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Rep. Andy Kim. (Photo: New Jersey Globe.)

Veterans’ groups back Kim bill expanding health benefits for service members

By Nikita Biryukov, June 16 2021 12:49 pm

A swath of military support organizations backed a bill expanding health care for veterans sponsored by Rep. Andy Kim (D-Bordentown) Wednesday.

The bill, dubbed the Healthcare for our Troops Act, would provide health care to more than 800,000 service members in the National Guard and various branches’ Reserves.

The groups backing the measure include the National Guard Association of the U.S., The Military Officers Association of America, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S., the Association of the United States Army, the Chief Warrant officers Association of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, the Reserve Organization of America, the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Wounded Warrior Project, VoteVets and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.

“Ensuring that National Guard servicemembers are ready to answer our nation’s call is always of the utmost concern,” said Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States President Command Sgt. Major Karen Craig. “Medical readiness is one of the most critical aspects of ensuring our members are prepared at a moment’s notice and providing healthcare is the key to ensuring this happens.”

The bill would provide premium-free or zero cost sharing coverage under TRICARE Reserve Select and lower barriers to mental health care, among other things.

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