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Last updated: Thu. Aug. 07, 2014 - 12:21 am EDT

Rep. Walorski set to hold forum to talk VA issues

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Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, has scheduled a military veterans forum next week in Kosciusko County.

The event will cap off a series of veterans-related activities on Monday and Tuesday planned by Walorski, a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

The forum will be at 2:45 p.m. at 11349 S. 100 E., just south of Indiana 14 in southern Kosciusko County. The site is a private gathering place known as Russ' Barn & Grille.

Veterans may gather at the site at 2 p.m., according to a Walorski aide who said the forum will be an informal discussion of VA health care and legislation that Congress passed recently in an effort to improve the delivery of care.

“It's a chance for her to hear from veterans who have experienced problems with VA or some of the good things they have experienced with VA and share that information with her and see if there is anything she can take back to D.C. as she's working on new legislation,” said Lindsay Jancek, Walorski's communications director.

Jancek said forum topics could include the security of patient rec­ords, post-traumatic stress disorder and rural health care.

Walorski, who is challenged in the Nov. 4 election by Democrat Joe Bock, has scheduled nine veterans-related events next week in her South Bend-based district. She will tour VA outpatient clinics in Goshen, South Bend and Peru, participate in a South Bend roundtable discussion on veterans issues and visit health providers, educators and companies that work with veterans.

This morning, Walorski will attend a ceremony at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where President Barack Obama will sign into law H.R. 3230, the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act. She was a member of the House-Senate conference committee that produced the legislation.

The $17 billion bill will have VA pay for veterans to receive non-VA care if they must wait more than 30 days for a VA physician appointment or travel farther than 40 miles to a VA facility.

The legislation will open 27 more VA clinics, expand education benefits for veterans and give the VA secretary greater authority to fire senior leaders of the department.

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