Free Markets, Free People

This Is Why Veterans And The Military Don’t Trust Democrats

Or perhaps a better way to say that is this is a typical reason Democrats aren’t well thought of, for the most part, by the military community:

Several veterans groups “are lashing out” at the Obama administration over a policy proposal they say would “dramatically alter” how the Department of Veterans Affairs handles health insurance claims for veterans, The Hill reports. Under the policy, which is included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget proposal, VA would bill health insurers for treatment of injuries and conditions sustained as a result of veterans’ military service. Currently, VA covers those costs and bills health insurers only for treatment for conditions unrelated to veterans’ military service.

The “you got it, you pay for it” method of saving money on the back of wounded vets. This after all the rhetoric and promises about taking better care of our veterans than ever before because they’ve “earned it”?

Remember?

Of course, as soon as this trial balloon is discovered, the mealy mouth nonsense begins:

According to OMB spokesperson Tom Gavin, although concerns about policy changes in coverage are understandable, no official proposal is on the table. He said, “The details of the VA budget are being worked out right now and the details won’t be available until April,” adding, “The administration is committed to providing the VA with substantial resources to provide for our veterans” (Tiron, The Hill, 3/9).

And, of course, with the federal government spending money on social issues disguised as “stimulus”, followed by a porked up spending bill and now an almost 4 trillion dollar budget, where is the one place that they decide they should try and save money?

On the backs of wounded vets.

Sorry, but that cost was prepaid by the terms of their service and wounds. But obviously, more interested in social issues within the military than keeping promises, the administration begins the ground work for backing out on another of its promises (to their credit, some Democrats, such as Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), have declared such a proposal would be “dead on arrival” should it make it into the budget – a tip of the hat to her).

~McQ

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10 Responses to This Is Why Veterans And The Military Don’t Trust Democrats

  • I seem to remember how the Democrats ran on “Bush hurt veterans” and “McCain hurt veterans.” Now it appears that Democrats, and The Clown™, want to HARM veterans.

    Where are the veterans’ groups to air commercials on this?

  • According to the left ,  veterans are war criminals.  Why should they reward them for their crimes?

  • Wait, what? The admin wants to bill health insurers for verterans’ injuries, and from there we arrive at stiffing veterans? It sounds to me like returning this bastion of socialism that is the VA to market economics. I mean, how are we going to control these spiraling health costs  otherwise? Am I missing something here, or is this somehow not the exact same sort of policy you advocate for applying to the general public?

    Doesn’t the fact that you’re basically in favor of unlimited public health care for veterans sort of make all your other arguments.. um, schizophrenic?

    • “Am I missing something here…?”
      Yes, a few  things. 
      First – Billing veterans for their VA care does NOT return their health care to market economics. To  accomplish that, doctors would bid on providing needed treatments, then they would bill the VA.
      Second – Veterans were employees of the government that exposed themselves to an exponentially high chance of long term injury in service of the country with the agreement that they would have medical coverage.  The general public has no such contract with the government because the governmnet was not involved in causing their injuries.  In the private sector, if a company causes your injuries, you can sue that company for the cost of you health care (and usally get extra for ‘pain and suffering’)
      Third – For veterans, health care decisions should not be about what is cheapest for the government, but what is right for the patient. In fact, McQ even writes   -  “that cost was prepaid by the terms of their service and wounds”   so perhaps reading the whole post might have been appropriate.

    • Uh, no – the health care promised was part of the deal for signing up – paid for health care for life. Now we see Democrats trying to change the deal. That’s the point. Contracts and all that. But nice try at spinning it away.

  • so perhaps reading the whole post might have been appropriate.

    This seems like an ironic statement, considering that you don’t seem to have read the post. You’ve used the term, Billing veterans for their VA care, which is not in fact what the article describes. The article describes the billing of insurers.

    McQ seems to entirely fail to capture this distinction as well. That’s exactly the sort of slipshod, spray-and-pray journalism that he regularly takes to task right here on QandO. Of course, accuracy is something based saved for defending your partisan or ideological tribe.

    VA would bill health insurers for treatment of injuries and conditions sustained as a result of veterans’ military service. Currently, VA covers those costs and bills health insurers only for treatment for conditions unrelated to veterans’ military service.

    Since it doesn’t seem like anyone’s referring to actually billing veterans for such injuries, I’m not sure that points #2 and #3 apply. But let’s dissect them anyway.

    The general public has no such contract with the government because the governmnet was not involved in causing their injuries.

    This is an interesting model. In a libertarian state, it would be perfectly permissible for a corporation to pay their workers a salary in exchange for performance of work, with the workers assuming any and all liability for any injury received on the job. In that setting, the idea that the employer “caused” the injury simply because the worker received it on the job would be considered ridiculous.

    But here, in the military, it appears that the government “causes” veterans’ injuries by agreeing to pay soldiers in exchange for work wherein foreign enemies might shoot them. It sounds to me like the soldier exposes himself to voluntary risk in exchange for money, just like a factory worker.

    Of course, under current law, we have mandatory employer-paid Worker’s Comp… and libertarians hate that.

    Q, on the other hand posits:

    Uh, no – the health care promised was part of the deal for signing up – paid for health care for life. Now we see Democrats trying to change the deal.

    And in another corner, auto workers are having their contractually obligated benefits cut to ribbons – changing the deal, you might say, accurately -  while libertarians stand around and cheer, as this represents an alternative to using taxpayer money.

    Even people who respect veterans and respect libertarians when taken individually have to make a gut check watching libertarians defend socialized medicine when it benefits their personal community while calling those who want to provide it for everyone a bunch of evil, tyrannical, destructive clowns.

    • This seems like an ironic statement, considering that you don’t seem to have read the post. You’ve used the term, Billing veterans for their VA care, which is not in fact what the article describes. The article describes the billing of insurers.

      Ah, the old, “let’s do semantics” ploy to cover up completely blowing the first response.

      And in another corner, auto workers are having their contractually obligated benefits cut to ribbons – changing the deal, you might say, accurately – while libertarians stand around and cheer, as this represents an alternative to using taxpayer money.

      Cheering? Hardly. The good news is unions have a say in what they will or won’t give up and can bargain over it. They don’t have to approve a contract they don’t like. They don’t have to give up what’s in their contract if they choose not too. The company might fail and they may end up with nothing, but they still have the right, contractually, to ride it into the dirt.

      The military isn’t invited to any collective bargaining table. Nor is it given “options”. There’s a contract on the table with a promise of health care for life if they they’ll sign on the bottom line and put themselves at risk. They sign it and the contract is in force.

      That contract says nothing about billing 3rd party insurance or shifting the cost of the promise (and contract) on others.

      Your attempt to conflate the two systems points to gross deficit in understanding, much less appreciating the differences. And of course it makes you look silly in the end, because you usually say something laughable like:

      Even people who respect veterans and respect libertarians when taken individually have to make a gut check watching libertarians defend socialized medicine when it benefits their personal community while calling those who want to provide it for everyone a bunch of evil, tyrannical, destructive clowns.

    • “The article describes the billing of insurers.”

      And who pays the bills for the insurers? Indiviual veterans. That’s like someone thinking it’s ok to accidentally damage your parked car and leave the scene because you wouldn’t have to pay for it, your insurance company would.

      Now, if you want to propose that veterans be given enough money from the VA to pay for fully comprehensive private insurance; and then let them shop for the best deal – that could be a way to return the system to the free market and fulfill the promise to veterans. But that is not what is being proposed in the artice.