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Jun
2011
6

GOP Budget Aims to Strip 1.3 Million Disabled War Veterans of Their Healthcare


What chaps my hide the most is that the reason for the cuts is to reduce the U.S. budget deficit. All the while, two-thirds of major American corporations didn’t pay taxes this year after receiving bailout money and reporting record profits as a result.

Those who look closely have known for a couple of months that Paul Ryan’s Right-Wing budget balancing proposal is taking aim at disabled war veterans. Now it appears the outcry resulting from this ludicrous, depraved version of patriotism is gaining in volume. From DisabledVeterans.org:

Republican Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives are looking to end VA healthcare for over 1.3 million veterans. These veterans are the least disabled veterans using the system, usually with disability ratings of 0 percent or no service-connected disability. Currently, the VA spends over $4 billion yearly to treat these vets, despite co-pays intended to offset the expense. Ryan’s cuts are intended to save $6 billion off the VA’s tab and $62 billion over the next 10 years. Instead of merely increasing the co-pay or taxing Wall Street, Congress wants to just cut your benefits out, all together.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is fighting the across the board cut because many of the veterans in question have come to rely on VA healthcare over the years. In times when healthcare costs are astronomical, these veterans will go without the care they were promised, if the proposal becomes law. DAV voiced additional concerns that this attempt is just the start of a gradual and specifically focused erosion of veterans’ benefits.

A website that provides Military benefits, Military Advantage, has had a poll running since April asking respondents “Should veterans be expected to sacrifice their benefits to reduce the deficit?” Of the 10,000+ votes cast, 80.88% say “NO.”

The DisabledVeterans.org site provides extra caution, suggesting that if these cuts go through it sets a dangerous precedent moving forward:

These cuts are just an attempt to split the oyster shell in half to steal the pearl. Once 1.3 million bodies get cut out of the VA system, politicians will have an easier time justifying further cuts to VA programs. Suddenly, the comprehensive health care you once received will be reduced to occasional physicals and virtual appointments via computer. Count on it. And don’t think the politicians will stop until they gut the whole system. Many of them call benefits like Social Security and VA Disability “Entitlements.” Rather, VA healthcare is really just a cost of doing business. You break it; you buy it.

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