Dan Benishek

Dan Benishek

MICHIGAN's 1st DISTRICT

Dr. Benishek Honors Upper Peninsula Veteran of the Year

2014/08/15

ESCANABA, MI:  Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today released the following statement after attending the award ceremony for Sergeant James Edberg, a Northern Michigan resident who was named the "2014 Upper Peninsula Veteran of the Year" by the U.P. Veterans' Committee:

 

"Today, I was deeply honored to take part in the award ceremony for Sergeant James Edberg, who was recognized as the 2014 Upper Peninsula Veteran of the Year.  As a former VA surgeon, I have seen many heroes, but Sergeant Edberg is extraordinary because his selfless efforts for this nation did not end after he left active duty in the U.S. Army.  He has continued to serve our country as a mentor to our veterans.  He has dedicated his life to serving our veterans and their families in communities throughout Northern Michigan," said Dr. Benishek, a lifelong resident of Northern Michigan.

 

Sergeant Edberg served in the B Company's 2/5th 1st Calvary Division of the United States Army. He bravely served our nation in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He is receiving this award for dedicating his life to our veterans, having served on Michigan's Veterans Trust Fund for 11 years as well as being the Commander of Post 4803 for 29 years, Sergeant Edberg has gone above and beyond in serving our veterans in Northern Michigan.

 

"Sergeant Edberg's defense of our freedoms serves as an inspiration for all of us who call Northern Michigan home.  He and his family should be deservedly proud of this award.  He has undoubtedly earned it.  On behalf of the citizens of Michigan's First District, we thank Sergeant Edberg for his service, sacrifice, and continued patriotism in service to our citizens," added Dr. Benishek.

 

Earlier this week, Dr. Benishek announced his "Veterans Listening Tour" of Michigan's First Congressional District, where he will be visiting with veterans, veterans' groups and veteran health facilities. In addition, he will be leading a field hearing of the House Veteran's Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Health in Traverse City on August 27, 2014. Dr. Benishek is the only member of the Michigan delegation serving on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and is a former surgeon who worked at the Oscar G Memorial VA Hospital in Iron Mountain for 20 years.

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Dr. Benishek Works to Bring Jobs to Northern Michigan

2014/08/14

MENOMINEE, MI: Today, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) celebrated the expansion of Anchor Coupling Inc. in Menominee, Michigan. Anchor Coupling is a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. and will be expanding operations with the creation of 120 new full time jobs over the next year in Northern Michigan.

 

"It's great news that Anchor Coupling is able to expand and bring more full-time jobs to Northern Michigan. Thanks to companies like Caterpillar and Anchor Coupling, more residents of our area will be able to stay and work here in the U.P. Anchor Coupling is a leader in American innovation. We need to continue working with leaders in Northern Michigan, such as Caterpillar, to improve the economy and bring jobs back to this area," said Dr. Benishek, a lifelong resident of Northern Michigan.

 

Anchor Coupling is a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., and was established in 1978 in the City of Menominee. Anchor Coupling produces hydraulic hose assemblies for Caterpillar machines in addition to other original equipment manufacturers. The company plans to expand by purchasing a building adjacent to its existing facility in Menominee by investing up to over $9 million.

 

"Vocational education is incredibly important up here in Northern Michigan and Anchor Coupling works with local schools and communities to provide the training needed to secure a full time job with the company. I am so proud of the work that Anchor Coupling and Caterpillar is doing here in Menominee by offering internships and scholarships to further these efforts and I look forward to working with them on future educational endeavors," added Dr. Benishek.

 

Vocational education and proper job training has been a top priority for Dr. Benishek during his time in Congress. Dr. Benishek has hosted educational round table meetings in Northern Michigan with educators and job providers, and continues to explore proposals to promote vocational education in the First District so that individuals have the proper training to secure the jobs available.

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Dr. Benishek Supports Preservation of Working Forests

2014/08/12

TRAVERSE CITY, MI: Today, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) met with leaders in land conservation and preservation in Houghton, Michigan at a Forest Legacy Program roundtable. The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is a voluntary program between private landowners, states, and the federal government.   The goal of the program is to protect environmentally sensitive areas, encourage the use of conservation easements, and utilize sustainable practices in working forests.

