Representatives Rick Nolan and Tim Walz Talk with Local Veterans in Northern Minnesota on Future of VA Community Care
U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and Rep. Tim Walz, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today met with local military Veterans from the International Falls and Koochiching County area to discuss issues with the implementation of Veterans Choice and the future of VA Community Care.
“Democrats and Republicans alike are united in the view that if we can afford to put our best and brightest young people in harm’s way to protect our freedoms and our liberty – then we can afford to take care of them when they return to civilian life,” Nolan said. “As Congress reviews the VA’s recently submitted Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Act and works towards an improved Community Care model, today’s hearing was vital to receive feedback on what works and what doesn’t for our rural military Veterans.”
“Caring for each and every one of our veterans, no matter where they call home, will always be one of my highest priorities,” said Ranking Member Walz, the highest-ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress. “That is why it is critical Congress does everything in its power to ensure each rural veteran has access to the quality and timely healthcare they deserve. What better way to continue our work toward that end than to hear directly from rural veterans, veterans advocates, and regional healthcare providers in their own community. Thank you to everyone who came out today and, of course, thank you to Rep. Nolan for hosting us in beautiful International Falls.”
During the roundtable, Nolan and Walz heard from rural veterans, veterans’ advocates, and regional healthcare providers about the unique challenges facing rural veterans when accessing medical care through Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical facilities as well as VHA’s various community care programs, including the Choice Program. The Representatives also considered actions to improve internal capacity at VA medical centers in rural communities across the country.
Nolan and Walz participated in a similar joint event in Duluth earlier this summer where they received input from the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Choice providers, and Itasca County Veterans Service Officer Hugh Quinn.