hey obama supports President’s Plan to Charge Wounded Heroes for Treatment?
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.
how does this make u feel
This is a moral and national disgrace. Even the thought and invention of it is seedy. Is this supposed to make our country even weaker so noone will sign on to defend and support our country? We owe this to our troops!!!! Where did they come up with this ludicrous agenda? I CANNOT believe this!!!! I am sorry for the younger generation, if they don’t wake up to all of this nonsense, life in the US as they know it will drastically change and not for the common good either.
Which party voted AGAINST these Obama tax cuts?
FACTBOX – Tax details of US stimulus plan
Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:20pm GMT
Feb 17 (Reuters) – The $787 billion U.S. economic stimulus package contains about $287 billion in tax cuts, according to the latest congressional calculations on the value of the package and its impact on U.S. budget deficits.
President Barack Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, saying he wants quick action to boost the struggling economy.
Here are some of the major tax provisions in the bill:
FOR WORKERS, CONSUMERS AND RETIREES
* A “making work pay” refundable tax credit championed by Obama of up to $400 per individual and $800 for couples in 2009 and 2010. It is calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and is phased out for individuals with adjusted incomes over $75,000 and couples with incomes over $150,000.
* A one-time payment of $250 to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. State government retirees not eligible for Social Security would also get the $250 payment.
* Increases the earned income tax credit for low-income workers with three or more children.
* Increases eligibility for the refundable child tax credit to more low-income workers. The bill reduces the income floor to $3,000 in 2009 and 2010 from the current floor of $8,500.
* A new $2,500 tax credit for college education expenses. The credit phases out for individuals earning more than $80,000 and couples with incomes over $160,000.
* An $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers for homes purchased between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2009. The tax credit phases out for individuals earning more than $75,000 and couples earning more than $150,000.
* Temporary relief from the alternative minimum tax for millions of middle-class taxpayers who otherwise would be ensnared by the tax originally meant for the very wealthy.
* Small businesses with gross receipts of up to $15 million can write off 2008 losses against five previous tax years. Current laws allows a two-year carryback of losses.
Businesses will also be allowed to immediately write off more of their investments in computers and other equipment.
* Businesses that repurchase debt at a lower amount than when it was issued will be able to defer taxes on it. Usually reduced or canceled debt is treated as income and taxed. The break applies to debt repurchased adjusted after Dec. 31, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2011.
* A tax break on capital gains from the sale of stock held in a small business for more than five years.
* The bill raises about $7 billion in revenues by repealing a Treasury Department decision last year to liberalize rules that were intended to prevent companies in a merger from taking huge tax breaks on losses of firms they were acquiring.
FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
* Creates a new category of tax-preferred bonds for investment in economic recovery zones for job training, education and economic development.
* Creates a new category of tax-preferred bonds for the construction, and repair of public schools and the purchase of land for schools.
* Creates a federal subsidy for state and local governments offering bonds that give investors credits against their federal taxes in place of interest payments.
FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
* Extends tax breaks for wind facilities and other renewable energy facilities and provides other tax incentives to encourage development of renewable energy facilities.
* Authorizes an additional $1.6 billion of new clean renewable energy bonds as well as $2.4 billion of energy conservation bonds to finance state and local government projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
* Extends tax credits for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes.
* Provides a tax credit for purchase of “plug-in” electric vehicles of at least $2,500. The credit is increased depending on the battery capacity of the car purchased.
* Provides a new 30 percent investment tax credit for facilities engaged in producing renewable energy technology and conservation. (Editing by Peter Cooney and David Wiessler)
The better question is what part of the bill did they vote against?
Politicians love to slip this kind of legislation into bills that no one wants to vote against. Like slipping $5 billion for the CIA into a child protection law that no one dare vote against.
Shouldn’t all these members of Congress be Kicked out for allowing us to get into this finical mess?
They have been there way to long.
