Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rep. Bachmann Drops Veterans Budget Cut Proposal Amid DAV Pressure


After the Disabled American Veterans and other groups sharply criticized a scheme to cut $4.5 billion from veterans health care and disability compensation, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has removed the controversial proposal from her Web site. In recent days, Bachmann has received thousands of phone calls, emails, and Facebook posts calling on her to back away from the proposals to severely cut essential veterans programs. Bachmann’s press release is available on here Web site here: http://bachmann.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=223583.

“We are pleased that Rep. Bachmann has come to realize that such drastic cuts to veterans health care and disability compensation would have severe negative consequences for veterans who rely on these programs, particularly disabled veterans,” DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director David W. Gorman said. “We hope to work with her and others to ensure that any efforts to balance the federal budget must first ensure that we fulfill our obligations to care for the men and women who have been injured and disabled while defending this nation,” he said.

In a Jan. 28 news release, the DAV had called the ill-advised, unconscionable proposal “nothing short of heartless” and vowed that America’s sick and disabled veterans would not sit idly by while their earned health care and disability benefits are threatened.

“Any proposal to freeze VA health care funding would not only freeze out sick and disabled veterans seeking care, it would also end up costing the federal government even more money,” Gorman said.

Independent studies have shown the VA system provides safe, high quality health care at an average cost that is less than Medicare, Medicaid or the private sector.

“With the number of veterans seeking health care rising, the effect of a freeze would be to either block enrollment of veterans, many of them just returning from battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to ration care to currently enrolled veterans, including disabled veterans who have relied on VA dating back to World War II,” Gorman said.

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