Our friend Jim Geraghty reminds us that all of Barack Obama’s pledges come with expiration dates — all of them. Wounded veterans have now discovered this in a most unpleasant way. Barack Obama wants to shove off the cost of medical care for injuries and illnesses sustained in combat in order to find $560 million in fresh revenue streams. This amounts to just over half of what Obama just gave Hamas in Gaza to rebuild after their disastrous war with Israel this winter, and about 1/300th of what the government gave AIG in a bailout.
Obama sang a much different tune during the campaign. In June 2008, Obama appeared at a Sioux Falls pancake breakfast to lambaste the Bush administration and John McCain for opposing Jim Webb’s GI Bill. During that speech, given from a rostrum with the slogan “A Sacred Trust — Support Our Veterans”, Obama had this to say about caring for our wounded once back at home:
We all know that the sacred trust does not end when the uniform comes off. That’s why it’s time to build a 21st-century VA. No more red tape. It’s time to give every service member electronic copies of their medical records and service records upon discharge so that they can immediately get the services that they’ve earned. No more shortfalls. We’ll fully fund VA health care. No more delays. We’ll pass on-time budgets. No more means testing. It’s time to allow every veteran into the VA system.
How can Obama reconcile that with this?
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance. …
No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.
The groups also cited an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal — something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.
Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under “consideration.”
“A final decision hasn’t been made yet,” he said.
It’s just another expiration date, as American Legion Commander David Rehbein discovered yesterday.
“Sacred trust”? Words. Just words.