Via valued commenter Ruckus on his experience of being a Vietnam era vet who did not serve in Southeast Asia regarding VA eligiblity for health coverage:
A Vietnam era vet gets covered depending on income if they have no other qualifying events, like POW, serving in the combat zone and a few others.
There are 8 groups, someone who served during the Vietnam debacle and has income under a set amount based upon where they live and how many dependents would be in group 7 with no qualifying events. Over that limit they would be in group 8 and have to make copays or have too much income and not be covered. Generally I’ll speculate that someone who qualifies for subsidies probably would be VA eligible, at least to some degree. The qualifying amounts aren’t the same numbers but they seem to be close.
I am covered by being a Vietnam era vet, I did not serve in a combat zone, or to use the vernacular, I never served in country.
My current qualifying group is #7 due to income. If my level was much more I’d fall into #8, if much less I be covered for more things, like dental or vision. I get everything else, primary care, necessary operations, hospital stays, etc. I didn’t qualify prior to about 9 yrs ago, income was too high. So the great recession did something for me. As well as to me and several million of my closest friends.
I just spent a couple of minutes playing around with the VA benefit window shopping service and entered as bland of a profile as I could (no injuries, no disabilities, not in SE Asia, not radiation exposed, honorable discharge etc) for my home zip code. With a wage income of $39,500 (338% FPL) for a single adult, I would have qualified for a VA benefit structure that looks a lot like enhanced Medicare given the deductibles but better co-pays. When I entered an income of $22,500 (192% FPL), it moved the benefits to 97% or 98% actuarial value.
So there is a narrow window where the King plaintiff might be above VA eligiblity but below the subsidy threshold of 400% FPL and where the non-subsidized cost of the cheapest Bronze plan is more than 8% of income. But that is a very thin needle to thread and I don’t think the hacks and sociopaths at the Competive Enterprise Institute and Cato will have done the work right.