Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Filner Says U.S. is Shirking Responsibility to Care for Its Veterans

Long time San Diego Democratic Congressman Bob Filner's profile is growing. Now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives as well as the Senate, he's been elevated to the Chairmanship of

Long time San Diego Democratic Congressman Bob Filner's profile is growing. Now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives as well as the Senate, he's been elevated to the Chairmanship of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. And now that the wounded warriors and other veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning in huge numbers, the work of that committee has taken on new importance.

Guest

  • Bob Filner , Congressman.

Background:

About 1.5 million service members have fought in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. Numerous studies have estimated that 17 percent to 33 percent of them suffer mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and that one in 10 has experienced a traumatic brain injury. Both conditions can require years of expensive and highly specialized treatment.

President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors was in town on May 24. Bob Dole and Donna Shalala, co-chairs of the President's commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors, held a meeting in San Diego Thursday to address PTSD, including identification, care and removing the stigma of asking for help. (A second session addressed veterans' support benefits and case management processes.) 

War spending bill at a glance (Filner voted against):

  • $99.5 billion for the Defense Department, $94.5 billion of it for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • $1.6 billion in U.S. aid for Iraq, which could be restricted if the Iraqi government does not meet certain benchmarks.
  • $3 billion for land mine-resistant vehicles.
  • $3 billion for military health care programs.
  • $1.8 billion for veterans' care.
  • $1.1 billion for homeland security, including airport, border and cargo container screening.
  • $6.4 billion for hurricane-relief efforts along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
  • $3 billion for disaster farm aid.
  • $650 million plus for the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
  • $465 million for fighting wildfires.
  • $425 million for rural schools.

(Source: The Associated Press.)