CNN’s Jack Cafferty: 1.8 million veterans without healthcare ‘a national embarrassment’
Filed by Mike Aivaz and Jason Rhyne, Raw Story
October 31, 2001 – CNN’s Jack Cafferty says it’s a “national embarrassment” that US military veterans are among the 47 million Americans that do not have health insurance.
Cafferty cited new research conducted at Harvard Medical School indicating that 1.8 million veterans were uninsured in 2004, a number that’s climbed by 290,000 since 2000 estimates. The same study found an additional 3.8 million people, all members of veteran households, also lacked coverage.
“Turns out most uninsured veterans are in the middle class and thus are ineligible for VA care because of their incomes,” said Cafferty. “They’re too high. Others can’t afford to make the co-payments, and some just simply lack veterans facilities in their communities.”
The lead researcher on the study, Dr. David Himmelstein, of Cambridge Health Alliance, said in a press release that the problem was on the rise — and pointed to universal health care as a possible fix.
“The number of uninsured vets has skyrocketed since 2000, and eligibility has been cut, barring hundreds of thousands of veterans from care,” said Himmelstein. “We need a solution that works for veterans, their families, and all Americans — single payer national health insurance.”
Cafferty said that even one uninsured American veteran was nothing short of a disgrace.
“That, in this humble fellow’s opinion, is a national embarrassment,” he said. “That we have any veterans in this country unable to get health care because they don’t have the money, that’s wrong.”
At the end of the segment, Cafferty read an email from one North Carolina veteran denied coverage.
“I am a Vietnam era vet and I tried to get VA medical and was told that my income was too high. I then asked to be covered if I took the co-pay and was told that they were not accepting any new candidates,” said the ex-military man. “That’s about as close to ‘get lost, vet’ as you can get.”
“That’s pretty sad stuff,” Cafferty concluded.
The following video is from CNN’s Cafferty File, broadcast on October 31, 2007: http://rawstory.com//printstory.php?story=8140