Make your own free website on Tripod.com

"Dedicated to exposing the lies and impeachable offenses of George W. Bush"


Long-term Bush budget plan would cut veterans health care
Houston Chronicle
By ANDREW TAYLOR
Associated Press
February 27, 2006

WASHINGTON - At least tens of thousands of veterans with non-critical medical issues could suffer delayed or even denied care in coming years to enable President Bush to meet his promise of cutting the deficit in half — if the White House is serious about its proposed budget.

After an increase for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing by leaps and bounds, White House budget documents assume a cutback in 2008 and further cuts thereafter.

In fact, the proposed cuts are so draconian that it seems to some that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better. More realistic numbers, however, would raise doubts as to whether Bush can keep his promise to wrestle the deficit under control by the time he leaves office.

"Either the administration is proposing gutting VA health care over the next five years or it is not serious about its own budget," said Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas, top Democrat on the panel overseeing the VA's budget. "If the proposals aren't serious, then that would undermine the administration's argument that they intend to reduce the deficit in half over the next several years."

In fact, the White House says the long-term budget numbers don't represent actual administration policies.

"Instead, the president's subsequent budgets have increased funding for all of these programs," said White House budget office spokesman Scott Milburn. "The country can meet the goal of cutting the deficit in half and still invest in key programs for vulnerable Americans, and claims to the contrary aren't supported by the facts of recent budget history."

The veterans' medical care cuts would come even though more and more people are trying to enter the system and as the number of people wounded in Iraq keeps rising.

Original Text

Commentary: