WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.
But the proposal would be “dead on arrival” if it’s sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.
Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.
No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.
The groups also cited an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal — something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.
Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under “consideration.”
“A final decision hasn’t been made yet,” he said.
Let’s see expand healthcare to everyone including those who don’t pay taxes, but make our veterans pay for it? You’ve got to be kidding me. Fortunately this should be shot down and I commend Senator Murray for forcefully speaking out against it. It should be dead on arrival. Our vets deserve better than this.