Get Mad and Make a Change

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A Great Day for Veterans

I just got an email with the title "A Great Day for Veterans" from "Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA". The IAVA is the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America. The letter could have been from any of the major veteran organizations in the country as they are all calling today a great day.

What is making them so dang happy? President Obama, VA Secretary Shinseki, and Defense Secretary Gates as they announced their support for two major initiatives that will have an enormous impact on the lives of our nation's veterans. The first is a new program called the "Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record Initiative." It's a complicated name for a critical change that is long over-due, and it will help bring the VA and DOD health care systems into the 21st century. Now this is good news and I have no problem with admitting that it is a step in the right direction.

The second major initiative is advance funding for VA health care. For nineteen of the last twenty-two years, the VA budget has been passed late, forcing the nation's largest health care provider to ration care. Imagine trying to plan for next month's bills without knowing the size of your next paycheck. That's what veterans hospitals do almost every year. Today's announcement is a major step towards ending that cycle.

Now I have a problem. Advanced funding is not the answer to VA funding. during his campaign the president promised to fully fund the VA. Secretary Shinseki has also professed to be in favor of full funding. Full funding means giving the VA ALL the money it needs to provide quality health care to all eligible veterans. Advanced funding means Giving the VA a specific amount of money and saying this is all you get, you know how much you have ahead of time so if you are not going to have enough to provide the quality care to all; you have to cut either quality or service offered to stay within budget.

I am running a poll at this time to see how people answer the question "Do our veterans deserve to receive the best care at VA facilities without regard for cost." 95% strongly agree and 100% agree with that statement. If that is the case then why is Washington afraid to fully fund the VA? Why can't all veterans with honorable discharges receive quality care at the VA? Why do vets have to travel 2 hours to a VA facility when there is a hospital in their home town that can provide the service they get from the VA? Why can't they just have the VA billed for services?

I am mad. I AM VERY MAD. I am mad at the veteran organizations for not demanding full funding for VA health care. I am mad at the president for not keeping his promise. I am mad at Secretary Shinseki for not following through with his statements on full funding. I am mad at Congress for not fully funding VA health care. And I am mad at the American People who sit in their homes and drive their nice cars because men and women were and are willing to sacrifice their lives to keep these people free to enjoy what they have. The American People who won't write send an email or phone their elected officials and tell them that the VA must be fully funded for health care. If this includes you then get up off your backsides and make the effort to help those who have sacrificed to keep you free. I have made it easy just go to on that page are sample letters and information on how to contact your elected officials. once you have let your elected officials know that VA health care should be fully funded, please let me know email me at

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