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MORE “HOPE AND CHANGE” 

By Rick Manning  ||  “I’ll be a President who ensures that America serves our men and women in uniform as well as they’ve served us, and that’s why I’m proud to have the support of these veterans advising me on the issues facing our troops and veterans. After seven years of an Administration that has stretched our military to the breaking point, ignored deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals, and neglected the planning and preparation necessary to care for our returning heroes, America’s veterans deserve a President who will fight for them not just when it’s easy or convenient, but every hour of every day for the next four years.”

-Senator Barack Obama, November 12, 2007

If only President Obama had taken these words seriously and acted on the Inspector General report detailing problems within the Veterans’ Association (VA) Health System that was published just prior to his inauguration in 2009.

But he didn’t.

On this Memorial Day weekend, the President finds himself entrenched in a scandal that he cannot duck by claiming partisanship. A scandal that either will show casual indifference by Obama to the plight of our veterans’ health care, or a blatant political cover up that has burst into the public eye, tragically worsened by the deaths of veterans around the nation.

What we do know is that what Americans hoped was an isolated instance of local VA officials choosing to deny health services to veterans based upon the severity of their illness has metastasized into a 26 facility probe.

The breadth of the VA denial of service practice can only point to a systemic policy throughout the Department, a web that reaches at least the Cabinet Secretary level.

The news and implications of the real live decentralized death panels at VA facilities across the nation have left the nation stunned.  And the implications for the rest of us — as we await the full implementation of Obamacare — are truly frightening.

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Rick Manning is communications director of Americans for Limited Government. This column – which originally appeared on NetRightDaily.com – is reprinted with permission.