WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed legislation last night to clarify that VA health care programs can meet the minimum coverage standard required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This includes the health care VA provides to children with spina bifida born to veterans of the Vietnam War, to some veterans who served in Korea during specified times, and to children of women Vietnam veterans with certain birth defects. The bill passed the House of Representatives last week, and now awaits the President’s consideration.
“This bill gives the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to ensure that veterans’ family members who receive health care from VA will meet the health insurance reform law’s minimum health care coverage requirement,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), author of the Senate bill.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, individuals must hold a minimum level of health care coverage. The bill passed last night, H.R. 5014, would provide the VA Secretary with the authority to designate VA health care programs as meeting the minimum standard.
The original clarification bill authored by Akaka, S. 3162, was approved in the Senate on March 26. H.R. 5014 is the House companion to Akaka’s bill.
May 19, 2010