Sen. Tom Carper
Democrat, Delaware

Thomas Richard “Tom” Carper, 67, flew the P-3 Orion as a Navy Air commander in Vietnam from 1968 to 1973, and he’s one of the few non-lawyers in the Senate (he has an MBA from the University of Delaware). He started in politics as Delaware’s treasurer, taking over the state with the nation’s worst credit ratings. He raised the First State back to respectability and then took off for the House of Representatives in 1982.
But it’s his commitment to his brothers and sisters in arms that has endeared him to providers. Carper has not only co-sponsored legislation allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to craft “provider agreements” bringing the nation’s vets into long term and post-acute care centers, he’s been one of the key congressional champions of the bill. It was Carper and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. who organized a “dear colleague” letter, ultimately gathering 41 senatorial signatures, urging passage of the provider agreements.
“Veterans who need these extended care services, such as nursing home care, deserve to have access to this critical medical care as close as possible to their family, friends, and communities,” the letter says.
Born in Virginia and raised in West Virginia, Carper still makes the locals proud, Delaware Health Care Facilities Association Executive Director Yrene Waldron tells Provider.
“I’m proud to come from the First State, where our senior senator, Tom Carper, works hard every day to ensure that our nation’s veterans receive timely and quality health benefits as well as employment opportunities and other benefits so richly deserved,” she says.