On November 11, 2011, Talking Points Memo reported:
Over barbecue and sweet tea with 12 veterans here Friday, Mitt Romney appeared to brainstorm a fundamental change to the way the nation pays back the people who put their lives on the line in the military.
Talking with the veterans about the challenge of navigating the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy to get their health care benefits after they leave active duty, Romney suggested a way to improve the system would be to privatize it.
The plan did not go over well with one veteran among the 12 discussing the VA with Romney. Auston Thompson, a veteran of the Iraq War and former Marine, told TPM after the session that though the idea of the plan was sound to his fiscally conservative ear, the implementation would likely lead to problems.
Jerry Newberry, a spokesman for Veterans Of Foreign Wars, told TPM his group has long opposed policies along the lines of Romney’s proposal.
“The VFW doesn’t support privatization of veterans health care,” he said. “This is an issue that seems to come around every election cycle.”
Published: Nov 14, 2011