Veterans Endorse Biff Baker

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The Colorado Freedom

Veterans Endorse Biff Baker

Veterans endorse Biff Baker -- Dump Joel Hefley

October 30, 2002

A press conference was held by Mr. Steve Mungie, the State Coordinator for Veterans Voting Block (VVB) movement at the American Legion Hall in Colorado Springs on Tuesday October 29th, 2002 at 3 pm.

Representatives from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Vets, and The Retired Officer/Enlisted Associations (TROA/TREA) were in attendance as well as numerous members of the Press.

VVB State Director formally announced Veteran endorsement for Biff Baker for US Congress and announced that Vets would no longer support Congressman Joel Hefley due to his abandonment of Veteran issues.


Issue 1 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Committee Keep up the Grassroots pressure!!!

For over a month, the Conference Committee met to iron out the differences between the Senate and House versions of the FY 2003 National Defense Authorization Act. But President Bush's top advisors are recommending that he veto the bill if it contains any version of concurrent receipt citing cost as the reason. DoD has tried to pit active-duty service members against disabled military retirees claiming concurrent receipt would jeopardize military equipment, supplies, and personal quality of life benefits. In reality, the cost reflects how much military retirement pay is being withheld from disabled military retirees and their families.

DoD sees concurrent receipt as "double dipping" -- being paid twice for the same job. In other words, 20 years or more of honorable military service isn't enough to warrant receipt of military retirement pay. Upon retirement, if the military retiree is awarded VA disability compensation for a service-connected medical condition, his or her retirement pay is offset -- dollar-for-dollar -- by the amount of VA compensation.

The average military retiree is an E-6 and receives about $1,500 a month in taxable retirement pay. If after retirement, VA rates the veteran 100 percent service-connected, the $2,300 nontaxable VA disability compensation would completely offset the military retirement pay. Instead of receiving both ($3,800 a month), the veteran receives just $2,300 -- very little for over 20 years of military service. In contrast, Congressman Joel Hefley, who never served in uniform, will retire from US Congress with over $100,000 per year and full medical!

A private (E-1) completed just two years of military service and VA awards a 100 percent service-connected disabled rating would receive the same $2,300 a month. If the veteran is a Federal Civil Service employee, upon retirement, he or she will receive full Federal retirement pay and full VA disability compensation with no offset. Military retirees are the only Americans that face this offset. It is flat wrong and inequitable.

Please contact Rep. Joel Hefley immediately with the following message:

* The National Defense Authorization Act must contain concurrent receipt language -- either the House version, the Senate version, or a compromise version.

* If the President opts to veto the National Defense Authorization Act because of the concurrent receipt language, proceed to override the veto.

* Better Yet: Tell Hefley you are voting for Biff Baker due to his lack of support for Disabled Veterans. Issue 2 VA Health Care as Mandatory Spending

Why doesn't Congressman Joel Hefley support HR 5250, Veterans Health Care Funding Guarantee Act of 2002 to provide for a guaranteed adequate level of funding for veterans' health care? This is a bi-partisan bill that now has 33 co-sponsors. A companion bill was introduced in the in the Senate S 2903, which has 2 co-sponsors. Since the enactment of Public Law 104-262 that expanded eligibility to VA health care for millions of veterans, timely access to quality health care for this nation's veterans continues to be severely difficult due to persistent under-funding by Congress and the Administration. Currently, over 300,000 veterans are waiting six (6) months or longer for initial or referral appointments.

Currently, VA medical care funding is "discretionary" -- subject to available resources. Medicare and Social Security funding is "mandatory" -- must be paid regardless of available resources. That means, a combat wounded, severely disabled veteran is not guaranteed timely access to quality health care in a VA medical care facility, but any Medicare-eligible beneficiary is guaranteed timely access to any participating Medicare provider in the country.

Veterans, you can once again contact Joel Hefley and tell him to support and cosponsor these bills to require Congress to fund VA medical care to fulfill the thanks of a grateful nation. OR, you can elect Biff Baker for Congress on November 5th as he will support promises made to our Veterans!

ELECT BIFF BAKER ON NOVEMBER 5TH FOR US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 5! write to or Mail to: Biff Baker 2002, 6660 Delmonico Suite D408, Colorado Springs CO 80919

Candidate Biff Baker (US Army, Ret) is endorsed by the Veteran's Voting Block and Biff is a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Vets, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Colorado Freedom