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Chairman Roe Supports the VETERAN Act

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Today, Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) spoke on the House floor in support of the VETERAN Act.

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery

Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2372, the Veterans Equal Treatment Ensures Relief and Access Now - or, VETERAN - Act, which I am proud to sponsor along with Congressman Sam Johnson from Texas and a number of our colleagues.

The VETERAN Act would codify an existing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation allowing a veteran who is eligible for but not enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system to use a tax credit to purchase health insurance.

Language that would have codified that regulation into law was removed from a draft version of the American Health Care Act of 2017 earlier this year to comply with Senate rules.

While the removal of that language from the version of the bill that ultimately passed the House in no way changed the existing regulation - or a veteran’s eligibility to receive a tax credit pursuant to it - it did form the basis for politically-charged assertions that the American Health Care Act would harm veterans.

Fear-mongering should have no place in debates where our veterans are concerned.

I am disturbed that this erroneous talking point has continued to be pushed by some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

First, Congressional intent is clear.

Second, I am confident that the IRS would interpret the relevant language in the American Health Care Act in the same manner as it did similar language in Affordable Care Act under the Obama Administration.

Nevertheless, I am glad that the passage of the VETERAN Act today will once-and-for-all put an end to political posturing over this issue and codify Congress’ expectation that veterans who are eligible for but not enrolled in the VA healthcare system may continue to receive applicable tax credits to purchase health insurance.

I urge my colleagues to support the passage of the VETERAN Act today and yield back the balance of my time. 

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