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Obama Backs Off on Vet Insurance
Thursday, 19 March 2009

March 19-- Twelfth Distriict Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) was part of a successful bipartisan effort this week to fight a new proposal that could force veterans to use their private insurance to pay for the treatment of combat-related injuries. 

On Wednesday, a letter signed by Barrow and over sixty members of Congress from both parties was sent to President Obama strongly opposing a new proposal under consideration by the Obama administration to allow the VA to bill veterans’ private insurance companies for the treatment of service-connected injuries or disabilities.  This could lead to an increase in health care premiums for veterans, and may also discourage employers from hiring veterans who have been injured in combat.  The administration announced yesterday that it would not move forward with the proposal.

“President Obama was right to take back this suggestion, and I’m glad he did,” said Barrow. “His record of support for our veterans and military families is strong, and this proposal just didn't reflect that. I support the President, but I’ll never shy away from speaking up whenever I think he’s on the wrong track – especially when it comes to the men and women who serve our nation in the armed services.”

Under current policy, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for paying for the treatment of any injuries or disabilities resulting from a veterans’ service to their country. Veterans, or their private insurers, are currently responsible for paying for health care costs that are unrelated to their military service.

The letter applauds the Obama Administration’s efforts to increase funding for the VA and its plans to expand employment opportunities for veterans:

“We know you are committed to expanding employment opportunities for veterans. Already this year, your administration and Congress have worked to create countless jobs for veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but this proposal would undermine our efforts.”


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