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Rep. Young Kim Honors Veterans

May 8, 2024 | Press Releases, Veterans

Washington, DC – As first reported by Spectrum News, today, U.S. Representatives Young Kim (CA-40), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06), and Jill Tokuda (HI-02) introduced the Combat Veterans Pre-Enrollment Act, a bipartisan bill to allow service members to pre-enroll in Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) patient enrollment.

Currently, members of the armed forces cannot apply for VA health care after they are discharged from the military until they receive their official separation documents. The Combat Veterans Pre-Enrollment Act would:

  • Create a three-year pilot program allowing eligible members to opt-in to VA health care during the 180-day period before their date of separation; and,
  • Require the VA to report to Congress annually on the program and pre-enrolled members.

“Our brave service members should not have to worry whether they and their families can receive VA health care benefits as they transition to civilian life. The Combat Veterans Pre-Enrollment Act addresses any lapse in care and gives our armed forces certainty they deserve,” said Congresswoman Kim. “As a wife and sister to U.S. Army veterans, supporting those who served in our nation’s uniform and their families is personal to me. I thank Reps. Carbajal, Ciscomani, and Tokuda for joining me in this commonsense effort, and I’ll always have the backs our brave military veterans who had ours.”

“We should be making the transition from servicemember to civilian as smooth as possible for our veterans, and part of that is ensuring they get access to the high quality health care their service has earned them as soon as they separate. Reducing this limbo period and eliminating any lapse in medical coverage will prevent veterans with service injuries from falling through the cracks, and I am proud to partner with Rep. Kim on this commonsense bill which will help thousands of California veterans and other military families across the U.S.,” said Congressman Carbajal.

“I often hear from our veterans of the difficulties they face in the transition to civilian life and we must take every action possible to ensure none of these service members fall through the cracks or miss out on the benefits they have earned. Currently, when members of the military leave their service, they are not eligible to receive certain veterans benefits until they receive their official separation documents, which can result in months-long gaps in coverage. This is unacceptable – our duty to care for our veterans starts the day they take off their uniform. I am pleased to joined Rep. Kim on this meaningful legislation to better serve our veteran population, from day one and beyond,” said Congressman Ciscomani.

“Coming from a family of veterans, taking care of our servicemembers is deeply personal. While we can never fully repay them and their families for their countless sacrifices, we must ensure they can get timely access to the health care and mental health services they deserve and are owed,” said Congresswoman Tokuda. “That’s why I am proud to join Rep. Young Kim in introducing this bill, which will help servicemembers across the country gain early access to veterans benefits as they transition to civilian life.”

The Combat Veterans Pre-Enrollment Act is endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and Wounded Warrior Project.

Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).

Read the bill HERE.

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