McCain Has “Basically Done Nothing” To Help Tuscon VA Crisis

SHOT:
KGUN 9:
McCain cites the KGUN 9 investigation in a letter sent to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald urging him to investigate allegations of staffing shortages, poor care and whistleblower retaliation at the Tucson Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 
 
CHASER: 

Vietnam Veteran Ed Wagner says McCain has “basically done nothing” to help Tuscon veterans:
He says McCain responded with letters “pointing us in the direction. Here’s where you go to get help. Or I’ve sent a letter to so and so asking them to reach out to you. But he’s never really truly done anything to get involved.”

Read more after the jump.

On His Re-Election Kickoff Day, A Reminder Of Blunt’s Terrible Record On Veterans

Today, Senator Roy Blunt is kicking off his re-election campaign. Over the past few weeks, Blunt has been in hot water for deceiving Missouri veterans and voters about the three draft deferments he received during the Vietnam War. Blunt has said previously that he would have served in the military if he was drafted.

Blunt’s terrible record on veterans issues goes well beyond dishonesty. For years, he’s been on defense for bad votes. As one veteran wrote in a 2012 St. Louis Dispatch Letter to the Editor,

Mr. Blunt has continuously shown his disregard and contempt for veterans, disabled veterans, and our current military personnel who serve here in the United States, in all parts of the world, and in particular in the war zones that the Republican Party created in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Blunt doesn’t give a crap about the men and women who have given their lives to protect him […]

Read more after the jump.

VIDEO: Rick Scott’s Hypocrisy On Veterans Health Care

Rick Scott is talking a lot about veterans health care these days. With the recent VA issues that have surfaced, Rick Scott has been making the rounds, bashing the federal government and demanding that we do everything in our power to get our veterans the care they deserve.

But while Rick Scott pays lip service to those who have served, 41,000 veterans in his own back yard don’t have access to Medicaid because Florida won’t expand the program.

We all agree that our veterans deserve nothing but the best. Surely they should have access to quality health care. So why is Rick Scott still refusing to take action on Medicaid expansion, denying that health care coverage to the very veterans he claims he is fighting for?

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Ryan And Veterans

Ryan Plan Would  Slash Non-Discretionary Spending, Which Funded Veterans’ Health Care

Ryan Budget Would Slash Funding For Crucial Programs Assisting Vulnerable Individuals, Including Low-Income Housing, Head Start, Child Nutrition Programs, And Home-Delivered Meals For Senior Citizens. “Also striking is Ryan’s slashing of non-defense discretionary spending, which funds everything from veterans’ health care to medical and scientific research, highways, education, national parks, food safety, clean air and clean water enforcement, and border protection and other law enforcement. This part of the budget also funds a number of programs to assist poor or otherwise vulnerable people such as low-income housing; child care for the working poor; Head Start; the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program (WIC); and home-delivered meals for seniors. The Budget Control Act of last August substantially cut funding for non-defense discretionary programs by imposing tough annual budget caps, but the Ryan budget would cut these programs nearly $1.2 trillion below the caps. In fact, it would slash funds for non-defense discretionary programs over the coming decade by $800 billion below the level to which that funding would fall if sequestration occurred every year through 2021.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/21/12]

Ryan Plan Would Slash Benefits For Veterans

The Post Standard: Ryan Plan Would Pay For Tax Cuts On Top Earners And Corporations By Slashing Entitlements, Pell Grants And Benefits For Veterans. According to The Post Standard, “As the GOP continues its war on women, it adds to its victims the weak, disabled, elderly, poor and disadvantaged. Congressman Paul Ryan’s ‘Path to Prosperity,’ lauded by our representative Ann Marie Buerkle as ‘courageous,’ is in fact downright cowardly. Ryan wishes to extend the Bush tax cuts and cut the top tax rate for individuals and corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent. He pays for this by slashing Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, food stamps, low-income housing subsidies and veterans’ health care.” [The Post Standard, 6/9/11]

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney’s Record On Veterans

Romney’s Budget Proposals Hurt Benefits For Veterans

Romney’s Budget Plan Cuts $176 Billion From Non-Defense Discretionary Spending By 2016, Including Veterans’ Health Care. According to the Center on Budget And Policy Priorities, “Non-defense discretionary spending would be cut by $176 billion in 2016 — and $1.7 trillion through 2022 — in addition to the deep cuts already reflected in the budget baseline as a result of the caps in the BCA and the appropriations bills passed during 2011. This category of spending covers a wide variety of public services such as aid to elementary and secondary education, veterans’ health care, law enforcement, national parks, environmental protection, and biomedical and scientific research.” [Center on Budget And Policy Priorities, 5/21/12]

Read more after the jump.

Navy Vet Escorted Out of Romney Event

This tracking video shows a veteran being kicked out of a Romney campaign event simply because she was wearing a t-shirt supporting VA health care. She was not disrupting the event, but was off to the side wearing a shirt that said “Vets Against VA Vouchers.”

Last week, Mitt Romney seemed open to the idea of replacing the VA with a voucher system. The VFW is opposed to the proposal.

This footage was filmed by an American Bridge tracker in Columbia, SC, on November 15, 2011.

Read more after the jump.

TPM: Romney Spit-Balls His Way To Privatizing Veteran’s Benefits

On November 11, 2011, Talking Points Memo reported:

Over barbecue and sweet tea with 12 veterans here Friday, Mitt Romney appeared to brainstorm a fundamental change to the way the nation pays back the people who put their lives on the line in the military.

Talking with the veterans about the challenge of navigating the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy to get their health care benefits after they leave active duty, Romney suggested a way to improve the system would be to privatize it.

[…]

The plan did not go over well with one veteran among the 12 discussing the VA with Romney. Auston Thompson, a veteran of the Iraq War and former Marine, told TPM after the session that though the idea of the plan was sound to his fiscally conservative ear, the implementation would likely lead to problems.

Read more after the jump.

Miami Herald: Senate candidate McCalister breaks Army uniform rule, offends general and vets

On August 26, 2011, the Miami Herald reported:

Mike McCalister, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, violated U.S. Army regulations by wearing his uniform to a political fundraiser — a move that further fuels the criticisms of veterans and service members who say he’s misleading voters to seem like more of a soldier than he ever was.

Read more after the jump.