Poliquin: We Should Honor Veterans By Providing Quality Healthcare

The article below comes from The Maine Wire, sponsored by the Maine Heritage Policy Center.  It is written by U.S. Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R) from Maine’s second district.  It is his Independence Day message.  He proposes a fix for our veterans imprisoned by the VA and long waits.  It is a good start, but it should go further.  Please read my comments at the end to see what I mean.

From The Maine Wire:

We Should Honor Veterans By Providing Quality Healthcare

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – Declaration of Independence.

This Saturday, we celebrate our forefathers who fought for our independence.

As we celebrate this terrific day with our family and friends, let’s not forget to thank our veterans and service members who answered the ultimate call of duty to protect our freedoms at home and abroad.

It is imperative for Congress to make sure our veterans and service members receive the healthcare they were promised, earned and deserve. They fought for our freedoms and I believe our elected officials should fight for them.

As Maine’s Second District Representative, I will continue to support bills that will help our veterans receive quality healthcare in a timely manner and provide the necessary oversight to make sure that happens.

To that end, I recently cosponsored the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act which expands the Choice program to allow veterans to seek immediate mental health care at any facility eligible to receive reimbursement through CMS. By waiving the 30 day waiting period and 40 mile distance provisions, veterans will be allowed to use their Choice card and receive mental healthcare in a timely manner.

In Congress, I have supported several bills, such as the TRICARE Choice Act, to help improve veterans’ access to healthcare and I will continue to work to make sure that our brave men and women of the military receive access the healthcare they were promised, earned and deserve.

In regards to providing oversight, I will continue to monitor VA Maine Healthcare System at Togus after the recent Inspector General report.

It was troubling to learn that there were, indeed, issues at Togus.

However, you can count on me to monitor the quarterly check-ups and be in contact with the Inspector General’s office.

I thank the men and women at Togus who work diligently to help care for our veterans, but we must make sure that NO ONE falls through the cracks. Our brave veterans deserve the best.

So as you enjoy a Maine red snapper hot dog and ice cold Moxie while watching the fireworks with family and friends, be sure to remember and thank those who have fought and are fighting to protect our freedoms and liberties.

Happy Independence Day, Mainers!

Kudos to Rep. Poliquin for his sentiments on health care for veterans. I think it is a good start, but we need to go further.

Why limit vets to care only from physicians and facilities who will contract with the government? Haven’t they put their trust in government mediated healthcare long enough, only to be disappointed?

I would propose that every vet be issued a health savings account (HSA) which they could use to purchase their care from any licensed provider (whether they accept government contracts or not). It would give veterans freedom in choosing what is best for them for the first time ever.

f the HSAs were funded from funds that would have gone to the VA, which I would disband, the cost savings would likely be enormous.

They fought for our freedom. We should grant them theirs…

Michael Ciampi, M.D.

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