Millions of Vets, Service Members May Lose Internet Subsidy

April 18, 2024

A subsidy program that helps provide internet access to 23 million Americans – about half of them service members and veterans – is on track to run out of money at the end of the month, Military Times reported.

The Affordable Connectivity Program began in the early days of the COVID pandemic to keep homebound individuals connected. It provides between $30 and $75 a month to help cover internet connection costs.

Congress has appropriated $17 billion for the program over the last four years, but the administration has warned for months that the money will run out next month. They’ve asked Congress for an additional $6 billion.

“Internet access is critical to help veterans participate in school, do their jobs and stay connected to family,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in support of the program. “But it also means access to health care. Millions of vets we serve use telehealth for their medical care. … Those veterans couldn’t have access to the life-saving care they deserve if they don’t have an internet connection.”

The program has broad bipartisan support, but neither chamber has scheduled a vote on renewing it.

Air Force telehealth illustration

April 18, 2024

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