Thursday, May 26, 2005

You Can Get Shot, Just Don't Get Sick

We've never been in the military and we're pretty sure the military is better for it. Being personally responsible for the degradation of the nation's readiness is not something we'd want on our resume. And if you think we're doing badly in the war now....

With our own lack of soldierly skills in mind we are usually in favor of any perk granted to the men and women unfortunate enough to be serving when Bush the younger is in power. The one thing we can agree with the president on is our troops deserve our respect and support. Well, unless it costs money.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter used his authority to strike a provision in the defense authorization bill that would have opened the military's Tricare health care system to all National Guard members and reservists.

"I have consulted the chairman of the Budget Committee on this matter, and he informs me that while we appreciate the fact that National Guard soldiers are dying in Iraq along with regular military, we really like the active service boys better," Hunter said.

Representative Gene Taylor sponsored the Tricare amendment, which passed Wednesday night despite opposition from Hunter and other leading committee Republicans. "They told me there aren't that many Republicans in the Army," said Taylor.

In a recent speech to a group of military personnel the president said, "One of America's greatest blessings is the men and women who wear our nation's uniform. Just don't get sick while you've got it on." When asked if the president's remarks meant that his support for the troops only extended to their ability to fight this war, Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, "The president knows exactly what kind of sacrifice our military make. That's why he stayed out of it."

Explaining that the provision to cover National Guard soldiers would be expensive, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said, "Look it's not just the soldiers we're dealing with her. They get blown up and Bam, they're dead. No big cost. But what if that soldier has a kid with asthma? Or diabetes? Are we expected to take care of him too? Now you're talking big bucks."

Representative Taylor plans to submit a revised amendment to the Rules Committee that would include a provision that the vote be recorded "So the public will know who really supports the troops."

"Yeah. That's going to get out of committee real soon," Chairman Hunter said. "Right after pigs start flying."

No comments: