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And Thank You for Your Service

March 18, 2009

First this rumor got mostly dismissed as an idea too bad to be seriously considered by even the Obama administration. But now it turns out that the President has indeed plans to make veterans’ private insurers cover for service related injuries instead of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Somehow those “sacred trust” promises Obama made before he was elected must have gotten ‘lost in transition’ (along with some others). Leaves the question whether this is jaw-dropping incompetence or simple malice.

Either way, you get the impression that for Monsieur Obama soldiers are good enough to be invoked when he wants to depict himself as the protector of the pooh-poor guys and gals that were stupid enough to enroll into the military (because, you know, he’s got a bracelet, too!). Or when he wants to make everyone believe that he is the hawkish Commander in Chief who will keep the country safer than Bush through “living our values“. Or to send them over to Afghanistan to get shot at by enemy combatants [ed.: This expression has been eliminated from American vocabulary and is no longer in use. As soon as the Department of Newspeak has decided upon a culturally sensitive replacement the blank will be filled.]

But when it comes to that ‘affordable’ health care Obama has promised to provide all Americans with he wants to make one exception. And that exception – of all people – must be those who got wounded fighting for the country and their families. Does Obama realise that those are the very people thanks to whom the US is a strong and safe country the president of which can talk about the need for electric cars and college education rather than bunkers and refugees in the first place?

The underlying implication of this plan is that injuries from fighting wars you were sent into by your Commander in Chief are treated by the government as equivalent to a wound a civilian received in an entirely private accident. Obama sends you to Afghanistan, but if you return in a wheelchair it doesn’t bother him anymore than if you had fallen off your roof because you were drunk when trying to fix your satellite dish.

The ramifications of making private insurers pay for veterans’ service-related treatments are well summarised by David Rehbein, commander of the American Legion.

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