Veterans betrayed again: Obama’s $4 trillion budget slices Choice Card program

One of the fundamental premises of the American free market is choice. However, for some reason there are those who feel choice is not part of the success of this Republic. It’s reserved for those who believe they know what’s best for everyone else.

Remember the debacle of the Veterans Administration system, the wait lists, and veterans dying while being put on these infamous wait lists? Last year, Congress passed a law signed by President Obama called the Veterans Choice Law. It allows veterans who live outside of a reasonable distance to go to a health care facility of their choosing closer to where they live – or even receive care at a facility providing responsive services – the least our nation could do, right?

Well, there’s a little problem per the recently released Obama budget. The Choice Law that Obama signed and so vociferously lauded is getting a budget cut.

As reported by the Washington Times, “VA Secretary Robert McDonald defended President Obama’s budget request to cut some funding from the new Choice Card program for veterans, saying he wants the embattled department to be able to make decisions about whether the program is working and when to limit it.”

“The president’s proposal to cut some of the $10 billion in program funding irked key members of Congress, who created the Choice Card just six months ago to federally fund private clinic visits for veterans stuck on long waiting lists at the VA. And a poll released Tuesday by Concerned Veterans for American found that veterans overwhelmingly want the choice to receive care outside of the VA.”

“While not asked specifically about the Choice act, almost nine in 10 veterans polled said it was important to increase options for veterans health care and approve of efforts to reform the VA. “It was frankly my idea, so it wasn’t meant to be controversial,” Mr. McDonald said during a joint visit of top lawmakers from the House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees to VA headquarters.

“In a world where you have veterans making the decision, I just don’t want to be short, and being short and being inflexible could create people not getting the care they need.” Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican and chairman of the House Veterans Affairs’ Committee, warned that the program will only last as long as there is money left in that $10 billion pot and that dipping into that could sunset the program earlier than lawmakers intended. He previously called the idea of reallocating the money a “non-starter.”

It appears they’re dancing the usual beltway two-step. The new VA Director, a former Army officer, seems to have bought into the DC bureaucracy. His response that he wants the VA to determine whether the program is working and when to limit shows he doesn’t care for the veterans, but the system. If Secretary McDonald wanted to know if the program is working he should ask veterans, not bureaucrats.

There can be no doubt that the VA wants no choice or competition with the more effective and efficient free market when it comes to healthcare – sadly even when it comes to our veterans.

This further goes to show McDonald has bought into the fantasy that government can run a healthcare system and he won’t challenge the standing progressive socialist view of a single-payer system — that’s what the Choice Law threatens.

As The Washington Times writes, “VA officials said Monday that even though the program is in its early stages, veterans have been using it at a much lower rate than anticipated, though they couldn’t provide numbers. Helen Tierney, chief financial officer at the VA, said most veterans preferred being treated by a VA provider instead of a private physician.”

I hate to tell Ms. Tierney the facts, but the VA system is doing everything possible to dissuade veterans from utilizing the Choice program – including long wait times on phones and someone who assesses their “qualification.” Once again, nothing is at it seems with the Obama administration, as they institute obstacles and impediments to discourage veteran usage.

The Times says “Mr. McDonald said he supported giving vets the chance to see outside providers, calling it a “shock absorber we need” — though he also seemed optimistic he can convince Congress to give him flexibility to curtail the program.”

“It had nothing to do with us trying to gut the Choice Card or anything like that, it was about flexibility,” Mr. McDonald said. “I’m pleased to be standing here with my partners in Congress because I believe if I can demonstrate that need to them, they’ll give me that flexibility.”

I would beg to differ, sir. Why is it we’re not hearing about House and Senate Democrats going to the floors of their respective legislative bodies complaining about “cuts to investments?” I would propose that if there is an investment the government should be making, it is to provide quality healthcare options to those who were willing to make the “last full measure of devotion” to this nation.

It amazes me how mum the left is on this budget cut from the Obama administration. This is a program not even six months old and the VA needs to assess if it’s working?

I have a question. We’ve been throwing taxpayer dollars at the “war on poverty” for 50 years and should we stop and make decisions as to whether all these government programs are working?

