Record shows candidates', parties' treatment of vets

Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Bush administration and the Republican Party keep expressing their concern for veterans and veterans' health care. I disagree with their claim.

An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill (S.2400) that would guarantee full funding for veterans' health care came before the U.S. Senate. It was rejected by the White House and the Republican Senate. Sixty votes were needed to pass this veterans' health care bill. It was defeated by a vote of 48 to 49. The "yea" votes came from 46 Democrats, two Republicans and one Independent. Needless to say, our two senators were part of the "nay" vote. Why are they against veterans' health care?

The Republicans state that VA medical care has increased 35 percent since 2001 but say nothing about the fact that veteran enrollees for health care between 2001 and 2003 has increased nearly 50 percent. One Republican even calls the health care "a new entitlement program."

Furthermore, the Bush administration proposes to cut veterans' health care in FY 2006 by more than $900 million, which would bring that below the 2004 level. Veterans, please consider this when you go to the polls in November to choose a president and senator.

Bill Starnes, Kenai

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