For Immediate Release 

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Contact – Debra Vanderbeek, (603) 626-5300

 Highlights accomplishments on improving access to health care, benefits for veterans

( Manchester , NH ) – First District Congressman Jeb Bradley, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, reiterated his strong record on ensuring that New Hampshire veterans receive and have access to quality health care.

“When I first came to Congress in 2003, I requested to serve on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee so that I could be a voice for the approximately 130,000 veterans living in New Hampshire . I have been, and will continue to be, a strong advocate for ensuring those who have served our country receive the pay and benefits that they deserve,” stated Bradley.

 Bradley offered two amendments to the Congressional Budget Resolution in 2005 and 2006 that increased budget authority for veterans’ health care. This year, his amendment – which passed the Committee unanimously and was incorporated into the final Budget Resolution – increased the budget authority for veterans’ health care by $795 million in fiscal year 2007 and by $3.975 billion over the next five years without the Administration’s proposed increases in drug co-payments and enrollment fees.

Bradley has been a staunch supporter of expanding the community-based outpatient clinic network in New Hampshire and helped to bring a new CBOC to Somersworth in 2003. Bradley has also worked with the Deputy Secretary of the VA to ensure that the VA’s proposal to curtail the hours of operation at the Manchester VA Medical Center emergency room would not be implemented. In addition, Bradley introduced legislation that would give Congress ample opportunity for oversight on any future proposals to curtail ER hours within the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Health Care System .

Bradley introduced legislation that will provide chiropractic care for veterans and expand outreach services and readjustment counseling for veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan . Bradley has also introduced legislation to improve access to State Veterans Homes for severely disabled veterans, and to provide supportive services to very low-income veterans in their homes in an effort to prevent homelessness.

Don Duhamel, Director of Liberty House, a transitional living facility for veterans in Manchester , stated, “Congressman Bradley has been a champion of veterans, and in particular, New Hampshire ’s homeless veterans.”

Maj. Gen. Joseph Simeone (ret.), former Deputy Adjutant General, N.H. National Guard, stated, “Having been to Iraq three times and met New Hampshire troops serving overseas, Congressman Bradley understands the importance of ensuring that we supply our troops with the resources they need to carry out their missions. He has long advocated for ensuring that our troops receivethe pay and benefits they are entitled to, most recently working to reject a proposal that would raise enrollment fees and co-payments for prescriptions under TRICARE, the health care program for active duty military and their families. New Hampshire military families appreciate his hard work and dedication on behalf of our troops and veterans.”

Robert Wayss, Past Commander, Disabled American Veterans, Department of New Hampshire, stated, “The New Hampshire veterans community knows it has a friend in Congressman Bradley. He works tirelessly on our behalf to ensure that our veterans and military personnel have the benefits and pay they deserve, and that is one of the reasons the DAV honored him last year with our human advocacy award. He is one of our strongest advocates in Washington and we are thankful we have him working on our behalf.”

Paul Chevalier, Past Commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of New Hampshire, stated, “When we needed Congressman Bradley to help us keep the Manchester VAMedical Center emergency room open at all hours, he stepped up to the plate. It was because of his efforts that we were able to get answers from the VA and stop them from implementing their proposal to curtail the emergency room’s hours of operation. He is a tireless advocate for veterans all over the country, and we are grateful for his hard work.”

Roland Patnode, Past Commander, American Legion, Department of New Hampshire, stated, “Congressman Bradley recognizes the important role that veterans play in our communities, and has been our strongest ally in Washington. He has fought for increased funding for veterans’ healthcare and offered two amendments to the budget resolution to that effect. His record on veterans’ work is second to none, and New Hampshire veterans are fortunate to have a representative like Congressman Bradley in Washington .”

“I will continue to support measures that keep our promise to those who have served our country,” Bradley concluded.