With his vote for Trumpcare, hereon known as CramerCare, Congressman Kevin Cramer voted to make healthcare more expensive for millions of veterans in America. One of the provisions in CramerCare was to prohibit veterans who are eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) health care from receiving tax credits to help them afford insurance in the private market. The tax credits were established under Obamacare. Since this provision to eliminate the tax credit was included in the original version of CramerCare, the CBO score in March estimated it would impact approximately eight million American veterans.
Not all veterans who are eligible for VA care enroll for its services. One of the many reasons a veteran may not choose to enroll in VA services is because they live in a rural state (think North Dakota) and would need to travel a long distance to receive care. In addition, others simply want to rely on the service from their local doctor. Removal of the tax credit will make healthcare more expensive for veterans and potentially force them into VA services. Unfortunately, VA case loads have been greatly lagging as President Trump’s hiring freeze through Executive Order prohibited them from hiring new employees.
North Dakota is home to over 56,000 veterans according to the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs. Cramer has previously used their imagery for campaign purposes. You may recall in 2014 when Cramer unethically used the Veterans Cemetery in North Dakota for a campaign ad in his race against George Sinner. The ad used veterans’ headstones as if they were props and threatened funding for the cemetery. Cramer later took down the ad from TV after increased pressure but would not apologize for his distasteful act. Yet, the internet never forgets. Here is the 2014 Cramer ad.
Cramer used veterans for political campaign purposes similar to the way he has used political talking points against Obamacare to win elections. Unfortunately after winning, he has decided his campaign against Obamacare was more important than his campaign for veterans. In his rush to repeal and replace Obamacare, he knowingly made it more difficult for millions of American veterans to afford access to healthcare outside of the VA he claims to despise. After his vote, Cramer grabbed a sixer, jumped on a bus, and headed over to the White House to celebrate this move in the Rose Garden. Our veterans aren’t to be used as props in a campaign ad and they sure as hell should be treated better than what CramerCare would do to their healthcare.