As the debate continues over the most sweeping government healthcare reform in American history, some veterans feel that there is a strong argument being overlooked.
At 2 PM on Thursday, September 24th, Tallassee Alex Harwick will go to Congressman Bobby Bright's Montgomery office to deliver his argument in person.
"We already have a government-run system in America," says Harwick. "It's called the VA, and it's a disaster."
A 1962 Air Force Academy graduate, a Vietnam War veteran of 259 combat missions, and a retired Air Force fighter pilot, Alex Harwick knows the VA firsthand. And he is concerned that the pending $900 billion dollar healthcare bill would hand over too many decisions to government bureaucrats.
"The men and women in Congress are talking as if the American government hasn't already intervened in healthcare. What about Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration?" asks Harwick.
"The federal government has a woeful track record in delving into healthcare. They have caused much of the current crisis through price fixing and reallotment reductions. More government is not the answer."
Harwick also sees some inconsistencies in the way the Veterans Administration has been covered by the media.
"Under Bush, the media uncovered the mess at Walter Reed," says Harwick. "And they were right about it in 2007, but where's the story today?"
The Veterans Administration came under fire repeatedly during the last years of President George W. Bush's second term. The Washington Post and other major news sources reported regularly on the egregious neglect suffered by soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 2007, the Washington Post followed the neglect story with a report
that Walter Reed wasn't alone, and that VA hospitals across the country were delivering substandard care to wounded and sick veterans.
"The VA is a perfect, crystal clear case study for the current debate in Congress," says Harwick. "And if this monstrous bill actually passes, the VA will serve as an ominous harbinger of what's in store for American healthcare.
"For my fellow veterans, for my children, my grandchildren, for America's future, I'm asking Congressman Bobby Bright to take a stand on the floor of the House of Representatives against this bill," says Harwick. "It's not enough to merely vote NO. Congressman Bright needs to tell his party that they need to go back to the drawing board on healthcare reform."
At 2:00 PM on Thursday, September 24th, Alex Harwick will hand deliver his letter to Congressman Bobby Bright's office at 22 Monroe St. Suite 1B in Montgomery.