Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More evidence obama hates Americans

The AP is reporting:

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
"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."
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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