The most recent veterans bill marks a rarity in our current political atmosphere: a truly bipartisan effort. It passed the House unanimously, which is saying something. But a few Republicans in the Senate see it as “entitlements” we cannot afford:
Before passing the bill, senators voted 75-19 to turn aside objections to its cost raised by Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama. “I feel strongly we’ve got to do the right thing for our veterans. But I don’t think we should create a blank check, an unlimited entitlement program, now,” Sessions said.
Sessions and two other Republicans, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee, voted against the bill’s passage.
Provisions passed by both chambers would allow veterans to visit private doctors at VA expense if they are forced to endure long waits for appointments at VA clinics or live more than 40 miles (64 km) away, and would give the VA secretary more power to fire or demote employees for poor performance.
Apparently we can afford billions to shut down the government, we can afford entitlements to big oil and wall street, we can afford 56 attempts to repeal the ACA, but we can’t afford “entitlements” that provide for the well-being of our veterans. Thanks GOP.
Even if we just reorganized our military spending. Not even counting the massive waste elsewhere. Maybe one fewer battlecruiser so we can have decent health clinics for vets. It is absolutely unforgivable to take a stance that says we value war enough to devote so much of our budget to it and then not find a little bit of money for the veterans themselves. Then for the Republicans to trumpet their party platform as ‘support the troops’ rings about as hollow as Chik-Fil-A’s refusal to give out any discounts to veterans on Veteran’s Day.
Bear in mind, this is coming from a guy who gets a sweet healthcare package provided by the government and doesn’t have a problem with it then.