Good news for some of the veterans out there who don’t qualify for Veterans Affairs-sponsored health care.

Stars & Stripesreports: “Veterans Affairs officials plan to add more than 266,000 veterans to the health care program by October 2010, part of a new effort by the White House to expand coverage to those left out of the system in recent years.”

It’s nice to hear that many more vets will be getting health coverage, but what’s truly shocking about this report is how selective the VA health care program is. According to the VA’s income threshold guidelines, a vet with no dependents had to earn less than $29,404 in order to qualify for VA health insurance. If you’re married with two kids, you could only make up to $39,324 (though limits may vary based on local cost of living estimates). Now, thanks to the new program, those minimums are 10% higher.

Even with the 10% bump, that seems pretty low to us. And frankly, we find this whole system pretty confusing: Income thresholds. Geographic means testing. It’s all unnecessary.

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If you enlisted, and voluntarily put your life on the line for this country, or if you were drafted, and Uncle Sam forced you to put your life on the line for this country, we think you and your family shouldn’t have to worry about health care. Ever. (Really, no one should have to worry about health care, but military families especially). If you’re a vet who’s lucky enough to have affordable private health insurance, then you can and should opt out. Otherwise, the government should provide coverage. 

It’s kinda the least they could do to say thanks. Medals are nice and all, but we’d wager that the average vet would prefer check-ups for the kids and to finally get that hernia taken care of.

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