Vets: Who pays for their treatment?

Veterans who are injured in battle would be required to pay for treatment of their injuries with private insurance under a plan being considered by the Obama administration, CNN reports. It says the idea has been confirmed by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Currently, vets’ insurance companies are billed when they’re treated for non-service-related injuries and illnesses.

It’s also a plan that’s dead on arrival if the president decides to propose it, according to some influential lawmakers and , as you might expect, veterans groups are vehemently opposed to the plan (See a letter sent to the president).

Even the usually Obama-friendly Talking Points Memo criticizes the plan, saying it would put Obama further to the right of John McCain.

The idea, not surprisingly, never came up during the campaign, particularly at a stop in Fargo last year when Obama outlined his veterans’ policy. “Caring for our veterans,” he said, “is one thing that we can still get right,” and promised to “fully fund VA health care.”

  • boB from WA

    I find it hard to believe that this administration would even consider this as an income stream. If we are to honor our veterans, especially those who have given up various body parts or psychological parts, we should pay for their care. is this too much to ask of those who have not served? I too am a veteran, but choose not to use my benefits, so that those who need them will have the funds to be able to do so.

  • bsimon

    The cnn link contained zero information on the actual proposal. They are alluding to what the proposal might be, or what alternatives might be considered, but in an admittidly brief search, I could find no specific details. Perhaps it is too soon to judge the merits of the proposal.

    My suspicion is that if the admin is going to propose vets use private insurance for covering service injuries, it will only be part of a much larger plan that restructures health care delivery more expansively, not just for vets.

  • Bob Collins

    //My suspicion is that if the admin is going to propose vets use private insurance for covering service injuries, it will only be part of a much larger plan that restructures health care delivery more expansively, not just for vets.

    Well, only vets can have service injuries. There’s no way non-vets can have service injuries, so no matter what the scenario, the effect is the same as confirmed by the VA — the government does not pay for service injuries.

    Is there some possible configuration that would make that consistent with a promise to fully fund VA care?

  • Raymond

    I am steaming, Obama is nothing shy of the devil for thinking that America should take away from those that gave him what he has today, Freedom( oh yeah, his job.)

  • Dan

    I’m a veteran, and it’s never occurred to me to use the VA system, much less that I shouldn’t use my medical insurance for my own care. I have medical insurance for a reason. Why should we even have a completely separate medical system for treating veterans at all? It doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

    It should also be pointed out that the VA is actually receiving an overall increase in funds, and that the Vietnam Veterans of America put out a press release saying that, with the exception of the health insurance question, this is the best budget proposal for veterans in the last thirty years. The press is so focused on this one policy scuffle they have completely abandoned the bigger picture.

  • Bob Collins

    Dan: You’re talking about health care for maladies that have nothing to do with active service.

    I’m talking about injuries that are DIRECTLY related to military service — being shot, for example.