Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hussein Obama Pimps America's Wounded Soldiers!!


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

"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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