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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

He's going to fix healthcare? Of mice and men--Obama: Vets should go dutch for wounds

Health care, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Veterans

The Problems with Socialized Health Care: Canada http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/socialized.html#canada

The Problems with Socialized Health Care: Britain  http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/socialized.html#britain

 http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/06/top-5-most-audacious-health-care-statements/

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/18/obama_drops_controversial_thir.html?wprss=44 Obama drops controversial third-party billing proposal for veterans March 18 2009 "President Obama today abandoned a proposal to bill veterans' private insurance companies for treatment of combat-related injuries after the measure prompted an outcry from veterans service organizations and members of Congress.

The proposal would have authorized the Department of Veterans Affairs to charge private companies for treating injuries and other medical conditions related to military service, such as amputations, post-traumatic stress disorder and other battle wounds. The measure was intended to save the VA about $530 million a year, but the administration's pursuit of third-party billing sparked resistance from leaders of powerful veterans groups, who met earlier this week with Obama."

Of mice and men? Vets? vs pelosi mouse project http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/11/gop-finds-pelosi-pork-stimulus-deal/ Stimulus has $30M to save Pelosi's harvest mouse, feb 11 2009 "House Republicans are challenging Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim that the massive stimulus spending bill contains no pet projects after uncovering in the bill more than $30 million for wetlands conservation in her San Francisco Bay area district, including work she previously championed to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse." "Then there is the $300 million for hybrid and electric cars for the federal government, which include golf carts for federal workers to tool around in. and ....$200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries "

There, I have it covered. Remember how Obama said he would go through the budget with a scalpel and accused McCain of using an axe? 

Workman's Comp is a cherished protection for the work force. Taking care of wounded and long term injured soldiers is pretty basic.

If Obama wants the voluteer army to continue to succeed, to supply the military with enough soldiers to fight on 2 or more fronts, is this any way to win confidence?

But even more that that, those of you who think government run healthcare is a plus, if Obama has so little regard for a basic right of caring for the war wounded, soldiers workmans comp, if you will, what makes you think you will have a fair shake with government health care?

 http://www.buffalonews.com/180/story/610029.html

Obama mulls making vets foot bill for service injuries march 17 2009

WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON—The Obama administration is considering making veterans use private insurance to pay for treatment of combat and service-related injuries. The plan would be an about-face on what veterans believe is a long-standing pledge to pay for health care costs that result from their military service.

But in a White House meeting Monday, veterans groups apparently failed to persuade President Obama to take the plan off the table.

“Veterans of all generations agree that this proposal is bad for the country and bad for veterans,” said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “If the president and the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] want to cut costs, they can start at AIG, not the VA.”

Under current policy, veterans are responsible for health care costs that are unrelated to their military service. Exceptions in some cases can be made for veterans who do not have private insurance or are 100 percent disabled.

The president spoke Monday at the Department of Veterans Affairs to commemorate its 20th anniversary and said he hopes to increase funding by $25 billion over the next five years. But he said nothing about the plan to bill private insurers for service-related medical care.

Few details about the plan have been available, and a VA spokesman did not provide additional information. But the reaction on Capitol Hill to the idea has been swift and harsh.

“Dead on arrival” is how Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington described the idea.

“ . . . when our troops are injured while serving our country, we should take care of those injuries completely,” Murray, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, told a hearing last week.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki said at the same hearing that the plan was “a consideration.” He also acknowledged that the VA’s proposed budget for next year included it as a way to increase revenue. But he told the committee that “a final decision hasn’t been made yet.”

For veterans, that was little comfort.

Veterans claim that the costs of treating expensive war injuries could raise their insurance costs, as well as those for their employers. Some worried that it also could make it more difficult for disabled veterans to find work.

The leaders of several veterans groups had written Obama last month complaining about the new plan. “There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran’s personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide,” they wrote.

Many veterans had high expectations for Obama after years of battling the Bush administration over benefit cuts and medical concerns such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

But the VA’s decision to float a potential change in its policy of paying for service-related injuries could signal a quick end to the honeymoon.

“It’s a betrayal,” said Joe Violante, legislative director of Disabled American Veterans, which signed the letter to Obama. “My insurance company didn’t send me to Vietnam, my government did. The same holds true for men and women now fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the government’s responsibility.”

Meanwhile, a new poll by the independent Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has found Obama’s approval rating falling to 59 percent from 64 percent in February. It also found the ranks of Americans who disapprove of his job performance rising, to 26 percent from 17 percent.

Pew found that 44 percent think that the president listens more to liberals than to moderates in his party, while 30 percent think he listens more to moderates. In January, 44 percent thought he listened more to moderates and 34 percent more to liberals.

 

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20090316/pl_usnw/the_american_legion_strongly_opposed_to_president_s_plan_to_charge_wounded_heroes_for_treatment

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

March 16 2009

 

Contact: Craig Roberts of The American Legion, +1-202-263-2982 Office, +1-202-406-0887 Cell

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

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