Veteran support

Rep. Bergman wraps up latest Marquette County trip with visit to D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans

MARQUETTE — Congressman Jack Bergman wrapped up the last day of his visit to Marquette County Monday with a stop at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans to present a posthumous medal to the daughter of a local veteran.

Taking care of veterans is a passion of Bergman’s, who is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and was a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs during his first term.

He calls the VA Mission Act, which was signed into law in June and is expected to be implemented by the U.S. Office of Veterans’ Affairs next month, one of his major accomplishments.

The bill consolidates all of the VA’s community care programs into one system that will be easier for veterans to navigate, while allowing them to receive medical care from sources other than a VA hospital, including a new urgent care element that allows veterans to seek non-emergency care from community clinics.

The legislation, especially for individuals who live several hours or more away from a VA hospital, “will allow veterans to receive care in the communities they live.”

“When VA Choice was rolled out, there were many holes in the process. Veterans weren’t able to access the care they needed and providers weren’t getting paid,” Bergman said. “We will be watching this process very closely and providing the oversight necessary to make sure veterans receive the care they have earned.”

He said his staff will continue to help veterans as the district navigates the changes to the system.

“Here in Michigan, our district-based office staff works tirelessly to help veterans throughout the process of accessing their benefits,” Bergman said. “Often there are men and women who may be owed a benefit from the VA, but the bureaucracy often holds up progress. From VA benefits to medals to helping in the appeals process, I’m really proud of the work the staff does each and every day.”

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.