Trump, Congressional Leadership Agree VA Expansion Will Be Paid For

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

This week President Donald Trump signed the VA Mission Act into law.

It also had the support of Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative group that has grown influential in the Trump administration.

The Veterans Choice Program originated in response to the VA wait time scandal during which VA leaders falsified wait times.

"Now they can go see a doctor", said Trump.

The legislation secures $52 billion to improve the Department of Veteran Affairs by expanding comprehensive assistance for family caregivers, merging community care programs and even hiring additional health care professionals.

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"On the anniversary of D-Day, we're reminded of the sacrifices of our courageous veterans and that we owe our service members a debt that can never be repaid".

"President Trump's signing of the VA Mission Act is an important step toward ensuring our veterans have access to the quality care they deserve", said U.S. Sen.

The community care portion of the bill will provide veterans the option to use providers in their hometowns. The new law, once implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will give military veterans in need of healthcare greater autonomy in the pursuit it.

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.

Cox added, "Virginia is one of the most veteran-friendly states in the nation and we've worked hard to provide our veterans with access to education, job training and placement services, and healthcare when they've returned home". The new, bipartisan measure consolidates numerous private-care programs that were fragmented and inefficient and drew support from disparate veterans groups that often disagree. This choice provides flexibility for veterans to use the VA or private sector health providers.

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The act establishes standards for veterans to consult with the private sector for "timely and effective care".

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

"I have a dear friend who passed after waiting eight months for an appointment", said Lewis. The care will be judged by its timeliness, effectiveness, safety, and efficiency.

Supporters of a separate spending measure said otherwise the VA Mission Act will blow a $10 billion hole in the budget, forcing cuts to other VA programs to make up the difference.

He added, "You shouldn't have to ask Congress every year for money to take care of veterans". The Mission Act also removed barriers for Telehealth statewide and nationwide medical consultations and diagnosis.

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