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White House Drops Plan to Bill Disabled Veterans' Insurance for Care
Date:3/18/2009

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Disabled American Veterans today commended the Obama administration for backing down from a controversial proposal that would force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who suffered service-related disabilities and injuries.

The proposal that had been considered as part of the president's budget would require private insurance companies to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs in such cases. But the idea was unanimously opposed by the DAV and other leaders of the veterans community who were invited to the White House Monday to discuss the plan directly with President Obama. Veterans were again united in opposing the plan in a follow-up meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Wednesday.

The decision to drop the idea was announced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at a meeting with veterans groups after the meeting with Emanuel.

"The president was very open and candid when he met with veterans groups earlier this week, and we are pleased that he has heard our concerns and taken them to heart," said Washington Headquarters Executive Director David W. Gorman. "Our message to the president was simple and direct: that our government must not abandon its moral responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms."

"Now that this ill-advised proposal is off the table, the DAV looks forward to working with the administration and Congress on crafting a good budget that will include sufficient appropriated dollars to cover veterans' health care needs," Gorman said. "We also urge the president to fulfill his pledge to include advance appropriations for veterans health care in his budget submission."

A top priority for the DAV and other groups is passage of the recently introduced Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transpar
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SOURCE Disabled American Veterans
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