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Rubio Touts Veterans Affairs reform during visit to American Legion Post 347
May 30, 2018
Villages News
 
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a strong message Wednesday to veterans at American Legion Post 347.
 
“It doesn’t matter how many times you thank people for their service, you have to keep doing it because we are the beneficiaries of extraordinary freedoms that were not free,” the Republican senator from Miami said. “And it’s really important for future generations, in particular, to remember that.”
 
Sen. Marco Rubio, right, speaks to veterans at American Legion Post 347 on Wednesday afternoon as Commander Al Varrone looks on.
 
Rubio, who also has served as Speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives, made something else quite clear – he’s a huge fan of a $55 million bill passed by the Senate earlier this month that will change how Veterans Affairs pays for private care. For some veterans, it will mean the ability to see a private doctor when the nearest VA facility is too far away or appointments aren’t available.
 
“It’s an option that should be available, but it shouldn’t be a substitute for them,” he said. “We have excellent VA facilities across this country, and we have a few that need to do better.”
 
Rubio said it’s extremely important to provide veterans with as many health care options as possible.
 
“There is the choice of a VA facility that’s relatively close and provides quality service,” he said, “but there’s also the option to go to a private facility if they think the care is better or more expeditious.”
 
The senator added that his reasons for visiting Post 347 were simple.
 
“This lodge is the largest in the country,” he said. “It has the largest membership and is growing, which is indicative of where the VA’s priorities should be focused in years to come – having facilities near where veteran populations might be growing.”
 
Rubio, whose brother was an Army Green Beret in Special Forces, said the opportunity to meet so many men and women who served their country was an honor.
 
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