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gorillapaws's avatar

Republicans just blocked the PACT Act in the Senate. What are your thoughts on Jon Stewart's reaction speech?

Asked by gorillapaws (30660points) July 28th, 2022

Republicans just blocked the PACT Act which is about providing healthcare to vets who were exposed to toxins during their service. 25 Republicans voted against it, who had previously voted for it. This is Jon Stewart’s excoriating speech after the vote (NSFW language). I know he had played a role in trying to help the bill get passed.

What’s your reaction? Is Stewart right to be furious? Should Dems find a way to compromise with the Republicans like giving the cancer patients half of their medicine instead of all of it? Do you know any vets suffering from conditions related to exposure to burn pits and other sources of toxic substances?

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33 Answers

janbb's avatar

And they call themselves “Patriots” and wave the flag around!

zenvelo's avatar

Mr Stewart was too easy on the GOP. This should be an issue in the midterms:

‘How Come Republicans don’t give a shit about Veterans and their health that was damaged while serving in a war?”

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Vote them OUT !

hat's avatar

It’s theater that these two wings of the US party (Dem/Rep) use to play games and win points. Democrats playing uber patriot doesn’t really work for me any more than Republicans. I don’t support the troops. If this bill was to provide healthcare for veterans and only veterans, then I don’t support it. Period.

Want to fight for healthcare for veterans? Fucking provide healthcare as a right to everyone. Listened to a few minutes of Jon Stewarts’ reaction. Get pumped up about non-veterans and you’ll have my ear. Otherwise, fuck off.

RayaHope's avatar

I don’t get into political discussions but I think that anyone who is against helping veterans should be ashamed of themselves. Veterans are the reason we are still here and able to live our lives. We need to do more to help them not less.

KNOWITALL's avatar

The video is very dramatic, but I watched the first five minutes.
Veterans do deserve care, so I can only surmise it’s indeed a game, as @hat said. No I don’t approve unless there’s a very good reason.

Here’s a bit of what I found online.
Roll Call reported, “Some conservatives have raised objections to the bill because it would reclassify nearly $400 billion in current-law VA spending from discretionary to mandatory accounts, thereby potentially freeing up more budget authority to increase discretionary spending on other domestic programs.”

You know the devil’s in the details.

RayaHope's avatar

I do try to understand all this but it can make my head hurt. There always seems to be a catch to everything because it’s so intertwined with everything else. I guess whatever is the best outcome for all veterans is what I can hope for.

ragingloli's avatar

They all chose to be in the military. They knew the risks, and they chose their fate. Make them live with the consequences.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

What the hell is wrong with Republicans these days, maybe next conflict these Republicans should be on the front lines instead of these fighting personnel that they will just screw over later.

KNOWITALL's avatar

What’s interesting is that 10 years ago Democrats here on this site said military were poor, uneducated hicks who wanted free college.

Talk about coming full circle. Crazy times.

chyna's avatar

^Wow. Who the heck said that?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@chyna I can’t recall but it was a doozy of a thread.
@Tropical_Willie I’d love to read it again, too, but this site is not easy to search.

janbb's avatar

@KNOWITALL Surely even “poor uneducated hicks” are entitled to medical care after being exposed to carcinogenic toxins while serving in the military?

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
RayaHope's avatar

@ragingloli Thay’s a little harsh don’t ya think?!

filmfann's avatar

Jon Stewart is a great American. The Senators involved are traitors who have forgotten their wounded warriors.

cheebdragon's avatar

“CBO estimates that fewer veterans would receive disability compensation under this version of the act than it did for the House-passed version. Costs are reduced primarily because the act would phase in the effective date of some presumptive conditions and reduce the number of people who receive retroactive benefits. Costs also are lower because the assumed enactment date is later for the current version. As a result, estimates for mandatory spending for compensation and other benefits are lower in this version”
https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2022-06/hr3967_senate_version.pdf

ragingloli's avatar

@RayaHope
Well, I also think they should only be paid minimum wage, and not be provided free food, shelter, transport and equipment. They should be required to pay rent, pay for food, pay for transport and buy/rent their equipment. If they want to style their chosen career as “service”, it should be “service”.
Come to think of it, why pay them at all?

ragingloli's avatar

Oh, and no free healthcare for these moochers, either.
They get injured, they should pay the same amount as anyone else would when going the ER.

rebbel's avatar

This is not the discussion, I’m aware of that, but medical care should be cheap, or free, for all.
Equally for citizens and military.

