Clarity on health-care reform

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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."

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