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Veterans Administration Healthcare Spending on Veterans with catastrophic injuries co

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    Veterans Administration Healthcare Spending on Veterans with catastrophic injuries co

    Veterans Administration Healthcare Spending on Veterans with catastrophic injuries come under criticism.

    The articles starts with the Intrepid Medical Center which is being built in Texas, point out:
    Who’s Responsible?
    A new rehab center for injured U.S. soldiers sparks a controversy over healthcare for veterans

    By Jessica Bennett
    Updated: 7:49 p.m. ET Jan. 13, 2006


    In 2004, military officials, including then-Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, unveiled plans for a multimillion-dollar amputee-training center to be built at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. At the time, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Farmer, commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command and the Walter Reed staff praised “the record time” at which the project had gone “from concept to reality.” But that plan was put on hold in August when Walter Reed was put on a closure list as part of the federal base-closing process. It is slated to shut down in 2011.

    More recently, the Bush administration faced harsh criticism for its 2005 VA budget. After the $29.5 billion healthcare-spending proposal was called “a disgrace and a sham” by the former head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Congress responded by putting through a $1.5 billion emergency increase.

    Nonetheless, the VA system is still plagued by long backlogs, with some veterans waiting months to be accepted into the system. At one VA hospital, says Cathy Wiblemo, deputy director for healthcare at the American Legion, there is a seven-year backlog to receive dental care. At another, a surgery ward was closed because there wasn’t sufficient staff to operate it.

    “[Increased funding] is an obligation that the nation has, and needs to pick up,” Wiblemo said. “You can’t send [soldiers] over there and bring them back here and say, ‘Oh, sorry, you’re on your own!’ … The recognition needs to be there, and the bill needs to be paid.”


    The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has raised 25 million in private funds.
    It's an ourage!
    ..... should such an institution really be funded by private sources? Inevitably, organizations like Intrepid have raised questions about whether the Bush administration--committed to two wars--is too stretched to properly take care of returning veterans. "It’s surprising to us that there needs to be a facility that’s privately funded, and we hope that the Congress and the Bush administration will recognize that we need to meet these goals of the severely injured," says Peter Gayton, director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation at the American Legion. “The fact that the Intrepid Center needs to exist shows that the VA is not receiving enough funding."
    The debate is being fueled by syndicated radio host Don Imus, who has donated $250,000 and has made raising money for the fund a regular feature on his morning show. On Friday he told listeners he doesn't know why "the government wouldn't just simply pay for [the center], considering the extraordinary amount of money they spend on ... this idiotic war." And later said "We have a tradition in this country, well, going back to the Civil War, in which we send off young people to fight these wars. Stuff happens to them. They lose their arms and legs. And we just discard them. You know, like they are iPods of old telephones or something."
    One issue may be the number of wounded return