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White House to vets: VA health care safe from reform

By Ed O'Keefe

In a last-minute effort to calm the nerves of skeptical military veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday night that its health care system would remain untouched by ongoing reform efforts.

"The secretary of veterans affairs would continue to maintain sole authority over the system and for enhancing the quality and access for all eligible veterans," VA Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth wrote on the White House blog Thursday night. The Pentagon's TRICARE program would also continue as normal, she said.

"Those who are covered by TRICARE would meet the shared responsibility requirement for individuals to have insurance, thereby exempting such members of the uniformed services and dependents from being assessed any sort of penalty," Duckworth wrote.

The White House and Congressional Democrats have fought back for months against claims by Republicans -- most notably Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) during his election campaign -- that current health-care legislation would scale back or cut the military health care program. Such claims are a big concern, especially for elderly vets.

In her blog post Duckworth said VA frequently hears from veterans concerned about the fate of the VA health-care system. Indeed The Eye watched her field such questions during an October meeting with older veterans in Virginia.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 19, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Health Care  
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Make the peons accept the government run healthcare but those in the gov't - civilian and military will enjoy the best healthcare in the world.

Who works for who today?

Posted by: wpjunk | March 19, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"safe from reform"?

Isn't reform supposed to be a good thing?

The bureaucrats are caught in their own web of lies.

Posted by: corrections | March 19, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I earned every dam cent of my Tricare benefit. It's called a "thank you from a greatfull nation". Tricare wasn't free it cost me 30 years of my adult life and I have no REGRETS!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | March 19, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The Postal service is asking Congress bout cutting back. If only Congress would do the same.

Posted by: stevyost | March 19, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

My "free" healthcare comes with a price. The Feds take the "free" healthcare payment out of my retirement check each month before I get it even though I was promised no cost healthcare for life if I did 20. I did 20+ and i sure don't see any free in my healthcare. So befoe you make comments about the veteran health you need to get your facts lined up.

Posted by: vette1966 | March 19, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

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