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Davis, Murphy actions could help more than 122,000 veterans

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(The Center Square) – More than 122,000 veterans in the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts of North Carolina could be helped by a legislative package introduced by their respective congressmen.

U.S. Reps. Don Davis, D-N.C., and Dr. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., are seeking to redefine “highly rural” and lifting the annual grant caps to $80,000 in the Rural Veterans Transportation to Care Act.

The Highly Rural Transportation Grant program helps veterans in remote areas travel to the Veterans Administration, or VA-authorized health care facilities. The congressmen say the increase in grant cap enables veterans to acquire vehicles compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

House Resolution 7654, as it is formally known, was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

In a release, Davis said, “No veteran who has given their life to serving our nation should have any doubt that they may be unable to access lifesaving health care services just because they live in a rural community. The least we can do is support legislation to remove any uncertainty for our most vulnerable veterans who lack access to transportation services. We will not stop fighting until every veteran and their family can easily access health care through the VA.”

Murphy said the parameters of “highly rural” equate to addressing urgent needs inclusive to all veterans.

“This legislation provides our rural veterans with enhanced access to essential health care services by broadening eligibility criteria and expanding health care facility coverage,” he said.

Davis also introduced an act to update certain terminology regarding veterans employment. HR7653, co-sponsored by Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., was also referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

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