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January 28, 2022

House Passes Bill to Automatically Enroll Separating Service Members in VA Health Care

On January 20, the House passed the Ensuring Veterans’ Smooth Transition (EVEST) Act. If the bill is signed into law, eligible veterans would be automatically enrolled into the VA health care system rather than having to initiate the enrollment process. Many veterans advocate groups support this bill because it would provide separating service members with a smoother transition to obtaining health care through the VA. Mark Takano, D-Calif. And the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman, sponsored the bill. This measure would affect about 60,000 individuals a year – the VA currently provides healthcare to over 9 million veterans. Critics of the bill argue that veterans should not be enrolled without “their knowledge or consent.” The EVEST Act has been received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.