VETSRIDE PROGRAM PASSES COMMITTEE
U.S. Rep. John Salazar (CO-3) announced that a program to help veterans have better access to health care in rural areas passed out of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and will now go to the full House for consideration.
"Almost half of new recruits come from rural America; today's servicemembers are tomorrow's veterans. Veterans living in rural areas often have a difficult time accessing VA medical facilities. I hope this grant program helps to ease that burden," said Rep. Salazar. "I am committed to ensuring that every veteran is given what they were promised and what they have earned."
Salazar's bill also known as the VetsRide Program establishes a grant program to provide innovative transportation options to veterans in remote rural areas. The bill tasks the Director of the Office of Rural Health to establish a program that would provide up to $50,000 for each grant to veterans' service organizations and state veterans' service officers to assist veterans with travel to VA medical centers. The bill authorizes $3 million per year for the grant program through 2010.
The VetsRide program was a provision of H.R. 2005, The Rural Veterans Healthcare Improvement Act of 2007, which would expand and improve access to health care for veterans living in rural communities.