Personal Health

If Trumpcare Ends Up Happening, Up to 7 Million Veterans Could See Their Health Care Ruined

The ramifications of the AHCA will be felt far and wide.

Photo Credit: John Gomez/Shutterstock.com

The abominable AHCA (or simply Trumpcare), the House Republican’s replacement of Obamacare, is being felt far and wide. While the Senate has already said it has no intention of taking up the House version and the hope is it will die there, many are frightened by the sheer amount of malice the bill contains.

Among the many negatives in the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare, one of the hastily added "improvements" to the bill could wind up making 7 million military veterans ineligible for health care tax credits. The very party that shamelessly exploits the troops out of political expediency, feigning patriotism in the form of flag pins, is now screwing veterans, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer has absolutely no answer for it.  The snafu was discovered by Chris Jacobs, the former policy adviser for the House Republican Conference under Chairman Mike Pence. Jacobs discovered:
The most recent estimates suggest about 9.1 million individuals are enrolled in VA health programs. However, a 2014 Congressional Budget Office score of veterans’ choice legislation concluded that about 8 million [veterans] qualify to enroll in VA’s health system but have not enrolled. Subtracting for VA enrollment gains since that CBO score leaves approximately seven million veterans eligible for, but not enrolled in, VA health programs, and thus potentially affected by the House’s ‘technical’ change.
Just when you thought these disingenuous GOP lawmakers couldn’t possibly get any more evil, they go full-blown Lex Luthor. Here is the angry response from Will Fischer, an Iraq War veteran and director of government outreach for VoteVets: 
What started as a bad bill has now turned into a grotesque Frankenstein monster, a crude and rushed patchwork of mini-bills that hurt people who can least afford it. Now, we find out that Trumpcare will strip tax credits from potentially millions of veterans, and flood the VA with new patients at a time the VA is understaffed to handle a rush, thanks to the Donald Trump’s hiring freeze.Since the freeze went into effect, we’ve already seen wait times lengthen; the claims backlog that President Obama had virtually eliminated, starting to grow again. This will only cause things to get worse. We cannot put it more simply than this: Trumpcare will punish veterans. You cannot be pro-veteran and vote for Trumpcare.
We all know how much Trump loves to pretend he actually cares about the military, to compensate for his insecurity and lack of military service. But not even Spicer could spin this when speaking to reporters. Here is the exchange he had with John Gizzi of Newsmax:  GIZZI: Several publications, including Sara’s, reported today that as a result of a change of a few words, veterans who benefited from a program called Veterans’ Affairs or had the option of getting tax credits would now get neither under the new legislation and that seven million veterans would be cost health care. Is the administration following this, and is urging Congress to do anything about it? SPICER: Most veterans get their health care through Tri-care, or through Medicare if they’re over 65, or a combination thereof, correct?

GIZZI: And this is — well, but there’s two programs: One is the Veterans’ Affairs program, and the other is the option, this is under the current law, to have tax credits. And my understanding, again from Sara’s publication this morning and several others, is that seven million veterans could possibly lose both under this plan.

SPICER: Yeah, I — I’d have to follow up with you, I’m not aware of any modifications to Tri-care, in particular, that would have that effect.

There is no way to spin this horrendous bill no matter how much Spicer tries, for it has about as much chance surviving in the Senate as a cancer patient has surviving with it.

 

Michael Hayne is a progressive comedian, writer and voice artist. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook or visit ImpressionsGuy.com

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