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Begich Questions VA Secretary on Alaska Heroes Card


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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