O’Rourke proposes new ‘war tax’ to fund veteran health care


Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke addresses the South Carolina Democratic Party convention, Saturday, June 22, 2019 in Columbia, S.C.. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Beto (BET’-oh) O’Rourke is pledging to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and help create a federal health care fund to cover the costs of caring for those who serve in future wars by taxing those who don’t.

The former Texas congressman unveiled his proposal Monday before attending a veterans’ roundtable in Tampa, Florida, ahead of the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami on Wednesday.

The new health care fund would be paid for using a “war tax,” ensuring Americans not serving share “some of the cost of going to war according to their means.”

The proposal pledges to improve the Veterans Affairs health care system and provide immigrant veterans a “pathway to citizenship.”

O’Rourke wants to expand “reverse boot camps” to better prepare veterans for life after the military.

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