US Rep Bachmann Wants To Cut The VA’s Budget
February 3, 2011 – US Rep Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has an idea on how to reduce federal spending. That idea, however, includes freezing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spending on health care and cutting veterans’ disability payments. Needless to say, the American Legion, along with probably every other veteran advocacy group, is adamantly opposed to such actions.
While this country is engaged in two different wars, a situation producing not only more veterans, but more disabled veterans every day, now is not the time to take benefits from those veterans who have earned them. Of the $400 billion in federal funding Bachmann’s plan suggests cutting, $2.5 billion is derived from freezing increases in VA health care spending and $1.9 billion is derived from ceasing to pay disability to veterans who also receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
There is no decrease in the need for high-quality health care for veterans, so cutting the budget for that health care doesn’t make sense. Those making sacrifices in the current wars as well as previous wars should not be the ones put on the chopping block when it comes to cutting budgets. Bachmann’s plan is essentially requesting the government stop making disability payments to veterans who have already paid for those benefits because their military service entitles them to such. This is not a new concept and fortunately for veterans, these types of budget cuts have been defeated every time they have been previously proposed.
It would be hard to find someone who believes the benefits veterans draw are not 100% earned. That being said, it is also hard to believe a member of Congress would suggest taking away benefits from the people who risk their lives protecting the country that Congress is paid to serve.