SHAHEEN, AYOTTE, AND KUSTER TO HOST NORTH COUNTRY FORUM ON VETERANS CHOICE CARD PROGRAM
VA officials will be available to answer questions, address concerns from NH veterans
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02) invite New Hampshire veterans in the North Country to attend a public forum on Friday, August 28 at White Mountain Community College to discuss the Veterans Choice Card program. This forum will provide an opportunity for North Country veterans to ask questions about their options under the Veterans Choice Card program and hear directly from VA officials. Representatives from the VA New England Healthcare System, Health Net Federal Services, Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA), Manchester VA Medical Center, and White River Junction VA Medical Center (WRJVAMC) will participate. The forum will be moderated by Mike Coughlin, CEO of the Tri-County Community Action Program in Berlin.
Shaheen and Ayotte hosted a similar forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester in May.
“North Country veterans know all too well how difficult it can be to just make it to an appointment,” said Ayotte, Shaheen and Kuster. “That is why we will continue our efforts to ensure this program is implemented properly and that New Hampshire veterans are fully informed of their options when it comes to receiving health care through the Veterans Choice Card program.”
New Hampshire is the only state in the continental U.S. without a full service VA hospital, and the New Hampshire delegation has worked together to expand options for NH veterans seeking to receive care closer to home. NH's delegation has repeatedly written to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs urging him to consider opening a Community Based Outreach Clinic (CBOC) in Coos County, New Hampshire’s northernmost county. In April 2014, the VA announced that they would be opening two VA health clinics in Berlin and Colebrook, as a part of the WRJVAMC expansion project.
In addition to pressing the VA secretary to address the issue of access to healthcare for New Hampshire veterans, the delegation has expressed concerns with the VA's initial implementation of the Choice Card program in New Hampshire, which has caused confusion among veterans seeking to use the program.
Senators Ayotte and Shaheen are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator Shaheen is a member of the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for the VA budget. Senator Ayotte is Chairwoman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support. Congresswoman Kuster is a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Shaheen, Ayotte, Kuster Forum with VA Officials on Veterans Choice Card Program
White Mountain Community College
2020 Riverside Drive
Friday, August 28
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM