Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Decries Health Care Reform “Scare Tactics”


Despite the media spin and scare tactics of opponents of health care reform as reported in previous articles on VT, Sec Def Gates Knocks Down Fox/VFW Report on Tricare, AND American Legion Says Health Care Reform Won’t Harm VA, DoD

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has joined in chorus with the American Legion, Pentagon officials, and Congressional Veterans Affairs Committees to reassure Veterans, our troops, and military retirees that health care reform will have no impact on Veterans benefits or TRICARE the health care plan covering active duty and military retirees.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Applauds Passage of Skelton Bill Ensuring Protection of TRICARE, VA health care, and CHAMPUS; Decries “Scare Tactics”

“We thank and applaud passage of H.R. 4887 yesterday in the House of Representative, by a vote of 403-0. Passage of this bill ensures that health care programs for veterans, active duty military, retired military, and their families/survivors will not be affected negatively by the pending health care reform legislation.” said John Rowan , National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).  .

“It is unfortunate that some continue to raise what is now even more clearly a false alarm that is apparently meant to frighten veterans and their families in order to prompt them to oppose the pending legislation. While there is legitimate debate as to whether or not the pending health care measures should become law, VVA does not appreciate spreading rumors that are not accurate by any political partisan from any point of the political spectrum.” continued Rowan

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“Last summer there was a similar incident, also involving partisans in the health care reform debate that VVA soundly condemned. We said then: “It is our hope that sane minds reject fear-mongering, and that veterans recognize these scare tactics for what they are.”

Rowan concluded by saying: “VVA has always worked hard for justice for veterans of all generations, and their families. We have always, and will continue to, work with public officials representing all political parties and points of view. Issues affecting veterans and their families are not, should not, and must not become partisan footballs to bat around. VVA decries any effort, by anyone, that would do just that.”

John Rowan was elected National President of Vietnam Veterans of America at VVA’s Twelfth National Convention in Reno, Nevada, in August 2005.

John enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1965, two years after graduating from high school in Queens, New York. He went to language school, where he learned Indonesian and Vietnamese. He served with the Air Force’s 6990 Security Squadron in Vietnam and at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa providing the Strategic Air Command with intelligence on North Vietnam’s SAM sites.

After his honorable discharge from the Air Force, John began college in 1969. He received a BA in political science from Queens College and a Masters degree in urban affairs at Hunter College. Following his graduation from Queens College, John worked in the district office of U.S. Rep. Ben Rosenthal of New York for two years. He then worked as an investigator for the New York City Council and recently retired from his job as an investigator with the New York City Comptroller’s office. Prior to his election as Vietnam Veterans of America’s National President, John served as a VVA veterans’ service representative in New York City.

John has been one of the most active and an influential member of Vietnam Veterans of America since the organization was founded in 1978. He was a founding member and the first president of VVA Chapter 32 in Queens, New York. He served as the chairman of VVA’s Conference of State Council Presidents, for three terms on the national Board of Directors, and as president of VVA’s New York State Council.

He lives in Middle Village, New York, with his wife, Mariann.

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