Underwood, Duckworth bill aims to cut health care costs for veterans

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, introduced a bipartisan bill this week to make health care more affordable for veterans.

Under the current law, veterans receiving care through the Department of Veterans Affairs are required to make copayments for preventive prescription medications and services such as immunizations, cancer screenings and contraception, according to a news release.

These services are covered without cost sharing by most private insurance companies because of the Affordable Care Act.

The Veterans Preventive Health Coverage Fairness Act, H.R. 3932, would remove copay requirements for those preventive services and medications recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“It is unconscionable that veterans who have served our country bear financial burdens that military retirees, federal employees and most civilians do not have to worry about,” Underwood said. “These small changes will have a profound impact and could save veterans hundreds of dollars each year in health care costs.”

The members of Congress said they want such preventive measures to be covered in order to avoid more advanced, costly care in the future.

The measure also has support from Republicans Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and Rep. Lee Zeldin.

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