Veterans groups despair possible Medicaid cuts to veterans, urge Senate to scuttle Republican health care plan
By Kery Murakami
WASHINGTON — The battle over the future of Medicaid in the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has given little attention to how reduced funding will affect military veterans.
Veterans groups are now speaking out, saying rolling back financial support for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the low-income and vulnerable, could put at risk the 1.7 million veterans receiving Medicaid benefits.
Contrary to popular belief, they report, less than half of America’s veterans, about 43 percent, get health insurance coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Proposals from VA Commission on Care popping up in new legislation
The 15-member commission developed a series of 18 recommendations in its report to Congress nearly a year ago. Among them were proposals to create an alternative personnel system for all employees within the Veterans Health Administration and incorporate more private provider options into VA’s network of care.
Bits and pieces of the commission’s 300-page report have popped up in other pieces of legislation. The president, for example, signed new legislation into law that changes accountability procedures for VA employees and senior executives. The changes in the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act apply to all employees at the department, not just those who work in veterans health care.