Congressman Tipton visits Craig to discuss economic development, education, veterans’ health | CraigDailyPress.com

Congressman Tipton visits Craig to discuss economic development, education, veterans’ health

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (Colo.-R) visited with business leaders, educators and Veterans in Craig on Tuesday to report on his work in Washington D.C. and to listen to constituent concerns.

Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership hosted a meeting between business leaders and the congressman at Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower building. The visit included discussions about priority growth projects as well as challenges business owners are facing.

While in town the congressman met with local representatives at Craig Middle School to discuss education and issues facing school districts.

He ended the day with a visit with veterans from across Northwest Colorado, held at Veteran's Hall in Craig.

During the meeting with veterans, Tipton encouraged veterans to shared their experiences of using the Veterans Choice Program, or Choice, to access medical care in the community.

"The point was giving you a choice about were you lived and where to receive medical care," Tipton said.

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Feedback ran the gamut from veterans very pleased with the program to those who refuse to use it after experiencing persistent problems.

President Donald Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 into law on Aug. 12. The act authorized $2.1 billion in additional money to fully fund the Choice program.

"The law reflects the ongoing commitment of VA and Congress to make sure Veterans get the right care, at the right time, from the right provider," states the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Tipton explained that he had backed the bill because of communities like Craig and Steamboat where veterans would otherwise have had to move away or risk hazardous driving conditions to receive medical care.

However, he said that he understands it is just the start of a process of government doing a better job to keep its promises to veterans, and feedback from veterans would help him work to improve the program.

Funding for Choice, and all other Federal programs, must be reauthorized before Sept. 30 when the government runs out of money, but Tipton told veterans, "Choice is not going away. That option is still going to be there."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.