Washington, D.C. – Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34) and Congressman Josh Harder (CA-10) introduced the WWII Veterans and Medical Eligibility Act to ensure all World War II (WWII) veterans have access to health care services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This bill modifies current eligibility guidelines to guarantee all WWII veterans full access to VA benefits.

“World War II veterans made great sacrifices to defend our country during one of the most challenging periods in American history. “These veterans served with tremendous courage and love for their country and deserve access to the best care the United States has to offer,” said Rep. Vela.  “This bill will ensure all WWII veterans can receive the health care benefits they have earned. 

“Today, I’m asking that we stop tripping over red tape and needless rules and started delivering health care for the World War II veterans we’re lucky enough to call our parents, our neighbors, and our friends,” said Rep. Harder during the House committee hearing. “We can never repay the men and women who kept us free all those years ago, but we can provide them the health care they deserve as they live out their golden years surrounded by their kids, their grandkids, and their great grandkids.”

“Only 325,574 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are still alive, and as many as 296 pass away every day. However, not all of these veterans are eligible for VA healthcare services. The Veterans Health Care Eligibility Act of 1996 exempted all veterans of the Mexican border period and World War I from the means test required to enter the VA healthcare system. It is time to do the same for our World War II veterans,” said The American Legion National Commander Paul Dillard

The VA determines a veteran’s eligibility for cost-free health care benefits based on a variety of factors such as military service history, disability rating and income level. The Veterans Health Care Eligibility Act of 1996 exempted all Spanish American War and World War I veterans from having to meet certain requirements to receive VA health care benefits. The WWII Veterans Hospital and Medical Eligibility Act will extend the exemption to include WWII veterans.