Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

Historical Congressional Website

The historical website of former U.S. Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is located herein.

I agree that all materials herein remain the intellectual property of the U.S. House of Representatives and Steve Kagen, M.D., with all rights reserved; and should I use this information in any manner, I shall reference the source of said information as: http://www.CongressmanKagen.com

Furthermore, I understand that Steve Kagen, M.D. is not currently a Member of Congress, nor is he posing to be one.

I Agree - Enter

Kagen Defends Disabled Veterans

Press Release

Media Contact:
Jake Rubin 202.225.5665

KAGEN DEFENDS DISABLED VETERANS

March 18, 2009

Washington, DC — Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is working hard to protect our soldiers before, during and after they serve in harm’s way. Kagen opposes a new proposal that could force veterans to use their private insurance to pay for the treatment of service related conditions. Kagen joined his colleagues on a bipartisan letter led by Congressman Glenn Nye to the President urging him to remove this provision from his proposed budget.

“Disabled veterans may rest assured that I will protect their ongoing VA benefits and will vigorously oppose any attempts by anyone to eliminate their hard won and well deserved medical care,” said Congressman Kagen.

Under current policy, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for paying for the treatment of any injuries or disabilities resulting from a veterans’ service to their country. Veterans, or their private insurers, may currently be responsible for paying for health care costs that are unrelated to their military service.

A new proposal under consideration by the Obama Administration would allow the VA to bill veterans’ private insurance companies for the treatment of service-connected injuries or disabilities. This could lead to an increase in health care premiums for veterans, and may also discourage employers from hiring veterans who have been injured in combat.

The letter states:

“While we strongly support your plans to increase funding for the VA by $25 billion over the next five years, it is with equal conviction that we oppose the proposal to bill veterans’ private health insurance plans for care and treatment of service-connected injuries or disabilities.

We do not give our veterans health care – they earn it – and it would be unacceptable for the VA to ask our veterans to pay for the treatment of injuries received while serving our nation in uniform. That responsibility belongs to the VA, and it would be wrong to outsource the responsibility of covering the care of those veterans to private insurance companies.”

Text of the letter can be found below.

March 17, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President,

We first want to take this opportunity to thank you for the clear commitment your administration’s budget outline makes to our nation’s veterans. The proposed 10 percent increase in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for next fiscal year is truly historic. We believe the 2010 budget will ensure the VA never again faces the chronic under-funding that prevented countless veterans from receiving the health benefits they have earned.

While we strongly support your plans to increase funding for the VA by $25 billion over the next five years, it is with equal conviction that we oppose the proposal to bill veterans’ private health insurance plans for care and treatment of service-connected injuries or disabilities.

We do not give our veterans health care – they earn it – and it would be unacceptable for the VA to ask our veterans to pay for the treatment of injuries received while serving our nation in uniform. That responsibility belongs to the VA, and it would be wrong to outsource the responsibility of covering the care of those veterans to private insurance companies.

Additionally, this proposal could harm our veterans and their families in unintended, yet very serious ways, jeopardizing their families’ health care and even negatively affecting veterans’ employment opportunities. Billing a veteran’s private health insurance for the treatment of service-connected injuries could lead to increased health care premiums, and could potentially discourage employers from hiring veterans.

We know you are committed to expanding employment opportunities for veterans. Already this year, your administration and Congress have worked to create countless jobs for veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but this proposal would undermine our efforts.

We urge you to take this proposal off the table, and let us instead focus on ensuring that our veterans receive the full care and benefits they have earned. The moral obligation our nation has to our veterans demands nothing less. We are happy to discuss these issues with you further as we move toward a final budget for the VA.

We would like to thank you again for your commitment to improving care for the men and women who have borne the battle, and who have sacrificed their health and well-being in serving their country. Thank you for your service to our nation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.