Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

Change in Legislative Process Another Nail in the Coffin for Veterans Health Benefits

Winter 2005

In a week that has already brought a fundamental betrayal to America's covenant to honor and support its veterans, there is yet another threat to the veterans' health benefits that are the nation's obligation to those who have served. President Bush's FY2006 has already betrayed the trust of the veterans' community by inadequate funding, the more than doubling of the prescription co-pay, and the imposition of a $250 "user fee" just to access the system. A new proposal by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is yet another nail in the coffin of adequate funding of veterans' health care. Under Congressman Lewis' plan, the number of subcommittees dealing with spending bills will be reduced from 13 to 10. Under this plan spending bills for the VA will be moved to other subcommittees where they will be competing with even more programs for scarce funds. The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) condemns this politically motivated plan designed to reduce competition for funds for NASA, headquartered in House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's district and does not believe the stated reason for the change--an attempt to streamline the appropriations process. The JWV strongly condemns this maneuver and urges everyone to immediately contact their Congressmen and Representatives to register their displeasure over this attempt to betray those who have fought to defend the principles upon which this country has been founded. Veterans are not a sop to be brought out and praised when it is politically expedient. Veterans are the defenders of our freedoms and deserve those benefits which they have earned. The JWV strongly supports the rights of all veterans past, present, and future to the benefits which they have earned. This proposal by Congressman Lewis must not be allowed to be the death knell of veterans' health care benefits.


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