WASHINGTON, D.C.--The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has launched a hard-hitting radio advertisement on the state of veterans' health care at hospitals and other medical facilities managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The spot features a VA nurse telling of surgeries cancelled for hundreds of veterans due to lack of adequate funding-as recently documented at the Portland VA Medical Center in Oregon-and an eligibility specialist speaking of the vets he's forced to turn away because of new rules implemented last year. The ad is currently running in select markets in the battleground states of Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin, in order to target the national press corps.
Here is the script for the 60-second spot:
Veterans' Health Care - Behind the Curtain
NARRATOR: Lately the air is full of talk about veterans. Politicians say they've increased funding for veterans' healthcare. But in reality, veterans' health care has been put on a starvation diet.
J. DAVID COX: I'm J. David Cox, a nurse at a VA Medical Center. Every day, I see veterans making up for budget shortfalls out of their own pockets with increased premiums and co-pays. In some VA hospitals, surgeries have been postponed because of budget cutbacks.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, 275 million dollars appropriated by Congress for veterans' health care is being held up by political appointees. And now VA hospitals are being made to turn away new veterans.
W.C. BROWN: I'm W.C. Brown. I work in the eligibility department of a major V.A. facility. I'm a vet myself, and I can't tell you just how bad it feels to say to another vet, "Sorry, friend--you just don't qualify."
NARRATOR: All vets deserve the health care they were promised. It's time for a change. Veterans need your help.
To volunteer to help veterans get the health care they deserve,
This message was paid for by the American Federation of Government Employees.