WASHINGTON — House lawmakers on Thursday quietly passed a fix regarding veterans status under the proposed new health care bill that Republican supporters hope will silence one part of the opposition to the measure.
The legislation passed by voice vote without opposition. The bill states that veterans who are eligible for medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs but not using those services are eligible for health insurance tax credits under the American Health Care Act.
Republicans billed the measure as nothing more than bookkeeping work.
The Veterans Affairs Department is quickly running out of money in its Choice program account, one of several funding streams VA uses to pay for veterans to receive community health care.
This development with the Choice program is only the latest of a series of pain points for the department and Congress. Yet VA Secretary David Shulkin said it only emphasizes the urgency of redesigning and simplifying the Choice program in the near future.