WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-sponsored the bipartisan WWII Veterans Hospital and Medical Eligibility Act to ensure all World War II (WWII) veterans have access to health care services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Current eligibility limits in the law have prevented some WWII veterans from receiving these benefits.
The bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Steve Daines (R-MT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
"The brave American soldiers who served in World War II are the ultimate defenders of freedom," said Senator Tillis. "We owe them our sincerest gratitude, and that includes providing them with the best care possible. By cutting bureaucratic red tape, this legislation gives World War II veterans the respect and benefits they deserve."
“Only 325,574 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are still alive, and as many as 296 pass away every day. However, not all of these veterans are eligible for VA healthcare services. The Veterans Health Care Eligibility Act of 1996 exempted all veterans of the Mexican border period and World War I from the means test required to enter the VA healthcare system. It is time to do the same for our World War II veterans,” said The American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford. “The American Legion is proud to support this legislation and calls for this bill to be swiftly passed before it is too late for the veterans of the Greatest Generation.”
The VA determines a veteran’s eligibility for cost-free health care benefits based on a variety of factors such as military service history, disability rating, and income level. The Veterans Health Care Eligibility Act of 1996 exempted all Spanish American War and World War I veterans from having to meet certain requirements in order to receive VA health care benefits. The WWII Veterans Hospital and Medical Eligibility Act will extend the exemption to include WWII veterans.
Read the full text of the bill here.