Poliquin, Collins host VA officials in Maine, facilitate discussions on ARCH program

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) hosted Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials in Caribou, Maine, on Tuesday for a tour and a town hall meeting with veterans.

VA Under Secretary for Health David Shulkin and other officials toured the Cary Medical Center and Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). Poliquin and Collins then hosted a town hall discussion that focused on the Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH) program that enables veteran access to local healthcare.

“We can all agree that we can never fully repay the debts that we owe our veterans, but we must provide each of them with the convenient, quality health care that they have earned,” Collins said. “Ensuring that ARCH veterans receive seamless care consistent with the care they currently receive is paramount. ARCH is so well regarded by our veterans and their families, and it should be the model for the nation.” 

Collins said she was encouraged that the VA was committed to ensuring that veterans in northern Maine have access to quality healthcare close to their homes.

“While the VA works toward an administrative solution that will provide all our veterans with seamless community care, I will continue to advocate for a permanent, legislative solution,” Collins said.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Collins advocated for an extension of the ARCH program.

Poliquin said that he was encouraged by the VA’s indication that it would work on solutions that help extend services that the ARCH program offers to local veterans.

“I am committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that these important services continue,” Poliquin said. “I was pleased to hear that Under Secretary Shulkin and the VA are working internally to extend these services. I will also continue to work in Congress to do the same by continuing to push for legislation to extend ARCH. Our ultimate goal will always be to serve our Veterans and provide them with the support that they have earned and deserve. I will never lose sight of that mission.”

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