SHAHEEN APPLAUDS VA ANNOUNCEMENT TO EXPAND HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

July 13, 2009

(Washington, D.C.)-  U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today applauded the decision of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand health care services for New Hampshire's veterans, an issue Shaheen has advocated on behalf of since joining the Senate.  As her first act in the Senate in January, Shaheen introduced the Veterans Health Equity Act of 2009 requiring the VA ensure that every state has a full-service veterans' hospital, or that comparable services are provided by contracting with in-state hospitals.  Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter introduced companion legislation in the House.  New Hampshire is currently one of only three states without a full-service veterans' hospital. 

Following today's announcement, Shaheen issued the following statement:

"Today's announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs is great news for New Hampshire veterans and a significant first step toward ensuring our veterans have local access to health care services. Too many New Hampshire veterans have been forced to travel to Boston for basic medical care. These men and women, who put their lives on the line in defense of our freedom, deserve better.

"While the New Hampshire Congressional delegation continues our work to expand health care access for veterans, I'm very happy the VA has taken this important step to help New Hampshire veterans with serious conditions to receive medical and surgical services locally."

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