Trump to sign bill extending veterans' health care program

Justin Greene
April 20, 2017

President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that eliminates an expiration measure enacted by the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. Last Congress, I was pleased to have my legislation - the Support Our Military Caregivers Act - pass the House of Representatives and I urge Secretary Shulkin to support this bill as we seek to have it passed and signed into law. "I look forward to joining him today as he signs this important bill for our veterans", said Governor Scott. "Congress now has some time to work with Shulkin on broader, more permanent choice reforms". "This bill will extend and improve the veterans' choice program, so more veterans can see the doctor of their choice and don't have to wait and travel long distances for VA care".

Reform is on the way to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, as Trump signed a new executive order this morning.

Veterans Affairs officials on Monday announced they will not kick any more individuals out of the department's caregiver support program while a full review of the benefit is conducted over the next three weeks. He said Wednesday that the plan is due in the fall.

Presidents change and lawmakers come and go, but The Washington Times is always here, and FREE online. Lucas said the Choice Program was a well-intentioned "quick fix" to the Phoenix scandal, but that it remains flawed and has forced too many veterans to seek care at what he termed failing VA facilities.

"Our number one priority is getting veterans' access to care when and where they need it", said Baligh Yehia, the VA's deputy undersecretary for health for community care. Many vets complained it made getting that care more of a hassle. This represents millions of appointments that would have otherwise lagged in the VA's scheduling system for everything from routine check-ups and diagnostic tests to life saving heart and cancer treatment.

As we work to ensure all veterans have access to care, we must develop an informed, strategic plan for the future of veteran healthcare through the VA.

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