There are about 18 million veterans in the United States right now, and only half of them qualify for healthcare coverage by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The remaining 9 million veterans are ineligible for VA benefits for a wide variety of factors, such as their service time or the degree of their disability or discharge status. These are the veterans being harmed the most by the budget cuts proposed and enacted by Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.
The new budget cuts removed $900 billion from Medicaid programs over the next ten years. With approximately 1.7 million veterans depending on Medicaid for their health care coverage, this slash will be devastating.
Cutting Medicaid shows an indifference to the suffering of the brave people that served the nation.
Trump’s incredible budget cuts took $500 billion from Medicare over the next decade. This amount of money is one that most people are unable to even imagine, and yet the direct impact on millions of lives will be felt across the nation. More than half of U.S. veterans rely on Medicare for their insurance coverage.
A large number of veterans are enrolled in TRICARE for Life, a program that is connected to Medicare, and they may lose coverage under the new budget. The budget cuts are reducing payments to hospitals and medical facilities, which could lead to facilities closing and jobs being lost.
Even qualifying for coverage by the VA can be a long and arduous process. Trying to get maximum veterans benefits often requires the help of an experienced attorney who understands the VA claim procedure.
The VA is infamous for its slow response rate to claims and the difficulties it provides for veterans just seeking to be healthy. With a scandal as recent as 2014, the VA expanded its use of referrals to community care providers in order to meet the needs of veterans across the country.
Cuts to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The Affordable Care Act really frustrates congressional Republicans for some reason, but the data shows that ACA reduced the number of uninsured nonelderly veterans by almost 40% during its first two years. This result will be completely compromised by the cuts to ACA that Trump enacted during his presidency.
The 2020 budget cuts by the Trump administration are an attempt at eradicating this new source of health care insurance for otherwise out-of-luck veterans. This attack on a group of people with some of the highest healthcare needs is an affront to American ideals. And all of these cuts were happening in Washington D.C. as Trump held rallies proclaiming his love of the American people and the members of its military.
Economic Security Programs
A wide variety of economic security programs have been slashed by the 2020 budget cuts. The federal government encourages veterans to use these programs as they transition to civilian life and seek a new job. In 2018, 7% of veterans fell under the federal poverty line. These 1.2 million veterans are just some of the diverse demographics that benefit from programs like SNAP, WIC, and TANF.
Many of these programs provide subsidized food for veterans and their families while they find ways to replace the income they had from military service. By cutting these programs, congressional Republicans are sending a signal that once you leave the military, you are basically on your own.
If You Have Been Targeted by Budget Cuts
Millions of veterans will feel the slap in the face by elected officials as these budget cuts come into effect and continue to reduce the available options for people in need of healthcare or financial aid. More than 9 million veterans may completely lose healthcare coverage if a new budget is not agreed upon by the new members of Congress.
If you have been impacted by these budget cuts by the Trump administration, you may want to consult with a federal aid expert like an attorney that handles VA claims. There may be other options that your family can use to get back on track.