Monday, 26 May 2014
Memorial Day 2014
This is a good day for a bit of discussion about the recent media attention to the problems of health care at the U.S. Veterans Administration.
Last February, Senate Republicans blocked important legislation from Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont: S.1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 (full text here; summary here).
The bill would provide $21 billion to improve veterans' access to health care, education and job training. There are 29 co-sponsors of the bill, every one of them a Democrat; not a single Republican.
In that February vote, all but two Senate Republicans voted against the bill. That makes this a partisan issue and there is no question who is on which side.
Please note how, in this video from Sanders' office, that every Republican speaking against the bill objects on the grounds that there are no offsets to pay for it - just as there were no offsets for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq they championed. You know, the wars where these veterans who need help were wounded.
More at Senator Sanders' website.
You might want to keep all this in mind next time you hear a Republican wrapping him- or herself in the flag and proclaiming their patriotism.
Enjoy the holiday - and I don't mean that to be snark. It is not a contradiction to argue for our military and have a barbecue too.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dan Gogerty: Headstone Tweets and Wikihistory on Memorial Day