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January 1, 2008

Supporting Our Troops
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 10:18 PM * 12 comments

Veterans Need to Enroll in VA Healthcare Before January 17

As another brilliant example of the Bush Administration supporting our troops, hidden in one of the many bills passed during the Republican-controlled Congress was a little-noticed provision to cut off VA Health Care for millions of veterans from all our wars of aggression.

Under this provision, any veteran who is 0% service-connected (not disabled by being wounded or otherwise injured during their service) will be unable to enroll in VA Health Care after January 17, 2008. This ends a promise made to vets that has stood since WWII, that their health care needs would be taken care of in perpetuity.

(From Mockingbird’s Medley)

UPDATE: Looks like this one is an Urban Legend. Sorry about that. On Jan. 17, 2003, the VA cut off enrollment to Priority Group 8 veterans. These are vets with no service-connected conditions and whose income is above a certain threshold. That enrollment ban is still in effect.

As Teresa posted four years ago:

This is an announcement: I never, ever want to hear again about how mainstream/centrist and liberal Americans “aren’t supporting our troops,” when what the speaker really means is that we aren’t bending over for Bush, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and the rest of that crew.

See also, at Making Light, Forgotten Soldiers:

George Bush has yet to attend a single military funeral.

His visits to the wounded soldiers being treated in VA hospitals have been minimal—just enough to keep me from being able to type, “George Bush has yet to visit the soldiers wounded in his wars.”

And go over to Mockingbird’s Medley and read the rest of the piece. There’s more news for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan….

IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WAR VETS: This applies to you as well - only the news is actually worse. In the last military appropriation bill, your “free” health care was extended from two years to five. Yes, you heard right - you are currently only entitled to two years of free health care - even if you have seen combat. After Bush vetoed the military spending bill, which contained another three years, you are back to TWO WHOLE YEARS!

Hey, support our troops.

Veterans: Apply for health benefits on-line with form 1010EZ.

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Comments on Supporting Our Troops:
#1 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2008, 10:47 PM:

Evil, filthy bastards. I just passed word to the veterans I know, in case they haven't heard about it.

#2 ::: Chris Adams ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2008, 11:02 PM:

Does anyone have a more authoritative source for this? While it'd certainly be in character I get itchy any time I read something like this without any quotes, bill/policy numbers, etc.

#4 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2008, 11:07 PM:

Thanks, Chris; I was just about to post that link.

(Ironically, I'm watching M*A*S*H reruns as I type this.)

#5 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2008, 11:15 PM:

...I'm still going to remind vets I know to do both healthcare and grab their cert of eligibility for a VA loan. God knows either one may be yanked these days.

#6 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2008, 02:34 AM:

It's sad that our government's support of its military veterans has been so poor that it's easy to believe they would do this, even if they haven't yet. The last I heard there may be at least 25,000, and quite possibly more, veterans with mental and emotional problems from combat in the current war who have been given general discharges that prevent any benefits at all. That's not so different from taking it all away from everybody. Not morally, anyway.

At that, at least some in the current military admit the existence of PTSD. A large number of Vietnam, Korea, and WWII vets were simply told, "Suck it up soldier; cowardice isn't a psychological problem."

#7 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2008, 11:48 AM:

I've heard (with no references) that they call Reserves up for 1 year, 364 days, because calling them up for 2 years lets them get educational benefits. (I did find a reference to some educational benefits that require a 2-year callup for eligibility.)

#8 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2008, 11:57 AM:

It's sad that our government's support of its military veterans has been so poor that it's easy to believe they would do this, even if they haven't yet.

Even though they already have -- as of 2003.

#9 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2008, 12:18 PM:

Seth @ 7

The Minnesota regiment, I think it was, that served for one day less than two years, and it hit the news last summer.

#10 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2008, 02:39 PM:

Actually, they've done a decent job of pro-rating the educational bennies, so that total call up (cumulative) counts.

And that at intervals of (IIRC, I'd have to go find the paperwork they sent me last year) six months, the pro-ration go up.

So I am entitled to 50 percent of the active duty GI bill, as if I'd paid in.

#11 ::: Scorpio ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2008, 03:05 PM:

Considering that there is a whole year of Bushies left, maybe registering en mass would still be a good idea. Can those bstrds be trusted? Sure Charlie Brown! Now kick the football!

#12 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2008, 10:41 PM:

Now that oil has hit $100 a barrel, Halliburton should take note that the Administration has upheld its end of the deal, freeing the Halliburton Board of Directors to sign the order allowing our troops to come home.

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