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 hospitals; -- 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, http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
SOURCE Democratic National Committee