U.S Representative Beto O’Rourke issued the following statement regarding the Vet Connect Act and his upcoming El Paso-are town hall:
Great news for veterans as the bipartisan Vet Connect Act that I authored was included as part of the Veterans Choice Program extension legislation. It has passed the Senate, the House and is now on its way to the President’s desk for signature into law.
This bill will make it easier to share a veteran’s medical record with their community doctor, improving overall care and reducing red tape. Click play on the video above to learn more.
The only ones who are really paying for the wars we wage today are the service members who fight them and their families (fewer than 1% of the people in this county). For the rest of us — we’ve put the expense on the national credit card to be paid by future generations.
Harvard’s Linda Bilmes found that over the next 40 to 50 years, the costs related to health care and disability compensation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be nearly a trillion dollars. Further, peak costs occur decades after the end of the conflict. For example, the peak costs for World War I veterans was in 1969; the largest expenditures for World War II veterans were in the late 1980s; and costs for Vietnam and first Gulf War veterans are still climbing.
We are failing to account for the true cost of war and in turn failing to ensure the necessary resources are available to care for our nation’s veterans.
That is why I recently introduced the bipartisan Veterans Health Care Trust Fund Act which will require everyone in this country to participate in paying for the full cost of our wars — most importantly, taking care of our veterans — as we wage them. Those not required to pay into the trust fund are those who have already paid far more in service to our country — our service members and veterans.
Taking steps to address these costs now ensures that Congress fully accounts for these costs when considering the use of military force and that our nation is better postured to address the long-term and unforeseen health care needs of its veterans.
You can read the bill here: https://goo.gl/fzGxT5
We all want greater accountability, transparency and responsiveness from our government. Town hall meetings are my effort to deliver that as directly as possible. Join me on Thursday, April 13th at the College, Career and Technology Academy, Building A Theater (2851 Grant Avenue, El Paso, Texas 79930) at 4:00 p.m. for my next town hall meeting.