In response to demands from Senator Jon Tester and veterans across Montana, the VA is increasing veterans’ access to care and changing its policy by allowing veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility to access care closer to home.

“Our nation has an obligation to live up to the commitments we have made to veterans, and this essential step allows folks in rural America to access the quality care they deserve,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “Today’s actions by the VA are welcome news, but I will continue to fight and tear down the barriers that keep too many veterans from accessing care.”

Tester’s bipartisan bill, which was introduced with Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), will allow the 40-mile requirement to be measured from a VA facility that provides the specific care or services sought by the veteran, as opposed to any VA facility.  The U.S. House of Representatives has partner legislation in the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee sponsored by Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).