Debt ceiling debate threatens Veterans, Social Security, Medicai - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Debt ceiling debate threatens Veterans, Social Security, Medicaid

COLUMBUS, GA - During the years 1951 to 1971, Sergeant Richard Ito was a young soldier who was proud of his country and proud of the work her did.

"I took care of the patients in the front lines you know in the trench warfare," said Ito.

In the Army's medical corp. for 21 years, Ito served in the Korean War three times and the Vietnam War twice.  He was a prisoner of war, received the bronze star which is now in a case full of medals, and was honored by two letters from a Commanding General. 

Ito says 100% of his income comes from federal checks he gets for being a veteran.  Now, he is scared, next month, he will not get that check.

With debate continuing on Capitol Hill over the debt ceiling, President Obama said if a compromise cannot be reached by August 2nd, the money may just not be there for people like Ito to get their checks next month.

"I would have to go out on the street I guess if I didn't have money for a thing," said Ito.

Mr. Obama also said the money may not be there for the millions of people who get Medicaid or Social Security Checks.  Evelyn Martin said her Social Security check is the biggest part of her income.

"Any part which includes a roof over your head, your food, and your clothing.  I rely on that check," said Martin.

Without that federal check, she fears moving to government housing forced to leave her home and friends, like Ito, behind. 

Both are pleading with the government to not forget them and asking why the money cannot be taken from other places.  The White House explained if the debt ceiling is not raised, the government cannot borrow the money to write checks for veterans, social security and Medicaid.

The Republicans and Democrats are working toward an agreement, but Mr. Obama said if that agreement is not long term, he will veto it.

Copyright 2011 WXTX. All rights reserved.

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