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Veteran Politcal Issues

Medicaid Expansion Helped Vets

The number of uninsured veterans in the U.S. declined by nearly 40% from 2013 to 2015, but that number could drop even more if more states opt to expand Medicaid, according to a
.

The Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the number of uninsured veterans ages 19-64 dropped from 980,000 in 2013 to 552,000 in 2015, according to a study published Wednesday.

The majority of the coverage gains occurred in states that decided to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Sexual Assault Banned

Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed Senator Barbara Boxer's amendment banning anyone convicted of a felony sexual assault from joining our armed forces. Defense Secretary Robert Gates established the policy
administratively in 2009, but Sen. Boxer’s amendment is an important first step in codifying the ban into law. The National Defense Authorization Act is still being debated in the Senate, but if it passes (as it is expected to in the next few days), the change will be made official and permanent.

Military Rape and Abortion

 
In a historic bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would extend abortion insurance coverage to victims of rape in the military. If the House of Representatives decides to include the measure in its version of the defense bill, military servicewomen who have become pregnant from rape will no longer have to pay out of pocket for an abortion procedure for the first time over 30 years.
Army veteran Ayana Harrell, 34, has been closely watching the progress of the amendment.

An Insult to Disabled Veterans

  Senator John F. Kerry made an impassioned but ultimately futile plea for ratifying a treaty aimed at advancing the rights of the blind and disabled across the globe, urging Congress to do for the world what has already been accomplished in the United States to protect Americans with disabilities.
In the end, Kerry and other supporters fell five votes short of the 66 needed for ratification of the international pact known as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — hailed by advocates as a human rights effort to transform how nations across the world treat those with long-term physical, mental, and intellectual impairments, particularly children who face a future of bleakness because of their disabilities.
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