RayaHope's avatar

@rebbel I do agree with that. @ragingloli I’m sorry you feel that way and obviously you’re entitled to your own opinion. I just know they have put their life on the line in some horrible situations to help protect us and that is already a monumental cost they have paid.

janbb's avatar

@RayaHope @ragingloli is a softy who likes to shock us all with their black humor. Don’t take everything they say to heart even though most of it is what they truly believe.

hat's avatar

@RayaHope: “I just know they have put their life on the line in some horrible situations to help protect us and that is already a monumental cost they have paid.”

It’s important to understand that there are those of us who oppose imperialism and nearly all of US foreign military actions (past and present), and don’t find it compelling to frame it as “to help protect us”. The costs for being the military arm of global capital certainly weighs heavy on the working class, so I’m sympathetic to those who place the large majority of the ethical blame on the machine that sent these people to kill (and die). But at some point, some of us feel that there has to be some responsibility on the soldiers themselves.

If you fall victim to capitalism and find yourself in tough financial trouble with limited options and end up in the military, I can certainly empathize. We all do things we need to do in order to survive in an unjust system. But that doesn’t mean that support any system that prioritizes healthcare or anything for veterans or soldiers over non-veterans.

I don’t know whether or not @ragingloli is being entirely serious or trying to shock, as someone claimed. But I agree with them. I do not support the troops or veterans as troops or veterans. They chose to do something and get involved in a morally indefensible project. I don’t want to pay them a salary or any benefits unless every non-soldier or veteran were getting the same.

RayaHope's avatar

@janbb I did check @ragingloli profile and I think I felt sick and could not even finish reading all of it. I sure hope it isn’t serious…@hat I’m sorry I have much to learn about stuff. You did make me see that there are many sides to every issue.

ragingloli's avatar

@RayaHope
It is a list of reasons illustrating the fact that the Nazis were Right Wing, not Leftists.

janbb's avatar

While I am a pacifist and oppose most military spending, as someone who lived through the Vietnam War era when we anti-war protesters vilified draftees, I no longer vilify individual soldiers whether they are draftees or volunteers. The fight for universal healthcare doesn’t negate the need for veteran’s benefits.

hat's avatar

^ Not sure if this was in response to me, but let me clarify – I’m not vilifying individual soldiers. I’m opposed to the murder-for-hire relationship and legitimizing the path to sucking people into the life.

@janbb: “The fight for universal healthcare doesn’t negate the need for veteran’s benefits.”

That’s where we disagree. And we also disagree on why we don’t have single-payer today. But I think it’s important to understand that I’m not merely saying “if we all can’t have it, then veterans shouldn’t have it either”. Giving veterans benefits and respect is like giving people benefits because they robbed a convenient store and ended up killing the cashier. There may have been a real reason why they were so desperate that they needed the money, and they may have gone into the store with good intentions. But that doesn’t mean we should support that. What we should be doing is fighting against the root cause of those conditions which led the person to do what they did.

I just lost my father a few months ago to Parkinson’s, which the VA covered completely because he was in Vietnam and was exposed to agent orange. My father was 72 and had been sick and deteriorating for 10 years. It was fucking brutal, and I’m glad he had medical coverage. But killing people in a foreign land (and nearly getting blown up) doesn’t make him any more worthy of that coverage. And to support him having coverage doesn’t necessarily hurt my efforts to turn the US into a legitimate civilized country and have actual healthcare. But it does support a system where people feel that the military is a choice that has material benefits. It shouldn’t.

I wouldn’t support a system that rewarded people who murdered bodega cashiers or US military soldiers or veterans, even if the people in both cases did what they did out of financial necessity. Doing so would encourage behavior that I want to reduce.

RocketGuy's avatar

@hat – he was following orders and the upper brass decided to spray Agent Orange near him. Those to put in harm’s way should (and did) help him out.

hat's avatar

^ Read what I wrote. I think people are missing a critical piece here. But we likely also disagree on US empire, so maybe it’s not a misunderstanding. Maybe you just support US foreign policy already, so it makes sense to prop it up.

seawulf575's avatar

I think Mr. Stewart is passionate about this which is good, but I don’t think he took the time to actually dig into why it was voted down. He did a knee jerk reaction and started pointing fingers.

zenvelo's avatar

@seawulf575 don’t try to say it was about protecting the budget during inflationary recessionary times. That has never stopped a Republican vote on a GOP initiative.

The reason was that Manchin had finally agreed to a Biden plan to improve the environment and Ted Cruz and others weren’t going to go along with the VA funding to give Biden and Democrats another “win”. Republicans don’t give a rats ass about veterans if they can vote down a plan endorsed by Dems.

seawulf575's avatar

@zenvelo And yet if you go up and read what @cheebdragon cited from the CBO, this bill was changed in the senate and provide less coverage for veterans than the House bill did. Sounds like the Dems wanted to cut spending for Vets and the Repubs didn’t want to do that.

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