MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On this Veterans Day, U.S. Senator Al Franken has unveiled a bill that would provide better health care for vets in rural areas.

Franken cited the cases of two veterans in smaller communities who couldn’t access care from the VA.

“Men who had had heart attacks,” explained Franken. “And the VA facility didn’t have an emergency room for that. So they had to go to a certain hospital — not a VA hospital — and ended up saddled with the bills.”

Franken’s bill would recruit VA health care providers for rural clinics, expand the use of “telemedicine” and improve the use of mobile outpatient facilities.

Forty percent of all veterans in the VA health system live in rural areas.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

Comments (7)
  1. Wayne says:

    Glad to see this. I had a heart attack, and had to go to a non-VA hospital, just like this article says. Now, I too have big bills! A veteran should not have to go to a VA hospital in an emergency to get VA benefits.

  2. bud says:

    Why have VA hospitals period?
    Take care of our troops and allow them to go to the same hospitals as everyone else. This is insane to have duplicate medical facilities.

  3. cdbigman says:

    What?? Another Health Bill???? Say it so! I thought the Obama-Pelosi-Reed Health care bill that was “too inportant to read, we must sign it now” was the end all.

  4. OldDirtyHippie says:

    U.S. Senator Al Franken is Awesome!!

  5. fkafka says:

    Never been a big Franken fan, but this is a good start – these are our truly needy soldier citizens.

  6. BeenDereDoneDat says:

    The “soldier citizens” might include Sailors (Navy), Airmen (Air Force) and Marines (USMC) veterans, who might also be women. They may not be “truly needy,” but are they not deserving of health care benefits from the country they sacrificed to serve?

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