"Ensuring our working forests are protected and well managed up here in Northern Michigan is crucial as we move forward with creating sustainable energy sources. The Pilgrim River Watershed is a great example of conservation efforts that will increase recreation and education in the U.P, while working to create sustainable forestry and watershed protection. These efforts are also important to the local economy, with the creation of local forest products as well as increased tourism. It's great that we are able to support and work with the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to make sure that the Pilgrim Watershed has funding to confine their conservation efforts," said Dr. Benishek, the only member of the Michigan delegation serving on the House Committee on Natural Resources and House Agriculture Committee.

Areas like the Pilgrim River Watershed are planned with conservation in mind, which allow for the protection of local ecosystems and sustainable management of a working forest, including timber production, public recreation, and educational programs.  The program is voluntary in nature, and helps states develop and carry out their conservation plans.

"The Forest Legacy Program can create a win-win situation for a project like ours in the Pilgrim River Watershed.  This federal program provides grants for working forest easements with funds from offshore oil and gas lease fees.  With this type of easement the land remains in private ownership and sustainable timber harvests will continue supporting our forest products economy.  At the same time, the easement legally assures perpetual public access for recreation and protects vital habitats, rivers, and scenic views.  These combined goals are what the Forest Legacy Program is all about," said Bill Leder, the President of the Copper Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Dr. Benishek has been an avid supporter of increased funding for LWCF throughout the appropriations process this year, and has also supported the Forest Legacy Program in the 2014 Farm Bill.

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Dr. Benishek Announces Veterans Listening Tour

2014/08/11

WASHINGTON, DC: Today Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) announced that during August he will be visiting with veterans, veterans' groups and veteran health facilities throughout Michigan's First District.  In addition, he will be leading a field hearing of the House Veteran's Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Health in Traverse City on August 27, 2014.     

"As a former VA surgeon, I have seen firsthand the heroism and bravery that defines our service members. I have also seen the mismanagement and bureaucracy that our veterans deal with on a daily basis at the VA. One of my top priorities in Washington has been to ensure our veterans receive the care they need and deserve. By listening to and learning from veterans across our district, I have gained a greater understanding of the needs of veterans in Northern Michigan. Working towards solutions to make access to care easier and affordable for veterans in Northern Michigan is something I will continue to work on moving forward," said Dr. Benishek, a surgeon who worked at the Oscar G Memorial VA Hospital in Iron Mountain for 20 years.

To cap off the veterans listening tour, Dr. Benishek will be chairing a field hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Health in Traverse City.  The hearing will be held at VFW Post #2780 at 10:00 am on August 27.  Focusing on access to health care for rural and Native American veterans, the hearing will give veterans in Northern Michigan the opportunity to hear directly from VA senior leadership on the issues that matter to them. 

"Our veterans fought for us abroad and now they are fighting to get the care they need at home and that is unacceptable. All issues veterans face up here in Northern Michigan are important and it has been my mission to work towards helping those who fought for our freedom. I am looking forward to being able to hold this hearing so that we can further understand the unique issues facing Native American and rural veterans," added Dr. Benishek.

Dr. Benishek recently worked with his colleagues in the House and Senate on the Conference Committee that compromised on legislation to provide immediate care to veterans who need it the most. The bill tackles both short and long-term problems at the VA.  Any veteran who has waited longer than 30 days to see a doctor or who lives more than 40 miles from a facility will be able to seek care from a private sector health care provider. The reform will also initiate a private sector assessment of the VA to determine changes that need to be made to create a more efficient system.

Dr. Benishek kicked off his tour at a veterans lunch in Marquette on August 4, 2014, where he met with veterans and discussed how the new VA reform bill will be affecting those in Northern Michigan.

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Dr. Benishek Health Care Reform

2014/08/08

 

WASHINGTON, DC: Recently, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) introduced H.R. 5321, the “Protecting Insurance Coverage for Sick Americans Act of 2014,” which would help protect patients and ensure that sick Americans do not lose their health insurance when they become sick.

“As a doctor who has practiced medicine for nearly 30 years, I have stood firm against the President’s new health care law because it is bad medicine for America. We need health care that is patient-centered and affordable; allowing for choice and portability across the country. The common-sense measures that the “Protecting Insurance Coverage for Sick Americans Act of 2014” will put in to place will ensure that those who are sick will not lose their insurance. Americans need certainty in their health care and this bill is a good first step,” said Dr. Benishek, a general surgeon from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

This legislation would prevent insurance companies from cancelling an individual’s health insurance unless that individual had engaged in fraud or intentional misrepresentation with regard to their policy. H.R. 5321 was introduced in the House on July 31, 2014 and cosponsored by Representatives Mike Coffman (CO-06), Scott Rigell (VA-02), David Valadao (CA-21), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Tim Walberg (MI-07).

