The Future of the Indiana Veterans' Home

Tuesday, October 31, 2006—Dr. David Sanders, candidate for the office of U.S. Representative for the 4th Congressional District of the State of Indiana appeared at a press conference at 9:30 AM Tuesday, October 31, 2006 at the Tippecanoe County Democratic Headquarters, 320 Main Street in Lafayette.

American Legion commander Paul Morin meetswith David Sanders

Dr. Sanders discussed the future of the Indiana Veterans' Home and potential changes to its status. He also shared his recent experience meeting with the National Commander of the American Legion, Paul A. Morin, in Crawfordsville.

"As I have traveled around the district meeting with veterans I have heard about their devotion to the Indiana Veterans' Home in West Lafayette. This is especially true locally where members of the veterans service organizations hae generously donated their time and money for the benefit of the home and its residents. It is therefore necessary for a representative to listen when they express their concerns about the present condition and future of the home.

"A number of employees and ex-employees of the Veterans' Home have also contacted me, and I have had the opportunity to meet with residents.

"Yesterday, during a visit on a beautiful day to the Indiana Veterans' Home I had the opportunity to meet with Lance Rhdes, the Assistant Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health. He was very cordial and able to clear up some of the matters of concern.

"Some people have asked me about whether the home's receipt of Medicaid funds would endanger Veterans Benefits Administration funding for the Home. A change in federal rules has meant that this is no longer a problem. In this connection Mr. Rhodes assured me that there was no consideration of the possibility of opening the Home to individuals who wre not veterans or the spouses or widows of veterans.

"On another issue of concern throughout the 4th district I was less reassured. Many people have seen the Daniels administration as laying the groundwork for privatization of the Home, which they see as consistent with the Governor's overall approach to public services. Mr. Rhodes informed me that there was no current plan to privatize the Home, but that it was a future option.

"I do not agree with the rush to privatize public service and programs. I oppose the privatization of Social Security and Medicare that is supported by my opponent. If the veterans and others of the district are against the privatization of the Veterans' Home then they need to make their concerns public. I will make sure their voices are heard.

"When my opponent was asked about conditions at the Veterans' Home, which is in his District, his response was essentially, 'It's not part of my job to worry about this.' 'This is a state home. This is not federal veterans home,' Buyer declared.

"Actually, about a quarter of the budget of the Indiana Veterans' Home ($5-6 million according to Mr. Rhodes) comes from the Veterans Benefit Administration. I believe that conditions at the Home should be important to the Representative of the 4th District. I will be an advocate for the Home and its residents and will try to ensure that they have the care that they deserve.

"I would also like to comment on the recent visit of the National Commader of the American Legion to posts in Indiana. I had the honor of meeting him in Crawfordsville. He was not there to endorse my campaign or that of my opponent. He did have very strong words for Mr. Buyer's attempts to silence the voices of veterans and their service organizations. Congressman Buyer changed a 55-year-old tradition of the veterans testifying on the VA budget before a joint session of the House and Senate.

Veterans Affairs committees. Veterans from across America and throughou the district are supporting my campaign because of my willingness to listen to their concerns. I will fight for their right to testify before Congress and to receive the benefits that they have earned."



Home    Contribute    Volunteer    Biography    Issues    Press    Photos    Contact    

Designed by Election Advantage and hosted by SemanticGap™