Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plan to bill insurance for combat injuries criticized

WaPo via LATimes

An Obama administration proposal to bill veterans' private insurance companies for combat-related injuries has prompted veterans groups to condemn the plan as unethical, and powerful lawmakers on Capitol Hill have promised to oppose it.

The proposal -- intended to save the Department of Veterans Affairs $530 million a year -- would authorize the VA to bill private insurance companies for treatment of injuries and medical conditions related to military service, such as amputations, post-traumatic stress syndrome and other battle-related conditions. The VA already pursues so-called third-party billing for non-service-related conditions.

Veterans groups said the change would abrogate the government's responsibility to care for the war-wounded. And they expressed concern that the new policy would make employers less willing to hire veterans for fear of the cost of insuring them, and that insurance benefits for veterans' families would also be jeopardized.

Veterans groups described the plan as a puzzling political misstep by the new administration in its relations with the 25 million Americans who have served in the military. Obama heard firsthand about such objections Monday when he met with leaders of the groups at the White House. a traumatically amputated limb suffered in service to one's country a 'pre-existing condition' worthy of denying benefits? Sounds like a can o' worms to me. Among other things.

Quite simply the most ridiculous and mean-spirited cockamamie idea I have heard yet from this administration. It must not happen, and I have faith that it will not.

C'mon, you guys, this is a misstep worthy of the Repugs' "no pull trigger, no get food, make 'em pay for their own rides home and their meals in a roach-infested moldy chow hall" mentality.

Crossposted at The American Patriot Institute.

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