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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

Previously, the Middle East Quartet, made up of the U.S., Russia, European Union, and United Nations, declared it would not deal with Hamas unless the terrorist group renounces violence and recognizes Israel.

The Haaretz article did not mention any U.S.-Hamas meeting.

 

Was Obama Really Unaware?

When he was campaigning for Congress in 2000, President Obama unveiled a sweeping health-care plan that modeled aspects of the Veterans Administration’s medical system.

Eight years later, during his transition into the White House, he proposed in his “Obama-Biden” plan to “make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible.”

His 2000 and 2008 plans are not the only indications he was familiar with the VA medical system early in his career.

Earlier this week, WorldNetDaily reported that documentation and testimony reveals that in 2005, Obama, as a U.S. senator, was briefed on dangerously long wait times for returning veterans to receive health treatment.

Obama was a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. On numerous occasions he publicly chastised President George W. Bush about the wait times, treatment shortages and lack of funding to the Veterans Administration’s medical programs.

On June 28, 2005, for example, Obama complained at a hearing on the VA medical care budget that “somehow it seems that we’re willing to trot in front of flags and take photographs with soldiers, but when it comes to the appropriations process, we’re not there.”

Prior to the Senate hearing, in January 2005, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Obama held an emotional meeting with 500 veterans packed into a Chicago hall. The veterans complained about the way the VA was treating them, including waiting for treatment.

In June 2005, Obama and other senators, including Democrats Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein, wrote a letter to Bush demanding his administration provide for the health-care needs of America’s veterans.

All this information comes amid a brewing scandal over when Obama was made aware of the VA shortages, alleged secret waitlists, and reports of offering inaccurate waiting times and scheduling failures.

The waitlists kept wounded veterans lingering and may have contributed to as many as 40 veteran deaths in Phoenix alone.

Tuesday, the Washington Times reported the Obama-Biden transition team was briefed in 2008 on a data integrity issue within the VA.

“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying – and potentially denying – deserving veterans timely care,” wrote VA officials in a briefing obtained by the Times.

Asked about the scandal, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney indicated Obama first learned of it in press reports.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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