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house Bill H.R. 2372

Should Veterans be Eligible for Premium Assistance Tax Credits If They’re Not Enrolled in VA Healthcare?

Argument in favor

In light of the issues at the VA, veterans should be able to get healthcare from other sources and be eligible for tax credits if they’d rather buy private insurance.

Orlie's Opinion
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06/15/2017
It is incumbent upon us to to take care of our veterans. It is the least we can do for those who give the most.
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Brian's Opinion
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06/15/2017
To those that say we should just fix the VA? What if I'm already paying money for my health insurance through work? If I rate VA healthcare but don't use it because my work coverage that I'm basically forced to pay for is so much better, why not reimburse me for the benefits I'm not using?
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Loraki's Opinion
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08/11/2017
H.R.2372 - VETERAN Act 06/15/2017 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by voice vote. Veterans Equal Treatment Ensures Relief and Access Now Act or the VETERAN Act (Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to specify that, for the purpose of determining eligibility for the premium assistance tax credit, an individual may not be treated as eligible for coverage under certain Department of Veterans Affairs health insurance programs unless the individual is enrolled in the program. The bill applies to the premium assistance credit under current law for tax years ending after 2013 and, if the American Health Care Act of 2017 is enacted, the modified premium assistance credit that would take effect under that bill after 2019. (Under current law, the premium assistance tax credit is a refundable tax credit provided to eligible individuals and families to subsidize the purchase of health insurance plans through an exchange established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Individuals eligible for minimum essential health coverage from certain sources other than the individual insurance market are not eligible for the credit.) Sponsor: Rep. Johnson, Sam [R-TX-3] Cosponsors: Rep. Roe, David P. [R-TN-1]* Rep. Knight, Stephen [R-CA-25]* Rep. Lamborn, Doug [R-CO-5]* Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6]* Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12]* Rep. Noem, Kristi L. [R-SD-At Large]* Rep. Paulsen, Erik [R-MN-3]* Rep. Marchant, Kenny [R-TX-24]* Rep. Bishop, Mike [R-MI-8]* Rep. Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS-2]* Rep. Gibbs, Bob [R-OH-7] Rep. Babin, Brian [R-TX-36] Rep. Posey, Bill [R-FL-8] Rep. Rooney, Francis [R-FL-19] Rep. Faso, John J. [R-NY-19] Rep. Woodall, Rob [R-GA-7] Rep. Sessions, Pete [R-TX-32] Rep. Donovan, Daniel M., Jr. [R-NY-11] Rep. Kelly, Mike [R-PA-3] Rep. McCaul, Michael T. [R-TX-10] Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2] Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15] Rep. Pearce, Stevan [R-NM-2] Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26] Rep. Burgess, Michael C. [R-TX-26] Rep. Flores, Bill [R-TX-17] Rep. Walorski, Jackie [R-IN-2] Rep. Nunes, Devin [R-CA-22] Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5] Rep. Westerman, Bruce [R-AR-4] Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6] Rep. Allen, Rick W. [R-GA-12] Rep. Wittman, Robert J. [R-VA-1] Rep. Issa, Darrell E. [R-CA-49] Rep. Denham, Jeff [R-CA-10] Rep. Renacci, James B. [R-OH-16] Rep. Bost, Mike [R-IL-12] Rep. Bergman, Jack [R-MI-1]
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Argument opposed

A technical fix to the American Health Care Act isn’t a good enough solution for improving care and coverage for America’s veterans.

Jlshannon's Opinion
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06/14/2017
First, stop with these counterproductive stopgap measures. Really focus on fixing the VA as part of our promise to those who risk their lives to protect our country and fight our wars, as well as a host of other duties here and around the world. Stop using them as playthings and political props. Second, drop this obscene abomination called the AHCA, since its only real purpose is to create a foundation for greater tax cuts for the already wealthy (with a snide swipe at the Obama presidency thrown in for good measure -- there are no actual health care or coverage benefits foreseen in the House travesty or what we've 'accidentally' seen from the Senate's secretive plotting). Third, work across the aisle, with health care experts, doctors, patients, civil society groups and others here and internationally to fix what's wrong with the already existing ACA. Fourth, stop trying to sabotage the ACA while all this goes on. You're actually playing with people's lives!
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Paul's Opinion
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06/15/2017
This measure feels like putting a bandaid on an ax wound. Instead of patching up the veteran healthcare, we should fix the VA system (and healthcare in general) outright.
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wicked-italian's Opinion
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06/13/2017
Good idea in theory, but scratch the surface and you'll find this bill masquerades as beneficial to veterans while failing to address underlying flaws in the Republican health care bill that harm veterans and thousands of others through loss of coverage and higher costs.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 15th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMay 4th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2372?

