The tragedy of George Bush’s war in Iraq will live on for decades due to failure or inability on the part of the military to provide sufficient psychological support for those who serve in combat and those who are wounded and discharged. Democrat Sen. Patty Murray, a major architect of the Wounded Warrior Act, is concerned about the lack of support for these brave men and women. “The fact that we aren’t meeting the demand for our troops’ psychological health needs with qualified professionals is a great concern of mine. The Pentagon needs to tell us what they are doing to fill the gaps in the system, particularly when troops are being sent back into the field for the third and fourth tours.”
The Wounded Warrior Act requires the Pentagon to develop an expanded psychological health care system. Democrat Sen. Daniel Inouye is upset at Bush administration efforts to hold down health related costs by ordering Tricare to increase and use the so-called “efficciency wedges” which the current budget he submitted resulted in reduction in care for those who were wounded. One result of the Bush approach has been to contract out psychological services to civilians who lack military experience.