Heck, I’d say, looking at the last six years would tell you that with the increase of food stamps and poverty rolls, the answer to that question would be pretty clear. However, try to cut back on welfare nanny-state growth, food stamps/EBT card issuance, and you’ll have the liberal progressive socialists screaming from the rafters of the U.S. Capitol.

This cut of $10 billion once again provides a lucid vision into the heart and soul of the left. Budget cuts to a healthcare choice program for our veterans are acceptable to them. Budget cuts to the dependency society are not. I guess it lets you know what the left considers a good “investment” for your taxpayer dollars.

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82 Comments on "Veterans betrayed again: Obama’s $4 trillion budget slices Choice Card program"

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Biill
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I think the DOD lost their ability to determine what’s right for our Veterans when they dropped the ball in the first place. Now THEY want to determine when the program is working and when it isn’t? I don’t think so.

citizen-unpc
Guest

But illegals will get whatever care they need. I can’t wait for 1/1/2017.

Stanley Kristiansen
Guest

Man beat that dead unrelated to conversation horse some more

KJinWTexas
Guest

I would bet you that VA Secretary Robert McDonald is one of the guys who just got big fat bonuses. That’s why he’s buying O’s BS about cuts into his brand new program, when in reality, it’s just another opportunity for O to get in a fresh dig on our veterans.

CheetoBuster
Guest

Amazing how he isn’t afraid to show how much he hates our military vets.

gac cas
Guest
t boils down to who decides what it right. Proverbs 20:23 “Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.” Who verifies that the scales being used are calibrated, that 10 lbs is 10 lbs? The people and groups that know how a scale is to be used are modifying the weight that the scale registers by purposefully having those who know very little how the scale works. I never served in the armed forces, maybe because I was born into it. My dad was in the army for 30 years, thus I learned a… Read more »
Uncle Ruckus
Guest

But yet you say nothing when republicans BLOCK bills to help veterans! You are such a hypocrite!!!!

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Republicans used a procedural move to block the bill after Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont chided GOPlawmakers about their priorities.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Benefits for some spouses of deceased veterans would have improved, and aid to relatives caring for a wounded veteran would have been expanded to include those who served before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

In a shameful display of partisan obstruction, the Mitch McConnell led Senate Republicans a blocked a bill that would have improved veterans benefits.

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

It sounds like you got this info from a leftist site, but I’ll concede for now I have not researched it yet, but when I do I’ll be sure to respond to you. Don’t worry, I’ll be nice, but this is how it probably will go. The Republicans voted it down because it does not do Veterans any good or is full of liberal crap that ultimately is not good for Vet’s.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Wrong and wrong again..do your research

metheoldsarge
Guest

Just curious. I served in uniform for twenty-two years. Have you?

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

And I noticed you don’t comment on REPUBLICANS blocking veterans bills …..guess it’s just dandy for republicans to ignore vets!!!!

metheoldsarge
Guest

I said both sides of the aisle. That does include both parties.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Yet you blame the president..but yet say absolutely nothing about republicans

metheoldsarge
Guest

When I say both sides of the aisle I am referring to both Republicans and Democrats. If that makes me a hypocrite in your book, I couldn’t care less.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

But the things u described only apply to the president

metheoldsarge
Guest

The things I described included them all. If you actually opened your eyes you would see that. All you see is President. You are reading only what you want to read. I have no intention to waste any more time with you so you can have last word.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

hmmmm….let me read again

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

23 years here skippy…served under Reagan bush Clinton bush…..as a retired vet I would NEVER disrespect the CIC LIKE SOME OF YOU INCLUDING ALLEN west…..those people I consider a DISGRACED to the uniform!!!

