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Support of Guaranteed Health Care for All Veterans of the United States Armed Forces

WHEREAS, one of the most essential and fundamental obligations of our government is to provide for and guarantee the care of those who defend and preserve it against its enemies; and

WHEREAS, veterans of the United States Armed Forces (Veterans), the citizen soldiers of our communities, provided a unique and vital service to the nation as a whole is the preservation of freedom and liberty enjoyed by all who reside within our borders; and

WHEREAS, African Americans, many of whom are Veterans, are among the most uninsured people in America, have more health problems, die younger, and are often systematically denied the same level of services and benefits as their White counterparts; and

WHEREAS, the rent and ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan has produced increased numbers of seriously injured Veterans with brain injuries, lost of limbs, mental and post traumatic stress disorders, diseases, diabetes, and prostrate cancers; and

WHEREAS, the cost of health care in the nation continues to worsen as more than 45 million Americans are without health care coverage and thousands of Veterans are being denied access to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and

WHEREAS, in early 2005 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest direct provider of health-care services in the nation, began to restrict services provided to Veterans and their families, and began to institute potentially dangerous cost-cutting measures just to make ends meet; and

WHEREAS, the VHA underestimated the growth rate of demand on its medical system and had to request an emergency appropriation from Congress of an additional $1.5 billion for Veterans' health care; now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports the principle that all Veterans must be guaranteed immediate access to the full continuum of health-care services by the government that they served to protect; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will include the topic of Guaranteed Health Care for all Veterans and their families in its annual workshops on the Concerns of Black Veterans, approved by a 2004 resolution to be held at each annual and state conference convention; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its commitment to alleviating the barriers that lead to discrimination and protecting and advancing the rights of all Veterans, including Black Veterans, Women Veterans, and Service-Disabled Veterans.

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