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!"
You go, Dave!
"... to care for him who shall have borne the battle ..."
Yeah right. Our president wants to bleed $540 million out of our veterans for what? To give to AIG?
Hope and change.
But wait! Here's more:
Vets blast Obama "plan"
"The president's avowed purpose in doing this is to, quote, 'make the insurance companies pay their fair share,'" Roberts said. But he said it will raise premiums, make insurance unaffordable for veterans and impose a massive hardship on military families. It could also prevent small businesses from hiring veterans who have large health care needs, he said.
"It's not the Blue Cross that puts soldiers in harm's way, it's the federal government," Robert said, adding that the American Legion would like the existing system to remain in place. Service-related injuries currently are treated and paid for by the government. The American Legion has proposed that Medicare reimburse the VA for the treatment of veterans.
He said that the argument about the government's moral obligation to treat wounded soldiers, sailors and Marines fell on deaf ears during the meeting.
"The president deflected any discussion when it got into any moral issue here," he said. "Any attempt to direct the conversation (to the moral discussion) was immediately deflected."
Private insurance is separate for troops who need health care unrelated to their service. But Roberts noted that if a wounded warrior comes back and needs ongoing treatment, he or she could run up "to the max of the coverage in very short order," leaving his family with nothing
Roberts added that how the plan would raise $540 million "is a great mystery and it seems to be an arbitrary number. ... The commander said it seemed like this phantom number."