SFMac
Guest

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

If they be deserving of criticism, then criticism they shall have… including some peoples’ messianic icons, whether they are a Commander in Chief, his lackey spokeshole, or the idiots in charge of our Congress. If 23 years of military service taught you anything, it surely should have taught you that.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Taught me to always RESPECT the VICTIMS no matter which party he is from

metheoldsarge
Guest
Soldier to Soldier. I served under five Presidents from LBJ to Reagan. I am sure we have our differences in opinion. Opinions are one of the many rights you and I helped protect no matter if anyone likes or dislikes them. If you have seen my posts in the past, you will realize that I will never initiate name calling. In my twenty two years in uniform and in the years following in the civilian world I have observed that, those who resort to name calling, snide remarks and insults usually do it because they have nothing intelligent to say.… Read more »
SFMac
Guest
Well said OldSarge, and I couldn’t agree more. Uncle Ruckus, I’m not sure what victims you’re referring to, perhaps it’s all of us, the American people, since were the victims of partisan politics and the lunatic progressive policies that have been coming from DC since H.W Bush’s administration, but especially these past six years. We who have born the brunt, more clearly see these crazy policies, from the suicidal ROE’s we’re saddled with in combat, to the cozying up with terrorists and enemies of freedom, to the shaft we’re given by politicians that sent us off to war and then… Read more »
metheoldsarge
Guest

I’m not saying I don’t believe Uncle Ruckus was ever in the military. He could very well have been. With his current attitude
I find it hard to believe he was able to stay in long enough to retire let alone 23 years.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

what did allen west say about this??? Such a hypocrite!!

metheoldsarge
Guest
Once again, like always, veterans, the military and their families take it in the shorts. Like they haven’t made enough sacrifices, the government leaders, on both sides of the aisle, want them to sacrifice more. I have had to make a few sacrifices. I don’t like it. No one does, but I would accept it as long as no one else was exempt. However, that is never the case. There are other ways to find the money. Will anything be done about the First Lady’s frequent national and international joyrides with her mama, daughters, Secret Service detail, her staff and… Read more »
Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Hmmmm…full of criticism for the president but say nothing about republicans blocking veteran bills…..yet another HYPOCRITE!!!

Mark Dawson
Guest
Ok fellas! There is this thing these politicians do that irritates me more than the issues getting screwed up! Its the fact that they do not care about those issues and are more concerned with defeating the other side. Its all about them and they turn us on each other because of how they are feuding! There is not one shred of concern for you or I in the vote. It is purely who will win over whom as the right or left! I feel sorry for us here who are arguing a point that shows neither party cares about… Read more »
SFMac
Guest

Typical.

Mark Dawson
Guest

Yes I too retired with 20 years Navy! I am saddened by this entire situation America is in tonight!

Republic
Guest

Meanwhile, the Dream Candidate to the Republican Party is nowhere to be found, or allowed to participate … View AmericaIdea for the only GOP 2016 Dream Candidate.

The candidate stands for some few areas of military reform.

Stanley Kristiansen
Guest

Mr. West has fundamentally misstated the event. There is currently money in this fund that was passed as A ONE TIME appropriation by congress. The request is to move the unused money. The program will end without congressional effort to renew it. If anyone knows differently please inform me.

David Straub
Guest

I just received this card recently – WHAT UNUSED MONEY? And what about this BS of moving the goal posts by way of changing what any normal person would believe 40 miles to mean? Most people when asked how far something is, will tell you the distance in miles needed to be driven – NOT “by how the crow flies”. Who does that besides pilots??????????

Tammy
Guest

Wow! That’s nuts! It should be driving miles. smh

David Straub
Guest

Tammy, it appears that there has been enough fallout from Veterans, that the VA has amended the 40 mile rule to miles driving, and not their original geodesic method (straight line between two points – aka – as-the-crow-flys). This was as of 15 Mar 2015. I am still waiting for some kind of confirmation directly from the VA as to my status, so I can get moving on managing my health care. I have a defibrillator implanted which has to be monitored. I can’t be playing games with this BS. Thanks for your concern.

Tammy
Guest

Oh my gosh David I can fully appreciate your concern. I pray that you get the confirmation that you need on your status quickly. Take care and God bless you.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Don’t expect TRUTH from allen west!!

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

This is deeper than just disagreeing with Mr. West. Your disdain for him sounds personal. Is it because he is black?

