Monday, July 03, 2017

Many Veterans Would Suffer Under Trumpcare

With the 4th of July tomorrow, there will be many Congressional Republicans out and about glad handing constituents at 4th of July celebrations and bloviating about how they "support our troops - even when they don't in fact.  Some will go even further and loudly claim support for America's military veterans even though they are poised to actively harm thousands of veterans if Trumpcare is signed into law.  I have touched on this topic before, but it bears repeating and many in the military and many veterans need to have a wake up call that will have them aware of the danger and just maybe convince them to stop reflexively voting Republican.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at the looming harm that many veterans could well fall victim to thanks to their duplicitous Republican "friends" in Congress.  Here are highlights:
As Republicans strive mightily — and perversely — for a health-care system that would increase the uninsured by 22 million people, they should ponder the impact on a particularly deserving group — veterans.
It’s not unexpected that heartless GOP plans would be hard on the vulnerable, but do they realize that includes many who continue to suffer from their service?
These are people largely supportive of Republicans . . Republicans [claim to] honor veterans, but you can’t tell it by their current health-care proposals.
The GOP plans do not directly affect the Veterans Affairs Department’s extensive system of health services. About 7 million vets, however, get their care outside of VA services. After the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, kicked in, the number of vets without insurance dropped by almost 40 percent, according to Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and other committee members.  Republicans would reverse that trend. 
Tester and his Democratic colleagues said the Senate bill could:
·        Result in nearly 1.75 million disabled and low-income veterans losing Medicaid coverage
·        Impose a tax on 600,000 veterans, forcing them to pay up to five times more for health insurance
·            Cause more than 5 million veterans difficulty in finding services at rural hospitals
·        Generate increased mental health-care fees for the many veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam
·        Result in up to 7 million veterans losing tax credits to help pay for medical care
·        Cause about 7 percent of veterans to lose access to care for opioid or other substance abuse problems.
In five recent polls, the approval ratings for the Republican health-care plan ranged from a miserable 16 percent to a pitiful 30 percent, sometimes with a significant percentage undecided.
“This plan, written in secret, will devastate thousands of elderly, disabled and rural veterans who go outside of the VA for all or some of their health care,” Tester said. . . . . He was joined in outrage by Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Joe Manchin III (W. Va.), and Sherrod Brown (Ohio).
“Our country makes a promise to take care of the men and women who serve, but Trumpcare would do just the opposite,” Murray said.
Added Blumenthal: “Every Member of Congress who plans to support this bill needs to imagine looking a veteran in the eye and telling them why their mental-health care for PTS (post-traumatic stress) has been halted, or why they can no longer afford treatment for traumatic brain injury sustained while serving their country.”
Again, the moral bankruptcy of today's Republican Party is nearly complete.

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