Vets groups, Minnesota lawmakers oppose Obama medical plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A measure in the President Obama’s budget that would push medical costs for some disabled veterans onto private insurance companies has raised the ire of veterans groups and some Minnesota lawmakers.

“I am adamantly opposed to this plan,” said Jim Golgart, vice president of the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Service Officers. “I do not feel that a veteran who has been injured while in service should have to have his service connected injuries paid for by his private insurance. I believe this country owes that to the veterans.”

Golgart, who lives in Le Sueur, served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, from 1979 to ’99.

The Department of Veterans Affairs currently pays for service-related disabilities. The proposed provision could be a bargaining chip to get groups to agree to budget cuts, according to Congressional Quarterly.

“There is absolutely no chance of this being enacted. Period,” Jim Oberstar, D-Minn. said Wednesday. “It’s a good thing that the White House is willing to look at all of the options for reducing the size and cost of government, but this is a bad idea.”

Both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have also blasted the proposal.

Veterans groups met with Obama Tuesday to discuss the matter and are set to meet with him again tomorrow.

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