The Department ... has had long-standing problems providing care for eligible veterans. In 1996, Congress passed the Veterans Health care Reform Act, which expanded eligibility for VA care to all veterans. Since the legislation was passed, enrollment in VA health care facilities has increased by almost 300%, from 2.9 M in '96 to an estimated 7.5 M in '03. Funding for the VA, however, increased at a much lower rate during this period, leading to shortages of capacity and long waiting times for many veterans.
That Republican congress had to pass Clinton's bill, but they didn't have to pay for it all that much. In the same way, Bush, demonstrating his support for those heroes he loves to pose before, would impose fees and cost increases on Priority 7 Veterans that effectively forces tens of thousands of them out of the system, and deny enrollments for a whole large group of new Vets, so called Priority 8 Veterans.
Priority 7 veterans are veterans whose injuries are not service-related and whose income is more than $24,644 ($29,576 for a veteran with a dependent) but less than 80% of the community’s median income. Priority 8 veterans are veterans whose injuries are not service related and whose incomes are higher than Priority 7 veterans. Together, these two classes of veterans represent 41% of the veterans currently receiving VA health care.
So to honor our Veterans, the great Cult of the Military Forces, that would be the GOP, would deny access to any VA care for a whole class of Veterans, while raising a never before done TAX!!! on another group of Vets, effectively forcing thousands of Veterans out of the VA system.
We're supposed to honor our troops by supporting them, by taking care of them, even after they're done with their service. They made great sacrifices, of time and body, and we should pay for their healthcare as part of our bargain for their service. Bill Clinton got that done, only the Republicans seem to have undone it, just as they have attempted to undo everything else Bill Clinton accomplished in office, see North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Roadless Rules, Clean Air, Fair taxation, you name it, to the extent I'm surprised they haven't tried to restart the The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Support the troops indeed.