Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen

Thursday, November 11, 2004  
Happy Veteran's Day from Bush

Wounded veterans face new fight to secure government benefits:

"U.S. casualties have swelled demands upon the Veterans Affairs Department serving troops who have left the service. The department serves 6 million to 7 million veterans alone, with a backlog of 300,000-plus claims. Many wonder how it will handle so many. In August, an additional 150,000 National Guard and reservists became eligible for care and benefits. 'The system needs help because it wasn't designed or prepared to handle this load. More than 40 percent of all troops on the ground in Iraq are National Guard,' says Chasteen, an Army chemical corps captain in Iraq from March to August 2003.
President Bush's 2005 budget, however, calls for cuts to the veterans department. Though Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are moved to the front of the line, the average hurry-up-and-wait time for veterans' claims to determine eligibility for health care, after spending months being processed out of the service, is 160 days, says Dave Autry, spokesman for the Disabled American Veterans. Many current problems occur during the handoff from the military to the veterans department, he said."

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