- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

MOUNT CARMEL, Ohio (AP) - Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is meeting with veterans about concerns related to problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He scheduled a Friday town hall meeting at an American Legion Post in Mount Carmel, about 20 miles east of Cincinnati.

Portman supports legislation to authorize a “choice card” for veterans to use for health services outside the VA system if they can’t get an appointment in a reasonable time. It also provides that option for veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility.

Earlier this month, Portman visited a Columbus VA facility. He said VA problems such as lengthy waiting lists show the need for more accountability and efficiency.

Also Friday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald planned a roundtable discussion on veterans’ issues in Columbus.

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