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Bernie Sanders blasts Trump for ‘insulting’ talk of privatizing the Veterans Administration

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called out President-elect Donald Trump Friday after he suggested a “public-private option” for veterans seeking healthcare.

“Privatizing the VA would be an insult to the more than 22 million veterans who risked their lives to defend our country and it would significantly lower the quality of health care they receive,” Sanders said in a statement, The Hill reported. “Our goal, shared by The American Legion and other major veterans’ organizations, must be to improve the VA, not destroy it.”

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Earlier this week, a senior transition official told reporters that the president-elect was searching for a way to privatize the VA.

“We think we have to have kind of a … public-private option, because some vets love the VA … some vets want to go to the VA,” the senior official said. “So, the idea is to come up with a solution that solves the problem. And it’s not the easiest thing in the world because you’ve got all these little kingdoms out there, which is hard.”

No details were given on how the privatization would work and how much doctors would be paid for their services. The official refused to elaborate.

After veterans faced long waits for far away VA facilities, Congressional Republicans began looking for other options. Currently, veterans can get private care through the Choice Card program Congress created in 2014. Both of Trump’s expected VA secretary options reportedly want to expand that program to all veterans, however.

Opponents of the privatization idea believe that funding other programs will pull money from the existing VA making programs even worse. Other critics note that VA doctors are experts in things like PTSD and treating health problems known for impacting veterans the most. One example is a rare liver cancer that was discovered by VA doctors that was isolated to Vietnam veterans stationed in certain areas known for serving a specific type of fish. In an NPR report, a VA doctor explained that a personal doctor wouldn’t have been informed about this type of cancer and the cause.

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Sanders, who serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, pointed out that veterans groups are against the option the Trump transition is advocating.

“The veterans’ organizations are right,” he said. “We must protect the VA, not destroy it.”

American Legion Executive Director Verna Jones explained that “dollar-for-dollar, there is no better care or value available anywhere in the United States – period.” She urged Trump to look into the information on the issue.

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“When men and women put their lives on the line to defend us, the president must listen to them, not to the Koch brothers and their extreme right-wing, anti-government ideology,” Sanders went on to say. “We will vigorously oppose any and all efforts to privatize the VA.”


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READ IT: Court filing from Michael Cohen seeking a sentence reduction

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President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, but he's seeking a reduction in his sentence according to a recent court filing.

"Reducing the Court's previously imposed 36 month term of imprisonment, or, in the alternative, reducing it to a term of home confinement, coupled with a community service," the documents requested.

While Cohen cooperated with investigators, he didn't do so immediately, instead he remained loyal to his former client. After it became clear that Cohen was being thrown under the bus, however, he began to cooperate with investigators.

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Cohen says DOJ acted out of ‘blind loyalty’ to Trump — and that he ‘sold his soul’

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President Donald Trump's former "fixer" blasted the Department of Justice in new court filings.

Michael Cohen is seeking a sentence reduction and admitted he "sold his soul" to Trump.

He also blasted the Justice Department for "blind loyalty" to Trump.

https://twitter.com/BenWeiserNYT/status/1204877625803575296

https://twitter.com/emilyjanefox/status/1204873861357015042

https://twitter.com/aabramson/status/1204879663534919680

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No one can figure out why John Kennedy compared government documents to ‘dropping acid’

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Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) compared reading government documents to "dropping acid" while in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday and the internet can't figure out how he would know.

"I haven't read the entire report," Kennedy said of the inspector general report on the start of the Russia investigation. "I'm about 70 percent through but I'm going to get through. It's tedious and I don't mean that in a pejorative way, it's supposed to be tedious. About 15 percent of the way through it made me want to heave. After about 25 percent of the way through, I thought I'd dropped acid. It's so real."

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