I look forward to working with Congress to achieve this goal. Together, we can give our wounded warriors the best possible care and help them build their lives of hope and promise.
And now it's my honor to introduce Secretary Donna Shalala.
SECRETARY SHALALA: Thank you very much, Mr. President. First, let me compliment your administration on the implementation of 90 percent of our recommendations. When we proposed our recommendations, we separated them between what Congress needed to do and what the administration could do. And Secretary Gates and Acting Secretary Mansfield have been relentless in trying to get these recommendations implemented here in Washington.
But as you pointed out, our recommendations do require legislation, particularly to modernize the disability system. We have a very old-fashioned system. As Senator Dole has pointed out, it was the Bradley Commission, General Bradley, that made the first recommendations on disability.
We have a modern health care system. We have changed attitudes about disability, making investments in these young men and young women on the front end, making sure they get educational benefits, making certain that their parents and loved ones, that their wives and husbands are not responsible for coordinating care, for fighting the bureaucracy. That's our responsibility -- the American people's responsibility, the government's responsibility.
But more than anything else, Congress now -- and as Senator Dole and I will testify tomorrow -- must modernize the disability system. It is old fashioned, it doesn't reflect modern medicine, it's too slow, it's too confusing. We need a system in which any soldier, any sailor, any Marine, any member of their family understand it and can make it work.
And so I
|SOURCE White House Press Office|
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