Sunday, October 15, 2006

Anne supported Veterans Benefits in the 2004 campaign. But now..... NO COMMENT!

A recent article in the CJ details how the new VA Enrollment policy means many veterans will lose their VA health benefits.

All you need to know about Anne Northup is in the quote below:

U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, a Republican who has been championing Louisville's new VA hospital, had no comment on the enrollment policy, except to say, "our office would be glad to work with veterans on a case-by-case basis regarding VA medical care."

Good work Anne, rather than investigate the issue and do something for all the men and women who were brave enough to fight for the country, you say you'll deal with it on a case by case basis. Which, in my experience, means you'll reply with a form letter that doesn't address the issue.

Why is it that just two short years ago she was touting how she would take care of Veterans in her campaign website:

Veterans Affairs

As President Calvin Coolidge once said, "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten."

America's veterans understand the truest type of patriotism and selflessness that comes with defending freedom. The commitments of the nation's men and women in uniform have often meant spending long months away from loved ones, executing dangerous missions, and placing a higher priority on the country's safety than on their own lives. Millions of Americans have performed their military duty quietly and all too often without enough recognition. Anne thinks it is only appropriate that veteran heroes are honored, since they have ensured the freedom that their fellow citizens enjoy.Anne Northup believes that because veterans have made sacrifices of the highest order, this country has a duty to take care of them -- particularly those who have suffered long-term physical or mental disabilities as a result of their service.

Congresswoman Northup has been a member of the Veterans Affairs / Housing and Urban Development (VA-HUD) subcommittee since 1999, which oversees the annual budget for the Veterans Administration (VA) and allocates funding for various veterans programs. Through her position on the subcommittee, Anne has led improvements to health care and other services for veterans in Kentucky and across the country.

Of particular interest to local veterans is the availability and accessibility of quality healthcare right here in our community. During her first year serving on the VA-HUD Subcommittee, there were indications that mental health services would be moved to Lexington, KY. Recognizing the unfairness in requiring Louisville veterans to travel to Lexington to receive those services, Northup included language in a bill that directed the VA to keep mental health services in our community. In the same measure, Anne included language that encouraged the VA to establish a new Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Louisville at a location that is nearer to many Louisville veterans than the VA hospital on Zorn Avenue. After several years of steady persuasion and a specific appropriation, a VA clinic opened in Shively.

Moreover, Congresswoman Northup has personally worked on countless veterans' casework issues; persuaded the VA to approve the use of an expensive but effective medicine to help cure veterans with Hepatitis C; and worked to ensure the renewal of a federal grant for Interlink Counseling's homeless-to-work veterans program.

In addition, since Anne has been a member of the VA-HUD subcommittee, she has voted for appropriations that have increased funding for veterans nursing care by a figure that is larger than any proposal made by the Clinton Administration. Since 1997, Northup voted to increase overall funding for veterans benefits by more than 20 percent. More specifically, over the past several years Northup has supported an annual increase of $1 billion in health care benefits for veterans.

This year, Anne supported the U.S. House of Representatives' budget plan, which includes an increase of $2.8 billion in funding to enable the VA to provide care to more than 5 million veterans. This funding will also allow the VA to begin six additional major construction projects on facilities that are vital to the VA's future. Furthermore, the VA will provide care to almost 300,000 veterans with serious mental illness and to an estimated 60,000 homeless veterans. The VA will spend an additional $3.6 billion for veterans in need of various types of long-term care.

In the post-September 11 climate, every American citizen should renew his or her commitment to the values of the nation -- liberty and democracy. In doing so, the national community will remember that veterans, who put their lives on the line for the nation's values, have earned the community's support in their retirement years. As the daughter of a World War II veteran, and as the Congressional representative for over 70,000 veterans who call Louisville home, Anne is especially committed to America's veterans. Congresswoman Northup has and will continue to work to ensure that Congress is dedicated to providing the support for veterans that they deserve.

The Republican-led 107th U.S. Congress has done tremendous work for the nation's veterans. Click here to read about some of the legislation Anne supported that helps veterans in Kentucky's Third District and across the country.

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