Clarity on health-care reform

Clarity on health-care reform

Join the discussion in The American Legion Web site forums section.

Appearing on FOX News' "FOX and Friends" this morning, American Legion Executive Director Peter Gaytan answered questions concerning how the recently passed health-care reform will impact Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs health-care delivery to veterans.

The questions were submitted to "FOX and Friends" host Brian Kilmeade, who turned them over to Gaytan, executive director of the Legion's Washington office. The first came from a retired female veteran who was concerned whether or not TRICARE would be affected by the new legislation.

"She can rest assured that her TRICARE benefits are secure under the law signed by President Obama yesterday," Gaytan said. "The American Legion was a vocal advocate in ensuring TRICARE benefits are safe under the new law. She's safe. TRICARE beneficiaries will receive their TRICARE benefits under this new law."

The second question came from a 55-year-old female veteran who uses VA for all of her medical needs and was concerned about the impact on those benefits. Gaytan said there was no need for concern.

"Let me reassure her that her VA health care is not in any way negatively affected by the new law," he said. "The benefits she's earned through her service to this country will still be recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Under this new health-care reform bill ... She can still access the health care, the quality delivery of health care, through the Department of Veterans Affairs that she's earned through her service."

Kilmeade asked Gaytan if there was anything else veterans needed to know about the new law. "The president, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs have assured The American Legion that those earned health-care benefits our American servicemembers gained through their service and through their sacrifice to our country will not in any way be negatively affected by the final bill that comes out," Gaytan said. "While there's a need to focus on health-care reform for us as a nation overall, The American Legion focus is to make American servicemembers who have served, are serving or will serve, that their earned benefits to access to quality health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs is secure now and into the future. The American Legion will continue to do that."

Join the debate in The American Legion Web site forums section.

More in Veterans Benefits Center

 

etratliff

March 8, 2013 - 10:32am

I have no comments, the only information I am seeking is supplemental insurance for my wife and I.

etratliff

March 8, 2013 - 10:30am

Want information on medical insurance

millermax10

April 26, 2010 - 8:09pm

I wonder how this will affect my >South Carolina Medicare rates. I am glad to know that veterans' benefits won't be negatively affected in any way.

ABaadskpr

March 25, 2010 - 7:18pm

Funny thing there is no provision for care givers. The twenty-one Neuromuscular diseases require total care. These patients are usually dependents of veterans or active duty persons. When it comes to a choice of the job or taking care of the family member who will be legally financially ruined by the state for fully assisted care. What protection has been passed to stop these property seizures?

Linda and Walter

March 25, 2010 - 9:11am

On the news there was a statement that ChampVA was omitted from the bill. Will I lose my ChampVA benefits?

cop-in-charge

March 26, 2010 - 1:12pm

This issue was raised in both the House and Senate floor debates. In both chambers, Members of Congress unanimously responded "we will take care of our veterans and their families currently enrolled in the VA health care delivery system." Few people know that there are many family members who quality for VA medical care, but VA Secretary Shinseki has promised to make sure all VA patients will continue to receive timely access to quality health care.

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pvmon

March 24, 2010 - 4:59pm

SIR. I WATCHED YOUR RESPONSE ON FOX NEWS YESTERDAY AND TODAY I WAS WATCHING CSPAN (SENATE DEBATES) AND WHEN SEN. MCCAIN ZEROED IN ON THAT PORTION OF THE BILL WHICH REQUIRED A 21 PERCENT REDUCTION ON PHYSICIAN REIMBURSMENT FROM MEDICARE WE CAN ALL EXPECT DOCTORS TO REFUSE TO SEE MEDICARE PATIENTS (AS MANY ALREADY DO) AND SUBSEQUENTLY, TRICARE PATIENTS WILL ALSO BE LEFT SEARCHING FOR A DOCTOR. AS AN EARLIER POST NOTED, THE TWO ARE INTERTWINED. PLS PASS THIS INFO TO SEN. MCCAIN. COMMENT POSTED BY PHIL MONROY, 2pm Pacific, 24 Mar 2010

cop-in-charge

March 26, 2010 - 1:20pm

Whether a doctor participates in Medicare is his or her choice. TRICARE is contracted health care services; however, each doctor determines whether to participate in TRICARE. Ironically, my family doctor accepts TRICARE patients, but not new Medicare patients. Clearly, there is a link between Medicare reimbursement rates and TRICARE's reimbursement rates. TRICARE for Life is another DoD program that available to Medicare-eligible military retirees and their immediate family members who are enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. In this case, DoD serves as the Medicare supplemental insurer. Medicare reimburses about 65-70 percent of the actual cost of care.

