Veterans, Then Cuts Their Health Care
President Bush spent the Memorial Day weekend thanking the nation's veterans for their service, saying "we acknowledge the debt [we owe them] by showing our respect and gratitude." 1 Yet, his rhetoric came just hours after the Bush Administration announced new plans to slash veterans health care funding if it returns to power in 2005.
Late last week, the Administration released a memo detailing a plan to cut $1 billion from the Veterans Administration 2 in the first budget of its second term. The cut would come even after the White House has tried to close veterans hospitals throughout the country, 3 and has proposed veterans health care budgets that have been criticized by veterans groups and the President's own Veterans Affairs secretary. 4 It also comes after the president decided to cut off 164,000 veterans from their existing prescription drug coverage, 5 and threatened to veto 6 any bill that would allow veterans to receive both the military pension they were promised, and any disability compensation to which they are entitled.
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