From the New York Times: "Bush Budget Raises Drug Prices for Many Veterans."
Co-pay is raised to $15/month per prescription, from $7/month, and many veterans will have to pay a yearly $250 "user fee."
The government had no immediate estimate of how many veterans would be affected if the user fee and co-payment proposals were adopted. But veterans' groups said that hundreds of thousands of people would end up paying more and that many would be affected by both changes.
Veterans groups attacked the proposals. Richard B. Fuller, legislative director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, said: "The proposed increase in health spending is not sufficient at a time when the number of patients is increasing and there has been a huge increase in health care costs. It will not cover the need. The enrollment fee is a health care tax, designed to raise revenue and to discourage people from enrolling."
You know, if you're going to send soldiers to war, don't you at least owe them the basics they need to take care of themselves?
Can't people see that Bush doesn't give a damn about soldiers and their problems? If he did, they might have armor for their vehicles. Rumsfeld wouldn't have a job. They would be able to get into veterans' hospitals.
If he did, they wouldn't be in Iraq.
You know, this reminds me of an incident from this summer. I was at the state capitol on the day after Kerry picked Edwards as his VP pick, at a small rally to celebrate the occasion. It was a pretty dumb rally, but I got a free bumper sticker and button out of the deal.
As I was walking back to my car, I met this guy at a street corner. He wore an old army camo jacket and carried a big canvas duffel bag. I said "hi" to him, and he enthusiastically greeted me back. He remarked on the John Kerry bumper sticker I was carrying-- he said he was voting for Kerry, because he hated to think of the kids in Iraq dying for Bush's "oil war." He told me he had served in Vietnam-- then he pulled up his pant leg to show me the shrapnel that was still embedded in his calf.
I asked him where he was from. He said Detroit. He had been drafted straight out of high school. Until he was drafted, his plan had been to play baseball for the Detroit Tigers-- apparently he was a pretty good pitcher. (I didn't know whether to believe him or not. Confronted with the evidence in the form of his disfigured leg that his Vietnam story was true, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.) I asked him what he was doing here. He said he left his daughter and grandkids in Michigan to come to the Fort Snelling VA Hospital. Once he got there, however, they turned him away. Now he needed to go to a different hospital somewhere, but he didn't have any money for the bus.
I felt really sorry for him. All I had in my wallet was a $20, but somehow anything I could use it for didn't seem all that important. So I gave it to him to use for the bus. He also wondered where he could get a Kerry sticker for himself and a few to give to his friends. I walked him back down to the rally, where they were still cleaning up, and he got the stickers he wanted. He told his story to a couple of the DNC workers that were there, too, and they were as shocked and saddened as I was.
I don't know if the guy ever got to the hospital. I hope he did. But the whole incident really made me sad and angry. As I drove home, I thought about how fortunate I've been in my life so far. And I wondered: how will we repay those who are serving over in Iraq right now?
One of my favorite commercials during the Super Bowl last night, and the only one that was truly emotionally touching, was the Anheuser-Busch commercial with the soldiers arriving at the airport and the people breaking out into applause. I actually teared up during that ad. But, in the end, it was not really a "thank you" to American troops. It was a cynical attempt to sell us beer.
That's exactly what the Bush administration does. They use the love and admiration we all have for the troops to sucker us into buying their agenda. They wrap themselves in the flag and the soldiers' camo gear. (Sometimes they even put on a flight suit.) They claim they have the troops' backs. But their actions speak louder than their words.
When will we ever learn?Posted by smit2174 at February 7, 2005 1:01 PM | TrackBack