly with China, Europe, India, etc...

Mark.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. Republicans as a group in our country fall into one of two general
categories.

We have the leaders - those obscenely wealthy Republicans who care about little but their wealth. Those are the ones who run our corporate media and try to tell everyone what they're supposed to think.

And then we have the followers - the Republican sheeple, who generally don't have much intelligence, or if they do have much intelligence, they don't use it very often.

Sorry for the rant, but they are ruining our country and they are ruining the world. :mad:
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #13
38. National Health Insurance in the USA Would Have Zero Net Cost
I posted this in another thread:

Jan. 14, 2004

Study Shows National Health Insurance Could Save $286 Billion on Health Care Paperwork

A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Public Citizen to be published in Fridays International Journal of Health Services finds that health care bureaucracy last year cost the United States $399.4 billion. The study estimates that national health insurance (NHI) could save at least $286 billion annually on paperwork, enough to cover all of the uninsured and to provide full prescription drug coverage for everyone in the United States.

http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=1623


That thread presents a good discussion of universal health care:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Probably it would even *save* money.
Since the US spends more of its GDP %-wise on healthcare than most countries (and doesn't get value for money) a single payer system that is properly managed would probably save money. Having a two-tier system (those who can pay, do so... those who can't have to wait for elective treatment) would probably mean that insurance companies would still have business but they'd probably be actually able to make more money because immediate emergency care would be handled by the appropriate hospitals and paid for by the government; and there would be smaller private hospitals and clinics that handle only private patients.

Mark.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. A single payer health care system would probably save money for
the good majority of citizens in our country, as you point out. The current system costs billions in administrative costs that could be greatly reduced with a well thought out single payer system.

But those billions in administrative costs represent PROFITS for some very wealthy corporations and individuals. THAT is why we have so much hostility towards government sponsored health care IMO. I can't prove it, but I just have to believe that this aversion to decent health care for American citizens is being fueled by greed.
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silvertip Donating Member (95 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. National Health Care !
   There is no need to prove anything, anyone with just a tad
bit more common sense than a rock can add things up and should
be able to figure out that National Health Care is the only
way to go. Eliminate the blood sucking so called insurance
companies and all of the other lowlifes that put profit before
caring for the poor, the sick, and the elderly in this
country, and don't forget the Veterans that have laid their
lives repeatly on the line for this country.                  
                                              I am a former
Marine with two tours of duty in Vietnam and am 60% disabled
as a result and I can see the results of the cuts and
underfunding of the Veterans Adm., longer waits to see a Dr.
From 3 months to 6 months wait just to see a Dr. who can
barely spend 15 min. with each patient because he has an
enormous case load that needs at least 4 Dr's. to handle, some
medications that are not available because they cost too much.
I have also been waiting for over a year to have a
consultation with a Dr. to see what if anything can be done
about the fact that I am losing the use of my left arm due to
compressed disks and pinched nerves in my neck.               
                                                     If every
one that has that tad bit more sense votes in the way that
will change all of this in the upcoming elections we will have
a much better country to live in. Just think you too may
sometime in the future be old, sick, and or crippled and too
poor to afford to pay for the private jet, the limo., the
illegal alien maids and so forth for the bottom feeding scum
that have became wealthy off the blood, sweat and tears of the
common men and women and children in this country.
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. Update
26,000 Navy personal records SS numbers,Names,Address,and health records have just showed up on the internet. So mush now for the Govenment caring about the Military .These were the first records missing from the VA .next will be the 26.1 million veterans.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Do you know why they were posted on the internet?
Or what the Bush administration wanted with them in the first place?

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Joey Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
19. Bush and the republiNazis are anti-Veteran
What else should we expect from the ChickenHawk party?
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
21. This is just fucking rich


And to be expected from these chickenhawk asswipes as well
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
22. And don't for get this OUTRAGE!
The U.S. Military's payroll system is so screwed up (and NOT automated), they have been docking in-Hospital, recovering Solders pay and sending some bills to collection agencies! More at the story below.

Pay Problems Plague Returning Soldiers


Listen to this story...(at link)
by Eric Niiler

All Things Considered, October 14, 2005 Many wounded soldiers
are fighting another battle at home: dealing with pay problems
created by the military. In many cases, the Army is "adding" debt
to soldiers' paychecks. The problem has continued for years
despite government inquiries and complaints by veterans groups.

<http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=49... >
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
24. WAKE UP AMERICA!
What else can be said? The republicans block an increase in the minimum wage while abolishing the estate tax and giving five years of tax cuts to those who don't need it! NCLB=No Rich Child Left Behind! The Gulf States that were devastated with last years' hurricanes and haven't yet recovered and have had funds cuts, are facing yet another season of devastation with not a hint of help. the ** maladministration has said that withdrawal from Iraq is the problem of the next US President, if we are allowed one. And now this? WAKE UP AMERICA! :grr:
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
25. Dems should be able to take back Congress this year on this issue ALONE
If they will just pick it up and use it.

This whole thing is so sickening - these sub-human rightwingers sink farther down the food chain every day through their actions, which does not match their "patriotic" rhetoric.

