Report: GOP Health Care Bills Would Leave Vets, Families Uninsured

 

A new report finds nearly a half-million veterans would lose health coverage over the next decade under the GOP's health-care bills. About 1.8 million veterans rely on Medicaid, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress.

 

Nearly a quarter of those vets would lose insurance under the American Health Care Act, the House version of the bill that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

 

Report author Kate Gallagher Robbins, director of family policy for the Center for American Progress, says the bills also would impact military families.

 

"There's effects of service on family members as well as veterans themselves, including PTSD," she states. "There can be increased rates of domestic violence, and so there's a variety of factors for which families might also need health care and may not be able to get it if the Senate or the House bills eventually became law."

 

The Senate planned to vote on its version of the bill as soon as this week, but Republicans have gone back to the drawing board to gain more support for their effort.

 

The analysis found about 8,600 veterans in Washington state would lose coverage by 2026 under the House version of the bill.

 

Robbins says the bills also weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which would impact veterans with service-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or paralysis.

 

"The way that the bills are structured, you could see really skyrocketing costs for veterans and their families, particularly if they have a very expensive condition," he states. "So, if you look at something like amputation, the cost of a prosthetic limb can rival the cost of a car."

 

Nearly 1 in 10 veterans is enrolled in Medicaid. A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Republican proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA), found that by 2026, 23 million fewer Americans would have health insurance, most of them Medicaid recipients.

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