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1 Bush knew about VA on Thu May 29, 2014 9:32 pm


The newest scandal coming out of Washington isn't a manufactured political story, but rather a legit issue. Many are pointing their finger in blame, but a new report shows that the blame needs to be placed in a variety of places.

When the story broke of a cover up of extended waiting times at a VA hospital in Arizona that allegedly resulted in 40 deaths, the White House and the media scrambled to get the facts straight and frame the story. Not surprisingly, Republicans and the right wing media have placed 100 percent of the blame on the doorstep of President Obama and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. According to the Washington Times, a memo obtained via a request from the Freedom of Information Act shows that issues at the VA and hospitals date back to 2005 during the Bush administration. The memo further notes that there were nine recommendations made to the Bush administration but no action was taken.

"The memos state that the issues within the VA department dated back to the second term of President George W. Bush, when inspector general audits dating back to 2005 uncovered problems. Nine recommendations total were given, but none were incorporated by the time Bush left office."
Following the 2008 election of President Obama, the administration were warned not to trust the reported wait times at the VA hospital, but it is unclear what actions the current administration has taken.

The VA scandal does cross over through both political parties and their electorate as outrage has poured out from both sides of the aisle. The memo contradicts what the White House reports that President Obama didn't hear of the issues at the VA until the story broke, but since then, White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors has been sent to Phoenix to check the validity of claims of a cover up leading to veteran deaths.

It is clear that something needs to be done and there needs to be accountability across the board. As Commander in Chief, President Obama has to take some blame, but blame needs to also be put on the Republicans in congress who earlier this year voted against a bill that would have expanded health care and education access to veterans and provide funding for the creation of 27 new medical facilities. When placing blame, the finger shouldn't just be pointed in the direction of President Obama, but also at congress and the former administration that was previously in the White House.

2 Re: Bush knew about VA on Thu May 29, 2014 9:44 pm


Senate Republicans blocked a $21 billion plan to build new VA clinics because they said it was too expensive, but today House Republicans advanced a $600 billion tax cut for business.
Back in February, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have expanded veteransí benefits, and built 27 new VA clinics and facilities over the next ten years, because they thought the bill was too expensive. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spoke for the group of 41 GOP obstructionists when he said, ďThis bill creates new veteransí programs and itís not paid foróitís all borrowed money.Ē

The veterans benefits bill would have cost $21 billion over ten years.

Today, the House Ways and Means Committee advanced a bill that would give businesses a $600 billion tax cut. Democrats have been opposed to the Republican plan to add nearly $300 billion to the deficit without paying for it. According to The Hill, ďAs with the research tax break, Democrats said they generally supported the incentives considered by the committee. But none of them voted for any of the tax breaks, insisting they couldnít get on board with clearing another slate of tax breaks that would add more than $300 billion to the deficit. In all, the dozen preferences approved by the Ways and Means panel over the last four weeks cost $600 billion over a decade.Ē

$2.1 billion a year over ten years to provide better care for our veterans is too expensive, but $60 billion a year over the same time period is affordable as long as the money is going to the business sector. This is a case of blatant Republican hypocrisy. Republicans are refusing to pay for their tax cuts for business, but they have the nerve to tell people who fought and bled for their country that they canít have better medical care.

Veterans didnít risk their lives so that the Koch brothers could have another tax cut. Republicans would rather take from veterans and give to the business community. One year of the business tax cuts could pay for the veterans benefits nearly three times over. Itís a matter of priorities, and in the Republican mind, tax cuts are more important than veterans.

3 Re: Bush knew about VA on Thu May 29, 2014 10:10 pm



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