Sanders advocates for VA funding

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(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders says a recent decision by the Bush administration to cut health care services to some veterans is an outrage. Sanders is working with other members of Congress to overturn the policy.

At issue is a decision by the Veterans Administration to deny new applications for care for veterans with incomes higher than $25,000 if their illness is not service-related.

Milt Willis, a veteran who heads up the American Legion in Vermont, says the cuts will have a strong negative effect:

(Willis) “We’ve got to join together as veterans groups, as citizens of the United States of America and fight this to the hilt. And I’m serious. People are going to die because they cannot get into the VA health care system. People are going to be eating peanut butter and I think the older veteran has more right to the VA health care system and not having to eat peanut butter to buy their medications.”

(Host) Sanders wants to achieve two goals with his bill. The first is to overturn the current policy, and the second is to guarantee full health care benefits for all veterans:

(Sanders) “What the president and the VA are saying is that there is not enough money in this, the richest country in the world, to take care of our veterans. What I want to know is: if there is not enough money to take care of our veterans, how come the president has $335 billion in tax breaks available for the wealthiest 1% of the population, people who average over a million dollars?”

(Host) Sanders is also angry that the VA is urging its health centers not to advertise their services. He says they VA doesn’t want to increase its caseload.

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