Commission to tackle military healthcare

March 16, 2007 at 1:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) -- U.S. President George W. Bush, speaking after reports of neglect at military hospitals, says a new panel will set healthcare standards for those facilities.

Bush appointed former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to head the Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors. Speaking at the White House Friday, Bush said other members of the commission include Purple Heart recipients, the wife of a wounded soldier and a doctor.

The president said it was important for the government to fulfill its responsibility "to make sure our healthcare systems both at (the) ... Defense Department and the Veterans Administration are meeting our obligations."

Bush assured the commission its work would be supported and any problems it finds will be addressed. His administration has been criticized for care returning wounded troops are receiving in government institutions.

The president said the commission's findings will "set a standard we expect government to follow," and that it will "really set the stage for this presidency and other presidencies."

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