As a result of this national agreement, the VA in now able to reimburse the IHS for direct care services provided to eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans. While the national agreement applies only to the VA and IHS, it will inform agreements negotiated between the VA and tribal American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans under this agreement. The VA and IHS have worked long and hard to come to an equitable agreement that would ensure access to quality health care for our nation’s heroes living in tribal communities.
This agreement between the two agencies is consistent with the VA’s continued efforts to increase access to care for veterans. To view the national agreement, go to www.va.gov and to find out additional information about American Indian and Alaska Native Veteran programs, visit www.va.gov/tribalgovernment.
The New Year is upon us. Let’s enjoy the celebration, being mindful of out troops throughout the world and pause a moment for those veterans who have gone before us.
Be safe and speak to you again next year.
Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133.