“It is obvious that a one-size-fits-all health care system is not working with the current law. We need to work together to create patient-focused reforms that allow doctors and patients to make decisions about their health care and these measures will do just that,” added Dr. Benishek.

Dr. Benishek also recently cosponsored H.R. 5328, the Guaranteed Health Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2014, a bill to prohibit insurers from denying coverage for a pre-existing condition, and H.R. 5384, which will require insurance companies to provide coverage to dependents up to the age of 26.

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Dr. Benishek's Statement on the Veterans' Reform Law

2014/08/07

 

TRAVERSE CITY, MI: Today, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) issued the following statement after the signing of the veterans' reform bill into law by President Obama:

 

"As a former VA surgeon, I witnessed firsthand the mismanagement that has led to long wait times, backlogs and even deaths. While this new law is a great first step, we need to continue to put pressure on the VA and this Administration to follow through with their promises and hold those who do wrong accountable for their actions. I am committed to ensuring our veterans get the care they need and will not rest until we have a leaner and more efficient system in place."

 

Dr. Benishek has been a leader in advocating for reform at the VA since coming to Washington in 2011.  Dr. Benishek is the only member from Michigan on the Veterans Committee and is Chairman of the Health Subcommittee. His "Demanding Accountability for Veterans Act" passed the House unanimously in June.

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Dr. Benishek Celebrates National Lighthouse Day

2014/08/07

TRAVERSE CITY, MI: Today, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) commemorated "National Lighthouse Day" by releasing the following statement:

"From Mission Point to the Marquette Harbor, lighthouses have played a crucial role in boat and ship navigating on the Great Lakes in Northern Michigan. Michigan actually has more lighthouses than any other state, many of which are in our great district. A lot of what we do up here is dependent on the shipping industry and without many of these lighthouses; transportation of several goods and services would be greatly hindered. Today we celebrate our heritage and honor the beacons of light, which have guided many throughout the years."

 

Last month, Dr. Benishek joined several of his colleagues in the House urging President Obama to officially declare August 7th as "National Lighthouse Day." On August 7, 1789, President George Washington signed the Lighthouses Act, which encouraged trade and commerce through the creation of lighthouses across the country.

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Dr. Benishek's Statement on Highway Funding

2014/07/31

WASHINGTON, DC: Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) issued the following statement after voting to bring H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, a step closer to the President's desk:

 

"Maintaining the roads and highways in Northern Michigan is incredibly important for both families, businesses and the economy in general. The solution I supported helps ensure our highway funding continues without raising taxes, which will hurt families who are already struggling to pay their bills. Ensuring our roads and highways are sustained is crucial. We need to get this bill passed and signed into law now so that summer construction can continue without interruption."

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Dr. Benishek: Our Work for Veterans is Far From Done

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, with Dr. Benishek's support, the House passed the Conference Report to H.R. 3230, The Veterans' Access to Care through Choices, Accountability and Transparency Act by a vote of 420 to 5.  Dr. Benishek served on the joint House and Senate Conference Committee to reform the VA and is the Chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health.

 

"It's a fact that the VA has failed our veterans in providing adequate and timely care. From my personal experience working as a surgeon at the VA in Iron Mountain, I saw firsthand the barriers our veterans faced due to the bureaucratic incompetence of VA management.  We are well past excuses and we are finally beginning to implement needed change at the VA. These changes will provide immediate access to care to veterans who have endured long waits, while also working with the private sector to create a leaner and more efficient system. Our veterans deserve the best, and this is a step in the right direction in ensuring they are cared for," said Dr. Benishek, the only Michigan member serving on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

 

The House and Senate joint Conference Committee to reform the VA came to a compromise earlier this week, which tackles both short and long-term problems at the VA. Any veteran who has waited longer than 30 days to see a doctor or who lives more than 40 miles from a facility will be able to seek care from a private sector health care provider. The reform will also initiate a private sector assessment of the VA to determine changes that need to be made to create a more efficient system.

