Rep. Young Introduces Legislation To Expand Veterans’ Access To Medical Care
Washington, D.C. - Alaskan Congressman Don Young has introduced H.R. 2203, legislation that would establish a pilot program allowing veterans in Alaska who receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to have the choice of receiving care at non-VA medical facilities. Specifically, Alaskan veterans would be able to receive medical care at any facility or medical provider that currently receives payments under Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or the Indian Health Program. H.R. 2203 is the companion legislation to S. 1146, introduced by Senator Begich.
"In a state like Alaska, a veteran is more likely to fly to receive medical care than drive" said Rep. Young. "Alaska has the largest percentage, per capita, of veterans in the country; however the rural nature of our state combined with the lack of road system, often makes receiving affordable health care a struggle for them. This frustrates me and that is why I am working with Senator Begich to make sure all of Alaska's veterans, rural or not, have access to affordable medical care within their own communities. We made a promise long ago to care for those who would put everything on the line to protect our freedoms, and this legislation works towards that promise."
The VA Healthcare System is located in Anchorage, with Community-Based Outpatient Clinics in Fairbanks, Kenai, Mat-Su, and Juneau, therefore only veterans in Alaska's most populous communities currently have convenient access to quality health care.