The Erratic Joe Wilson's Shameful Record on Troops and Veterans

11/14/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Jon Soltz Co-Founder of, Iraq War Veteran

The only thing more "out there" than Joe Wilson's disrespectful display during the president's speech to Congress on health care is Representative Wilson's all over the place take on two of the largest government-run health systems there are -- the ones that benefit our troops and veterans.

Wilson has railed against health care reform, warning that offering more choice to people amounts to a government takeover of health insurance. To him, it's an evil that has to be defeated.

Yet, at the same time, Wilson hasn't said whether he's opted into TRICARE for Life. The completely government-run health insurance system for certain military retirees is available to Wilson, as he's a 31-year Guard and Reserve veteran (though he joined after getting out of Vietnam). If he's not, of course, then he's taking insurance from the government-run pool offered to Congressmen. Then, there's all of our active duty service members who are on TRICARE -- stuck in an evil government system that must have turned them into Communists by now.

Wilson has saved them and gotten them out of TRICARE, right?


"TRICARE provides world class health care," said Wilson in a press release. "I believe TRICARE is one part of our health care system that's working."

What?! Joe Wilson is all for this horrible fascist system of government care?

Well, maybe not. Despite being against government health care, and then paying lip service about the awesomeness of government-run TRICARE, Wilson's voted to underfund it.

In 2007, Wilson was against $1.9 billion for military medical care (including funds for Walter Reed) and in 2005 voted against expanding TRICARE eligibility for our Guard and Reserve components, despite the fact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has them fighting alongside the active component more than ever before.

OK, so Wilson suffers from split personality disorder when it comes to government health care for troops. But, he must be against the Department of Veterans Affairs, another bastion of Marxist thought, turning generations of American veterans into pinkos.

"With a growing number of servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, we must go to great measures to ensure our veterans receive the best care possible. That means greater oversight of the facilities, hospitals, and clinics that care for our veterans. They deserve access to the highest quality medical technology and a health care system that is responsive to their immediate and long-term needs. Their sacrifice and commitment to this nation deserves nothing less," said Wilson on his campaign site.

Gosh, that sounds just like Hitler, doesn't it?

Oh, but thank heaven, Joe Wilson voted repeatedly to cut veterans care, and save us from modern day Leninism. He voted for a $14 million cut in 2003, against $1.6 billion for the agency in 2005, $2.9 billion again in 2005, for a $13.5 billion cut in 2005, against $1.8 billion in 2003, and millions and millions more.

Maybe it's asking too much for me to ask that Joe Wilson think like a rational human being, but I'll ask anyway. He needs to decide whether offering citizens the option of getting the same kind of coverage we in the military get is evil or not evil.

If it's not -- if military and veterans government-run insurance and care is not malevolent -- then he needs to stop his shouting and properly fund TRICARE and the VA, and let everyone have the option of getting a public insurance plan.

But, if government-run care and insurance really is wicked, then he needs to stop lying about how he feels about TRICARE and Veterans Care. He should tell the truth about why he voted against funding for those programs -- because he thinks troops and veterans should be left out in the cold and turned away in return for their service.

Until he's honest about his position on Veterans Care, Military Care, and the Public Option, I can only say this: Representative Wilson, YOU LIE.

Crossposted at