November 4, 2005
Attention: Staffer for Veterans Issues
On behalf of the working families across the country, we urge you to oppose S.1182, “The Veterans’ Health Care Act of 2005”. This bill includes a proposal that would allow veterans’ health care dollars to be diverted to wasteful privatization studies. Senator Akaka’s amendment to strike this proposal lost by 7-7 during the September 28th Senate Committee markup, despite tripartisan support and the endorsement of the Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, AmVets, Blinded Veterans Association, and Vietnam Veterans of America.
These cost comparison studies fail to produce taxpayer savings and target jobs held mostly by veterans, including disabled veterans, as well as women and minorities. Congress understand how critical it was to protect veterans’ health care dollars when it enacted the current statutory prohibition against spending health care dollars on cost comparison studies (38 U.S.C. 8110) nearly 25 years ago.
In the words of the Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America, “now is not the time to allow the VA to draw away critical health care dollars when the medical system is already struggling to meet the demand being placed on the system. We firmly believe appropriated dollars would be best used in the direct provision of medical care services”. Hurricane relief efforts have placed a further strain on VA health care funding and on the heroic VA employees who have lent their assistance during this difficult time.
Again, working men and women need your support in opposing S.1182 as it moves to the floor. Thank you for your consideration of our views.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, AFL-CIO
COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS, AFL-CIO
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL ENGINEERS, AFL-CIO
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
PROFESSIONAL AIRWAYS SYSTEMS SPECIALISTS, AFL-CIO
PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES DEPARTMENT, AFL-CIO
SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION
UNITED AMERICAN NURSES, AFL-CIO
UNITED AUTO WORKERS, AFL-CIO
UNITED STEELWORKERS, AFL-CIO