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McCain Myth Buster Day 3: John McCain and Veterans' Health Care

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain can be trusted to stand up for veterans and military families.

Throughout this campaign, John McCain has relied on the support of fellow veterans and promised to make veterans' health care his "top domestic priority." [Associated Press, 12/12/07] In reality, John McCain has consistently put his campaign ahead of veterans and military families by pandering to the right wing of his Party on tax cuts.

Faced with a choice between joining Democrats in trying to increase funding for veterans and military families by eliminating some of President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, John McCain chose to cozy up to conservatives by preserving the tax cuts he once opposed. Putting his campaign ahead of our veterans, McCain voted against Democratic efforts to improve care at veterans' hospitals, provide mental health services to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse problems, and prevent veterans and military families from paying higher fees and co-payments for medical services.

With the one-year anniversary of the revelations of the shameful conditions at military hospitals like Walter Reed coming on Monday, can America's veterans and military families really afford another four years of a Republican President who puts politics and his party ahead of our nation's veterans and wounded warriors?

McCain & Veterans' Health Care

McCain Has Repeatedly Voted Against Increasing Funding for Veterans Healthcare to Keep Tax Cuts for the Rich. John McCain has repeatedly voted to keep intact tax cuts for the rich, rather than provide American veterans with adequate healthcare funding. McCain has repeatedly voted against amendments in the Senate that would have added funding for healthcare services, but eliminated tax cuts for the wealthy. Funding would have covered such important services as improving care at veterans' hospitals, providing mental health services to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse problems. [2006 Senate Vote #7, 2/2/06; 2005 Senate Vote #343, 11/17/05; 2003 Senate Vote #74, 3/21/03]

2006: McCain Voted Against Eliminating Increased Fees And Co-Payments For Veterans Health Care Program By Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes. In 2006, McCain voted against the Kerry amendment that would eliminate increased fees and co-payments for veterans in the TRICARE health care program by raising the discretionary spending limit by approximately $10 billion. The provisions would have been fully offset by eliminating creating corporate tax breaks. [2006 Senate Vote #67, 3/16/2006]

McCain Stood Out in Opposing Veterans' Healthcare Funding. McCain was one of only 13 Republicans to vote against an amendment that added over $400 million for inpatient and outpatient care for veterans. [2006 Senate Vote #98, 4/26/06]

McCain Puts Politics Over Vets; Would Rather Be Out Campaigning Than Supporting Our Troops. McCain missed an important vote this year that supported the funding of the troops in Iraq and guaranteed them adequate medical care upon returning home. [2007 Senate Vote #76, 3/15/07]

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,

This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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