Bush Budget Targets VA Copays
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America's Veterans


Feb 25, 2005 - The Bush budget for fiscal 2006 would more than double co-payments for prescriptions provided to certain veterans using medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Affected would be lower-priority, higher income veterans who do not have VA service-related disability ratings for the condition being treated. The budget also would impose a $250 a year "user fee" upon such veterans. The proposals are expected to create a long debate by legislators and impassioned responses by veterans' organizations. For example, American Legion commander Thomas P. Cadmus said, "This is not acceptable. It's nothing more than a health care tax designed to increase revenue at the expense of veterans who served their country." He noted that "Many of these veterans are Medicare-eligible and already paying the federal government for their part A and B coverage, so why should they have to pay an additional enrollment fee?"