This bill would allow veterans who are eligible for medical services through the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) but aren’t enrolled to receive premium assistance tax credits. It would codify the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) current policy into law, and would also apply to the modified premium assistance tax credit under the American Health Care Act after 2019 (if it’s enacted).

Impact

Veterans who choose not to enroll in VA healthcare and buy private insurance instead; and the IRS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2372

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have no effect on spending or revenues, but that could change if the American Health Care Act is enacted.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced this bill to ensure that veterans who choose not to enroll in VA healthcare are eligible to receive premium assistance tax credits for private insurance:

“Our veterans have put their lives on the line to defend freedom and our individual liberties, and they are promised affordable access to access to health care through the VA when they return home. However, some veterans choose to forgo this health care option. That’s where my VETERAN Act comes into play. This bill would provide veterans the certainty that they will continue to have access to health care if they decide the VA isn’t the best fit for their health care needs.”

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee opposed this legislation, which had been included in initial drafts of the American Health Care Act but were removed in order to comply with the Senate’s Byrd Rule. In the bill’s committee report they said it “masquerades as help for veterans, but fails to address underlying flaws in the Republican health care bill that harm veterans” through loss of coverage and higher costs.

This legislation passed the Ways and Means Committee on a party-line 23-15 vote, and has the support of 38 Republican cosponsors in the House.

 

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army via Flickr / Public Domain)

AKA

VETERAN Act

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify the rules relating to veteran health insurance and eligibility for the premium tax credit.

