Sen. Carson calls for ACA protection to ensure veterans’ benefits

Posted: January 19, 2017 | Senator Carson
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Carson, a Vietnam veteran, says thousands who have served depend on the ACA for care

AUGUSTA — Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell, called on Congress — including Maine’s senior senator, Susan Collins — to protect the Affordable Care Act from those who would repeal the law without any plan to maintain the services and protections it provides to millions of Americans, including tens of thousands of Mainers.

At a press conference in the State House Welcome Center, Sen. Carson, a Vietnam veteran, joined Assistant House Majority Leader Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, a veteran who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Cathleen London of Milbridge also spoke about the benefits the ACA has provided to rural patients and medical practices.

The two lawmakers pointed out that many veterans are not covered by the VA health care system, and have received health insurances under the auspices of the ACA. In Maine, more than 74,000 people have obtained health insurance policies through the ACA, and more than half a million people have benefited from patient protections passed as part of the law.

“I know many veterans who have fallen through the cracks of the VA system. And if they don’t have health insurance, they don’t get health care. Period,” Carson said. “They don’t get treated for PTSD, or depression, or any other number of illnesses or life-threatening medical conditions.”

“In a few hours, President-Elect Trump will become President Trump. I’m here to tell him, and to tell Sen. Collins, that coverage matters. The ACA isn’t perfect, but it has provided, and could continue to provide, health care for people who desperately need it. People’s lives are on the line. Health insurance should be a basic human right in this country, not one that can be taken away by overzealous lawmakers in Washington.”