Thursday, March 03, 2011

Guest Post - Tim Elliot - Obama Administration Fails To Implement Program to Help Veterans

Once again, Obama and the White House have shown themselves to be interested only in press and politics and not taking any real action. Although Obama recently made an announcement of the importance of the government supporting military families the White House failed to actually meet the deadline to implement a program that was supposed to provide comprehensive support of thousands of American families caring for veterans. The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act was signed into law over nine months ago in May 2010, and had a clear deadline for the program to begin- January 31st, 2010.

However, nearly a month after the deadline has come and gone the Administration is still yet to implement the program, aimed at expanding benefits for the caregivers of wounded veterans. The VA pushed for the plan because of the increasing number of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are receiving continued care from their spouses and families. Often times caring for a wounded veteran forces a loved one to give up their career and put their own life on hold to be a full-time caregiver and can cause significant financial burden.

The huge increases of veterans with long-term ailments such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and mesothelioma has been extremely difficult for Veterans Affairs to keep up with. Both PTSD and TBI can take years of therapy to fully recover from, and although the mesothelioma life expectancy is only a little over a year it requires a large amount of care.

With ailments affecting veterans of all ages (most PTSD and TBI diagnoses are from the current wars, while mesothelioma symptoms usually don’t occur until in patients are in their 60’s and 70’s) it’s an epidemic that’s straining the VA and many veterans’ families to the brink. However, it appears as though Obama’s current charge that his Administration is doing everything it can for veterans is just more hot air from a White House that has no qualms with blatantly lying to the media.

Several programs for veterans such as the Wounded Warrior Project have put pressure on the White House and the VA to get the programs running as quickly as possible but it’s unsure what affect they will have. It’s time for the Obama administration to realize that people are going to demand that they follow through on their actions.