Illinois senator introduce bill to benefit veterans during pandemic

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Clarence Shields, an Army veteran, pickets with a small group of activists from the American Federation of Government Employees local 424 and the National Association of Government Employees local R3-19 during the coronavirus pandemic, outside the Baltimore VA Medical Center, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Baltimore. The Department of Veterans Affairs is struggling with shortages of workers at its health care facilities as it cares for veterans infected with the novel coronavirus. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

WASHINGTON, DC  (WMBD)– U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce Veterans’ healthcare costs and protect their access to healthcare during the pandemic.

Duckworth, a veteran, said the bill, the No Coronavirus Copays for Veterans Act (NCCVA), ensures that veterans are not expected to pay out-of-pocket for qualifying coronavirus preventative services.

“All Americans deserve access to the best healthcare possible— especially those who’ve sacrificed to defend our nation— and that healthcare includes the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Duckworth. 

Congress passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act in March 2020, but veterans were excluded from benefits. The NCCVA is a direct response.

The benefits of the CARES Act were to waive copays for qualifying items, services, or immunization intended to prevent or mitigate COVID-19.

The NCCVA is accredited by American Veterans (AMVETS) and the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN).

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