Sen. Russ Feingold: Health care reform ensures veterans NOT taxed for prosthetic limbs and medical devices

Russ Feingold

By Sen. Russ Feingold in the Peshtigo Times

Country Cousin’s column wrongly said that under the new health care law, veterans will be taxed for the purchase of prosthetic limbs and other medical devices. This is not true and it is the latest falsehood being spread by opponents of health reform. In fact, veterans will not be taxed. Veterans and military personnel who were wounded serving their country don’t pay for the prosthetic devices they receive from the VA or through TRICARE and that is not going to change.

“The health reform law requires medical device manufacturers to help pay for the costs of expanding coverage – this is only fair since those manufacturers will see a significant boost in business as a result of the many people who will now have health insurance. The amendment that Country Cousin mentions pretended to protect veterans from a mythical tax, while at the same time it included other provisions that would have increased insurance premiums and clashed coverage.

“VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, a retired four-star general, recently said, ‘Let me be unambiguous: The healthcare that Veterans receive through the VA system, including dependents of certain veterans enrolled in the CHAMPVA program, will be safe and sound under health reform,’’ Sen. Feingold’s letter continued.

He concluded, “Throughout my career, I have been a staunch advocate for our nation’s veterans. I have worked to establish new Vets Centers to help Wisconsin veterans transition back to civilian life, improve outreach efforts to vets so they are aware of benefits to which they are entitled and ensure funding for the VA is provided on a timely basis. And I was honored to be recognized recently by the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers as their ‘Legislator of the Year.’ I will continue to do all I can on behalf of Wisconsin veterans.”

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