Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Edwards-Flores Campaign Heats Up Over Vets Issues

Representative Chet Edwards' campaign started placing
automatic phone messages today that allege Republican
challener Bill Flores "would destroy the VA health care
system as we know it..."

The rift stems from a statement Mr. Flores made in January at a Republican debate sponsored by "The Bryan Eagle" and WTAW.

"I do think, with respect to veterans' healthcare, that our veterans would be much better off if they could go into the private health care system and have the government pay for that...," according to the press release published by Mr. Edwards this afternoon.

The Flores campaign released a statement from the candidate in rebuttal:

"Another day, another baseless attack from 20-year incumbent Edwards to try to distract the voters from a sick economy, high unemployment, and huge deficits caused by the Edwards-
Pelosi Congress. Only a career politician like Chet Edwards would think that giving Veterans options is a bad thing.
Desperate Congressman Chet Edwards is shamefully attacking
me when he knows that my wife and I have made major
financial contributions to Veterans causes, including
Wounded Warriors programs and the Waco VA hospital. I
believe that when a person wears the uniform of our military
that our nation enters into a solemn bond with them for
life. In the January debate, I made the point that several
Veterans have told me that they would like the choice to be
able to enter into the private health care system. I would
not close the same Waco VA hospital that we have suported
financially - and Congressman Edwards knows it. Our military
men and women and veterans know that they will always be
able to count on me to support them in Congress."

The Edwards camp stated that "Mr. Flores even proposes that
combat wounded veterans 'need to stay in the military
healthcare system,' which would mean taking them out of the
VA health care system and putting them in the Department of
Defense health care system. Mr. Flores just doesn't get it.
Our veterans don't want that, and our DOD hospitals such as
Darnall at Ft. Hood would be overwhelmed with patients, and
the care of both our veterns and our military troops and
their families would suffer."

The Flores family has made a direct contribution to the
Veterans Affairs Administration of $100,000 to wounded
soldiers and their families and sponsored all expense paid
small business boot camp seminars for wounded combat
veterans at Texas A&M and other major universities
throughout the U.S.

Katherine Henson, a veteran of the Women's Army Corps and
former State Commander of the DAV, said in her phone message
to voters, "At our VA hospitals, veterans get a level of
care and treatment that they couldn't get anywhere else in
the world and Bill Flores wants to throw them into an
already overloaded private health care system."

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