    It is incumbent upon us to to take care of our veterans. It is the least we can do for those who give the most.
    Like (33)
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    First, stop with these counterproductive stopgap measures. Really focus on fixing the VA as part of our promise to those who risk their lives to protect our country and fight our wars, as well as a host of other duties here and around the world. Stop using them as playthings and political props. Second, drop this obscene abomination called the AHCA, since its only real purpose is to create a foundation for greater tax cuts for the already wealthy (with a snide swipe at the Obama presidency thrown in for good measure -- there are no actual health care or coverage benefits foreseen in the House travesty or what we've 'accidentally' seen from the Senate's secretive plotting). Third, work across the aisle, with health care experts, doctors, patients, civil society groups and others here and internationally to fix what's wrong with the already existing ACA. Fourth, stop trying to sabotage the ACA while all this goes on. You're actually playing with people's lives!
    Like (87)
    Follow
    Share
    This measure feels like putting a bandaid on an ax wound. Instead of patching up the veteran healthcare, we should fix the VA system (and healthcare in general) outright.
    Like (58)
    Follow
    Share
    Good idea in theory, but scratch the surface and you'll find this bill masquerades as beneficial to veterans while failing to address underlying flaws in the Republican health care bill that harm veterans and thousands of others through loss of coverage and higher costs.
    Like (31)
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    Share
    The ACHA hasn't passed, and if our "Representatives" do their jobs and actually represent their constituents? It won't pass. This seems to be a sneaky way to start putting AHCA regulations into place. Big waste of taxpayers money for them to even be considering this
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    To those that say we should just fix the VA? What if I'm already paying money for my health insurance through work? If I rate VA healthcare but don't use it because my work coverage that I'm basically forced to pay for is so much better, why not reimburse me for the benefits I'm not using?
    Like (18)
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    This bill is a smoke screen to cover up the hateful aspects of the AHCA as passed by the House. Fixing this tiny aspect of this very complex issue is just an attempt to hide the other terrible things that will happen if the AHCA is passed by the Senate in its current form.
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    The US government has an obligation to US military and civilian service veterans. Instead of providing a loophole for veterans to get screwed further, the federal government should pass a single-payer universal healthcare system that would provide greater assistance to veterans and their dependents. My father served in the military for 33 years in the Army and National Guard, after legally immigrating from Colombia at the age of 10. Ever since he was 18, he's dedicated his life to this nation and its citizens. He retired this January, 2017. The Trump freeze on federal employees prevented him from earning a position to give back to military personnel on a federal position. He wasn't a general or a politician. He was a hard worker who deserves what he has given to this nation. The NJ pension system also screwed him out of a liveable pension. He was denied unemployment benefits. Thankfully, he has a decent private job, but it's not any form of return for what he has given to this nation. Wake up, America. The Establishment of both parties like to tell you they support veterans, but all they do is cut their benefits and create insufferable loopholes. The madness must end.
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    While I believe veterans should receive the best healthcare I also believe ALL Americans should receive the best healthcare. Do not pass the the AHCA!!! Improve the ACA or better yet, institute a single payer system similar to all great nations in the world!
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    Veterans should receive as much help as possible. How many of us are there???
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    H.R.2372 - VETERAN Act 06/15/2017 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by voice vote. Veterans Equal Treatment Ensures Relief and Access Now Act or the VETERAN Act (Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to specify that, for the purpose of determining eligibility for the premium assistance tax credit, an individual may not be treated as eligible for coverage under certain Department of Veterans Affairs health insurance programs unless the individual is enrolled in the program. The bill applies to the premium assistance credit under current law for tax years ending after 2013 and, if the American Health Care Act of 2017 is enacted, the modified premium assistance credit that would take effect under that bill after 2019. (Under current law, the premium assistance tax credit is a refundable tax credit provided to eligible individuals and families to subsidize the purchase of health insurance plans through an exchange established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Individuals eligible for minimum essential health coverage from certain sources other than the individual insurance market are not eligible for the credit.) Sponsor: Rep. Johnson, Sam [R-TX-3] Cosponsors: Rep. Roe, David P. [R-TN-1]* Rep. Knight, Stephen [R-CA-25]* Rep. Lamborn, Doug [R-CO-5]* Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6]* Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12]* Rep. Noem, Kristi L. [R-SD-At Large]* Rep. Paulsen, Erik [R-MN-3]* Rep. Marchant, Kenny [R-TX-24]* Rep. Bishop, Mike [R-MI-8]* Rep. Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS-2]* Rep. Gibbs, Bob [R-OH-7] Rep. Babin, Brian [R-TX-36] Rep. Posey, Bill [R-FL-8] Rep. Rooney, Francis [R-FL-19] Rep. Faso, John J. [R-NY-19] Rep. Woodall, Rob [R-GA-7] Rep. Sessions, Pete [R-TX-32] Rep. Donovan, Daniel M., Jr. [R-NY-11] Rep. Kelly, Mike [R-PA-3] Rep. McCaul, Michael T. [R-TX-10] Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2] Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15] Rep. Pearce, Stevan [R-NM-2] Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26] Rep. Burgess, Michael C. [R-TX-26] Rep. Flores, Bill [R-TX-17] Rep. Walorski, Jackie [R-IN-2] Rep. Nunes, Devin [R-CA-22] Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5] Rep. Westerman, Bruce [R-AR-4] Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6] Rep. Allen, Rick W. [R-GA-12] Rep. Wittman, Robert J. [R-VA-1] Rep. Issa, Darrell E. [R-CA-49] Rep. Denham, Jeff [R-CA-10] Rep. Renacci, James B. [R-OH-16] Rep. Bost, Mike [R-IL-12] Rep. Bergman, Jack [R-MI-1]
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    We already provide tax credits to veterans for buying health insurance. This is just a way for Republicans to cover up the mess they've made as they try to pass the AHCA. How about they just don't pass the AHCA and risk the healthcare coverage for millions of Americans? In addition to that, they should adequately fund the VA so that veterans are guaranteed to get the quality care that they deserve when they go there.
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    Veterans are out most valuable asset. Time to start treating them as such!!!!
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    Seems as though this isn't a fix to the VA. Kind of a sneaky way of destroying the ACA.
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    The IRS already gives these credits to veterns. This bill does nothing except try to make the disastrous Trumpcare more palatable.
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    Veteran's put their lives on the line for a minimum of four years to protect and defend this nation. Regardless of the consequences they face while serving (i.e. combat, wartime, physical or mental injury) they sacrifice for years for our country. The nation owes them a debt of gratitude and this is one way to begin paying off that debt.
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    The AHCA is a horrible attempt. And it is an "if". If we want to help our Vets tie this to an already approved program, an actual working program. This is just smoke and mirrors.
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    Sure BUT fix the VA and this wouldn't be an issue... shame on all of us for not keeping the promises made to veterans
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    Fix the VA, don't avoid the central problem
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    My husband is a veteran, but this is "feel good" bill which does absolutely nothing to improve the lives of veterans and their families. It makes for good press on a bid for reelection, bragging rights, that's what the GOP is after with this one.
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