There's a special place in hell waiting for these "people".
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #25
35. Yes, this is the kind of thing that they need to publicize
This, the many attempts to raise the minimum wage above the poverty level, the fact that nearly 100 million Americans don't have adequate health insurance, unemployment, massive tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, the senseless war that hasn't been of any use to anyone except for Bush Co's wealthy cronies, the torture and abuse of prisoners, global warming, our pariah reputation with the rest of the world, and most of all the attempt to destroy our Constitutional rights.
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
26. I am absolutely astounded that McCain and Warner did not vote for this!
Nor did Lincoln Chaffee or either senator from Maine. Truly astounded. This should be a MAJOR campaign issue for every last one of them from now until they get jobs on K Street or become real estate salesmen or whatever it is old defeated Republicans do.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Well, this doesn't seem to have gotten much publicity at all
I can't find where a major newspaper covered it.

Anyhow, Olympia Snowe did vote for the more recent Stabenow bill, as did Arlen Spector. But all the other Republicans voted against it.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #26
34. That's what's called "enforcing party discipline" you see
The majority leader tells the faithful, "You vote FOR this, and not one thin DIME of RNC money goes to your campaign pot. You'll be DEAD to us. We'll challenge you in the primary." And they roll over. They need the dough, even with the cycle of fundraisers they are constantly putting on; they NEED the heavy, national cash that Dumbya and Deadeye and Rover drag back. God forbid they'd speak truth to power when it's a threat to withdraw NATIONAL cash from THEIR campaign...see, in their minds, that's not the seat of the people of their state where they sit and represent the interests of the people that elected them, it's THEIR seat, with all the perks, powers, and perogatives! And they'll perform an unspeakable act on the steps of the Senate to keep it.

But hey, they can shortchange the VA in terms of IT assets, permit the continued use an antiquated, hokey system to store privacy act data, not provide hackproof security for their laptops, so if they get stolen, they're about as useful as a paperweight, and as a consequence, my name and those of countless fellow servicemembers are floating around out there ripe for picking. Oh, and they can spend fourteen million sending us a "Guess what? You're fucked!" letter....

The only bright spot in the 'party discipline' game is that once we are in the majority, we can play, too!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. Yeah, we need to throw this all back in their faces come election time
Maybe that will interrupt their party discipline a bit.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
28. don't worry, they will make up for it by giving them purple heart bandaids
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
31. Excellent!
Thank you.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
37. Cuts in VA benefits so far by Junior
Prior to Junior's regime, all honorably discharged veterans could enroll in VA health care. I have simplified somewhat in making this statement. If you want details, hit this link:

http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/eligibility/determi...

Beginning on January 17, 2003, and for the first time ever, the VA started turning some new applicants away - basically, those whose income is above the poverty level, which means they are assigned to Enrollment Priority Group 8. So far the VA has not ejected Priority Group 8 veterans who had enrolled prior to the cutoff date.

Veterans who are retired, have service-connected disabilities, or meet a number of other conditions, are assigned to higher Priority Groups that are not affected by the cutoff. A description of the Priority Groups can be found at the site to which the above link leads.

As employers continue to cut back and eliminate health care coverage many older vets, as well as younger ones, are turning for the first time to the VA only to find a broken promise.

Veterans' prescription copays have been increased twice during the Chimp in Chief's tenure, from $2 to $8 - an increase of 300%.

When I was drafted into the Army in 1969 we were promised free VA medical benefits for the rest of our lives, if we honorably fulfilled our obligations. To some people these days, we old veterans are Useless Eaters with evil Entitlement Attitudes. But if you're an ex-CEO who is receiving undeserved deferred compensation from Halliburton, that's somehow different and highly justified.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. Thank you for this comprehensive explanation
Veterans deserve adequate coverage of their health care, not only because they were promised it, but because of their service to our country.

But this administration doesn't care about anyone other than their wealthy campaign donors. This ought to be a major issue that gets repeated frequently this fall :grr:
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. hooya
They voted on this cat 8-7 in the Republican caucus they will vote to cut them out. I was RA brother hit nam 68 when I had to go to VA this year do to a flare up of and old combat injury I saw 38 vets get turn away all from the Nam era. They closed Lakeside VA in Chicago and sold it for a few payments. Lakeside is close to the Lake Front and is worth millions. But no one know where the money went its going into General Fund but it seems to be missing.The other 18 VA's are on prime ground one has 250 acres of land. Know you would think with the amount of homeless veterans and the amount of kids with PTSD coming back from Iraq they could use this land for them in someway. By the Way Welcome Home Brother
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silvertip Donating Member (95 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #40
49. Veterans!
    I saw a post about two weeks or so back from a woman from
Texas whose son had served a tour in Iraq and she stated that
her son was being treated for P.S.T.D. and had been placed on
prozac he was also according to this lady given orders and
sent back to Iraq while still under treatment and on drugs. If
true and I can see no reason for her to lie about it that is
in my humble opinion a crime and should be punished as such.  
                                                              
    And you are right about the property of the Veterans Adm.
being sold or given away for little or nothing. The V.A.
Hospital in Mt. Home, Tn. has just about all been given away
to the University of Tn. while at the same time they are
turning away the homeless, the mentaly ill, and eliminating
the substance abuse program.                                  
                                 I am a  disabled former
Marine GYSGT. with two tours in Vietnam, welcome to the fray! 
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
41. I can't find any MSM references to the June 06 voting down of this bill in
the Senate.

Is it just me, or does that sound highly unusual?

And has anyone seen or heard of any MSM references to this?
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