Tester drives home two more wins for veterans

Senate passes transportation legislation, increases access to care

(U.S. SENATE) – After recently helping to pass a major VA reform bill, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee this week sent two more bills that increase veterans access to care to the President’s desk.

Senator Jon Tester’s bills provide transportation for veterans who are traveling to and from VA medical appointments. The Enhancing Veterans Transportation Services Act reauthorizes an existing program that allows the VA to hire transportation coordinators and purchase vehicles. The other provision extends a grant initiative for the Disabled American Veterans and other Veterans Service Organizations so they can operate vans and transport veterans to nearby VA clinics.

Tester authored the original legislation creating the initiative in 2009.

“After listening to veterans across Montana, I know that many of them have trouble getting to the doctor,” Tester said. “These bills will increase access to health care by providing veterans with more transportation options. No veteran should go without medical care because they can’t get to VA.”

These two Tester provisions were passed as part of a larger package of bills that increase veterans’ access to health care and address veteran homelessness and benefits.

Tester was a key figure in approving the VA reform bill in July. He was a member of the conference committee that hashed out differences between the Senate and House of Representatives’ bills and has held five veterans listening sessions around Montana since June.

More information about Tester’s veterans’ record is available online HERE.