Dean, DNC Veterans Council: Our Wounded Heroes Deserve More Than Lip Service

Jul 25, 2007, 01:00 ET from Democratic National Committee

    WASHINGTON, July 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With President Bush
 receiving the report of a special commission on improving care for our
 wounded soldiers today, the Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard
 Dean and DNC's Veterans and Military Families Council Chairman Don Fowler
 demanded that President Bush join Democrats in providing our wounded heroes
 the resources they need.
     The President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded
 Warriors, co-chaired by former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and former
 Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, was formed last March
 after media reports revealed the dreadful conditions at medical centers
 treating wounded soldiers returning from Iraq. The Commission's report
 comes on the same day Democrats in the Senate voted to the cut the red tape
 confronting our wounded warriors and veterans, provide $50 million to
 improve diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress
 disorder, boost severance pay for wounded soldiers, and help close the gap
 between military and veteran's health care benefits.
     Earlier this year, the Democratic Congress also passed the largest
 increase in veterans' health care funding in our nation's history. By
 contrast, despite a barrage of empty rhetoric about supporting our veterans
 and military families, President Bush has consistently underfunded the
 Veterans Administration, even including a two percent cut in his 2008
 budget proposal.
     Dean and Fowler issued the following statement on the release of the
 Commission's report:
     "President Bush has an obligation to the brave men and women wounded in
 service to our country to not treat this report like he treated the Iraq
 Study Group or the 9/11 Commission by paying lip service to it before
 sticking it on a shelf somewhere to rot. The American people were shocked
 to learn of the dreadful conditions at facilities treating our heroes
 wounded on the battlefield. Democrats responded by taking real steps to
 improve the care they receive and kept our promise to America's veterans
 and military families by passing the largest increase in veterans' health
 care funding in history. The time has come for President Bush and the Bush
 Republicans in Congress to join us in truly putting our veterans and
 military families first."
     The following is a summary of the issues confronted by the Wounded
 Warriors bill passed by the Senate today:
         -- The substandard facilities at Walter Reed and other military
         -- The lack of seamless transition when medical care for troops is
            transferred from the Department of Defense to the Veterans
            Administration, which often leads to diminished care;
         -- The inadequacy of severance pay to help those who have sacrificed
            so much already support their families while they recover;
         -- The need to improve sharing of medical records between the
            Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs;
         -- The inadequate care and treatment for traumatic brain injury
            (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by authorizing $50
            million for improved diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation; and
         -- The challenges facing wounded troops whose health insurance
            programs, like the Tricare program for retired veterans, have
            allowed gaps in coverage and medical treatment.
     Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, This communication is not authorized by any
 candidate or candidate's committee.

SOURCE Democratic National Committee