Wisconsin – On Friday, Dave Boetcher, a 27 year National Guard and Army Reserve veteran joined As Goes Wisconsin to discuss a new report highlighting how House Republicansʼ “Default on America” Act would gut funding for health care for veterans in Wisconsin and across the country. 

According to a new report released by Protect Our Care, Republicans’ ‘Default on America’ Act slashes veterans’ health care funding by 22 percent, leaving as many as 116,00 veterans in Wisconsin unable to get appointments for care like wellness visits, mental health services, and substance disorder treatment. The Republican plan would also impose burdensome paperwork requirements, making it more difficult for the 27 percent of Wisconsin veterans with disabilities to access health care.  

During the show, Boetcher, who served in the Persian Gulf War, highlighted how the proposed cuts would undermine veterans’ health care, and disrupt the lives of millions of people across the country. 

“This 22 percent cut to the Department of Veterans Affairs would basically get rid of 80,000 health care providers, 6,000 staff to process disability claims, and 500 staff that work at our national cemeteries.” 

Boetcher also urged listeners to contact their representatives in Congress and urge them to stand up for veterans’ health care. Boetcher condemned Congressman Derrick Van Orden  (WI-03) for voting to pass the ‘Default on America Act,” pointing out that Van Orden is a veteran himself and should understand what is at stake. “We need to remind him that this is not just a simple budget cut,” Boetcher added. 

The Republican bill also seeks unprecedented cuts to Medicaid, which covers nearly 1 in 10 non-elderly veterans nationwide and plays a critical role for low-income veterans, and other vital services, including for mental health and substance use, maternal care, cancer research and more. 

On Tuesday, May 23, patients and advocates across the country will participate in a nationwide Day of Action to urge Republicans to stand firmly against any cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, and other vital programs that would harm people and families with low incomes.

You can listen to Dave Boetcher on As Goes Wisconsin here and read Protect Our Care’s report on how the Republican default plan will harm Wisconsin veterans here.

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