03.23.17

HVAC Members Call on Republicans to Protect Veterans from Harmful Consequences of Health Care Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Democratic Members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee expressed outrage over House Republicans' rush to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to the floor of the House of Representatives, and to warn of the negative consequences the bill will have for millions of veterans and their families across the United States:

“As a result of AHCA’s expedited path to the House floor without regular order, millions of veterans are now facing the possibility of losing access to current healthcare or be forced to seek care through the VA. We can put our partisan differences aside and agree that they should be held harmless in any changes we make to our nation’s health care system. We call on Republicans to address this issue immediately and end any uncertainty for veterans before a vote on AHCA,” said Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN).

“It is wrong and reckless for a change of this magnitude to be rushed through the House without the input of this committee and without feedback from veterans across the country. It is time for Republicans to slow down and sit down with veterans to fix this bill before we leave them stranded,” said Vice Ranking Member Mark Takano (D-CA).

This week, Republicans introduced an amendment to the AHCA that would prohibit veterans who are “eligible” to receive VA care from receiving any tax credits to help pay for care outside the VA, even if they are not enrolled in the VA. In addition to preventing veterans from access to affordable health care options, forcing veterans to seek care at the VA could create a significant influx of veterans enrolling in the VA at a time when the VA is not equipped to enroll them quickly. This is particularly a concern in light of President Trump’s hiring freeze.

The Paralyzed Veterans of America sent this letter to House leadership yesterday outlining their concerns with the legislation.