MTPR

US Department of Veterans Affairs

Democratic Senator Jon Tester hosted a town hall in Bozeman Tuesday where he answered questions about immigration, healthcare and climate change — among other hot topic issues.

Sen. Jon Tester  (D) - Montana, during a Senate Veterans Affairs hearing Wed, April 10, 2019.
PD

Senator Jon Tester says he’s frustrated with how the Veterans Administration is preparing to roll out legislation he wrote to reform how veterans get health care outside the VA system.

At a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday, Tester questioned VA officials about the Mission Act. He’s expressed concern about it being used as a tool to eventually privatize veterans health care.

US Capitol, May, 2018
Eric Whitney

Last Thursday both of Montana’s U.S. senators were in Missoula for a ceremony honoring the late David J. Thatcher, a World War Two veteran from the city who flew on the famous Doolittle Raid that struck Japan in retaliation for Pearl Harbor.

The ceremony was to put Thatcher’s name on a Veterans Administration health clinic; and veterans health is going to be a big issue this year as Congress gets back to work.

People browsing at a medical marijuana dispensary.
Stock Photo Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Federal legislation introduced this week by Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester and Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan would require the Veterans Administration to study medicinal cannabis as an alternative treatment for veterans.

The "VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act" Directs the VA to begin clinical trials to test the effects of medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress.

Senator Jon Tester speaks at a joint hearing of the House and Senate veterans committees on Wednesday. Dec. 19, 2018.
CSPAN screenshot

Sen. Jon Tester said he’s worried that the Veterans Health Administration is straying from the direction Congress gave it when it passed a bill six months ago to reform how vets get health care outside the VA system.

"We could end up with a problem where we’re actually cutting benefits for our veterans moving forward," said Tester at a joint hearing of the House and Senate veterans committees Wednesday

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