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

This is not deeper than disagreeing with Mr West….where was Mr West when REPUBLICANS blocked the veterans bill?? Only goes to show that he is a HYPOCRITE to the 10th power! Don’t pretend that you care about veterans issues when its apparent that ALLEN WEST doesn’t!

FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

I think it is personal. Did you serve under him or is it because he is a black conservative. I know, you are going ta say that it is because he is a hypocrite or something like that.
My vote is that you dislike Allen because he is a smart black conservative.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

I dislike the man because you can’t get the TRUTH out of him! Someone complaining about some mythical cut democrats have done to vets yet says absolutely nothing about republicans blocking bills to help veterans is a FRAUD!!! Allen west proves that he puts PARTY before VETERANS!!!

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

Why was the bill blocked? It’s always a lot more complicated than just saying “no or yes” to the creation of a bill. It always, always involve compromise and at the end Republicans usually have the Vet’s interest in mind. Now political corruption is on both sides of the aisle, and I know that often “we the people” (us Vets seem to take the brunt of it) interests are sacrificed because of that corruption. By the way I’m not convinced that it’s not personal with you and Mr. West.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

DO a google search and see how many veterans bills that were blocked by republicans! Sorry skippy but….blocking bills that are designed to assist vets with heathcare and jobs is inexcusable! These are the people you CLOWNS continue to vote for and you have NOTHING to show for it!!

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

So how many billions do you think it would have cost? I’m not saying they should not pass it. I’m fortunate I can afford my own medical and more needs to be done for Vets, but at what point do we stop spending or start spending for the right things. Our kids and grandkids are going to pay for all this.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Ohhhhhh…..so now you excuse it??? Its alright for republicans to block vet bills and yet not propose one themselves and you say republicans look out for veterans? I beg to differ! Giving a speech or going to a memorial doesn’t help a VET….

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative
The whole history of bills passed or not passed for Veterans happened in this one vote. This sums up the Republican history in what they do for veterans. Right? Know how is the clown? What I’m going to help you with is a history of What Republicans and Democrat have done for vets and the military. I know that you know that Democrats have the worst track record as far as supporting not only vets but our military. We mostly vote Republican because of the support they have given us vets and the military, but I know, you don’t care… Read more »
Uncle Ruckus
Guest
Let me help you since your GOOGLE isn’t working!’ Senate Republicans on Thursday morning filibustered legislation to monitor and treat first responders and emergency workers who suffered illnesses related to 9/11. A vote to quash the filibuster failed by a vote of 57 to 42, three votes short of the necessary threshold. As a result, the proposal is unlikely to pass this year. The bill would provide funding for a health program to treat first responders, construction and cleanup workers and residents who inhaled toxic particles after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The $7.4 billion cost of… Read more »
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

Google?! We don’ need no stinking Google (in a deep Mexican accent)! We know how to spot bias ignorance

Tom White
Guest

I think this was from an old movie and it was some Mexican bandido saying “Badges!? I don’ need no stinking badges!.” I’m only 26 and I get it. This idiot Ruckus is not very smart.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Thats funny…..GOOGLE is a search engine you IDIOT!!

FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

Ha! Someone is hormonal. You don’t like Mexican humor? Or could it be you are too stupid to get it. “GOOGLE is a search engine you IDIOT” (in a mocking voice).

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

more than ONE VOTE!! Please do some RESEARCH then get back with me….thanks!!! Also, please post links of all the support for veterans from republicans…..I remember republicans BLOCKED help for the police and fire fighters that were injured on 9/11. Look that one up too while you are doing your RESEARCH!

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

I will so you just wait ok. I will help you so don’t worry yourself too much.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

OH no…not changing….I consider those folks VETS for what they did!!!

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

What we did?[…] Let me see. We trained, some of us were deployed (you should have seen how hard Dems made it for us to vote while deployed) some gave their lives. Yeahp, we did a lot and sill do for this country.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Republicans blocked what again?? C’mon skippy….you can do it

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

Your emotional issues is no excuse to be snippy skippy. You know I’m right and no spin can change that fact.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

It would only take 1 time for me to learn that republicans blocked ANYTHING to help veterans for them to lose my support. NO….with you LOONS….you continue to support them and try to JUSTIFY their behavior! Idiots will be idiots!!!

