NMFA Supports WWP and Others at Annual Senate Committee Hearing
By: MJ Boice, Staff Writer
On March 6, a Joint session of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs heard presentations from nine veteran service organizations, including NMFA partner, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), among others. Representatives from each organization outlined their legislative priorities for 2018, and NMFA was there to support them throughout their testimony.
The testimonies addressed veteran issues, many of which are complex problems NMFA is passionate about finding solutions for, like those our nation’s Medicare-eligible wounded veterans face. These veterans shoulder significant financial burden due to the severity of their injuries, and are often forced to pay high costs for Medicare Part-B insurance, or face losing their TRICARE coverage.
The severity of injuries sustained by medically retired veterans means many aren’t able to maintain employment, and are forced to enroll in Medicare in order to access TRICARE. A military and veteran coalition, led by WWP, sought to have legislation introduced to streamline and improve existing health insurance options for impacted veterans. The Fair Access to Insurance for Retired (FAIR) Heroes Act would give veterans the option of staying with a low-cost TRICARE plan if they can’t afford Medicare Part-B.
An estimated 29,000 impacted veterans would experience financial relief if the FAIR Heroes Act is signed into law.
We also fought along-side WWP to push for legislation that would allow injured veterans and their spouses to access fertility assistance. The success of our partnership resulted some big wins for veteran families, including Veteran’s Affairs (VA) new authority to cover infertility treatment and counseling, which includes in-vitro fertilization, for veterans and spouses who aren’t able to have children due to a service-connected disability. The legislation also allows the VA to help qualifying veterans and spouses with adoption related expenses. This was a major win for NMFA, WWP, and the affected veteran families who will now be able to expand their families if they choose.
NMFA cares deeply for our nation’s veterans and their families, and we were pleased to attend the committee hearing to support our fellow advocate organizations.
“Our military is only as strong as the family foundation behind it,” said NMFA Executive Director Joyce Raezer. “We’re committed to making sure those families, no matter their status, receive every benefit they’ve sacrificed to earn. We are proud to partner with Wounded Warrior Project on this issue and others that impact military families.”
Posted March 13, 2018