by Andrew Walden
Senator Dan Akaka (D-HI), Chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, has rejected an Obama Administration proposal, backed by Veterans Affairs Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki, to bill combat wounded for their medical care.
Asked if this proposal causes Sen Akaka to question his earlier support for Gen Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Akaka's press secretary Jesse Broder Van Dyke said, "Senator Akaka is pleased that Secretary Shinseki has been receptive to the concerns expressed by him and others about this matter."
Requests for comment from Hawaii Democrats Sen Inouye, and Reps Hirono and Abercrombie have not yet been answered.
(Akaka's statement follows)
March 17, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today in opposition to a proposal to shift the responsibility to pay for care for service-connected injuries from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the private insurers of wounded veterans:
"VA's sacred duty is to care for veterans injured in honorable service to our nation, and the department should not turn to wounded warriors' private insurance to pay for combat injures. Under my Chairmanship, the Veterans' Affairs Committee will not advance any such legislation," said Akaka.
Akaka's statement follows the submission of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee's views and estimates on the budget to the Senate Budget Committee yesterday. The views and estimates were signed by Chairman Akaka, Ranking Member Richard Burr, and a majority of the Committee members. Last week, Akaka applauded the overall increase President Obama has proposed for VA, as well as his plans to improve services, expand care, and target problem areas within the Department.
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