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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 8, 2017.
Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act of 2017
This bill requires Vet Centers (centers for readjustment counseling and related mental health services for veterans) to be treated as Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities for purposes of payment of medical-related expenses or allowances for travel to or from a VA facility.
The bill makes permanent VA authority to transport individuals to and from VA facilities in connection with vocational rehabilitation or counseling or for examination, treatment, or care.
The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 is amended to reauthorize through FY2020 grants to state veterans service organizations to assist veterans in highly rural areas to travel to VA medical centers.
The VA shall: (1) establish a national protocol to administer medical examinations for volunteer drivers to participate in the veterans transportation program, and (2) implement the protocol by first conducting a one-year pilot program. The Government Accountability Office shall report to Congress on such program.