VA officials will be available to answer NH veterans’ questions about health care options
(WASHINGTON, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) invite New Hampshire veterans to attend a public forum on Tuesday, May 26, at Saint Anselm College with officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to discuss the Veterans Choice Card program. New Hampshire veterans will have an opportunity to hear directly from VA officials and ask questions regarding their health care options under the Veterans Choice Card program. Representatives from VA New England Healthcare System, Manchester VA Medical Center, and White River Junction VA Medical Center will participate. The forum will be moderated by WGIR’s Jack Heath.
“New Hampshire veterans deserve to know their options when it comes to receiving health care under the Veterans Choice Card program, and we’re hosting this forum so that they can speak directly to VA officials and ask questions to gain a better understanding of how to use the program,” said Senators Shaheen and Ayotte. “We will continue our efforts to ensure this program is properly implemented so that New Hampshire veterans can receive quality, timely care closer to home.”
Because New Hampshire is the only state in the continental U.S. without a full service VA hospital, Shaheen and Ayotte have worked together to expand options for New Hampshire veterans to receive care closer to home. Last year, they included a provision in the VA reform bill that allows most New Hampshire veterans the option to seek care from local non-VA health care providers in New Hampshire, rather than having to travel long distances to receive VA services out of state. The senators have expressed concerns with the VA's roll-out of the Choice Card program in New Hampshire, which has caused confusion among veterans seeking to use the program.
In addition to pressing the VA secretary to address problems with the Choice Card program’s implementation, in February, Shaheen and Ayotte sent a letter to President Obama expressing opposition to a provision in the administration's Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget that seeks to cut funding from the Veterans Choice Card program. The senators urged the president to faithfully implement the Choice Card program as Congress intended. Shaheen and Ayotte have also introduced separate legislation to protect the Choice Card program for the state's veterans. Under current law, the Choice Card program is authorized for three years or until its $10 billion dollar initial funding allocation is exhausted. The senators' new legislation would make the program permanent for veterans living in states without a full service hospital, like New Hampshire.
Shaheen, Ayotte Forum with VA Officials on Veterans Choice Card Program
Saint Anselm College
New Hampshire Institute of Politics
100 Saint Anselm Drive
Tuesday, May 26