The Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act passed through the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee earlier this year. Under that act, veterans and their families exposed to toxic and contaminated water while stationed or working at Camp Lejeune would receive all necessary health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). What didn’t pass was any plan for how to fund that health care.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced a bill he believes is a step toward finding a fair solution to how to fund the extraordinary amount of health care that will likely be required for the roughly 1 million veterans who moved through Camp Lejeune between the years in which the contamination was present. Burr’s bill is being opposed by the VA, the DoD, and almost everyone else.
First, the bill will require the VA to will provide all necessary health care for those exposed families. The Department of Defense (DoD) would then reimburse the VA for the cost of the provided care. It is expected the health care will cost the DoD $4 billion over the first 10 years alone.
Second, Burr’s bill would require all taxpayer subsidies benefiting base and post grocery stores halted, and at the same time would combine every base store into one large retail system. Additionally, the bill would end some funding for transportation as well as “some base support dollars for exchanges.” The subsidy money would be used to pay for the cost of the VA’s health care.
The result would be groceries no longer being sold at cost on any base exchange. It is very likely the House will not pass this bill as the more people getting involved with it, the more people seem to be rejecting the bill’s funding plan.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.