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Come on skippy…please show me recent legislation where republicans are helping vets….anything

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative
I’ll be happy to show you many things, but I believe it would be an exercise in futility. you have not shown any interest in the whole truth. You are what is wrong with our people, ignorance, lack of common sense; just downright stupidity keeps you dependent on Government. Wait, before you say, “I don’t need the Government,” just think of how dependent you are on what Government can do for any issue that our communities might have. Strong black conservative freak you out because you don’t have the IQ necessary to understand why we as our ancestors did support… Read more »
Uncle Ruckus
Guest

So in other words you have nothing

FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

What!!! Here I’m expecting for you to give a better response but all you come up with is; “So in other words you have nothing.” Ok(in a mocking tone).

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

And you you still post NOTHING on what republicans have done to help veterans!

FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

What’s the point? When have you accepted the truth? You would believe that the world is flat if it shed a bad light on republicans.

Tom White
Guest

You are right. What is the point?

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

SHINE the LIGHT skippy!!!! If you can’t explain to me why you support a party that will BLOCK bills to help veterans?

FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

You
are like a little girl. First, you fuss about how right you are, and
then when you are proven incorrect you yell and scream and throw tantrums, in how everybody else is wrong. I think from now on I’ll be calling you “Uncle whimper.”

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

and what part of what I said was wrong…republicans didn’t block bills to help veterans?? MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

I guess you have to pay attention to the things you say. I would respect your opinion if you were able to say the truth that as far as Veterans are concerned both parties have failed them equally. Your inability to do so shows your unwavering bias, and how stupid it would be for me to try to change your mind.

FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic
Guest
FightForYourRight-ConsHispanic

Veterans and the military vote, mostly Republican… I wonder why? Hmm, It can’t be because they realize that the Republican party does more for them. Nah, that couldn’t be it, because you don’t think so, you must be right you are soooo smart (said sarcastically of course). What you didn’t get this either?

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

Just one question. Would it cause a change if I showed you facts on the determent to our
people caused by buying into the democratic party? Ok, two questions. Would you agree to an honest debate?

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

Nah….it’s because he us, a fraud

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans blocked legislation Wednesday that would have established a $1 billion jobs program putting veterans back to work tending to the country’s federal lands and bolstering local police and fire departments.
Republicans said the spending authorized in the bill violated limits that Congress agreed to last year. Democrats fell two votes shy of the 60-vote majority needed to waive the objection, forcing the legislation back to committee.

Tammy
Guest

That was from 2012

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

If anyone has betrayed vets its the REPUBLICAN PARTY including ALLEN WEST!!! Not one peep from him when republicans block veteran bills!!!

HigherGround/Blk Concervative
Guest
HigherGround/Blk Concervative

But didn’t it happen like a year ago, and you bring it up now. What
you are going to need to do is in a precise and concise manner refresh
our memory.

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

I said it a year ago and I’ll continue to say this FOREVER! When you have someone like allen west posting crap like this but post NOTHING about republicans blocking bills….HYPOCRITE is what he proves himself to be!

Stan
Guest
I am priority 1, I live 99 miles from the VA hospital I go to,I must make my VA doctor appts 45 days in advance, I am 100% service connected, and the last day of January, I received a card ‘Choice’ in snail mail. I have made several phone calls, for hours, to the phone numbers on the brochures that came with the card and ‘they’ are STILL trying to decide if I qualify for Choice benefits. I am at a loss! Point being= February 24th, I have a verifiable VA appt, 99 miles away, eacch way is 99 miles,… Read more »
joe pulk
Guest
Who is running this program? Today I find out when you call the 800 number for eligibility you could be talking to any of three call center’s one in Philadelphia, another in in California, and the last one somewhere down south. I have been approved by the V.A. going on 19 days.I have been told by people at the call center three times this week someone would calling me the next day so today when I call to find out why I have not been called back I was told who I talked to the day before probably was from… Read more »