Good evening – just a quick item I wanted to draw your attention to. In a press release issued Tuesday, the New Hampshire Democratic Party praised Congressman Paul Hodes stating that the presumptive Democrat Senate candidate “has been a vocal advocate of health care reform and has worked with leaders in Congress to overhaul America's broken system.”
The release went on to note that Hodes’ would be holding a tele-townhall that evening to discuss health care reform with his constituents. It remains unclear how or why the Congressman’s state political party apparatus was promoting an event that was being conducted through his official Congressional office, and not his Senate campaign – raising additional questions as to whether he’s using his taxpayer funded office to advance his Senate aspirations. You’ll note questions have already been raised about his taxpayer funded mailings.
However, what I wanted to point out this evening is that while Hodes’ has been working with Speaker Pelosi on the House health care bill, it appears neither of them have been working with America’s Veterans organizations who said today that “as currently drafted, H.R. 3200 fails to adequately recognize, protect or preserve this invaluable system for our nation’s 24 million veterans.”
Note: Six high-profile veterans groups are raising objections to the House healthcare reform bill, warning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that it could jeopardize the care of millions of veterans. Citing “grave concerns,” the groups are urging Pelosi to modify the House bill. If changes are not made, the veterans groups say they will actively oppose the measure.
Veterans Groups Have ‘Grave Concerns’ On Health Bill
July 31, 2009 03:04 PM [ET]
Six high-profile veterans groups are raising objections to the House healthcare reform bill, warning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that it could jeopardize the care of millions of veterans.
Citing “grave concerns,” the groups are urging Pelosi to modify the House bill. If changes are not made, the veterans groups say they will actively oppose the measure.
In a letter to Pelosi that was obtained by The Hill, the groups state “the legislation could limit the health care choices for veterans, increase the cost of health care for veterans, deny coverage to dependents family members of veterans, and threaten the quality of health care offered to veterans through the VA health care system.”
The groups who signed the letter are the Disabled American Veterans, Blinded Veterans Association, Vietnam Veterans of America, Jewish War Veterans of the USA, American Veterans (AMVETS) and the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA.
The letter notes that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides medical services to millions of veterans and the quality of care “has risen to amongst the finest health care systems in the nation.”
“Unfortunately,” the letter states, “as currently drafted, H.R. 3200 fails to adequately recognize, protect or preserve this invaluable system for or nation’s 24 million veterans.”
The groups also want the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to continue running the healthcare system offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs and not be “infringed” by any other healthcare organizations or administration departments.
“By virtue of their service and sacrifices, veterans have earned special benefits that are separate and in addition to benefits the government provides to other citizens,” the six groups wrote to Pelosi.
The groups stress that any national health reform legislation “must make certain” that all veterans, including those enrolled in the VHA system, remain eligible to enroll in any other public or cooperative health insurance program.
The final reform ill “must make clear” that veterans’ spouses or children have access to the public or cooperative health insurance program.
A spokesman for Pelosi said that Democrats remain committed to veterans and their needs.
“As the legislative process moves forward we will work with all stakeholders on healthcare reform,” said Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami.