Rep. Takano Statement on House Passage of VETERAN Act

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the House passed the VETERAN Act, H.R. 2372, which closes the loophole in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that jeopardized access to tax credits for up to 7 million veterans.

“The 7 million veterans who are eligible but not enrolled at the VA deserve the same access to health care tax credits as every other American. I am pleased that the House voted to close the loophole in the AHCA that could jeopardize veterans’ access to affordable insurance under the GOP health plan.

“However, I am deeply concerned with the process that led us to this legislation. Prior to AHCA’s passage in the House, I repeatedly alerted my Republican colleagues to the consequences the veterans loophole could have for those who served. Their response was that this loophole did not exist. The fix we passed today is evidence to the contrary, and it raises the serious question of whether the House passed disruptive health care legislation without fully understanding its impact on millions of Americans, especially our nation’s veterans.

“Today the tax credit issue was solved, but there are far more severe problems for veterans under the AHCA that remain unresolved. The $834 billion cut to Medicaid, the flexibility for states to waive requirements for covering essential health benefits, and the opportunity for states to abandon protections for people with pre-existing conditions, are all harmful policies that are embedded in the foundation of the AHCA.

“Today we passed a narrow solution for a wide-ranging problem. I encourage my Republican colleagues to review the health care legislation they passed and consider how it will affect the people we promised to represent.”

Rep. Takano described the veterans loophole and the process that led to today’s vote in a Medium post published this morning. 

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