As a retired Army Judge Advocate General, I have given legal assistance to hundreds of our veterans who deserve our thanks and support. There are approximately 30,000 veterans in Kootenai County. That number is increasing as we continue combat deployments overseas.
I have made an observation firsthand that many of our veterans have Medicaid as a source of coverage. This coverage ensures that veterans get the primary and specialty care that these patriots have earned. In fact, about 340,000 veterans nationally receive coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion — which the Idaho Legislature has refused veterans and those who need coverage. These efforts in Congress and the Idaho Legislature to cut Medicare jeopardize a critical source of health coverage for veterans. Additionally, not all veterans enrolled in the VA can easily use VA services because of transportation issues in rural areas like Idaho.
This Veterans Day give our veterans a meaningful tribute by demanding that Congress and Idaho legislators make it easier, not harder, for veterans to access the health care they have earned and deserve.
LT. COL. BILL DOUGLAS
U.S. Army JAG, Ret.
Former Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney