Although it may not be perfect, millions of Americans, including veterans, depend upon Obamacare for their healthcare coverage. If repealed, the already strained, underfunded Veterans Administration will be forced to step in to foot the bill. Unfortunately, possible troubles for servicemen and women don’t stop there. For decades, veterans are given top preference for federal government jobs, but with the imposed hiring freeze on agencies, that bright spot is dimming. With the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act and the denial of obtaining a decent paying job, thousands of veterans are at risk for further heartache.

According to Carrie Farmer, a Rand Corporation health policy researcher, there are 3 million enrolled VA veterans who receive healthcare from their employer or Obamacare exchanges. If those options are lost, she expects VA health care usage will increase, which might prove difficult for the VA in providing accessible and timely care. President Trump’s pick to helm the VA, David Shulkin, told NPR that negative attention to the VA resulted in a 78 percent drop in applications. He stressed there were 45,000 job openings and care givers were desperately needed. White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters that hiring more people for a broken system wasn’t the solution, hiring the right people is.

Veterans Administration’s sordid history

In recent years, much has been said about the VA’s treatment of the country’s men and women in uniform. News of veterans dying after failure to receive care has rocked the nation on more than one occasion. Military personnel felt betrayed and civilians were appalled by the scandal. Many brave men and women of this country, who risked life and limb, wait with their fellow Americans to learn the fate of their healthcare options -- or lack thereof.

Limiting job choices

Some of President Trump’s most loyal supporters are veterans. Since his recent hiring freeze on federal positions, some vets who had job interviews scheduled are now faced with cancellations and postponements. One such agency where the freeze applies is the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is doubly troubling in that the agency provides services for veterans but is severely understaffed.