WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – the longest-serving Ohioan on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – today introduced legislation to help improve healthcare for our nation’s veterans. The bill would equip doctors outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system with the training they need to address the unique medical needs of our veterans.
“Our veterans and their families have unique health needs connected to their service to our country,” said Brown. “It’s critical to give all doctors who treat our veterans the training they need to provide the best care possible to our heroes.”
The Community Care Core Competency Act would help the VA offer continuing medical education specific to veterans for doctors outside the VA who treat veterans and their family members. It would help these doctors prepare to care for injuries or illnesses caused by veterans’ service, including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Brown is also working to protect healthcare coverage for veterans and spoke out against the House plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would threaten healthcare for 71,000 Ohio veterans covered by Medicaid. Despite common misconceptions, many veterans and their family members do not qualify for health insurance coverage through the VA, and many of them rely on Medicaid as their only alternative.
- A report released last month by FamiliesUSA finds that Medicaid covers 1.75 million veterans nationally and 71,000 veterans in Ohio.
- According to the Kasich Administration, 25,000 of those Ohio veterans are covered through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, along with 12,000 family members of veterans.
The House repeal bill would eliminate the Medicaid expansion, kicking those 25,000 Ohio veterans and 12,000 family members off of their health insurance. Then the bill would cut an additional $880 billion from traditional Medicaid, threatening coverage for the other 46,000 Ohio vets covered by the program.
For every $1 Ohio spends caring for veterans through Medicaid, on average, 63 cents comes from federal dollars that would be cut by the House bill.