Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Dept of California and Major Veterans Service Organizations Reinforce Strong Opposition to Prop. 61 in Response to Yes on 61 Campaign Ad

Newly released analysis by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs warns Prop. 61 could increase prescription drug costs for veterans by as much as $3.8 billion annually. More than 25 California veterans’ organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of California vets, OPPOSE Prop. 61.

SACRAMENTO – The leaders of California veterans’ organizations today responded to a television ad from the Yes on Prop 61 campaign that featured a few veterans. Veterans are overwhelmingly opposed to Prop. 61 and the leaders of those groups reinforced again that every leading veterans group in the state opposes Proposition 61. The Yes ad is currently appearing on a limited basis on Fox News in San Diego.

“The veterans community in California is overwhelmingly opposed to Proposition 61 and any suggestion to the contrary by the promoters of this flawed initiative is misleading,” said Dale Smith, Commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Dept of CA. “The VFW, Dept of California, along with every major veterans organization in the state strongly opposes Prop. 61 because it would increase prescription drug costs for the VA and, consequently, veterans.”

More than two dozen organizations that provide services to hundreds of thousands of California veterans oppose Prop. 61 because it would take away a special benefit for veterans and increase their prescription drug costs.

In fact, a recently issued analysis by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) warned that if Prop. 61 passes, it could increase drug costs to the VA as much as $3.8 billion annually.

“Our organizations are on the frontlines helping veterans find health care, mental health services, housing, job training and other programs. This ad certainly does not represent the views of the majority of veteran service organizations or veterans in this state,” said Enrique Rudino, Commander, AMVETS, Department of California. “California’s veterans’ organizations are united in opposition to Prop. 61 because it would be disastrous for vets.”

“California’s veterans’ organizations do what is right for veterans without a political agenda. The VA has said that Prop. 61 could raise costs to the VA by as much as $3.8 billion per year. The math is pretty clear here: Prop. 61 adds up to a bad deal for our nation’s veterans. We urge an unequivocal NO vote,” said Steve Mackey, President, Vietnam Veterans of California, California State Council.

The veterans organizations opposed to Prop. 61 represent more than two hundred thousand California veterans. They include:

    • Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California
    • Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council
    • American Legion, Department of California
    • AMVETS, Department of California
    • Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters
    • American GI Forum of California
    • Marine Corps League, Department of California
    • Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of California
    • California Association of County Veterans Service Officers (CACVSO)
    • California State Commanders Veterans Council
    • Disabled Veterans Business Alliance
    • Paralyzed Veterans of America, Bay Area & Western Chapter
    • Association of the United States Army, Northern California, Sixth Region
    • Association of the United States Army, Southern California, Seventh Region
    • Reserve Officers Association, Department of the Golden West
    • Fleet Reserve Association, West Coast Region
    • Minority Veterans Coalition of California
    • Jewish War Veterans of America, Department of California
    • Scottish American Military Society
    • California Veterans Benefit Fund (CAVBF)
    • Sons of the American Legion, Detachment of California
    • AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, State of California
    • Rear Area Support Foundation
    • Veterans Affiliated Council of Sacramento County
    • San Diego Military Advisory Council
    • Kings County Military and Veterans Coalition


Prop. 61 is a deceptive, deeply-flawed measure that would be bad for patients, harmful for veterans and expensive for taxpayers. It will increase prescription drug costs, jeopardize patient access to medicines and result in more bureaucracy, red tape and lawsuits. It also would take away a special prescription drug benefit promised to our veterans. Nearly 150 organizations oppose Prop. 61.