Matt Flavin, Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, explains that nothing in health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget greatly expands coverage for veterans who have been denied access in the past.
My name is Matt Flavin. I service the White House Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy. I'm a Veteran myself, having served in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Recently we've received a spade of e-mails that expresses concern over the effect of the national health reform effort and its effect on VA health care. I'm here to tell you, quite simply, that if you are eligible for VA health care, you will remain eligible. There is no impact on VA health care. The President's budget expands access to the VA to an additional 500,000 Veterans who were previously denied coverage.
For their service and sacrifice, warm words of thanks from a grateful nation are more than warranted, but they aren't nearly enough. We also owe our Veterans the care they were promised and the benefits that they have earned. We have a sacred trust with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America. It's a commitment that begins at enlistment and it must never end.
We've also received e-mails here at the White House that are concerned that they'll be penalized under the VA health care system for not meeting the individual mandate requirement. This is also not true. The current House legislation exempts those covered under the VA from having to meet that mandate. So Veterans, please be comforted in the fact that your health care will not change under health reform efforts. There is no effect.