richfo

March 24, 2010 - 3:37pm

I am a Vietnam era veteran, served in Germany over 3 years. Honorably discharged w/many accolades. I was enrolled in the VA Health care system from 1972 thru 1984. Then I got married and was the dependant on my wife's employer's insurance. Now, that insurance is ending and since she and I both earn over 35k annually I am in priority group 8 and not qualified for ANYTHING. I'm willing to pay the maximum, but I've been denied coverage. THIS IS NOT FAIR. Any help available will be appreciated, but my local chapter, Post #1, is not able to help.

cop-in-charge

March 26, 2010 - 1:27pm

Don't give up. President Obama wants to enroll over 500,000 new Priority Group 8 veterans over a four year timeframe. In both of his budget request to Congress, he requested additional funding to allow those veterans previously turned away in 2003, to enroll. Eligibility is based on the HUD geographical index (zip codes), so the income level is determined by where you live. I would encourage you to check again, you may now be eligible to enroll. Enrollment began in 1996 with the enactment of eligibility reform which reopened the VA system to all veterans. Prior to 1996, veterans were placed in three categories A (service-connected disabled), B (economically indigent), and C (all other veterans). Primarily on categories A and B had timely access.

glh1949

March 24, 2010 - 3:28pm

I am a 61 yo retired Army. In the original Senate bill there was an increase in the cost for us on tri care. There was also a rise in the yearly dedutable. Did this carry over to the 2nd senate bill which passed? Also there was a conresswoman who said that tricare was being taken away from the military. Is this true?

cop-in-charge

March 26, 2010 - 1:33pm

Unfortunately, I think you fail victim to a bogus email that was going around on the Internet based on a 2008 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report which was grossly taken out of context. The CBO report addressed 115 possible health care options for the entire health care industry, both private and public health care. Somebody crafted an email that warned military retirees of adverse actions impacting TRICARE, TRICARE for Life and VA medical care. It claimed CBO drafted legislation. Not only does CBO not draft legislation, but CBO does not even make legislative recommendations. It was simply a report. Sadly, somebody did a grave disservice to his or her fellow veterans and their families. The national health care reform issue is difficult enough without having to deal with lies.

seniorchiefarnold

March 24, 2010 - 11:23am

Be Thankful. I am a 30 year Veteran living in Thailand. I send FMP my service related medical bills they come up with every reason in the book not to pay. They love to say the medications are not FDA USA approved claim denied. The hospitals here issues FDA Thailand medications and will not list if they are FDA USA approved. It is crazy to ask a Veteran lying in the Emergency room to wait for treatment until you can e-mail it to FMP to see if the medications are FDA USA approved. Resently the DVA sent me by way of the American Embassy to a local hospital for an evaluation then the FMP refused to pay part of the bill stating "The drugs...are not approved for your service connected condition" If they can't get me with the line 1. not FDA approved they use the 2. not approved for your service condition. When a Vet is in the emergency room the last thing they should worry about is if the FMP is going to reject the bill. Vets should be paid and the Hospital put on notice for item #2 above.

gbpkrs

March 24, 2010 - 10:38am

My situation is very much like the second story in Mr. Gaytan's interview, 100% VA Total & Permanent, so healthcare is covered fully by the VA. I feel I should not be affected by this new law as far as being forced to buy health insurance I do not need - and the IRS fines or jail for not doing so. Has this been addressed in the new law or will the IRS force me to get something I already have? Does an American Legion representive or anyone else know?

cop-in-charge

March 26, 2010 - 1:41pm

The national health care reform debate is primarily about "coverage" rather than "access to health care." Both DoD and VA health systems provide timely access to quality health care; therefore, a totally different issue. DoD health system falls until Title 10, United States Code (USC), while VA health system falls under Title 38, USC. Both of these system are exempt from any requirements for private or public health insurance, as both systems provide health care to those who have served this nation in the Armed Forces and their eligible beneficiaries. Both Defense Secretary Gates and VA Secretary Shinseki have publicly stated that both health care system will not change based on this new Federal statute. President Obama has repeatedly reaffirmed that to veterans' and military service organization in face-to-face meetings.

davidnaab

March 24, 2010 - 10:30am

Medicare and Tricare for Life are intertwined in that the latter will not pay for anything not authrized by the former. In view of the 5 Billion Dollar cuts to Medicare contained in this new program, only an idiot would assume that Tricare for Life will not be affected.

cop-in-charge

March 26, 2010 - 1:49pm

DoD provides Medicare-eligible military retirees and their eligible family members to participate in TRICARE for Life provided they are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. This means DoD is their supplemental health insurance provider. That means DoD will cover allowable charges not paid by Medicare. Traditionally, Medicare pays about 65-70 percent of the actual charge and DoD covers the difference. TRICARE for Life relieves Medicare-eligible military beneficiaries from having to purchasing Medicare supplemental coverage from a private insurance provider. Congress plans to recoup saving primarily from reductions in fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare billing errors, not reduction in allowable services or reimbursement rates.

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