 

"Make no mistake though; this is just the first step and we will not stop finding solutions for our veterans.  We must continue to keep the pressure on the VA, long after the headlines have faded and the worst employees have been fired.  Because our veterans will still be there, and they will still deserve to be at the top of our priority list," added Dr. Benishek.

 

Since coming to Washington, Dr. Benishek has fought for veterans across the country, demanding accountability from the VA as well as adequate care for those who fought for our freedom. He is the only member from Michigan on the House Committee on Veterans and served as a surgeon at the Iron Mountain, MI VA facility for 20 year. Dr. Benishek's  Demanding Accountability for Veterans Act unanimously passed in the House in June. The bill will require the VA Secretary to figure out who within the VA is responsible for fixing a problem identified by the Inspector General, reduce the burden on a supervisor when it is necessary to fire a bad employee, and target bonuses of employees that fail to fix problems.

 

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Dr. Benishek's Statement on Bipartisan Veterans Agreement

2014/07/29

WASHINGTON, DC: Last night, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01), member of the Veterans' Affairs Conference Committee, signed bipartisan legislation to reform the VA and provide immediate care to our veterans. He released the following statement in support of House-Senate compromise bill to get veterans off waiting lists and into exam rooms:

"As a former VA surgeon, I've had firsthand experience with the mismanagement and incompetency that our veterans have had to deal with on a daily basis.  We must hold the VA accountable for their inaction in serving our veterans and this bill is a step in the right direction. These reforms and changes will begin to make access to care easier for veterans who have had to wait long periods of time to see doctors, as well as allow many to seek care at private sector facilities. This bipartisan deal is a positive step forward for our veterans, but our work is not done.  We must ensure that the VA implements these changes and becomes much more responsive to the needs of those who have fought for our freedom."

 

Since coming to Washington, Dr. Benishek has worked tirelessly to improve the VA to ensure veterans receive timely access to the care they need and deserve. Dr. Benishek is the only member of the Michigan delegation currently serving on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health. He served as one of the conferees on the joint House and Senate conference committee to reform the Department of Veterans' Affairs.  Dr. Benishek worked as surgeon at the Iron Mountain VA facility for 20 years.

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Contact Information

514 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4735
Fax 202-225-4744
benishek.house.gov

Dan Benishek’s story is like that of many people from Northern Michigan.  Dan was born in Iron River, Michigan.  His family didn’t have much when he was growing up, and his father was killed in a mining accident when he was only 5 years old.  After his father’s death, Dan’s mother, with the help of family, raised Dan and his brother, Tim.

As a boy, Dan worked in his grandmother’s business—the Iron River Hotel.  Dan made beds, hauled beer, and cleaned the spittoons.  His grandmother paid him $10 a week for his efforts, but he had to save it for the future.

After Dan graduated from West Iron High School in 1970, he went on to earn a B.S. in biology from the University of Michigan in 1974.  Dan graduated from Wayne State Medical School in 1978 and completed a Family Practice internship in Flint at St Joseph’s Hospital.  He has served as a general surgeon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a private practice since 1983. He has worked part-time at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain for the past twenty years.

Dan worked as a general surgeon in Iron Mountain for nearly 30 years and raised his family in Iron Mountain.  Along the way, it never occurred to him to get into politics, let alone run for Congress.  But, like many people in Northern Michigan, Dan just got tired of seeing career politicians in Washington waste taxpayer dollars our nation doesn’t have on bills they didn’t even read.

Since coming to Congress, Dan has been fighting every day to create jobs in Northern Michigan, improve services to our veterans, and renew the promise of the American Dream for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

Dan is an avid hunter and fisherman and a proud member of the NRA and the GOA.

Dan and his wife Judy live near Crystal Falls, Michigan.  They have five children and four grandchildren.  Prior to being sworn into Congress on January 5, 2011, Dr. Benishek had never sought nor held any previous public office.


Serving With

Bill Huizenga

MICHIGAN's 2nd DISTRICT

Justin Amash

MICHIGAN's 3rd DISTRICT

Dave Camp

MICHIGAN's 4th DISTRICT

Fred Upton

MICHIGAN's 6th DISTRICT

Tim Walberg

MICHIGAN's 7th DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

MICHIGAN's 8th DISTRICT

Candice Miller

MICHIGAN's 10th DISTRICT

Kerry Bentivolio

MICHIGAN's 11th DISTRICT

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