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Begich Questions VA Secretary on Alaska Heroes Card



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U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today questioned Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki on improving access to health care and benefits for Alaska’s military veterans- especially in rural Alaska.

At a hearing on the budget in the Veterans Affairs Committee, of which Begich is a member, the Senator asked Sec. Shinseki about progress on Begich’s bill for an Alaska Heroes Card.

The card would allow eligible veterans living in rural Alaska to access health care from a qualified facility in their community if they choose to do so, rather than have to fly to a VA facility in Anchorage or Seattle. Shinseki said the department is working on a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Health Service to make such a program happen for Alaska’s veterans. Meanwhile, Shinseki said, the VA is proceeding with agreements with individual tribes that will allow veterans to get care with tribal health entities.

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