Earlier this week during an interview with Esquire, the SEAL who killed Osama Bin Laden discussed what happened following his retirement from the Navy:
"I left SEALs on Friday. My health care for me and my family stopped at midnight Friday night. I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield. They said no. You're out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your sixteen years."
The shooter, not even two years removed from the Bin Laden operation, still struggles to receive support from the U.S. government.
"Anyone who leaves early also gets no pension, so he is without income.”
This isn't a rare occurrence. In fact, most veteran's wait more than eight months for disability claims to be processed. A troubling graph from the Center for Investigative Reporting highlights tens of thousands of veteran's still waiting for support.
Obama's administration has come under fire recently for failing to acknowledge sniper Chris Kyle's passing, as well as increasing military premiums; add this one to the growing list of concerns.
The Affordable Care Act is being heavily criticized for the impact it will have on spending and employment, but there hasn't been a lot of focus on the current state of Veterans Affairs. If this government-run program continues to fail the soldiers who depend on it, what does this say about the future quality of ACA?
We have an obligation to provide the best care for those serving this country. Local volunteer programs such as Purple Heart Homes help veterans with transitioning but it's not enough. There needs to be serious reforms to veteran health care. Let's start with rewarding doctors who identify problems, not punishing them.