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Legislators’ Letter Expresses Concerns With Proposed Reduction in Military Medical Personnel

May 24, 2019, 9:55 AM HST
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-02) along with Rep. Brian Mast (Florida-18) led a bipartisan letter sent to the director of the Defense Health Agency and principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs on May 22, 2019, expressing concern regarding the proposed elimination of over 17,000 military medical personnel and the impact it would have on service members as well as their families.

“Service members and their families have made the ultimate commitment to our country,” said Rep. Gabbard. “Making sure they get the healthcare they need is essential. To cut so many healthcare professionals runs the risk of compromising our troops’ health and wellbeing, readiness and operational capacity. It could disproportionately impact rural and underserved areas where we already face a shortage of medical professionals and specialists. In light of these concerns, we need answers.”

“I’ve always said that we need to do more for the men and women who put on the uniform for our country,” Rep. Mast said. “Potentially eliminating 17,000 military healthcare professionals does the exact opposite. These cuts could negatively impact the health and safety of our service members and threaten the success of the mission at hand. More information is needed about why this is being proposed and what steps are being taken to ensure continued support for our service members.”

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