Arkansas senators back rural vets' health care

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Members of Arkansas' congressional delegation are rallying behind a Montana senator's bill aimed at improving health care for rural veterans.

The bill's backer, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, was in Little Rock Friday to drum up support for the bill, which has passed the House Veterans Affairs Committee and awaits floor action. The Democrat was joined by Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, along with U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder at an event at the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital.

Tester's bill would give grants of up to $15 million over five years to organizations providing transport to rural veterans needing health care. The bill also would extend pilot programs to treat rural veterans at their local hospitals or clinics, as well as make permanent a mileage reimbursement of 41.5 cents a mile.

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