1 Daniel Inouye (D-HI) January 3, 1963 Chair: Appropriations
Dean of the Senate
President pro tempore
2 Patrick Leahy (D-VT) January 3, 1975 Chair: Judiciary
3 Richard Lugar (R-IN) January 3, 1977 Indiana 11th in population (1970) Ranking Member: Foreign Relations
4 Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Utah 36th in population (1970) Ranking Member: Finance
5 Max Baucus (D-MT) December 15, 1978 Chair: Finance
6 Thad Cochran (R-MS) December 27, 1978 Ranking Member: Appropriations
7 Carl Levin (D-MI) January 3, 1979 Chair: Armed Services
8 Chuck Grassley (R-IA) January 3, 1981 Ranking Member: Judiciary
9 Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) January 3, 1983 Chair: Energy
10 John Kerry (D-MA) January 2, 1985 Chair: Foreign Relations
11 Tom Harkin (D-IA) January 3, 1985 Former Representative Chair: H.E.L.P.
12 Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Minority Leader
13 Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) January 15, 1985 Chair: Commerce
14 Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) January 3, 1987 Former Representative (10 years)
15 Richard Shelby (R-AL) Former Representative (8 years) Ranking Member: Banking
16 John McCain (R-AZ) Former Representative (4 years) Arizona 29th in population (1980) Ranking Member: Armed Services
17 Harry Reid (D-NV) Nevada 43rd in population (1980) Majority Leader
Democratic Caucus Chair
18 Kent Conrad (D-ND) Chair: Budget
19 Herb Kohl (D-WI) January 3, 1989 Wisconsin 16th in population (1980) Chair: Aging
20 Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) Connecticut 25th in population (1980) Chair: Homeland Security
21 Daniel Akaka (D-HI) May 16, 1990 Chair: Indian Affairs
22 Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) November 10, 1992 Chair: Intelligence
23 Barbara Boxer (D-CA) January 3, 1993 Former Representative Chair: Environment and Public Works
24 Patty Murray (D-WA) Chair: Veterans‘ Affairs
25 Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) June 14, 1993 Ranking Member: Commerce
26 Jim Inhofe (R-OK) November 17, 1994 Ranking Member: Environment
27 Olympia Snowe (R-ME) January 3, 1995 Former Representative (16 years) Ranking Member: Small Business
28 Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Former Representative (8 years) Minority Whip
29 Ron Wyden (D-OR) February 6, 1996
30 Pat Roberts (R-KS) January 3, 1997 Former Representative (16 years) Ranking Member: Agriculture
31 Dick Durbin (D-IL) Former Representative (14 years) Majority Whip
32 Tim Johnson (D-SD) Former Representative (10 years) Chair: Banking
33 Jack Reed (D-RI) Former Representative (6 years)
34 Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Louisiana 21st in population (1990) Chair: Small Business
35 Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Alabama 22nd in population (1990) Ranking Member: Budget
36 Susan Collins (R-ME) Maine 38th in population (1990) Ranking Member: Homeland Security
37 Mike Enzi (R-WY) Wyoming 50th in population (1990) Ranking Member: H.E.L.P.
38 Chuck Schumer (D-NY) January 3, 1999 Former Representative (18 years) Chair: Rules
Democratic Policy Chair
39 Mike Crapo (R-ID) Former Representative (6 years)
40 Bill Nelson (D-FL) January 3, 2001 Former Representative (12 years)
41 Tom Carper (D-DE) Former Representative (10 years)
42 Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Former Representative (4 years) Chair: Agriculture
43 Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Former Representative (2 years)
44 Ben Nelson (D-NE)
If you are giving a Thumbs down please give a reason
The Dems aren’t the only ones who created this mess
a billion dollar a day war helped
We get the government we deserve. If people don’t want to take the time and see what their representation really stands for and how they vote while in office, then who’s fault is that? My mother-in-law’s life revolves around going to the movies, watching ‘Two and a Half Men’, and reading Hollywood gossip magazines. The scary part is that she votes. I once mentioned the Constitution to her and her reply was, “was that the thing we had to learn in school?” So there you go. Like I said, we get the government we deserve.
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