March 4th, 2009
09:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Vets object to billing private insurance for service injuries

Veterans groups say it's wholly unacceptable to charge their private insurance for service injuries.
Veterans groups say it's wholly unacceptable to charge their private insurance for service injuries.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Veterans groups are warning President Barack Obama against going ahead with a possible administration move to charge veterans' private health care for service-related injuries.

In a letter sent by 11 of the most prominent veterans organizations, the groups warned that the idea "is wholly unacceptable and a total abrogation of our government's moral and legal responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much."

CNN obtained a copy of the letter sent to the White House last Friday by groups including The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Read the letter

A White House spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the option is being considered.

"The details of specific proposals will be transmitted with the full submission in April. The president has made it clear that meeting the needs of veterans is one of his priorities, and as a result has requested an 11 percent increase in discretionary funding for 2010, and the administration is actively working with the veterans community to ensure we get the details of this budget right," said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro.

In the letter, the groups said they have been told by sources on Capitol Hill and at the VA that the idea under consideration would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to bill health insurance for a treatment of a disability or injury that was a result of military service.

Full story

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. obama-mama

    Here go the republicans leaping before they look.

    March 4, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. fred

    I'm not going to bash anyone. All I'm going to say is, our Vets and current military personel better recieve the royal treatment for protecting us, both at home and oversees........or else.

    March 4, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Zion

    Where were all these complaints when the Bush Administration gutted the GI bill.

    March 4, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. TM in CO

    From what I read in this article, this is based on hearsay and the groups simply sent Obama a warning letter. Until this is found out to be true and factually, don't get so darn uptight. That is part why this country remains divided. People getting their undies in a bunch over hearsay. Geeeeze

    March 4, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Joe, Chicago IL

    Wow. This does not surprise me. His true colors are showing and yes, he is a military hating socialist.

    March 4, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Combat Medic

    "A White House spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the option is being considered"

    Seems like the White House is at least considering the option. It's not unreasonable to try to stop a bad idea while it's just that, an idea. Forcing the price of wounds sustained during military service on the private sector is a terrible idea. My privately paid premiums should not have to increase just because the Dems can't find any way else to cut money from their enormous spending spree.

    March 4, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Gene

    Can anyone see the logic behind a decision like this? The Veterans will always be taken care.. that's not the issue. The issue is who ends up paying for it. If the soldier has private insurance, it would save the tax payers money to have his insurance pay for the medical expenses, which is what they're paid to do.

    He's not telling people that they're not going to be taken care of... in fact, he's not telling people anything. This isn't even something the administration announced.. it was only an idea floating the Capitol Hill.

    March 4, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Ray Fisher

    As an old-time 100% disabled vet, I opted to go Medicare to free the VA to care for returning vets since they are filled to capacity. It costs for my supplemental insurance and deductibles but the cost is bareable if it frees the VA to care for a returning hero. My lord folks, sometimes we need to think about the whole picture and if we can help in a little way we should!!!

    March 4, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Ghost

    Yeah, I ain't big on this one. I wouldn't want my insurance to be hit for an injury I received at work. But that's just me.

    However, since it has not come down, I think I'll wait to reserve judgement.

    March 4, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Roger

    Obama's decision making process....

    "throw idea out in Media....if Rush Limbaugh says anything against it....implement idea"

    March 4, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Matthew, Detroit

    barack is a lousy commander and chief.

    the guy has no respect for our military.

    half the dem clowns in california have actually called for eliminatiing

    the military. they actually said it is not needed and we should just

    eliminate it entirely. it must be nice living in fantasy land.

    March 4, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Roger

    Obama's decision making process....

    "throw idea out in Media....if Rush Limbaugh says anything against it....implement idea"

    March 4, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Ghost

    Yeah, I ain't big on this one. I wouldn't want my insurance to be hit for an injury I received at work. But that's just me.

    However, since it has not come down, I think I'll wait to reserve judgement.

    March 4, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Why do people do this!!! What Veterans groups??? What Sources WHO IS THIS SOURCE???GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A NAME don't just say a SOURCE In the letter, the groups said they have been told by sources on Capitol Hill and at the VA that the idea under consideration would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to bill health insurance for a treatment of a disability or injury that was a result of military service. The president has made it clear that meeting the needs of veterans is one of his priorities, and as a result has requested an 11 percent increase in discretionary funding for 2010, and the administration is actively working with the veterans community to ensure we get the details of this budget right," said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro. What Source

    March 4, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The letter sent by the veterans was based on a RUMOR people.

    I see many of you are bashing Obama and the Democrats on Veteran's issues. Stop listening to the BS from the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh and look up some facts.

    Go to votesmart.org, search for Obama, McCain, or your own representative, and then choose "voting record" on the right. You can see how your representative votes on various Veteran's issues. You might be surprised to see the Republicans generally support veterans on the campaign stump but it becomes evil spending once they're in office. The Democrats support veterans with their votes (where it matters). If you have doubts about votesmart.org's accuracy, each bill is referenced. Go the the official Library of Congress web site (thomas.loc.gov) and look the stuff up there.

    Please base your opinions on facts rather than basing them on hearsay, rumors, and innuendo.

    By the way, Government provided health care for veterans is socialism. It's not so bad when you put a face on the one getting the benefit, is it?

    March 4, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Diane

    If this is indeed being considered, I would ask President Obama to reconsider. Any injury received in the line of service should be covered by the military not private insurance. That's just the right thing to do.

    March 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. kelly WI

    Obama is doing his best to destroy the country economically and militarily. nuf said.

    March 4, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Tiny

    If this is true, can we send this guy back to Chicago yet? How about a "Do Over" election?

    March 4, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Matthew, Detroit

    IN FACT ANONYMOUS,

    It is the reason AL FRANKEN fought the votes coming in from the

    Military overseas in his recount.

    He does not want the Military Mans Vote to count.

    You are completely wrong son.

    March 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Debby

    The vets should be allowed any insurance they want since these men and women keep our country safe. Obama should not be dictating what the vets will and won't get.

    March 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Emma, San Jose

    It sounds as though some of you are still venting your anger about the Presidential election. Is it because our President is African American?

    March 4, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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