Veterans and The ACA (aka Obamacare)
When my husband left the Army after 8 years of service as an infantryman, with over 3 years of combat deployment, our health insurance ended the last day of service. There was no grace period, time to return home and get a job, nothing. We were immediately without health insurance unless we paid $1800 a month for COBRA–which we did not have because he no longer had an income. Our only feasible option was for my husband to join the Army reserves and for us to pay $400 a month for Tricare select. Once I found a job and we could get health insurance through my employer, he left the reserves. I just couldn’t believe there was no better option then. Now with the repeal of ACA, once again there will be no better option. ~Hilary T., Veteran US Army Spouse
Many people falsely believe that all veterans immediately qualify for health coverage under the Veteran’s Administration. This is false. Many veterans and their families rely on the health insurance market provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Action: Call US Representatives as they are working rapidly to repeal the ACA. Ask them to fix the ACA and explain how veterans and their families will be hurt by full repeal.
Action: Write to US Senators. The GOP Senators have made it easy for the Senate to defund the ACA by fast-tracking budget decisions. Ask your Senators to fix the ACA and explain how veterans and their families will be hurt by full repeal.
Action: Write Letters-to-the-Editor explaining how veterans and their families would be hurt by ACA repeal. Many civilians still do not understand the issue and your explanation could help small town America connect the dots.
The Veterans Administration
The Administration’s federal hiring freeze is hampering VA’s ability to serve veterans and process their benefit claims. President Trump has also expressed support for privatizing VA – a move that would put veterans at risk. Our next VA Secretary must be willing to stand up to the White House when necessary to put the interests of our veterans first. ~Sherrod Brown, Senator from Ohio
After the election, President-elect Trump was investigating ways to privatize the Veterans Administration (VA). Since the inauguration, he instituted a hiring freeze that has severely impacted the ability of the VA to fill vacant positions. The new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin, shows promising signs that he will not allow privatization to happen.
However, trust has yet to be built between the Trump Administration and many of the progressive Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) who serve as watch-dogs over veterans benefits.
Action: Contact the White House via email or letter and ask them to invite the VSO of your choice to meetings where veterans’ health care and other veterans’ benefit issues are being discussed.
Action: Donate money or time to progressive VSOs that lobby Congress.