Rep. Poliquin introduces bill in House to extend ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home) program for Veterans. Rep. Pingree is the lead Democrat cosponsor.

Bruce Poliquin

Representative Bruce Poliquin introduced legislation in the House that will extend the ARCH Program and its services in Maine for five years.

Representative Chellie Pingree is the lead Democrat cosponsor.

It is so important our Veterans receive the health care and benefits they were promised, earned and deserve,” said Congressman Poliquin.

“From talking with Veterans personally in Aroostook County who use the program, I know the ARCH program has proven to be an extraordinary success. With so many VA programs under scrutiny for mismanagement, it’s important that we implement the programs that are successful and that truly benefit our Veterans.”

Poliquin continued with examples of veterns care:

There are far too many examples of veterans not getting the care they earned and deserve, or of wait times that are way too long.  But the ARCH program is a success story and an example of the kind of responsive, flexible care we need to provide our veterans, especially in rural states like Maine.  It absolutely should be extended and we're going to work to make sure that happens," Pingree said.

The ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home) Program was created as a pilot program by Congress in 2011 with bipartisan support.  The program selected 5 hospitals in rural area across the country to enter into contracts with the VA so that our veterans could receive health care closer to home.  The program, which will lapse on Aug. 7 if there is no action by Congress, has proven to be a major success.

In October 2015, Congressman Poliquin introduced the Helping Our Rural Veterans Receive Health Care Act, a bill that would make the ARCH Program permanent.  The bill he and Pingree introduced today is companion legislation to the bill that Senators Susan Collins and Angus King introduced earlier this month in the Senate.