This Veterans Day, we honor the generations of Mainers who have answered the ultimate call of duty to protect our freedoms and liberties.
Our Veterans have sacrificed so much to defend our Nation and our American way of life. It’s time that Washington delivers on its promises to provide these selfless men and women the support they were promised, earned and deserve.
As Maine’s Second District Congressman, and a member of the Military Veterans Caucus, I am working hard in Congress for our Veterans by supporting legislation to increase funding for Veterans’ health programs and holding the VA accountable to fulfill its duties to Servicemembers.
I am pleased to recently introduce the Helping Our Rural Veterans Receive Health Care Act.
Forty percent of the 22 million Veterans in the United States live in rural areas. In 2011, to help our rural Veterans, Congress created a pilot program known as Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home). This program selected five hospitals in rural areas across the Country, including a location in Caribou, to enter into contracts with the VA so that our Veterans could receive health care closer to home. This program has proven to be a major success, specifically helping thousands of Maine Veterans.
That’s why I introduced the Helping Our Rural Veterans Receive Health Care Act to help make the ARCH program permanent and to expand the program to more rural hospitals across the Country. By allowing our rural hospitals to enter into pre-negotiated contracts with the VA, more of our rural Veterans, and their families, will receive the benefits and health care they truly deserve, closer to home and without the burdens of traveling long distances for care.
With so many VA programs under scrutiny for mismanagement, it’s important that we make available the programs that are successful and dependable for our Nation’s Servicemembers.
As Maine’s Second District Congressman, I will continue to support bills that will help ensure our Veterans, and their families, receive the health care and benefits they were promised, earned and deserve.
If you are a Veteran and have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact my Congressional Offices in Bangor, Lewiston, Presque Isle, and Washington, DC. My staff and I are always ready to help any way we can.