< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Who Should Pay for Healthcare for Veteran's?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Who Should Pay for Healthcare for Veteran's?

Newsweek has an interesting article about a new rehab center for injured U.S. soldiers that has sparked a controversy over healthcare for veterans. From the article:

To be built on site at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, the 60,000-foot marble and granite Intrepid Center needs $10 million more before it can be completed. Once it's finished--tentatively in January, 2007--the Veterans Administration will take over. The facility will be able to work with as many as 100 returning soldiers and veterans at any given time. But should such an institution really be funded by private sources? Inevitably, organizations like Intrepid have raised questions about whether the Bush administration--committed to two wars--is too stretched to properly take care of returning veterans. "It’s surprising to us that there needs to be a facility that’s privately funded, and we hope that the Congress and the Bush administration will recognize that we need to meet these goals of the severely injured," says Peter Gayton, director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation at the American Legion. “The fact that the Intrepid Center needs to exist shows that the VA is not receiving enough funding."
The debate is being fueled by syndicated radio host Don Imus, who has donated $250,000 and has made raising money for the fund a regular feature on his morning show. On Friday he told listeners he doesn't know why "the government wouldn't just simply pay for [the center], considering the extraordinary amount of money they spend on ... this idiotic war." And later said "We have a tradition in this country, well, going back to the Civil War, in which we send off young people to fight these wars. Stuff happens to them. They lose their arms and legs. And we just discard them. You know, like they are iPods of old telephones or something."

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes


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