Just another story from the Ryan Zinke self-promotion tour, which is expected to last for at least the next two years. In a story from KTVH News, Zinke took credit for trying to pass a bill that will make it easier for veterans to access health care and correct an oversight in federal law that limited access for Montana veterans who lived too far from health care providers.
This visit is in connection with his legislation “Veterans Access to Community Care Act” which would allow veterans in rural Montana to seek care beyond the VA.
Zinke says he hopes to make it easier for veterans who live more than forty miles driving distance away from the nearest local health care facility to access health care.
Zinke certainly is likely to be a supporter of the bill, but it’s certainly not “his legislation.” The “Veterans Access to Community Care Act” is a Senate Bill introduced by Senators Tester and Daines, along with Senator Jerry Moran from Kansas. Tester, who has worked on veterans issues throughout his term in the Senate, offered the fix to ensure that veterans who live within 40 miles as the crow files, but further on Montana roads, can receive care at non-VA clinics.
The National Rural Health Association supports the work and thanked Tester for his work:
NRHA applauds your leadership in removing barriers that prevent veterans from accessing health care services, and allows rural veterans to have quality, timely care in their rural communities. This important legislation will go far in helping rural veterans access the health care they need and deserve.
Senators Tester and Daines probably aren’t going to agree often, but it’s refreshing to see them put aside partisan differences for Montana veterans. That Representative Zinke is more interested in dishonestly taking credit for their work than in cooperating to pass legislation is yet another demonstration of the content of his character.