WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today in reaction to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs increasing the rate of reimbursement for disabled veterans traveling to VA facilities:
"I welcome the Secretary's announcement of an increase in the beneficiary travel rate. This improvement has been too long delayed. This new rate, the first increase in over three decades, is more than two-and-a-half times more than the previous rate. The increase to 28.5 cents per mile will be a relief to thousands of veterans around the country. This is another important step in delivering health care to America's veterans in rural areas."
Effective February 1, 2008, the rate of reimbursement will be 28.5 cents per mile, up from 11 cents per mile, the rate set in 1977. Senator Akaka introduced and negotiated legislation requiring this increase, and funding for the increase was included in the Combined Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Akaka also joined in a letter to VA Secretary James Peake earlier this month, urging the Secretary to provide the reimbursement increase.
January 31, 2008