Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama takes from Vets to Expand Welfare Rolls

If it were any other President at any other time, I would be shocked. For Barack Obama, the latest announcement is nothing more than business as usual. Recently, members of the Obama administration (including the President) met with members of several veteran organizations, including the largest of such groups -- The American Legion. Leaders of that organization are up in arms because of what they heard and it is for good reason.

In a press release from the organization, we learn that the leader of the Legion (Commander David K. Rehbein) is "deeply disappointed and concerned” after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases. " The release goes on to point out that Obama "is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."

Finally, the Legion points out that "This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ‘… to care for him who shall have borne the battle…’ given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm’s way, and not private insurance companies." To saddle private insurance companies with this cost could lead to discrimination towards those who served in the military when they consider covering vets. Furthermore, since policy have financial limits, this policy could take away coverage for other family members who might need it. On a broader note, many fear this type of policy is part of Obama's larger objective to burden private insurance companies with higher costs in order to weaken them as part of the Administration's on going objective to make a case for socialized medicine. Insurance companies will be forced to raise premiums in order to pay for this additional liability. Obama will point to this situation as an indicator of inefficiencies among insurance companies.

The irony is that, while Obama is trying to increase the burden of those fighting men and women who have protected our country, this Administration is also pressuring governors to increase the welfare rolls by allowing people who are not even seeking employment to receive benefits. For example, Gov. Haley Barbour noted, that if his state of Mississippi wanted to receive $54 million in increased unemployment benefits from the Obama "stimulus" package, they will have to expand the benefits to include those not actively looking for employment or even willing to take a job if offered. If Barbour didn't take it, he will receive only 4 billion of the expanded benefits. It is clear why governors would be resistant to such a bizarre policy approach. Obama is single handily restoring the welfare policies that wereso pervasive before 1996, when a bipartisan approach was used to reform a system of economic dependency.

Obama wants to harm our veterans and benefit those who will not work. What a strange world we live in today.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on CNN 650 (M-F at 11 am). Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business and says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com.

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