Franken bill aimed at improving rural vets’ medical care

Rural veterans do not get a fair shake in the federal health-care system, Sen. Al Franken says, so he has introduced a bill to change that.

The Minnesota Democrat’s bill would require the federal Veterans Administration to develop a plan to recruit VA health-care workers to rural America, ensure timely care and make other changes.

“Too often, veterans living in rural communities in Minnesota and across the country face a profound shortage of medical providers and facilities and must travel great distances for care,” Franken said. “With 40 percent of all veterans in the VA health system living in rural areas, we have to ensure that these men and women have access to the health care they’ve earned.”

His announcement comes on the heels of one in which federal funding will allow the state to establish Web sites and telephone hotlines to enable veterans and other Minnesotans to arrange transportation to appointments.

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