President Barack Obama proposed cutbacks in some health benefits for veterans as part of the budget plan he released Monday. And Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul took him to task for the ideas Tuesday.
“There are trillions of dollars in unwise and unconstitutional spending we must cut,” the Texas congressman wrote in an open letter to Obama. “There are few other leaders in Washington willing to cut spending as deeply as I am and truly balance our budget. But, we must make sure we take care of our veterans who fought to take care of us.”
More than 40,000 troops have received crushing injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hundreds of thousands suffer from brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, Paul said.
“Failing to meet the promises we have made to our troops would be unjust and immoral. The cuts you announced yesterday, combined with the rumored cuts in benefits reported in publications like Army Times, have our soldiers and veterans deeply concerned,” he wrote.
Obama’s proposals include a $200 annual fee for retired military families who want to continue coverage under a Tricare-for-Life program that supplements Medicare coverage for veterans over 65. The Obama plan also would do away with co-pays for mail-order drugs and use a percentage co-pay rather than a set fee for in-pharmacy purchases.
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