June 23, 2018

Trump to sign bill expanding private care for veterans

09 June 2018, 07:55 | Winifred Adams

PROMISE KEPT: Trump Signs VETERANS ACT to Expand Healthcare

President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law that will expand private care for veterans as an alternative to the troubled Veterans Affairs health system

President Donald Trump has approved a bill that will allow veterans to seek healthcare services from the private sector if a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital fails to accommodate to their needs, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.

"Veterans deserve access to a safe and reliable health care program", Mr. Shelby said. This choice provides flexibility for veterans to use the VA or private sector health providers. The law calls for billions for new programs to provide private care, but does not outline how they will be funded. The legislation authorizes new health care programs for veterans, but the bill does not reserve federal money to pay for those programs.

"I think this will make it an easier process", said Quincy native Jack Wingerter, 66, a 27-year Navy veteran who now lives in Belleville. "The decision of where you get your care will be, as it should be, between you, your doctor and the VA", he said.

In pressing for the reform, Trump said veterans should be able to access private care whenever they are dissatisfied with VA options. The new, bipartisan measure consolidates numerous private-care programs that were fragmented and inefficient and drew support from disparate veterans groups that often disagree.

The legislation also expands a caregivers program to cover families of veterans of all eras, not just those injured in the line of duty since 2001.

Bergman sits on the VA Committee and Chairs the VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. "The VA MISSION Act is great progress toward ensuring that veterans get more choice and the high level of care that they were promised when they put on a uniform in defense of our country becomes a reality for everybody".

The VA system structure is now based on the way medical services were provided from the 1960s to the 1980s, he said.

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Major veterans groups have cautioned against "cannibalizing" VA programs to pay for Choice, saying more funding is needed.

Many veterans have moved from the Northeast to other parts of the country.

The bill's passage into law is a part of Congress' efforts to do right by the nation's veterans, according to Isakson, the Senate bill sponsor.

The president said he won't treat as mandatory a requirement to consult Congress on the appointment of members to an asset and infrastructure review commission.

Foremost, the law funds and updates the Veterans Choice Program, which connects veterans to third-party treatment outside of the VA when VA care would otherwise be unattainable or exceed a 30-day wait period.

As the term for that act neared its end, the Veterans Affair Committee began work on taking the improvement process further.

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