Bill Would Improve Veterans’ Health Access in Rural Areas
Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) on Wednesday said that he plans to introduce a bill next week that would improve health care access and affordability for veterans in rural areas, the Bangor Daily News reports.
The legislation would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to partner with employers, state agencies, health centers and the National Guard to improve health care access for veterans in rural areas. Under the bill, mobile clinics would provide health care to some veterans. According to Michaud, 44% of recent veterans reside in rural areas.
The cost of the legislation remains undetermined, but Michaud said that the bill would reduce costs in the long term because veterans would have access to health care before their conditions become serious. He also said that the legislation would mark the first attempt to address the health care needs of American Indian and homeless veterans. Michaud said, "Congress has the responsibility to provide quality health care and easy access to it" for veterans (Bangor Daily News, 6/1).