At least tens of thousands of veterans with non-critical medical issues could suffer delayed or even denied care in coming years to enable President Bush to meet his promise of cutting the deficit in half — if the White House is serious about its proposed budget.
After an increase for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing by leaps and bounds, White House budget documents assume a cutback in 2008 and further cuts thereafter.
In fact, the proposed cuts are so draconian that it seems to some that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better. More realistic numbers, however, would raise doubts as to whether Bush can keep his promise to wrestle the deficit under control by the time he leaves office.
Keep in mind that health care costs are rising at more than twice the rate of inflation. Also take note that prominent Republicans are probably starting to think that dropping Bush in the shark tank might be their only hope for staying in office. The Democratic strategy should be to constantly remind people of just how often incumbent Republicans have merrily gone along with White House scams in the name of power. I've said it before, but somebody with money and a research staff needs to find out how often every Republican Congressman has voted with the White House.