Improving Veteran Healthcare One Bill at a Time
Senator Hoeven meets with local vets and VA officials in Fargo as he works to get two veteran healthcare bills through the house.
Senator Hoeven makes it clear he wants to make sure Veterans across the state have access to healthcare especially those living in rural areas.
The program CHOICE is meant to do just that but in turn many vets say they’ve had to wait longer to get the services they need.
Easy accessible healthcare for veterans across North Dakota is what Senator Hoeven wants, but getting it is another issue.
“There’s more to do. We’re not where we need to be yet but we’re going to stay with it.” says Senator John Hoeven.
Veteran Dan Thorstad is all too familiar with the wait.
“June till October had to wait for a procedure that could of help me out four months ago,” says Cass County Veteran’s Service Officer, Dan Thorstad.
Thorstad is now a veteran’s service officer for Cass County and unfortunately, his story is not uncommon.
“It used to be that you could refer them out to community care and they would have an appointment within a week or two now with choice act it’s taken months before these veterans can get care,” says Thorstad.
The program brought in a third party healthcare system to get veteran’s care, instead Thorstad has another idea.
“Empower the VA to say listen if you can’t get that service at the CBOC in Williston you can’t make it all the way to the Fargo VA you know what go see the Williston Sanford clinic and they’re going to take care of you,” says Thorstad.
But first things first, the bill has to pass the house and Hoeven is staying confident.
“We got bipartisan support in the veterans committee we got it paid for I think we have a good shot to get this through,” says Senator Hoeven.
Hoeven is also working on another bill to make sure veterans have access to long term healthcare in their community.
He hopes the VA will reimburse nursing homes on the same basis as Medicaid or medicare.