The House GOP’s bill would eliminate 30 million medical appointments for veterans, including mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and cancer screenings.

REVERE, MA – Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) met with Revere veterans to discuss the devastating impacts of the Republican Default on America Act, which passed the U.S. House on April 26, 2023. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Republican debt ceiling bill would slash approximately 30 million medical appointments and 81,000 jobs across the Veterans Health Administration, leaving veterans unable to get appointments for care, including wellness visits, cancer screenings, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment.

“The GOP’s Default on America Act isn’t just irresponsible – it’s deadly," said Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5). "Just a year after Republicans tried stonewalling the PACT Act, they’re once again playing politics with the wellbeing of our nation’s veterans. These patriots and their families make unbelievable sacrifices on our behalf. I will not stand for a budget that dishonors their service and endangers their health.”

“I commend Congresswoman Clark’s efforts to raise awareness about the impact of budget cuts to the VA, and thank her for taking the time to listen to the heartfelt testimonies of my fellow veterans," said Revere City Councilor and Army veteran Marc Silvestri. "Ensuring that our veterans receive the care and support they need is a shared responsibility that transcends political affiliations. By opposing these proposed cuts, we can honor the sacrifices that our veterans have made and provide them with the support they deserve. I thank Congresswoman Clark for her willingness to get in front of this early. She can depend on the Veterans of Massachusetts to stand in this fight."

The veterans told Whip Clark how these GOP cuts would delay treatment for veterans exposed to toxic substances, increase the disability case backlog by 134,000 and dramatically increase wait times to receive vital health care such as mental health counseling and cancer screenings. The participants also expressed concern about how cuts would increase veteran suicide; Veterans already die from suicide at a rate far higher than non-veterans. 

Clark helped pass the historic Honoring our PACT Act, helping veterans access their full VA benefits, has fought to protect the rights of veterans who work in the cannabis industry, and has secured nearly $5 million in federal benefits for veterans in the Fifth District during her time in office. 

A photo from the event can be found here.