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Published July 15, 2013, 03:57 PM

Lake region vets not convinced of VA efforts to improve healthcare access

The VA says it's making it easier for veterans in rural areas to have access to healthcare, but veteran service groups in the lake region say they aren't so sure.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

The VA says it's making it easier for veterans in rural areas to have access to healthcare, but veteran service groups in the lake region say they aren't so sure.

The VA is accepting applications from veterans groups to pay for transportation to VA medical centers. But the grants only apply to veterans living in very rural areas with a population of fewer than 7 people per square mile. The Devils Lake Disabled American Veterans chapter says they would be interested in a grant but the restrictions are too severe. The group already transports vets to Fargo free as needed. They say they're unlikely to qualify for the VA grants, but they say it might be better than doing it the government's way.

Eligible groups can apply for up to 50,000 dollars to either buy a vehicle to transport veterans or pay for drivers to take them to the nearest VA facility.

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