Over the past decade, our Nation has been engaged in contingencies all over the world; most notably, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Frequent deployments and training has put a significant strain on our brave men and women in uniform, veterans and their families. As the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs rebalances and works to build efficiencies, we must ensure that we care for those who dedicated their lives to protect our freedom.
Our veterans should have the finest healthcare our nation has to offer. However, well-documented cases reveal that our VA system has failed to provide the level of care our veterans deserve and the American people expect. To help guide the Veteran’s Health Administration into the right direction, I cosponsored H.R. 4810, which passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 426 to 0. If enacted, this measure will allow a veteran to seek medical care at a non-VA facility if the wait time for an appointment exceeds the goal or if they reside more than 40 miles from a VA facility. We need to ensure that those of us in Congress, tasked with the duty of oversight, practice our due diligence and keep our Nation's veteran hospitals in line with the highest standards.
Likewise, the Obama Administration’s attempt to cripple the TRICARE benefit system threatens the health care of our active duty, retirees and their families. As a member on the House Armed Services Committee, I worked with the Chairman Buck McKeon to fight against these attacks, which would unfairly increase enrollment fees and introduce Military Treatment Facility fees.
Additionally, other benefits like decreases in pay and allowances, use of the Commissary, and removal of quality of life programs have also come under fire by the Administration. These programs are critical to the morale and welfare of our troops and help to increase wellness and family readiness.
Brave men and women volunteer to serve in the military because they believe in America and her freedoms. They deserve, and we owe them, the highest level of respect and gratitude. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I am committed to protecting and advocating for our active duty, retirees, veterans, and their families and proud to serve those who have sacrificed so much.
More on Our Veterans
W. COLUMBIA, S.C. – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after attending the change of command at Fort Jackson today:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement in recognition of Memorial Day:
"Today, we remember and honor those who have served this nation to protect and defend the freedoms we cherish. As we reflect on the heroism and devotion of the many brave service men and women who gave their lives in defense of our nation, we must never forget to thank and pray for their families and loved ones. This Memorial Day, let us take the time to show our appreciation for the service and sacrifice of America’s heroes."
As a retiree from the U.S. Army Reserve and the South Carolina Army National Guard with four sons currently serving in the U.S. military, I believe it is a top priority to protect and provide for those who have honorably served to defend America and our citizens at home. I regularly hear from veterans across South Carolina’s Second Congressional District who are struggling with the transition from military to civilian life and need assistance. I also hear from veterans who are discouraged with their job hunt.
While serving you in Washington, I will continue promoting efforts to help and protect America’s veterans. As you may know, mismanagement and negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has caused an inexcusable backlog of disability claims and inadequate care for our nation’s veterans throughout the last few years. Media sources have reported on scandals at VA facilities across the nation, and I have heard from veterans in the Second District about long waits and denial of services.
(West Columbia, SC) – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) today issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 22, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, to permit employers to exclude employees who already have health coverage through a Department of Defense program when determining whether they must provide health care coverage to their employees under Obamacare: