- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recent editorials from West Virginia newspapers:

July 30

The Register-Herald, Bleckley, West Virginia, on VA breakthrough:

A compromise in what has been a sharply contested effort to fund reforms and boost health care coverage for veterans was reached Monday between Senate and House negotiators in Washington.

The tug-of-war was noteworthy because it was so public, with Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vermont, and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, releasing a joint statement saying they had “made significant progress” on legislation to make the VA more accountable to vets and improve the health care they receive.

We are heartened to see that Democrats and Republicans, and in Sanders’ case, independents, can still agree on what should be a bipartisan measure.

The VA had said it needs $18 billion to correct its recent widely publicized failures when it comes to our nation’s veterans, including unbelievably long wait times for treatment.

Republicans said they could see $10 billion set aside, but Democrats put forth a $25 billion proposal.

Somewhere near the middle, around $17 billion, a compromise was reached.

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-West Virginia, had urged Senate leaders last week to keep Congress from leaving on its August vacation next week until a deal was done.

“We have got to get this done - for our veterans and their families who deserve better than to be kept endlessly waiting for medical care they were promised,” Rahall said. “For elderly veterans in rural areas, where physician shortages and medically underserved pockets are abundant, like in southern West Virginia, Congress must give the VA the resources it needs to hire doctors and expand the availability of medical care.”

When the stakes are high enough, and doing the right thing for our military veterans is about as high as it gets, Congress can put aside its partisanship for the proper cause.

Isn’t it time for more of that?



Story Continues →