Submitted by Rep. Rick Larsen’s office.
Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to help veterans who live in rural communities get to and from their medical appointments.
The Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act of 2021 makes permanent two successful initiatives providing veterans with transportation services and reimbursement for travel to and from VA medical facilities. These initiatives ease the burden for veterans traveling long distances for care, save taxpayer dollars and reduce the number of missed medical appointments for vets.
The legislation also streamlines the certification process for volunteers who transport veterans to their appointments.
“Veterans should not have to worry about how to get to their health appointments. However, travel is often a real burden, especially for veterans who live in rural communities,” said Larsen, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “The bipartisan Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act makes it easier and safer for veterans to keep their appointments and access quality health care, regardless of where they live.”
• Enables the VA to transport veterans to VA facilities for care through
• Gives local VA facilities the ability to partner with Veteran Service Organizations and state veteran service agencies to assist with transporting veterans to and from appointments
• Establishes a pilot program expanding the transportation reimbursement program, making it possible for veterans to access reimbursements two days in advance of confirmed medical appointments
• Creates a pilot program to help veterans in rural or Tribal areas travel to veteran access resources
• Requires the VA to establish a pilot program for state, county, Tribal and city governments to improve public transportation connections to enhance access to facilities serving veterans