Senator Carper, General (Ret.) Frank Vavala Join VoteVets to Highlight #WhatsAtStake for Veterans if the Affordable Care Act is Overturned
Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), the only Vietnam veteran serving in the United States Senate, and former Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard, Major (Ret.) Frank D. Vavala, joined thousands of veterans from across the country for a virtual discussion on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how veterans and their families may be impacted if this landmark health care law is overturned. Hosted by the organization VoteVets, the discussion specifically called attention to what’s at stake for veterans and their access to quality, affordable health care if Republicans in Congress successfully rush through a controversial Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Just one week after the election on November 10th, the United States Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case brought by the Trump Administration and 18 Republican Attorneys General that would overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Judge Barrett’s nomination threatens the health care protections that millions of Americans, including millions of veterans, currently have under the Affordable Care Act.
“When you have one in three nonelderly veterans with a pre-existing condition, and you face the prospect of the Supreme Court taking up a case on November 10th that would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, well, that’s just not right,” said Senator Carper. “It’s especially egregious when we’re in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis in which eight million of our fellow Americans have been infected with coronavirus and that includes many veterans and their families. We know that there can be lasting and devastating effects from the coronavirus, even after patients recover. Some of those effects will now be considered pre-existing conditions, and we need to make sure families have the coverage they need going forward. That’s why it is just the absolute height of irresponsibility that the Trump Administration is continuing to try to take Americans’ health care coverage away in the midst of this pandemic.”
“Our service members are caretakers by nature. They risk their own lives to protect their fellow soldiers and Americans they’ll never meet. So, of course, it’s not surprising that when many of our men and women in uniform come home, they continue to care for and serve those friends, family members, and neighbors who may need help,” said General Vavala. “That is stressful enough. We don’t need our service members having to worry about whether or not the care a loved one needs will be covered by their insurance.”
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, number of uninsured veterans has dropped by 40 percent. Here are just a few ways that the health care law brought about that significant decrease. The Affordable Care Act:
- Expanded access to Medicaid, on which nearly 2 million veterans rely;
- Expanded access to health care services in rural communities where over five million veterans live;
- Required that insurance plans cover mental health and substance abuse services;
- Helped reduce patient wait times by reducing burden off of VA providers;
- Helped to lower prescription drug costs for the nearly 11 million veterans on Medicare.
You can watch the full discussion here.